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-----Original Message-----
From: David L. Fisher [mailto:dfisher(--nospam--at)] 
I agree about CAD being boring...
The secret, I think, is what we do in our office...we
design and draft
at the same time...keeps it from Becoming boring.
David L. Fisher, SE, PE


We went even further.
I worked for a Govt. Owned consultancy and contracting
organisation for 26 years.

Every 5 years or so, I was posted at the project site
for a year.
That gave me an exposure to fabrication and erection

Each time I came back from site I was a better and
more practical designer.

"Optimisation" which was our mantra as young computer
literate structural engineers gave way to "fabrication
ease" "erection convenience", "advantages of
repetition of structural elements", and time saving at
We learned how to compromise between least weight and
least time  and how to achieve least cost.

I belong to a generation that could do all: 
sketching, hand drafting, computer drafting, hand
calculations, use powerful software, improvise some
quick code in Fortan and later Basic, cook up a quick
spreadsheet  and I enjoyed all of these activities.

I also used a slide rule for the first few years of my

I also enjoyed living right through the computer and
software revolution.

We gained the maximum from these developments and I am
glad I belonged to the "right" generation. ( I am 54

We did things the hard way earlier and later enjoyed
delegating these tasks to computers and software.

We could do a simple frame analysis by hand quickly.
Today we can spot something fishy, if any, in a
computer output. 
Too often I see wrong data, going unnoticed and the
resulting suspicious output being trusted implicitly
by modern young engineers.

I second the need for an overall knowledge of elements
of drafting for engineers. 
Site experience cannot be gained in the universities
but this knowledge of drafting can easily be imparted.
My old professor told me "Drawing is the language of
Should we not learn our own language and be skilled at
It is a truly international language.

My two cents.

G Vishwanath
Bangalore, India.

PS: I thank all contributors for expressing their
opinions on "Connections". I note that the discussion
has digressed.
I am now compiling my digest of the discussions and
will send them out to all those who requested it.

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