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Re: MaxBeam, MaxQuake, MaxWind

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>In fact, the brochures
>state:  "Easy to use structural software for architects, builders, drafters,
>engineers, and building departments." 
Welcome to 'black box engineering--cheap. One size fits all.' It very 
common for mechanical engineering FEA developers, one of whom claimed it 
was 'child's play.' Irrespective of the quality of the software 
(something which never makes it into the ads) if the user hasn't a good 
grasp of applied mechanics and the applicable codes, if the program 
contains code compliance assessment, you are cruising for a serious 
bruising if you assume _anything_ any FEA program puts out is gospel. 
I've been in the FEA biz for about 25 years and in that time software has 
proliferated and quality has generally gone right straight to hell. There 
a few exceptions, but the MicroSoft 'bugs be damned, bloat up the feature 
set and ship,' philosophy is common. I sometimes wonder if there's a 
certain critical size engineering software which is unsupportable--so 
many features aimed so many different sub-disciplines that no single 
person really understands it all. 

Christopher Wright P.E.    |"They couldn't hit an elephant from
chrisw(--nospam--at)        | this distance"   (last words of Gen.
___________________________| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)