In February 2009, I ran some polls here that are relevant to the discussion regarding the US court system’s most recent backflip in the Vernor v. Autodesk legal saga. Here is a reminder of the results.
In April 2009, I ran another set of polls that are also relevant, as they provide an indication of your attitude to license agreements. Here are those results.
If you voted in these polls last year, have your opinions changed in the meantime?
As I have stated before, I believe Autodesk to be in the right (morally, not legally) in its battle to prevent Vernor’s resale of old, upgraded copies of Release 14. In the latest installment, Autodesk has won its appeal to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. There will be be further legal moves yet, but Vernor’s chances of winning this case are now more slender. So the right side has won (at this stage). I should be happy, right?
Wrong. Although I think the latest court to look at this has picked the right side, it has done so for entirely the wrong reasons. (Again, morally wrong, not legally. I have no qualifications on legal matters, but I can spot an injustice a mile off). In a diabolical, dangerous, far-reaching decision, it has concluded that the doctrine of First Sale does not exist at all for products …
From time to time, I have been known to be critical of companies, products, policies, publications, and even people (although I do try to “play the ball, not the man”). If somebody objects to what I write here, what can they do about it? They have several possible options.
Post a comment in direct response to the allegedly objectionable post.
Contact me by email to point out any inaccuracies or any other perceived unfairness in my post. If I consider the objections valid, I will amend the post and/or apologise as appropriate. If I disagree, I will explain my position. Such correspondence will remain private if requested.
Contact me by email, requesting equal-exposure right of reply. If I consider such a request reasonable under the circumstances, even if I disagree with the objection, then I will either append the reply to the post in question, or create a new post containing …
Deelip has just published an extensive interview with several Autodesk people about AutoCAD for the Mac. Deelip had a good set of questions and I suggest you read the whole thing, but if it’s all too tl;dr for you, then here is the lazy reader’s version of what Autodesk had to say:
- The AutoCAD code was split up into 3 sections: the core CAD engine (platform-independent), the Windows-specific (MFC) parts and the Mac-specific (Cocoa) ones.
- AutoCAD for Mac is incomplete. Choosing which features to leave out was done with the aid of CIP (oh, dear) and Beta feedback. (Hang on a minute, I thought CIP said most people were using the Ribbon…)
- No comment on when or if AutoCAD for Mac functionality will catch up with its Windows counterpart.
- No comment on the stability or performance of the Mac version.
- Buying Visual Tau wasn’t a …
Thanks to all entrants in the AutoCAD WS contest. I have now closed the entries and added a poll (see right). Although I did state that there would be no prize for this contest, I have some exciting news! I am happy to announce that thanks to an exclusive* arrangement with Autodesk, the winner of this contest will receive a free** copy of AutoCAD!*** I will keep the poll open until I feel like closing it or the entry I like best is winning, whichever is the most convenient.
* Exclusive to people with Internet access.
** Excluding any Internet access expenses the winner may incur.
*** AutoCAD WS. If the winner is unable to use AutoCAD WS due to iThing insufficiency, browser-based access to Project Butterfly will be provided instead.
As I described earlier, Autodesk recalled AutoCAD 2011 Update 1 because it killed AutoCAD under certain circumstances (e.g. plotting with the layer palette open). Now there’s a fixed version available for AutoCAD and LT. There is no news yet about Updates for vertical AutoCAD variants.
If you have installed Update 1 and the hotfix, you don’t need to do anything. If you have not installed Update 1, you should install Update 1.1. If you have installed Update 1 but not the hotfix, you can either install the hotfix or uninstall Update 1 and then install Update 1.1.
For the full story, I suggest you read Tom Stoeckel’s Without a Net post. At the risk of sounding like a broken record (remember those?), make sure you read the readme before installing or uninstalling anything.
Autodesk’s linking app to allow iThings to connect to Project Butterfly is called AutoCAD WS. Never mind the “AutoCAD”, that’s just there to confuse matters. What does the “WS” stand for? William Shatner, perhaps?
There’s no official answer, but I thought it might be fun to run a contest for the most appropriate and/or amusing answer. I have some ideas of my own, but most of them are rude so I’ll keep them to myself.
Please just add a comment with your idea(s), up to 3 per person. When I have enough responses, I’ll run a poll. No prizes, this is just for fun.
