Stories From Boot Camp

August 18, 2006

Today was the first day of another Boot Camp. There were a few interesting things that happened during the day of learning that I wanted to share with you.

One of the attendees is a sign maker and uses Signlab in addition to CorelDRAW. His main use for Signlab is to actually cut the vinyl and he is leaning toward switching to CoCut in the near future. Yet there was one feature in Signlab that he really misses in CorelDRAW. It is a particular type of shadow that isn’t part of CorelDRAW’s default arsenal of tools and effects. I thought about it for a minute and then was able to recreate the effect in about 4-5 steps. I’m positive that these steps can be automated via the VBA macro language, but not sure that my VBA skills can do it. Just one more thing that proves that CorelDRAW can do darned near anything and the dedicated sign programs aren’t really that necessary.

Later in the day I asked a lady who works for a casino if she ever needed to create calendars in her job. Sure, she creates them regularly. I asked how long it took to create the base calendar and it was about 20-30 minutes. That was actually pretty surprising as my guess would have been longer. Then I showed her how to create them in less than a minute. Of course that was before she learned how to reorder pages almost instantly and align things with lightning speed. That’s when I got my favorite quote of the day “They should put a damn sticker on the box telling everyone to take this class!” I couldn’t agree more. Sure, the class costs money, but the time you save will easily pay for the class. Now if I could only convince Corel to put that sticker on the box. Or you can all just come to class and I won’t even worry about that sticker.

One of the students also commented that they wanted to come to the Boot Camp Cruise and couldn’t convince the company to pay for it. One suggestion might be to pay for the cruise portion of the cost out of your own pocket if the company will pay for the flight and the course. Heck, it is a week of paid vacation that wouldn’t count against your vacation time, right? Do the companies realize that sending you on the cruise is probably less expensive than sending you to the land-based Boot Camps? Maybe you could just tell them the class is in Miami. So what if the classroom moves around a bit!

It just makes me wonder if they truly realize how much time people waste because they don’t know all the tricks of learning the software. Even people who have been to CorelDRAW Boot Camp three times have always felt that they learned much more than what they paid. Yes, you can try and learn things yourself for “free”, but your competitors will also gladly pay to learn ways to produce things twice as fast as you. Is free really a good deal?

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Foster D. Coburn III

Foster D. Coburn III built his first Web site in 1995 and he has been working exclusively in WordPress since 2013. He has used the Divi theme exclusively since 2015. Earlier in his career he was the author of 13 best-selling books on CorelDRAW and has been a contributor to numerous technology and graphics-related magazines. Foster has taken many projects, including this Web site, from the early design stage through to a finished piece. He has been a featured speaker at many graphics conferences.

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