Where is everybody?

Discuss PowerCADD and WildTools in particular,
and related architectural drawing and drafting topics in general. Moderated by Artifice in cooperation with Engineered Software.

Where is everybody?

Postby Joe Mattei » Wed Dec 14, 2016 9:36 am

Has everyone totally given up on this forum? I understand that at times it is impossible to access.
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Re: Where is everybody?

Postby phansford » Wed Dec 28, 2016 11:32 am

Hey Joe - I check the message board daily. But there doesn't seem to be many issues that people seem to be having with the program.... and that might explain the low posting. Clearly people read the posts as indicated.

I also wonder how many new users PC actually attracts with BIM being the industry standard. The kids coming out of the schools are using it over straight 2D CAD. So that might explain the low posting. Not to get into any BIM vs PC debate with old men that don't even use the program.... but I think the profession (and certainly the schools) are moving toward BIM. However, I think smaller firms will continue to use 2D CAD because for additions and renovations and small projects 2D CAD is more agile.

I also wonder about message boards in general.... is social media replacing a lot of them? PowerCADD certainly could benefit from an active FB user group..... or some other social media platform. The PC message board is the only active forum on Design Community. I could easily see Kevin (the Admin) deciding to shut it down to reduce his work load and allow him to focus on other parts of ArchitectureWeek and DesignCommunity.

Hope you have a great and prosperous 2017!
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Re: Where is everybody?

Postby Rob C » Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:57 am

I know I haven't been around that much. I've been more and more tied up with SketchUp, even teaching it to high school kids for a few years now, but PC still is my main tool for finished drawings. Jurying for architecture thesis students at the University of Hartford for the last several years, I've been watching what they use for software, and it's become increasingly BIM and SketchUp almost exclusively. I have a hard time trying to use LayOut with SketchUp because it's such a toy next to PowerCADD. I use PowerCADD and SketchUp together, but it's not easy. I wish there were a really great connection between the two. Create such a connection, and it might draw a lot of new users from the SketchUp community.
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Re: Where is everybody?

Postby Derek » Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:58 am

People don't use things that are broken. No disrespect to those that host this forum but it is almost impossible to get connected. I think I bat about a 5% success rate which means I rarely try and when I do get in I'm so overwhelmed I forget what I came here to discuss (just like now).

It either needs to be fixed or we need a new home.

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Re: Where is everybody?

Postby Alfred Scott » Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:49 am

We are working on moving the forum to a new server that will not be overwhelmed with spam.

Rob,
I want to work on a PowerCADD/Sketchup connection. Here's what I have in mind:

Export to Sketchup and Import from Sketchup.

Copy in PowerCADD, paste in Sketchup. Copy in Sketchup, paste in PowerCADD.

Sketchup reference files in PowerCADD. That's all Layout does, it remembers the file path to the Sketchup model file, then when you ask it to update things, it just does the import operation again. PowerCADD already has all the mechanisms and programming in place to handle reference files of other PowerCADD files. We just need to add Sketchup to that which should be simple once you have an import file translator.

Main hurdle is that Sketchup programming is 64-bit and PowerCADD is 32-bit, but that can be handled behind the scenes so it will all be invisible.

Bear in mind the Sketchup models are OpenGL surfaces and not a drawing with lines, circles, polygons, etc. So if you are looking down in the top of a house, the four walls are like looking at a 3x5 card viewed from the edge.

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Re: Where is everybody?

Postby Marté » Thu Jan 26, 2017 7:48 pm

+1

True PowerCadd/Sketchup interoperability will be a great step forward. Hopefully PC/formZ too.
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Re: Where is everybody?

Postby pbacot » Thu Jan 26, 2017 11:42 pm

I haven't been able to get on this board for a while. I don't think there is much of a user base, and those that are using don't have a lot to discuss. Most problems are probably in keeping up with the OS and so people ultimately come here if they don't know the latest updates or come up against something. Not much in terms of learning or tips anymore.

I think even if you have BIM a straight forward drafting tool is still useful. Forums are still good in their place rather than social media. I go to the Sketchucation forum. Even there people have dropped off sharing in the last couple years and there's even fewer newbie questions. There's just a lot of resources these days, I guess. it's always nice to have a group of people to turn to in the end. I've learned a lot in forums for SketchUp and rendering and usually there's a forum for any question. I don't think Facebook can offer the almost instant help you can get in forums.

Thanks Alfred, would be great to see SketchUP inter-operability. I also use LayOut some but, besides having a good interaction with SketchUp, the drawing etc. is clunky compared to PC. (I would also love a reference system that referenced a LayOut page in PowerCADD!)
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Re: Where is everybody?

Postby Rod Terry » Mon Jan 30, 2017 4:46 pm

Glad to see the that this site is up and running again. Every now and then I'll look over the PC community just to see what folks are discussing.

