As mentioned in my Wired Magazine post, Autodesk has several communities:
- Civil Engineering Community
- DWF Community
- Impression Community
- Industrial Design Community
- Manufacturing Community
- The Area - 3D Animation Community
When you register for one of these communities, you obtain a login for them all. They share a registration database. Autodesk Labs is no different. If you have a login for one of these other communities, you can use it for Autodesk Labs.
You do have to log into Autodesk Labs once to get things started, but after that you should be good to go. You can post comments in response to blog postings, participate in discussion groups, etc.
Speaking of discussion groups, I have been involved with them for a long time. In fact I had over 1200 posts last year. I use the Outlook Newsreader to participate in the discussion groups. I like how it keeps rack of posts I have read and not read. So that people would recognize me as an Autodesk employee I had my newsreader User Information set to "Scott Sheppard (Autodesk)." By chance, one day I saw one of my posts via a browser and I saw it had "Scott Sheppard \( Autodesk \)." Each paren had been escaped with a slash. I thought that looked cumbersome, so I changed my User Information to "Scott Sheppard - Autodesk." I thought I was all set.
We then launched the new Autodesk Labs site on May 1. Since I had been posting to newsgroups all along, I thought "Scott Sheppard - Autodesk" was my login. But noooooo! The information used by Outlook reflects how your posts appear but are not a login for the community. No problem. I thought I would just set up an Autodesk Labs login with "Scott Sheppard - Autodesk" as my user name. But noooooo! Autodesk Labs logins are limited to 22 characters. So now I am just "Scott Sheppard." But at least I can be a participant on the site.
By the way, registering with Autodesk Labs in NOT required to download utilities from the site. It is only required for certain activities on the site. With regard to these activities, they are very much alive in the lab.