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REply to "Am I the Only Staad Supporter"

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Ken, 

Based on reading your posting I would not call you a STAAD supporter.  You 
sounded like me SEVERAL years back when I first got STAAD at a company I 
worked for.  I was not a supporter, I just complained less than people that 
had run the program over a longer period of time.  After I had run the 
program for an extended period of time...I became a "Chronic Complainer".  My 
problem was that my boss was not about to spend money on another program 
since he could not get his money back from STAAD.  We fell mostly into the 
advertisements and lip-service.  Only running the product for months reveals 
all the problems you have to deal with.

IMHO the #1 problem STAAD had back then was the support staff.  I was not 
familiar with the MA bunch, but the CA bunch was a constant headache.   Here 
is a summary of problems....I bet they are the same in 1999 versus 1991.

1.  You report a problem...they say it is user error....you spend days and 
weeks trying to get usuable answers until...BINGO..you figure out it is their 
problem..and have to spend time convincing them.   Like another posting 
stated...i got tired of debugging their program.

2.  You send them your file to run and "see" the problem with the program.  
when they get the file, they strip everythign out except the part you are 
complaining about (steel design for example).  They never ran the file I 
sent, they always edited it.  I was always contending that their "free 
format" is dangerous in that they do not know where the information is going 
due to the lack of structure.  I was correct on several instances of this.  
When they edit the file, this removes the problem...and therefore they report 
to me that the answers are correct.

3.  When you tell them of a feature that is easy to include in the program 
that would make life easier for a practicing engineer (not a programmer) they 
tell you that you do not need that.  They appear to have no actual design 
experience.  Once, I asked for the program to print to a file in some format 
the forces on the finite elements so I could use programs I write to further 
process the information.   I was basically only wanted the maximum forces 
(+and -)and those occuring with them printed.  I was basically looking for 24 
or less elements out of 1000s of elements.  They informed me that I did not 
need that because STAAD would print all the elements.....and that was exactly 
my problem....i got 100s of pages of output...but only needed less than 1 
page.  The guy could not understand why I would not want every number...and 
only 24 or so.  

I could go on more....but I think this is sufficient to illustrate my 
point....in short..STAAD would have to give me a free copy for me to ever 
even think of using them again.  I agree there is not perfect software, but I 
also think STAAD would not even make it to Ms Congeniality if there was a 
competition.  I am using RISA currently but have not had a chance to try the 
Windows version...no real complaints EXCEPT the length of time it took to get 
a windows version....I am trying to review Eagle Point soon.

Ron Martin