For as long as I've been using PC (30 yrs and counting) I've had very few issues. I did download and am using Sierra. Wish I had looked over others comments before If I had, I'd have waited.

I hope PC is around for many, many more years. I'd be lost without it.
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Re: Where is everybody?

Postby jcarcht » Tue Jan 31, 2017 4:18 pm

I'm still around. I'm doing a bunch of projects and I still, to this day, use PowerCadd for my production work. I have a BIM program that I use, but still do not have enough confidence in it to use to beyond the design phase.

The criticism of 2D CAD programs is borne of the fact that the Industry Standard 2D CAD program lacks the power tools and commands of PowerCadd. Tools like the Camera Tool, the wall cleanup tool, and the simple layer-sheet setup are tough to top anywhere else. The DWG translator needs some further work but actually works just fine for now. I've been reluctant to migrate from El Capitan or use those new macBook Pro's with the TouchBar. Having an iMac with a big screen spoils me. And I'd be a more frequent visitor were it not for this Design Community site going down so often!
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Re: Where is everybody?

Postby Joe Mattei » Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:24 am

So I have been using PowerCadd w/ the updated operating system for many months at this point. There are a few glitches that other people have discussed that I also have experienced but I have worked around them. It would be nice to get rid of those bumps but in general, things are OK! It also would be nice to have an updated AutoCad translator.
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Re: Where is everybody?

Postby Paul H » Thu Feb 02, 2017 6:22 pm

Where is everybody indeed!!
Phone calls to Engineered Software result in a voicemail and then the calls are not returned. The forum is rarely available to login to, this being an exception, so what's going on? The wise one, looking at you Alfred, seems to be the only one that's still engaged and creatively contributing and holding it together.
I don't get it. PowerCad and Wildtools is great software and deserves great service and support. I know, I rarely show up on the forum so my voice is distant and inconsequential, but I couldn't resist my rant this time around. Once again PowerCad and Wildtools is great software, I love using it and it deserves support. So where are you Engineered Software?

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Re: Where is everybody?

Postby Paul H » Thu Feb 02, 2017 6:24 pm

Ooooops double posted, sorry.
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Re: Where is everybody?

Postby Alfred Scott » Fri Feb 03, 2017 12:37 pm

In the last month or so, there have been 20-30 technical support calls handled each day, most having to do with difficulties getting WildTools to load under Sierra. My fault, I think, for not getting WildTools code signed. This has been a heavy burden on preventing work on development.

This forum has also created a terrible technical support burden with people unable to join the forum for the last three years or so, with lots of calls about this. While this is better, we are working on moving the forum to the ES website and server, and we are working with Kevin Matthews to get all the files transferred over.

I don't think any of you understand the torrent of emails that come in. Sometimes from people who go to war with ES or me. Mike Cleveland used to delete these on sight at ES because they were so upsetting to be on the receiving end, and I just cover the email with my left hand and click on Delete with my right hand.

We also have a piracy problem and where a caller hangs up when asked for their name and posting things on the forum under anonymous screen names. It's a bit like someone stealing $1200 in merchandise from a store, then publically complaining about the service. I hope that's not the case with you, Paul H.

If you can handle any cheerful comments, let me mention that the last year has seen some of the most dramatic innovations going into WildTools for all the time I've worked on it. These things will completely transform your experience of using the program. There are dynamic vector tool icons, with subtle indicator changes with the dimension tools to show accuracy, units and tolerances, favorites for dimensions, and combining favorites and favorites docks with tool options. The result is something we're calling button docks for lack of any better name. It combines the concepts of the TouchBar with the interface concepts of the iPad. So when you select a tool, you have the most important tool options right there as indicators and buttons that you can click on.

I would also like to appeal to everyone to create entries for the Drawing Room at www.engsw.com, and we are working on creating more excitement on the home page to highlight recent changes and additions.

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Re: Where is everybody?

Postby Paul H » Fri Feb 03, 2017 2:03 pm

delayed post
Last edited by Paul H on Fri Feb 03, 2017 2:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Where is everybody?

Postby Paul H » Fri Feb 03, 2017 2:07 pm

Good morning . . . and it is a good morning. Todd returned my call and was very helpful and encouraging. Alfred, thanks for the response and not to worry, I'm a dedicated user. Well . . . not exactly, actually I'm a dependent user. Without PowerCadd and Wildtools I'd be lost and dependent on others to produce my drawings.
I've moved to the new 15" MacBook Pro coupled with the new 5K LG monitor and running Sierra. It's like landing on another planet. To date no issues and the hardware is simply remarkable. The color "space gray" and the design and craftsmanship of the MacBook is so gorgeous it's hard to keep my eyes off of it. PowerCadd, Wildtools and SketchUp fly on it.
I'm also heartened by Todd's phone call and encouraged PowerCadd will be with us for a long time.
With respect and deep appreciation for Todd and Alfred.

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