In a post on WorldCAD Access, Jay Vleeschhouwer makes some reasonable observations. However, the timing of the 1990s Autodesk / Mac history looks all wrong to me. Jay quotes himself from a 2008 note:
…until about the mid-1990s Autodesk did have a reasonable presence on the Mac … commitment waned when Apple’s fortunes faded a dozen or so years ago
The last of the original Mac AutoCADs was Release 12, a 1992 product. Apple market share continued to increase after that; indeed, 1994 was a bumper year. However, Autodesk’s commitment had already vanished by then, and its 1994 product, Release 13, had no Mac version.
Apple’s fortunes did indeed fall away “a dozen or so years” before Jay’s note, largely as a result of the success of Windows 95. But this decline could not have been the cause of Autodesk’s lack of commitment to Apple; by that time the …
Good news! Autodesk has announced an app that will link iPads and iPhones to Project Butterfly. This provides viewing, markup and limited editing facilities.
Bad news! Autodesk has decide to call it AutoCAD WS, which is bordering on the fraudulent. It’s not AutoCAD, is nothing like it, and is unlikely to ever be anything like it. I can call my dog Prince, but that doesn’t make him royalty. Unfortunately, much of the mainstream media appears to be blissfully unaware of this. This is gaining Autodesk some short-term column inches, but at the longer-term expense of furthering the myth that “AutoCAD” is going to run on iPhone and iPads. People will start using Butterfly, think it’s AutoCAD, and then, if they need CAD for their Macs, wonder why they should spend thousands on something so basic and limited.
Good news! It will be available Real Soon Now, and you can sign up for it …
According to Autodesk, the forthcoming OS X version of AutoCAD has “many of the powerful AutoCAD features and functionality.” So what doesn’t it have? What are the holes? Autodesk hasn’t bothered to let me know a single thing about this software, so I guess I’ll just indulge in some irresponsible and uninformed speculation, based on what I can glean from marketing materials and various better-informed sources. I could have just asked, but who knows if I would have ever got any real answers? Besides, this way is more fun.
First, here’s a quick list of some things that don’t appear to be missing, but which might have been lost in translation:
- Command line (in fact, the Mac one appears to be better than the Windows one).
- 3D, including visual styles and rendering.
- Some kind of Quick View Layouts and/or Drawings feature.
- Dynamic Input.
- Selection highlighting.
- LISP (at least …
When is AutoCAD nor AutoCAD? When it’s AutoCAD WS. But it’s not quite that simple.
I’ve been correcting people for months when they say things like “Project Butterfly is AutoCAD on the Cloud.” No, it’s not. It’s a DWG editor of sorts, but anybody who has used both will know that it’s not AutoCAD or anything like it. Although it’s useful for viewing and markup and is improving all the time, Project Butterfly is still very restricted and is likely to remain so for a long time. You wouldn’t want to spend a significant portion of your day drawing with it.
OK, so Project Butterfly isn’t AutoCAD. I’m glad we’ve cleared that up. But wait! Now it is AutoCAD! AutoCAD WS, that is. AutoCAD WS is the recently-announced free iPod/iPhone/iPad app to access Project Butterfly. But it’s not really AutoCAD either, despite being named thus. Confused yet?
AutoCAD is Autodesk’s strongest brand …
According to Macworld, Autodesk has now made its worst-kept secret, AutoCAD for Mac OS X, official. There are also goodies for those with cute little rectangles:
Autodesk also announced that the new Mac version of AutoCAD would be accompanied by the AutoCAD WS mobile application, a new app for iPad, iPhone, and the iPod touch…
AutoCAD for Mac and the AutoCAD WS mobile application will be available in North America and Europe sometime between August and October. Users can pre-order the app starting Wednesday, September 1.
Huh? August is pretty much over. September or October, then.
If you click on the link I posted about earlier, you will get this:
On August 23, 2010, Autodesk released Update 1 for AutoCAD 2011. Unfortunately, Update 1 introduced an issue when conducting certain operations that may cause AutoCAD to shut down. This issue affects a small number of users.
We have removed Update 1 and will reintroduce it in the near future when the issue has been resolved. For customers who have already installed Update 1, the hotfix that resolves this issue has been posted at the following location:
AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT Layer Manager Hotfix
Please be assured that Autodesk is wholly committed to the quality of AutoCAD, and regrets this error.
Having been pretty critical of Autodesk lately, you might expect me to dish out another serve for this. But I won’t. With the best of intentions, this stuff happens. Autodesk has done the …
In a comment in response to a Deelip post yesterday, Brad Holtz pointed to an article he wrote in 1999. It’s interesting to note that while much of the computing world today bears little resemblance to the scene at the end of the last century, this article remains almost completely accurate and relevant. Indeed, it’s so right that you might even be tempted to think, “Duh, isn’t that obvious?”
