Thursday, August 31, 2006


Originally posted at
For all the many drafters at Focus Fanatics

By John Ross Harvey

I am a Draftsman or Draughtsman that uses AutoCad
I started in the Dark ages of 1987
We used version 2.3 on orange screens
Next year we had colour on version 9!
After graduating Architecture Technology in 1988
Most of the workforce had no idea what Autocad was.
I was hand drafting until 1992.
Then I was sent by my employer to learn Autocad 12.
Autocad 12 was so good it wasn’t replaced by 13 until about 1995.
Autocad 14 showed up around 1997,
And LT97 and LT98 were less expensive options.
Neither of those ever equaled 12 for ease of use.
2000 came out next; lets not call it 15, just 2000.
This was more like 12, plus a few nice features.
2002 was identical, 2004 –5 were newer still.
Nobody in his or her right mind actually pays to own this.
Most companies can write off a few thousands for it
The average guy cannot.
There are three ways of using Autocad
Tablet users are an eccentric bunch, everything in its place.
Mouse users create buttons galore to only use their mouse.
Keyboard-mouse users like myself make hundreds of short key commands
In order to avoid carpel tunnel from mouse pointing all the time.
I’ve always found this last style faster.
The only problem is certain keyboard keys if missed slightly
Create entirely different outcomes.
2@<45 is very different from 22,45
22,45 is a defined location, exact coordinates
2@<45 is a relative location from its starting point 2 units at 45 degrees.
Imperial is easier to work with, because an inch is an inch not a foot
Metric units could be millimeters, centimeters, or meters
It all depends on the creator of the drawing.
Conversion to imperial could be simple if Metric were always one unit.
Sadly even though it is base 10 and simple, 1,10, and 100 do not all equal.
How much simpler life would be if it were easy.
AutoCad was never meant to be easy.
A DWG isn’t a DWG in every version; it’s a v2000 DWG or v2004 DWG
A JPG universal it is not.
That’s why it changes every two years and costs $1000’s
In the immortal words of Survivor’s Rupert

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