MCAD Tech News #193

15 Nov, 2006 By: Jeffrey Rowe

Untitled Document

The Sad Truth about Software Theft

Using pirated technology is not only illegal, it results in billions in lost revenue and lost jobs

The high school in the small town in Colorado where I spend most of my time asked me recently to speak to a class of business students. When I inquired what might be a suitable topic, the instructor suggested business ethics. That seemed easy enough. Many themes came to mind, but I decided to cover software piracy because software is one of today’s most valuable technologies, running everything from computers to games to the Internet. Yet, because software is so essential, illegal copying and distribution continues to grow.

What I thought would be a fun experience turned out to be a real eye-opener for me. I brought three software application packages that I had purchased as props -- a popular Web site authoring package, a CAD package and Microsoft Office 2003. To my complete surprise, these were the first legitimate software packages many of these students had ever seen, especially the CAD package.

The students informed me that because downloading and trading music, other entertainment media and software is so prevalent and widespread, it’s perfectly acceptable to them. The students seem to feel a sense of entitlement to download software illegally because of the prohibitive cost of legitimate software and the students’ perception that the software developers are making so much money that it doesn’t matter.

If software piracy is a problem in the small town where I live, it must be compounded a zillion times throughout the world. It didn’t take me long to conclude that software piracy is not just a major problem in Asia and Eastern Europe -- as we often here in the news media -- but in the United States, as well. In fact, with a little research, I learned that in the United States, at least one in four software programs is unlicensed, and some estimates put it at one in two.

Many organizations and consumers consider theft of tangible property to be wrong, but many of these same parties consider software to be different, and they don't tend to regard it as they would other valuable assets. Read more>>

Cadalyst Labs Review: IronCAD 9 -- Hybrid 3D Modeler Makes History Tree Optional

By Mike Hudspeth, IDSA

IronCAD has just released v9 of its versatile 3D modeling software. Positioned to compete with midrange solid modelers such as SolidWorks and Inventor, it's a hybrid modeler -- in other words, a program that can use parametric as well as explicit methodologies. IronCAD 9 can be either history-based -- using sketches and constraints to control how things are constructed in a particular order -- or nonhistory-based -- building geometry without regard to the construction order. That choice allows users to model the forms they want virtually without regard for how the software wants to do things. Modeling can be quite freeform, but controlled when appropriate. Read more>>

Mark Your Calendar: MCAD Events

The Power of Adobe Acrobat 8 Seminar
Various 2006 dates
Various locations
Attendees will learn how Adobe Acrobat 8 can be used to improve workflows, and can choose from 90-minute breakout sessions designed for AEC/manufacturing, creative/marketing, general business/IT, legal and education/e-learning professionals, as well as a developer briefing. Read more

V-STARS International User Group Meeting
January 24-26, 2007
Melbourne, Florida
Geodetic Systems will host its 5th International V-STARS User Group conference with round tables, presentations and Q & A sessions for attendees to learn about advances in non-contact measurement technology and industrial photogrammetry. Read more

Automation Technology Egypt 2007
March 8-11, 2007
Cairo, Egypt
This exhibition focuses on such topics as instrumentation, process, electronics, international industrial control and automation technology. Read more

August 5-9, 2007
San Diego, California
This 34th International Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques will explore the products, systems, techniques, ideas and inspiration that are creating the next generations of computer graphics and interactive techniques. Read more

For Cadalyst's full calendar of events, click here>>

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Online Archives:Click here to view an online version of this newsletter and past issues of MCAD Tech News.

Cadalyst Awards Autodesk Trip to LISP Code Contributor: Cadalyst unveiled the winner of a trip to Autodesk University 2006, the first of two grand prizes to be awarded in its Hot Tip Harry 2006 contest, sponsored by Autodesk. Charles Allred, a steel detailer from Utah and one of many contributors to Cadalyst's Hot Tip Harry column this year, was awarded airfare, lodging and a week-long pass to Autodesk University, to be held in Las Vegas, Nevada, November 27-December 1.

Get the Code!
Cadalyst's  November code from Hot Tip Harry is now available for download. Michael Kolomiyets earned $100 for this month's top tip, Word Wrap Editor, a text data-manipulation power tool that lets you select a group of text objects and force them to fit into a particular column size.

Cadalyst's November Web Exclusives Now Live Online!
The latest editions of all your favorite Cadalyst tutorials for AutoCAD and other popular CAD software, CAD Cartoon, Dialog Box (letters from readers) -- plus all the content from the November edition of Cadalyst magazine -- are now live on Check it out!

Does Management Support Your CAD Department?
The latest Cadalyst Quick Poll is live online. Your company's management is always looking at you -- so we're turning the tables to see what CAD users think of management. Take the poll (go to any page of and scroll down to find the Quick Poll in the margin), then watch for the results in Cadfidential in the November edition of Cadalyst magazine.

PLM Strategies -- A Tall PLM with Low-Fat Milk: Differences between PDM and PLM may be as subtle as the choices at your local espresso bar.

Alibre Options (Tutorial) -- Create a Feature Catalog: Reuse common features with the Catalog feature.

Job Search:
If you're in the market for a new job -- or if you just want to see what's out there -- offers an online Job Search that will help. Powered by Indeed, this search tool offers a state-by-state list of CAD-related job openings, or you can customize a search to find your own list of U.S. job openings based on the keywords and locations you specify. Check it out today! Use the Job Search button on Cadalyst's Manufacturing Web site or click here for a direct link.

Cadalyst DailyUpdate
For all the latest news and new products, subscribe to Cadalyst Daily e- newsletter. Plus, every issue includes a feature you won’t find anywhere else -- hardware and CAD software reviews, success stories, AutoCAD tips and much more! Here’s a sample of what you missed in the past week: