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Re: Steel Beam Design Program

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        Interesting that you should ask this question at this time.  I have just received my latest upgrade to the program SODA 4.0 today.  I have used this program starting with version 2.5 (plus or minus) for more than 10 years.  The two primary things I like about it are: it is very low cost relative to anything else I have compared it to; and it is very easy to use, particularly for someone like me who doesn't use it every day, day in and day out.
        I don't know if it does composite design; the older version did not the last time I used it.
        This 4.0 version is the first upgrade in some time.  The company has been devoting all of their resources to the development and maintenance of the program Woodworks and so have been a bit slow in providing upgrades.  I'm very glad to see that they are back to working on SODA again.
        I have not yet tried the new version so I don't really know how well it works.  I don't even know the price; this version was sent to me as a completion of my previous maintenance contract.  I will, however, report on it after I have had a chance to try it out.
        Program bugs were not a problem with earlier versions.  When bugs did occur it was Acronym who contacted me explaining the bug, providing a temporary fix, and subsequently providing a new cassette with the bug completely fixed.  That's the kind of service I appreciate!
        The following is a copy of my most recent correspondence.  It includes all contact information including e-mail address and web site.
        I suggest that you check it out.

Dear Daryl
I  have sent you the SODA 4.0 CD by Xpress post.  I was told you should have it
in 2-3 days.  Please advise me if you do not receive it by Monday.

Thank you,

Shelley Young
Sales Support
Acronym Software Inc.
22 King Street South, Suite 302
Waterloo, ON   N2J 1N8
Tel:  519-885-2454
Fax:  519-885-1407
Beat regards to all,
H. Daryl Richardson


----- Original Message -----
From: Rich Lewis
Sent: Thursday, April 28, 2005 10:43 AM
Subject: Steel Beam Design Program

I am looking for recommendations for steel beam design software, both composite and non-composite.  I want a stand-alone program, not just part of a full package.  Please tell me about good programs and what makes them good.