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Re: Paper Space - was: Engineering Education Reply to Bill P. from Gerard

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On Fri, 5 Dec 2003, Dennis Wish wrote:

> Gerry,
> I also started with mainframe Cadam at Hughes in Culver City. I started
> Autocad with version 2.5 and it wasn't until Autocad 2000 that I learned
> how to be productive.  With this said, let me respond to your comments:
> 1. I agree with you on digitizers, but I don't like using keyboard
> macros - I prefer icons.

>From a personal point of view, I am like Dennis...mostly.  I mainly use
the icons on the screen, but do (actually did...a while since I have used
AutoCAD so I am rather rusty, but will have shake the rust off since I
will using it again in the near future) use keyboard commands.

In all, I believe it is a personal preference issue.  Individuals should
use what works for them.  Many AutoCAD "old timers" use keyboard command
because they are used to them from the non-graphical interface AutoCAD
days.  And they can fly doing it.  "New timers" generally are used to
using icons.  As to digitizers, there are a rare breed in today's world.
But, don't sneeze at them.  I have known someone who could FLY using a
digiziter with Microstation (this was right out of school at my first
job)...this guy could basically do EVERYTHING without ever touching the
keyboard (except to enter text) _OR_ look down at the digitizer except by
use of periphrial (sp?) vision.  It was just this constant "move, click,
move, click, move, click, etc" at a VERY rapic pace.   It was kind of
amazing to watch.

> 2. I use to think that XREF was the greatest thing in the world until I
> learned how to use Model and Paper Space. Now, I agree that there are
> downsides to using Model to create details and embellishing them with
> text and arrows (or dimensions) in Paper Space - it doesn't transfer
> well to new drawings. But there are some main advantages to use Paper
> Space;
> a) Draw your entire structure (sans details) in model space and create a
> separate sheet border in layout views. Create views and place them on
> each paperspace sheet;
> b) Using properties turn off all layers not needed in that view (or
> layout) so that each paperspace layout becomes a separate drawing. This
> is where text, dimensions, arrows and all other embellishments drawing
> comes in handy
> c) Don't forget to set up a custom plot file that varies line width,
> screening by color number. All items that are to be the same from
> drawing to drawing can be modified once in model view and then
> (depending if the layer is allowed to show in the view you placed) it
> acts similar to an XREF but stays attached to the drawing.
> The main problem with XREF is that you need to keep up with the changes.
> If you need to make a change to a number of drawings created in model
> space, double click on the area in paper space or click on the
> model/paper icon at the bottom of the screen and make your changes in
> the layout drawing. Just remember to lock the view so that it doesn't
> shift.
> I do like to create details in model space and then place them on a
> detail grid and adjust the scale to fit the detail area. It means that I
> can either add the embellishment to the model space, but most of the
> time, I just set my dimension and line scale to fit the view and add it
> in paper space. If I need to transfer it or use it on another job, I end
> up having to spend more time copying it over in both paper and model
> space.
> In short, I disagree. I won't go back to XREF because I have had too
> many architects and designers send me updates without telling me what
> had changed and I missed some of the things. I am also tired of changing
> color and linetypes standards created by others to match my eyesight.

Again, to me, XREFing and paper/model space becomes a personal/company
issue...what works for you might not work for me.  To begin with, many
small firms (one person shops especially, but also others) are not really
in a position to really see the benefits of XREFing.  AutoCAD for a long
time did not really do XREFing and when they started doing it, did not do
it well.  This is because AutoCAD was a CAD program that was originally
aimed at smaller operation where one or two people did most of the work on
the drawings.  Microstation has been doing referencing (same basic thing
as XREFing) for a while and it was more or less essential to those who
used it.  Microstation was more (in the past) for larger companies that
would have MANY people working on different drawings for the same project
that still needed "share" bits of pieces of the same information on many
different drawings.  So, in essence, you would be duplicating work if just
had each different person draw that same information in each separate
drawing that required thus came referencing.  This allowed
companies to split work up to different people (you can't have 20
different people working in one CAD file at the same time) yet only have
to have something drawn once yet be shown in multiple drawings with
automatic changes showing up.

So, the point is that XREFing/referencing is basically ESSENTIAL in larger
companies.  This is especially true in full service A/E firms (where
they are internally doing all the arch, mech, elec, struct, civil,
landscape, etc) drawings.  This is not to say there are not "bugs" in the
system.  I can't tell you how many times an architect has changed a
location of a column in their files that I was referencing (at some
companies the arch would show the column and column grid which struct
would reference, others struct would show the column which arch would
reference but struct would reference their column grid file) but neglected
to actual TELL me (in person, by phone, by email, by fax, by sign
language, etc).  It would just be that all of a sudden I had an
anti-gravity connection where there used to be a column that four beams
connected to...somehow I don't think a large ballon with a cable hanging
from it would work to support the ends of those beams.  <grin>

As to paper/model space issue, it is again a preference issue.  There are
MANY different ways to skin a cat, it is just a matter of which is less
painful for you (and the cat).  Drawing all the lines of a detail in model
space at true scale (1:1), viewporting it into paper space at the desired
scale and then adding text and leaders that are at the same scale for the
entire drawings has the advantage of making sure that all the text and
leaders show up the same size in a rather easy straight forward way.  The
disadvantage is as Dennis has point is a pain in the butt if you
want to grap that detail to use on another project.  If you draw
everything in model space, then you need to remember to switch the scale
of the text and leaders to match the scale of that detail, assuming that
you mix scales of the details on one sheet.  This way is prone to more
chances of text showing up at different sizes by mistake when you plot it
out, but then you can EASILY block the detail to use on other sheets.

