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>I believe that no software worth its salt, can be used
> PRODUCTIVELY, without a continuous usage. 
Absolutely dead on. I've been using FEA for about 25 years and my 
experience is that it takes no less than 6 months to a year to develop 
methodologies for interpretation and validation and to find and deal with 
input errors. The whole notion of user-friendly and intuitive input means 
the code is easy, perhaps a thrill, to run; there's no connection to 
issues of program errors, mis-interpretation or applicability. 

I've found that no FEA software is only intuitive to the extent that a 
user has a intuitive grasp of structural mechanics and design. FEA 
software may seem user-friendly to a tyro, but the term usually means as 
marketeer-speak for whizzy graphics. By the time a user dopes out a 
fairly bullet-proof (read systematic to the point of being anal) input 
procedure, recognizes program pit-falls, figures work-arounds for bugs, 
and learns to interpret and communicate output and has made enough 
mistakes to do proper sanity checks, user-friendliness is meaningless.

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

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