One section that stood out to me had this to say:
Many software systems never even get beyond the acceptable stage …. vendors of these systems are continually coming out with new versions, never stopping long enough to fix the problems with the existing systems.
It’s fascinating to me that this observation came at the very time that Autodesk was switching from a company that wasn’t exactly like that to one that very much was (and still is today), …
Following on from the AutoCAD 2011 productivity study I critiqued earlier, there is now an LT version. Do the same credibility problems apply to this study too? Yes, and then some.
In addition to the drawings and operations being deliberately hand-picked to demonstrate new features, no direct comparison is performed at all between the two releases on the same platforms. Every single quoted “productivity improvement” figure includes, free of charge, three years of hardware and operating system progress and a more upmarket graphics card.
If you read business “news” sources that just reprint press releases, such as this Yahoo! Finance one (thanks, Carol Bartz), you won’t see this mentioned. Instead, you will see deceptive statements like these:
David S. Cohn, an independent consultant
Er, no, in this context he’s not independent, he’s an Autodesk consultant. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
overall productivity gains of 44 …
The first update for AutoCAD 2011 is now available on the Autodesk site. As usual, read the readme first. Make sure you install the right version (32 or 64 bit). The update is also available for AutoCAD LT 2011, but there is no news yet on equivalent updates for vertical variants of AutoCAD.
Autodesk is running a web survey to try to find out which user communities (including blogs) its customers find valuable. If you are interested in participating, the survey is here. If you want to specify any blogs, you will need to type or paste their names into various “other comments” boxes. As the number of blogs I read far exceeds a reasonable type-in requirement, I couldn’t accurately give an idea of my web habits. So I’m not sure how much can be accurately read into the results.
(Source: CAD Panacea).
I saw Shaan asking about this kind of thing a while back, but not getting much response. It looks like Autodesk is trying to work out exactly where its customers go these days for support, discussion, networking, training, etc. I can’t speak for other bloggers, but I’d be happy to provide my site …
Last weekend, I competed for the first time in a national-level fencing competition, the “Be Active” Western Australian International Fencing Tournament (AFF#3). Most people compete in one or two events within a competition, but I thought I would challenge myself and had a go at all six of the individual events available to me. I set myself what I thought were realistic goals for each event. Here is how I did at chasing those goals:
Open Men’s Foil – goal: top 32 – result: 22nd – achieved.
Open Men’s Epee – goal: top 32 – result: 42nd – failed.
Open Men’s Sabre – goal: top 16 – result: 16th – achieved.
Veteran Men’s Foil – goal: top 8 – result: 3rd= – exceeded.
Veteran Men’s Epee – goal: top 8 – result: 6th – achieved.
Veteran Men’s Sabre – goal: top 4 – result: made …
Here in Australia, we’re in election mode, so I have even more reasons to avoid watching TV. On those occasions when I do watch it, I am often annoyed by what I see. This is not a novel observation, but one of the things that annoys me about many politicians is their habit of sidestepping questions when interviewed. It also annoys me when interviewers fail to follow up these non-answers and let them slide. Depending on the circumstances (e.g. limited timeframe, more important questions to ask, etc.), there may be valid reasons for journalists failing to chase after legitimate answers in a live interview situation. But I would much prefer to see a non-answering interviewee tied down and not allowed to wriggle free. Squirm, baby, squirm!
For on-line journalists and bloggers, there are few excuses for letting non-answers go unchallenged. There is virtually unlimited time, opportunity and column space in …
Heidi Hewett just reported the following on her blog, about a productivity study:
According to a recent independent study, AutoCAD® 2011 can help you work up to 44% faster with the latest productivity enhancements.
I have a couple of problems with that sentence. First, it’s not an independent study. It’s a study conducted by long-time respected CAD figure David Cohn, but it was specified and paid for by Autodesk:
This productivity study was performed at the request of Autodesk Inc., which funded this work.
That’s not exactly independent then, is it? Second, the study does not state that AutoCAD 2011 is responsible for a 44% improvement. That’s a figure that combines both the effects of AutoCAD 2011 (over AutoCAD 2008), plus the effects of using a newer, faster PC. Just stating that figure wthout such a disclaimer is misleading.
Now to the study itself. Let me make …