The Dashboard was introduced in AutoCAD 2007. It was a new palette that few people found a use for. It had all kinds of 3D rendering/visualization tools on it, but unless you were working on a rendering, you probably turned it off. I would even go as far as to say that most people probably turned it off the first time they launched 2007 and never turned it back on. I mean, why would you when you already have your favorite toolbars and tool palettes? It was just something that took up valuable screen space.
Let me introduce you to the new and improved 2008 Dashboard. This one might make the cut when users launch 2008 for the first time, if they understand that it is now CUSTOMIZABLE! That's right, it is totally customizable. You can add or delete what you want. You can put all your favorite commands in one spot and completely turn off all those toolbar buttons.
The out of the box dashboard comes with several predefined Control Panels that have various tools on them. If you right click, you can select which ones you want by picking Control Panel and then checking the ones you want on. You can also right click on a panel that is currently on, and select Hide to turn it off.
I would start by browsing through these, turning off the ones you do not like, and leaving the ones you do like. Here is a sample of my favorite ones.
You can also go into the CUI by right clicking on the dashboard and selecting Customize Commands. Once inside the CUI, there is a new category for the Dashboard. Here you can add new panels and simply drag and drop your favorite commands onto the newly created panel.
With these added enhancements to the Dashboard, I can visualize everyone dashing off to customize their dashboard ( I know it's corny, but it could happen!)