So, first week of the course was great. I'm now positive I have wasted the past 5 years not getting to doing it, although I did resister for the class every year for the past 4 years, and it was never given due to lack of number of students.
So Saturday I went out to buy a new laptop. Well, I say new, I have never had my own one, always used the company one for my stuff, but decided that this time I need my own. Especially as I plan to make a business of this. For about 3 days I had been researching what to get. I had spent some free time in and out of various shops looking at options, comparing prices, etc. Saturday I ran into a "technical specialist", not a salesman, and he took me through the pro's and con's of each machine I was looking at, keeping in my price range, and finally made a recommendation.
I bought it, took it home, set it up, takes about an hour to do all it's stuff, and then tried, for at least an hour to get it to load the software. No frigging ways!!! Back to the store, the helpful bloke had left. I chat to another clown,who tries to convince me that a) I bought the wrong machine for the application, and b) My software / CD is probably corrupt! WTF?
OK, I say, put it (the CD) into that machine, and I point to the nearest one. It comes up ready to load! And the second machine, and the third!!! Then I told him to put it into the demo machine same as the one I bought - and it came up - Ready to install. So he agreed the DVD reader / Writer must be faulty, and agreed to exchange the machine.
That done, I scampered off home, went through the whole set up again, inserted the CD and ...... EUREKA! The "do you want to load" box came up, and 40 minutes later AutoCad was loaded. Needless to say I spent most of the weekend playing with it, did all the drawings we were given last week to do, which I had done some of in the class, but not finished, and I cracked the lot! It's great! Great fun, very "rewarding", and I am convinced that I will be making money from this venture sooner rather than later!
So, I have several options about doing contract work, but first I want to do more "practice". I'm going to talk to a previous employer, and get some of their drawings, just to copy. Then I'm going to talk to several of my friends who have businesses and who occasionally need the services of a draughtman to start giving me some of their work.
NS - partner in 2 - 3 companies, mining supplies manufacturer - always need drawings
RB - Owns several companies, designs machines for various functions - currently has his wife doing his drawings (she did this course a few years ago), and will give me work
DvZ - Owns a mining supply company, also does general steel work / construction - always drawing work required there
My boss at the company where I worked as a design draughtsman many years ago - I am certain I can get contract work from him
And, another ex-boss, from aforementioned company, who went into another line of business, and who I am certain will give me work to do.
So, I should be making some kind of money from this in the near future. Sure as hell hope so anyway.