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> -----Original Message-----
> From: Brian K. Smith [mailto:smithegr(--nospam--at)]
> Sent: Wednesday, May 23, 2001 8:57 AM
> To: seaint(--nospam--at)
> Subject: RE: TEDDS
> Ron,
> We are actually a very small firm as well.  I purchased TEDDS
> when it was a
> little cheaper, and have been very satisfied.  I have not used
> MathCad since
> I was in college, so I can not compare the two.  What I like
> about TEDDS is
> that I develop my own equations, or use theirs, and they are stored in
> libraries for use time and time again.  It is really an electronic
> replacement for the old engineering note pad.  For example, my entire
> processes for sizing simple span beams or load bearing CMU walls or voided
> grade beams is stored in a library.  When I need to size a CMU wall, I
> insert my calculations, tell the program to calculate that section of my
> notes, and it runs through prompting me for wall thickness, contributing
> joist span, height of bearing, size of rebar, etc.

I agree. It sounds fantastic, and I'd love to use it. But what I hate is
that I sink money into these programs, then they add additional
functionality, and want an "upgrade price" of a significant fraction of what
you paid for it, just so I can do the things that I realized I can't do
until the "next version" comes out.

IMO, what has happened is that the original promise of Object Oriented
Programming has PURPOSELY been killed, essentially by our old friends,

If you remember, what was SUPPOSED to happen is that we were supposed to
have "objects" that we could purchase, as opposed to software programs, that
we could "connect together" like tinker-toys, an infinitely-extensible
widget set that would allow us EASILY, with next-to-no programming ability,
to put together whatever tools we needed. Don't have certain capabilities in
the program? Just go through the toolbox and pick out the tool parts that,
working together, can do what you want.

One example I heard of this concept, to give you an idea of its power, is
that you could take an aircraft of your choosing from Flight Simulator, and
take it into your favorite roll playing game, and shoot up the monsters with

First of all, I have to say that Microsoft killed this, for obvious reasons
(if they can't sell you their huge, bloated software packages, then where
are they? They are in the BLOATWARE business.)

Interestingly, the original innovators of the promise of true Object
technology were IBM and Apple, with their collaboration on the now-defunct
"OpenDoc" project. People were surprised to see IBM and Apple working
together since they were supposed to represent the opposite ends of the
computing spectrum, but both realized they were in the business of selling
HARDWARE, and it was of mutual benefit to have a set of software authoring
standards (h*ll, more than that, a software PHILOSOPHY) that would allow
users to solve their problems no matter what platform was in use.

Well, Microsoft immediately came out with OLE (now called Active-whatever
the heck), and their "Common Object Model" (COM) architecture, which was
supposed to be the "better answer" to OpenDoc and its "System Object Model"

Never mind that the OpenDoc initiative conformed to a set of industry
standards called "CORBA" that was supposed to ensure interoperability
independent of platform, and OLE/Active didn't. Microsoft simply said "we'll
do it better" and that was the end of OpenDoc (after it scraped along for a
few years, and actually accomplished a few things which were incorporated
into IBM's OS/2 and Apple's MacOS--neither of which together even had 15% of
the PC OS market). And never mind that OLE/Active was only an idea on paper
at a time when OpenDoc actually had some working products.

So now, we're stuck with the "wonders" of Active-whatever, which has only a
FRACTION of the capabilities that OpenDoc would have given us. So we're
STILL stuck with bloatware and specialized engineering software costing a
significant fraction of the fee I get on one project, instead of a set of
tools each costing only a few dollars, allowing us to make our OWN software
that can be developed as our needs change.

So much for today's rant.

William L. Polhemus, Jr., P.E.
Polhemus Engineering Company
Katy, Texas
Phone 281-492-2251
Fax 281-492-8203

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