After sending out last week's upFront.eZine, I received back a number of undeliverable e-newsletters. Examining the accompanying error messages, I found that some were undeliverable because webmasters had shut down their mail servers in case of Y2K problems: "Service unavailable. Recipient domain closed for Y2K." If you did not receive upFront.eZine #182 last week, you can read it at the http://www.upfrontezine.com Web site, or ask me and I'll send a personal copy,
President Barry Moyer says, "Because GS-Design was created from the outset to handle ultra-complex aerospace development projects, it includes capabilities that other CAD developers are only dreaming about."
GS-Design allows multiple users on design teams located anywhere to work concurrently on the same project. The program manages revisions and configurations, and provides secure central storage of design data. Each user sees the state of the design in real time, which eliminates version control problems.
GS-Design is available for rent on a month-to-month subscription basis over the Internet, which provides for significant cost savings. Installation time and cost, maintenance, and upgrade costs are zero. Users download the GS-Design client program from http://www.collabware.com ; model data is stored on HP servers running Oracle database software.
CollabWare was spun-out from Lockheed Martin last April, and recently closed its first round of financing. The ASP maintains offices in Pittsburgh, Idaho Falls, and Pasadena.
BuildPoint.com appointed James Piraino as its president and CEO.
"I'm keeping the 'i' to remind us of what's really important -- the Internet," said Apple iCEO Steve Jobs upon ending his 2-1/2-year career as Interim CEO of Apple, to become the iCEO.
Version 10 of the Macintosh operating system, called OS X, will ship in about a year's time, and will feature translucent pull-down menus.
Due to a flood caused by a broken water pipe, auto.des.sys offices were closed on Jan 6.
Two patches available at http://betaprograms.autodesk.com/betaweb.htm : (1) AutoCAD 2000 Service Pack, English-language version; and (2) AutoCAD 3D Graphics System Update.
Bricsnet last week announced that it has signed a letter of intent with CoBoNet N.V. to market Bricsnet's ProjectCenter to building professionals in Belgium and Luxembourg. . Bricsnet also acquired ARCAT, the North American provider of building product information.
MechSoft-PROFI for SolidWorks is being released.
The Geocomm Web site provides free CAD downloads and scripts that have hand-selected based on user needs and feedback. For the month of January, anyone who sends a script or other free download to firstname.lastname@example.org will receive a GeoCommunity T-shirt (continental US only, sorry). The CAD Downloads page can be found at http://software.geocomm.com/cad/
Workshops for civil engineers in hydraulics and hydrology applications are fully accredited by the PDRES, NSPE's Professional Development Registry for Engineering and Surveying, and the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). To register for courses, or to find out more information, visit http://www.haestad.com/education
Linux will become "the centerpiece of IBM's hardware strategy." All of IBM's major computer lines, from mainframes to PCs, will have a version of Linux that works with the specific hardware. This has left smaller Linux vendors, like Red Hat, wondering about their future.
Outside In Viewer Technology v6.0 is now available on Linux. The Outside In Server converts over 200 file formats to HTML, JPEG, and GIF, on-the-fly. SDKs provide developers a set of data transformation tools to view, search, access, convert, store and publish more than 225 file formats for document management, groupware, fax server, mobile computing, portal, and e-mail vendors.
Intergraph is now shipping version 8 of its SelectCAD software suite. Includes InRoads SelectCAD road and site grading design software, as well as Survey SelectCAD, Site SelectCAD, Bridge SelectCAD, Storm & Sanitary SelectCAD, Civil Office, and Construction Office.
The first Web-based automated drafting program produces instant, custom 2D and 3D drawings from an Internet browser. Designed for manufacturers of made-to-order products, OfficeCAD can be used for instant sales quotes at a customer's site, for Web-based project collaboration, or for quotes driven by customer specifications to posted drawings on a company's Web site.
Parametric Technology Corporation
PTC announced that Boeing Space and Communications selected Windchill, PTC's product and process lifecycle management solution, for use on a contract recently awarded to its Space & Communications Group.
The prototyping industry's first business-to-business E-commerce Web site has been launched for quoting and purchasing Custom Manufactured Prototype parts.
"3D Design & Drawing in AutoCAD 2000" is the first volume in the new Referentia for AutoCAD 2000 series on CD-ROM.
Metaphase v3.2 PDM (product data management) PDM software, including the Metaphase Change Management solution, is now shipping. The Web-centric software provides the capability to control information; connect people with information; facilitate collaboration among information users; and configure products based on fast, accurate information sharing.
The http://www.3Dmodelserver.com Web site has opened the site for an open beta on CATIA and STEP file translation and repair.
Two new application benchmarks -- SPECapc for Pro/ENGINEER 2000i and SPECapc for SolidWorks 99 -- are available for free download from http://www.spec.org/gpc .
