This year we had two April Fool's Day pranks. For those not familiar with this custom, on April 1, many people play tricks on each other. Last year we announced Autodesk Love Maker 2011. This year, in keeping with our real theme of moving to suites, we announced:
Just like with Love Maker, the feedback to this one was all positive. Here's a sample:
"Great job! It is nice to know that Autodesk has a sense of humor…"
"You guys have Way Too much time on Your hands – Are you hiring? I really could use the Gray Hair Restorer feature; perhaps you should have considered Hair Restorer for some of us follicle challenged folks. Thanks for the laughs!"
"Can Procreation Design Suite 2012 provide tools that do more than Gray Hair Restoration? Is there anything in the package that can transform my children's passion for gaming into a passion for design?"
"Love this… Thank you. Laughter is almost better than coffee…"
"I give the Procreation Design Suite 5 stars… I could have used this years ago!"
Our second prank was more subtle:
Project ZP web-based compression/uncompression
This one really fooled some people. We had over 100 users with over 1.39GB of uploaded files. Here's some of what we heard back:
"All I can say is WOW!!!! I compressed a 15mb PDF into 1.4mb. This particular project has been a pain because the PDFs we share with clients have usually been above the 10mb email attachment limit. This forced us to either split it up into smaller files or put it on an FTP site. Zipping the PDF never resulted in anything special. I might lose a mb. This new technology has blown my mind."
"One of the coolest non-CAD applications you guys have come up with! 25MB 'pack and go' Inventor folder reduced to 2MB! I would use this every day if I knew it was going to be around for good!"
"The first file I tried took 5 minutes,. The other file type I tested was an installer for vlc media player, which compressed to around 10% of the original size, but took around an hour to compress. Thank you for the impressive tools you keep coming up with, keep up the good work."
"I can imagine massive compression being useful to Buzzsaw for file downloads. As long as the decompression is not too burdensome on the client CPU, I could imagine downloading files from Buzzsaw heavily compressed, to speed up the transfer."
So far, only one user was outraged:
"Autodesk forgot the part "international" in your company definition. That April Fool's day is a USA tradition, but not in other countries (like mine). When I login into the "official" labs blog for Autodesk, I don't expect a 'prank' or a 'joke.' Be serious with this and don't repeat that error assuming the entire world understands your (USA) habits."
All Project ZP basically does for compression is upload the original file to the web and store a pointer to the original file in the ZP file. For decompression, it retrieves the original file using the link in the ZP file. Thanks to software engineers, Stephane Negri and Eddy Kuo, who spent an afternoon setting this up.
Letting everyone in on the joke is alive in the lab.