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RE: Structural Software

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-----Original Message-----
From:	Phil Hodge [SMTP:phil(--nospam--at)]
Sent:	Wednesday, October 14, 1998 10:59 AM
To:	seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject:	Re: Structural Software

No offense taken.  The hardware is not the problem.  Converting all of
my software has a huge expense in both upgrades and learning curve.  The
worst portion would be the Pascal complier upon which I depend. 
Learning yet another new computer language is not a tempting prospect,
particularly when the anticipated benefits are minimal.  As I said, for
canned structural analysis RISA works just fine.  All my other structual
design software is in Borland Turbo Pascal, and again works just fine. 
I can see the handwriting on the wall, though, and will probably bite
the bullet when NT.5 is released.  However, I feel no compulsion to
march, lock-step, to Gate's tune every time he wants another couple of
billion dollars.

[Bill Polhemus]  

I understand about the "legacy" software.  I take it that these are programs you or someone in your office has developed?  Is there not an "analog" to Turbo Pascal ("ah, yes, I remember it well...") for the Windows environment?  Most of the "robust" programming languages have updated compilers; we just hunted down a successor to Microsoft FORTRAN (did you all know that it is no longer available nor supported by Microsoft?), and I would have a hard time believing that Pascal is also not available.

As for the inevitable "march, lock-step, to Gate's tune," well, I sympathize.  You're talking to a guy who until last year was still running OS/2, mostly out of spite (although I did love the system).

How about Linux?  Now THERE'S a system that I _KNOW_ will have Turbo Pascal available!  Of course, that would be a problem for "canned" software, but I'd be surprised if there were not versions available, now or very soon, for Linux, of such products as STAAD-III (which, a couple of years ago at least, was available in UNIX versions; how hard could a recompile be, Research Engineers?)

Anyway, I sympathize, both with your plight vis a vis not wanting to be a slave to Gates, and in not having the latest software tools available.  We had a guy, who recently retired, who was still running all his old GW-BASIC programs for structural work; another of our old-time Civil engineers, still thinks that his HP-41CX programs are the tops.

But the newer generation of software, made to run on the NEWER generation of hardware, does have some compelling productivity boosts.