Surveyors Module International
SMI, for a limited time, will include a copy of its Version Five Basic COGO software (US$150 value) at no cost with the purchase of a HP 48GX (US$175) calculator.
A free AutoCAD DWG browser can be downloaded in English or in French. The software allows you to view 12 drawings per page, to zoom one, and to drag'n drop it into AutoCAD.
SDRC has acquired all the stock of both Sherpa Systems Corporation and Inso France Development.
America Online and Time Warner are merging to create "AOL Time Warner." AOL shareholders will own 55%, while Time Warner shareholders will own 45% of the new company. Stock will be traded under "AOL" on the New York Stock Exchange. AOL chairman and CEO Steve Case will become chairman of the board; Time Warner chairman and CEO Gerald Levin become CEO.
S3 is buying Number Nine, which had declared bankruptcy, for US$4.8 million of cash and stock. VIA bought 15% of S3. Intel invested in 3Dlabs; and earlier bought Real 3D. - JPA
What makes or breaks an operating system is the applications available. While there is a lot of software available for Linux, it is unlikely we will see market leaders, such as AutoCAD, Word, and Visio rewritten for Linux. Corel expects to deliver its WordPerfect Office suite for Linux in early 2000; it is also porting its CorelDRAW suite to Linux. There are several CAD packages already running under Linux, and there is an effort underway to possible port IntelliCAD 2000 to Linux.
The alternative to rewriting Windows software for Linux is to rewrite Linux to run Windows software. There are several Open Source efforts underway to replicate the Windows APIs and DLLs under Linux. The Wine project lists the experiences of volunteers running Windows apps under Linux using the Wine libraries; they've gotten McNeel Rhino, Word 97, Eudora, Paintshop Pro, and others to work -- more or less.
Last week, Corel announced that this summer its Linux will work with GraphOn Bridges, which allows Linux to "run Windows applications seamlessly over any connection." The catch is that the apps have to reside on a Windows NT server.
Mon 4 Jan -
The first business day in January 2000 and the Corel Linux Deluxe package is available for purchase from the http://linux.corel.com Web site. The price is US89, plus shipping. I am surprised that ground shipping will cost me the equivalent of $25 -- that much to ship a software package from a Canadian company to a Canadian customer? I notice that no taxes are added; I am guessing the package gets shipped from the USA. The Web site says to allow 30 days for the product to arrive.
During the ordering process, the http://shop.corel.com Web page reported that my credit card authorization was declined. I notice I had left out a digit in my credit card number. I correct the number, but the Web page does not proceed: "Authorization declined," it repeats moronically each time I clicked the Next button.
This was the first time I used this credit card in 2000, so I call the card's office. They say I'm not over my limit; they notice that the charge from Corel had gone through. I email email@example.com to find out what happened.
Tue 5 Jun -
After waiting 18 hours for no reply from firstname.lastname@example.org, I decide to phone the Shop Corel's toll-free number at 1 (800) 877-1749. The American-accented voice tells me they have no record of my order. He says that when the credit card company said the amount had been approved, the amount was only "blocked out." Not until Corel's Web site generated a confirmation number would the amount be finalized.
Not convinced, I call back the credit card number. The Corel rep was right: the amount was no longer on my credit card.
That afternoon, I needed to go to Future Shop, the local electronics superstore, to pick up a low-cost laser printer for my father. At age 75, he has decided to learn how to use the computer to write letters. After sitting unused (except by grandchildren), my 9-year-old 16MHz 386SX (with 2MB RAM, 40MB hard drive, and Windows v3.1) PC is finally an item of interest to him.
While at Future Shop, I pick up a Maxtor 20GB hard drive for $213 and spy in the software section Corel Linux Deluxe on the bottom shelf. Price is the equivalent of US$68, as well as a $10 rebate. After taxes, a $40 savings over the Web price, plus no 30-day wait! As I pay for the hardware and software with the credit card refused by shop.corel.com, the "sales associate" asks me about Linux <g>.
Next week, Part II: Installing the Software, the Theory
"When many popular CAD/CAM product export IGES files, they incorrectly
format the header dates. A utility at http://www.opennurbs.com/utilities.htm
IGES v5.2 files, changing dates formatted as '14Hyyymmdd.hhnnss' to the
correct format '13Hyymmdd.hhnnss'. For more details, see section 18.104.22.168
of the IGES 5.2 spec."
- Bob McNeel
"Great newsletter. You must have plenty of time on your hands to be
able to dig all this stuff up ;-) I'm constantly amazed at references you
make to readers accusing you of being biased to one app or the other. Personally,
I don't see it. You do a great job on reporting all aspects of the industry,
not a specific company's software products.
"I work in a large engineering office that uses many engineering applications for CAD, FEA, EEM, and client-server. Today's market forces most companies to use whatever tools are available -- regardless of manufacturer -- to accomplish the project at hand."
- Mark Halliwell