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Dialog Box March 2008

29 Feb, 2008 By: Cadalyst Staff

Readers have their say.


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Vista Incompatibility Issues
I am writing in response to Ron LaFon's review of AcceliArch with AcceliCAD in the February issue of Cadalyst.

To say that AcceliCAD (or IntelliCAD) "runs under Microsoft Windows 2000, XP, and Vista," may be doing someone a disservice and cause new users a lot of frustration if they are running Windows Vista. I am an architect using both AutoCAD and AcceliCAD on a Windows XP operating system. I was asked to put together a training program for teaching CAD to some local students. Due to limited funds, we searched for software options. IntelliCAD by Autodsys was our choice due to the close similarities with AutoCAD and the cost. The students themselves purchased the software and were given a discount because of the number of licenses purchased and purpose. We are very grateful to Ron Prepchuk and Autodsys for this arrangement. However . . .

The computers that were running Windows XP didn't seem to have any problems, but some of our computers were new and came with a Windows Vista operating system. We did not realize the limitations with Vista until getting into dimension settings. We contacted Autodsys about the matter and was told that we had not installed the software properly as an administrator. After removing the entire program and reinstalling (multiple times), this problem and others persisted. After further efforts with Autodsys, we were told that we could make adjustments to settings by typing in the commands for each variable, but that the dialog windows would not work with Vista. We were also told to wait for a future upgrade, version 6.4, for which we would have to pay.

The following is from the Autodsys forum and the position taken in October 2007 about using its software on any operating system other than Windows XP:

"Vista is not fully supported until this release. If you review our web site you will find the following notice on the page 'What's new in IntelliCAD,' which pertains to IntelliCAD 6.3:

"IntelliCAD has passed initial tests while running on an early version of the Microsoft Windows Vista operating system. Because IntelliCAD is still in the preliminary stages of providing full support of the Vista operating system, the following conditions must be met: log in to Vista as Administrator and disable User Access Control (UAC). Preliminary testing revealed that IntelliCAD may run up to two times slower, and even slower when using the Aero interface. To improve performance, it is recommended that you disable the Aero interface. For more details about whether your computer is ready for Windows Vista, go to http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/windowsvista/buyorupgrade/upgradeadvisor.mspx.

"This can be found here: http://www.autodsys.com/WhatsnewIntelliCAD6.html.

"We do not provide a guarantee that our software will work with future operating systems or those that were only recently introduced. There may be other issues pertaining to use on Vista that will only become apparent over time as users report them to us. As we become aware of these issues we will fix them and provide updates to registered users. If you are on maintenance, you will receive these updates and upgrades for free. It is also our general policy that if you purchased a license within the past two months you will get it for free. Otherwise, an upgrade or maintenance purchase is an option."

I really would like to be able to set my dimension settings without typing many obscure and arcane commands to change each variable. I don't think this is an unreasonable expectation, and I don't think I should have to pay extra for basic functionality like this.

The upgrade to version 6.4 did not solve all problems. The updates for fixing bugs are not free. A phone conversation with one of the former students last week confirmed the same position Autodsys had taken in October 2007.

While Mr. LaFon's article was primarily about AcceliArch and AcceliCAD, the latter came from the same family. The lesson, IntelliCAD and AcceliCAD are good products, but be prepared to have down times and frustration (even loss of functions) if using a Windows Vista operating system and plan on spending the money for the maintenance package on an annual basis.

—Randall Blackwood, Architect
Norco, California

Reviewer Ron LaFon Responds
Although Cadalyst can't test every possible combination of software and operating system for the products it reviews, I tested AcceliArch with AcceliCAD under Windows XP and encountered no problems during the course of the evaluation. Commentaries such as this reader's are very valuable and useful to all. We continue to have questions regarding the viability of Microsoft Vista as a platform and for our testing and evaluation purposes at Cadalyst Labs.


Helping AutoCAD Users in Ghana
I work with Risa Management as an AutoCAD detailer/instructor, and I have been using AutoCAD for the past 10 years. I am a Ghanaian by birth, and I am visiting Ghana on my vacation and planning to organize a workshop to train AutoCAD users by improving their drawing skills. I'm contacting you for suggestions about product support handouts and other materials that will help me educate AutoCAD users in Ghana.

—Kenneth Swain, AutoCAD detailer/instructor
Risa Management, Deer Park, New York

Editors Respond
Thank you for getting in touch with us. I think you will find a great number of resources on our Web site, www.Cadalyst.com. In particular, you might like to access our extensive archives of AutoCAD tutorials.


CAD Manager is the Best
Robert Green's CAD Manager's Newsletter is always the best form of information. I recommend it to all in my position.

—Chris Roddy, CAD manager
Daventry, United Kingdom


About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

Cadalyst Staff