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Architosh Staff ([email protected])
28 Sep 00


MacArchitect: AIA online courses now for Mac!

High-Quality Education for your professional CE requirements, now for Mac pros!

Architosh has learned that the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Online Courses are available for Macintosh-based architects as well. This is certainly more good news for the growing awareness and support of the Macintosh professional in architecture.

The AIA's AEC Seminars Distance Education offers high quality education to architects remotely over the Internet using the cross-platform RealPlayer G2 or higher software. The requirements are technically modest for both platforms, but they do include the requirement for a Java enabled browser.

Courses Available for Mac-based Architects

Currently only the 1999 Build Boston and 2000 AIA national convention programs are available to both PC and Macintosh users. PC-based architects can also take part in the 1999 AIA national convention programs.

On the Mac you need both RealPlayer G2 and either MS IE 4.01+ or Netscape 4.0 + with both Java and Javascript enabled. Handouts are provided in the lingua franca of Internet document sharing format, Adobe PDF. A few course handouts require a current version of MS PowerPoint for viewing. PowerPoint for Macintosh 98 should view these just fine.

Courses provide up to 2 LU hours of credit and there are a number of very interesting courses to choose from. Here are some samples:

Boston's Changing Urban Vision 1970-2020
The Digital Building
Urbanism: Architecture and Environment
Avoiding the Most Common ADA Errors
Using the Internet for Business and Developing a Project Web Site
Web Portfolios that Work

The AIA deserves to be commended on providing this type of service online. The continuing education requirements in the profession of architecture have been widely debated. Many busy professionals have viewed them as "one more thing they don't have time to attend to". Programs like this save busy architects time, and time is a valuable asset.

Programs that are open to Macintosh architects save them frustration in using the minority platform. Again, this is good news from the AIA.

In reality these types of platform issues should go away all together. To reach cross-platform segments the AIA should do what most big businesses do, use standard cross-platform tools. Adobe PDF for Internet-based cross-platform documents, Java and Macromedia Flash for Internet interactive education materials, and either Apple's excellent QuickTime or Real's RealPlayer for Internet-based Video. All of these tools should be the key software tool box for the AIA's future documents.

For application software design? There again, there is no excuse for not creating top flight programs that reach across platforms equally. Both Adobe, Macromedia, FileMaker and Microsoft make excellent business & design software that compile across platforms. The tools are there, the AIA just needs to "choose" to use them.


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