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RE: COMP:Freeware?[Subject Prev][Subject Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
- To: <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
- Subject: RE: COMP:Freeware?
- From: "Dennis S. Wish PE" <wish(--nospam--at)cwia.com>
- Date: Fri, 9 Oct 1998 15:16:28 -0700
I'm not sure I agree with Earl's comments. Personally, I find that at least half the fun of this profession is playing with the software. I am always in search of that one Application that will do all the work for me - and accurately. If you intend to use the software only once, then your comments are valid. However, if you continue to use the software, the amount of time spent to learn the software becomes negligable over time. This is further reduced as you gain skill with one software that can be applied to another. A user of Autocad, for example, would have very little difficulty using Generic Cadd, Visual Cadd, Intellicad and many other software packages that use the same type of input. The user of these softwares, may, have difficulty using a program like MiniCad that treats objects as shapes rather than as vectors - but I believe this is an exception to the rule since we tend to stay close to the formats that we are comfortable with. I have tried Risa2D and 3D, FastFrame, Avansee, STRAP and a few others. Each of these programs will do the job and do it well. The more features that each has the more time it takes to become accustom - however, most of these features are intended to be productivity tools. Once these tools are learned, the time invested becomes amortized over the use of the program for various projects and at some point becomes negligable in the equation. After this point, the software is expected to have sufficient productivity gains which, in your case, may not be revealed inasmuch as you chose not to upgrade. Does it matter - probably not unless you are working on a model so large that the automation built into each of these programs makes it worthwhile. One other point that I think is worthwhile to note. There is a certain mind-set on the term "free" which implies (to me at any rate) a software created at the expense of a "hobbiest" or someone who wishes to donate his/her efforts for the enjoyment of others. Neither, FastFrame (Enercalc Software) nor Avansee fit into this category. Avansee is not free - however, the limited offer which each of us benifited from, was considered resitution for a misunderstanding. This was done at the expense of the software developer who believed it was a way to make amends as well as market a useful piece of software. FastFrame was donated to the engineering community by Mike Brooks (Enercalc) as a personal "restitution" for the delays in bring the software to market. Most of all - we should not be drawing inference to the quality of the product simply because it was offered for nothing. Each of these programs is sufficient (and generally more than sufficient) to accurately do the work that we would otherwise do manually. These are professional products which are upgraded and maintained by the developer instead of simply placed as-is on the Internet. Others may wish to respond since I have only reviewed the video examples on Avansee and modeled a one story one-bay frame. I found it to be a very good tool - one that I am pleased to add to my collection of useful tools (along side RISA, STRAP and FastFrame). We have had many discussions on the acceptablity and accuracy of shareware compared to retail software. I am not convinced that one is any better than the other. Each is as competent as the developer who wrote it - and so far each that I have reviewed have been very good. Sincerely Dennis S. Wish PE -----Original Message----- From: Ecengrs(--nospam--at)aol.com [mailto:Ecengrs(--nospam--at)aol.com] Sent: Friday, October 09, 1998 10:33 AM To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org Subject: RE:COMP:Freeware? Stan Caldwell wrote: <<Dear Busy Earl: << << So, are you saying that shrink-wrapped (commercial) software installs << faster, runs faster, or what? If a 4 MB download is a waste of your << time, perhaps you need a faster connection. Also, you can always << practice mult-tasking and do something productive while files are << downloading. Even Bill Clinton apparently practices multi-tasking! << << Stan R. Caldwell, P.E. << Puzzled in Dallas Not at all. My point is that ANY software package carries a price in terms of learning time, usage time, trying to get support time, etc. IF you place any value on your time. This time can be many hours, so when considering the "cost" of a software package, the purchase price really isn't that important, the much more important price is productivity lost or gained. Earl Conroy P.S. I hope all my competitors get that free AVWin program ;-)
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