Beyond that there were those that just did not grasp the idea of
paper/model space.  But that is a whole other topic.

> One final bitch - AutoDesk will no longer support Autocad 2000 AEC after
> mid-December or January. I have been getting ads from my Autocad dealer
> that if I upgrade to AEC 2004 it will cost me $1,800.00 +/- but if I
> wait until after January (or whatever the date it) I will have to buy a
> new station for $5,200.00 (+/-). This is a rip off and a royal insult.
> However, the question is how long Windows platform upgrades will support
> the older version of AutoCad. I don't want to upgrade. I tried 2002 and
> hated it. I would move to another program, but I like the 2000 AEC
> package - I'm comfortable with it and can produce drawings the way I
> like them. I don't want to be forced into spending money on the threat
> that the operating system in the future may not support the older
> version. Most of you who have installed 2000 AEC on an XP machine
> understand. You can do it, but you need to identify the installation
> program in XP's Compatibility Mode. If this will work for the next ten
> years, then I will refuse to change. If not then I'll start looking at a
> less expensive CAD system to move to. There should be no time limit on
> upgrades - this is extortion in my book.

What you don't like that wonderful Micro$oft tactic?  The whole "you
better upgrade now cause we are going to raise the price if you don't" is
something that we have Micro$oft to thank for (at least they have been the
most vocal or most press covered entity doing it).  It is something that
has arisen because they realize that some of their products really don't
have enough commonly used features to justify people upgrading.  So people
don't want to upgrade, so Micro$oft and others are trying to come up with
other ways to keep the revenue stream flowing.

> Sorry, but every time a company refuses to support their product after a
> number of years, we are forced to buy something more than we need.
> Fortunately, I have the disks and don't need to register online to keep
> using the product. Watch out for those products that take this choice
> away from you.
> Dennis

On fundamental level, I agree with you.  Many times I find no real need to
upgrade the OS or key programs cause I will not likely use the "new"
features.  A prime example of this is Retrospect (a backup program).  I
use it to back up my dad's computer.  He is currently at version 6.0.  At
one point he was at version 5.0, which was working more than fine.  Had
all the features that a single user with a single computer needed.  But
then, he upgrade to Windoze XP.  Retrospect would not longer work.  He
needed to upgrade to version 6.0 to get it to work with Windoze XP.  Never
mind the fact that he did not really need ANY of the new features in
version 6 (all of which were really aimed at large computer setups that
automated backing up across a network).  Now, he is at 6.0 but got a new
computer that has a new DVD burner in it to use for backup rather than my
SCSI Tarvan tape drive.  But, they no longer "support" version 6, but
rather are at 6.5.  So they only provide driver updates for newer backup
devices for version 6.5.  So, in order for him to backup to his DVD
burner, he will have to upgrade to version 6.5 even though he needs NONE
of the new features.

OTOH, I can see the practical side of the issue from the software
companies point of view.  First, they don't want to be supporting multiple
versions of the software.  It sucks up resources and money.  After all, I
am sure that you don't like the idea of having to "support" the design of
structural systems per the 1994 UBC, the 1997 UBC, the 2000 IBC, the 2003
IBC, the 1996 BOCA code, the 1993 BOCA code, the 1990 BOCA code, etc.
That would mean more codes that you have to be "current" with.  Now, add
to that the fact the some (but not all) users want/need and will use some
of the new features.  Take M$ Office 2003.  The biggest "new" features in
the collaboration/XML stuff.  Most don't give a rat's tushie about it, but
there are those who will use it a lot.

And that leads to the bottom line.   Money.  Money.  Money.  It takes
money for companies to support their product, but how do most of these
companies get their selling new licenses or upgrades.  This
puts me in a little of a bind.  As I said, I agree with you on this issue
from a fundamental/theoretical point of view.  But, then I also believe
that if I pay a "significant" amount of money that entitles me to free
support from the company.  But, if EVERYONE does that but does not buy some point the company does not have enough money to
continue to provide free support to me on my older version of the
software.  Thus, the reason companies have started charging for
case-by-case support or yearly maintance/support fees (both of which I am
not too fond of).  Some companies do this well.  I have no problem with
paying a yearly maintance fee to RISA or the makers of TEDDS.  They
support their products well.  I have issues with the way that Micro$oft
and even Apple deal with support issues, even when you pay.  I don't mind
the pay per incident concept too much, but many companies even charge you
if it turns out to be a BUG with their program.  This is where I
DEFINITELY have a problem...too many software companies take the attitude
that once the software is out our door, it is no longer our problem.  If
there is a bug, that means that you have to pay to upgrade.  Uh, no.  I
paid decent money for a working product, which means I expect to get a
working product that supplies the features advertised.


Ypsilanti, MI

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