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If your analysis needs are not very demanding (i.e., you don't need 3D, or
non-linear analysis), you might want to look at Enercalc's FastFrame. I
recently posted a comment that I down
loaded a Beta version (5.0.8) and had difficulty with using the program.
When I used the software, I was in a hurry to do a job and didn't have
(take?) the time to call Enercalc about the problem I was having. I just
assumed that there was going to be more work done on the software and I
would wait for the final release. I dumped the software and rebuilt the
model in STAAD3.

Since then, I have taken the time to look at the problems I was having with
the software. The only functional problem I was having it turns out was
"operator problems". While creating a data file, I've got this bad habit of
saving all the time. Some habits are hard to break. Apparently the software
is build on a database platform so that the data is automatically saved
immediately after data entry. Therefore, the only "save" option is "save
as" so the user can replicate files.

The only two other problems I had were more cosmetic. The header did not
print my company name, etc. properly Michael has said that he has fixed
this. The other item is, when viewing the graphic results, the Moment
Diagrams did not change when the load combination selection was changed.
There is a work around by clicking on the load combination tab at the top
and then going back to the plot view. I discussed this item with Michael
and he is currently working on this.

The "upside" to this software is that it is TREMENDOUSLY easy to use. For
those of you that have complaints about problems with software manuals,
this will not be the case with Fast Frame. You don't need one! I've never
been able to build a frame model, view and print results as quickly as I
have been able to do with Fast Frame.

I recommend that for those of you who do not have sophisticated analysis
needs to look at this program.

> From: Bill Sherman <SHERMANWC(--nospam--at)>
> To: seaoc(--nospam--at)
> Date: Thursday, March 20, 1997 9:01 PM
> Per Bill Polhemus:  
> >In general, I have found over my eight years of using STAAD III (user  
> since around version 7 or so), that it's not really the PROGRAM ITSELF,  
> that's the problem, but rather Research Engineers. < 
> I would echo this opinion - the basic program isn't that bad but the 
> documentation and correction of bugs is severely lacking.  While the
> does have some "real" bugs, many of the bugs I've found are simply a lack
> documentation of the program, such that results may not be what you
> I've suggested some areas to be clarified to RE, but they appear to
> such suggestions.   
> We will continue to use STAAD III, but we are considering buying RISA 2D
> use on simpler frame models.  Years ago I used STRUDL (on a mainframe)
> thought the documentation at that time was better - is anyone familiar
> the current WINSTRUDL program?  How good is the documentation provided?  


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