Questions (and answers) about computer-aided design hardware and software that stretches the brain. Each week, look for a new trivia question in the upFront.eZine e-newsletter, then look for the answer here. Subscribe to upFront.eZine by sending message 'subscribe upfront' to email@example.com
first time Bentley displayed a product to Intergraph users in Huntsville, Alabama:
a. What was the month and year?
b. What company name did they use?
Clue: The demo ran in a hotel room.
A16: a. May 1985.
b. Dynamic Solutions
They were located in a regular guest room at the Hilton in
Huntsville. They had a modem line dialed in to a VAX in Lionville so they could
PsuedoStation was over US$9,000 a pop, as I recall.
- David Greenbaum, Axiom International
Q16. VDraft from SoftSource was the first non-Autodesk CAD package to use DWG as its native file format. What were VDraft's original names?
Bonus question: What is VDraft short for?
Clue: Its first name was based on Autodesk's second location.
A16: Project Sausalito and WinCAD. VDraft is short for "virtual drafter."
Q15. What do approximately 70% of all present 3D CAD systems have in common?
Clue: "It" is a person.
A15: They are based on the pioneering work (and source code) of Dr. Patrick Hanratty. His company, MCS, provided the source code that formed the core of Unigraphics, CADDS and many other systems. CAD systems used to be designated into two camps: Hanratty-based and non-Hanratty-based. Hanratty-based has always been the larger group.
- Scott Taylor
Q14. What did PDES stand for originally?
Clue: It changed to "Product Data Exchange using STEP."
A14: It was first known as "Product Data Exchange Specification," and then "Speciification" was changed to "Standard" after approval. It was the US standard for product data exchange, emphasizing the translation of design intent (as compared to IGES - "Initial Graphics Exchange Specification/Standard" - which was solely graphics and annotation). When ISO settled on STEP, the US effort was redesignated "Product Data Exchange using STEP".
- Scott Taylor
Q13. The Sony Clie (PalmPilot) has a resolution of 320x320 and 65,000 colors. What was the resolution and color depth of the original IBM PC's color display?
Clue: It was less than today's Clie.
A13: 320x240 with four colors.
Q12. What was
the original name of the company that produces the SpaceBall?
Clue: The company was acquired by Logitech in 1998.
A12: Spacetec IMC Corp.
- Steven Mastrangelo
Q11. The current release of MicroStation is called “Version 8.” What was the previous numbered version of MicroStation?
Clue: Version 6 never shipped.
A11: MicroStation v5. MicroStation v6 (sometimes called Objective MicroStation) never shipped. Between v5 and v8, the releases were called 95, SE (short for “special edition”) and /J (short for “Java”).
Correction to your answer. The previous numbered version of Microstation
before V8 was version 7.xx.xx.xx, which was Microstation J. Incidentally,
Microstation "V8" is the name of the newest release of Microstation,
but the technical version is a continuation of version 7.xx.xx.xx, not
an actual version 8.xx.xx.xx as you might think.
-Dave Parks, Keystone Consultants, Inc.
Q10: What were the previous name(s) of Raster Design 3?
Clue: There never
was a Raster Design 1 or 2, but the product has had three owners.
A10: 1. Image
Systems CAD Overlay
2. Softdesk CAD Overlay
3. Autodesk CAD Overlay
Q9: What AutoCAD add-on software was featured in the 1991 movie "Father of the Bride"?
Clue: The product
is no longer available.
- Doug Barense
A9: ASG Architectural
Q8. What were
the names of the add-on modules to Generic CADD v3. And what was
the functionality of each?
Clues: There were three add-on modules. DotPlot and AutoConvert were separate applications, and were not considered an add-ons.
- Carl Ransdall
A8: The three modules were:
Q7. Think3 was renamed after a $50,000-contest in 1998. What was the company's former name? And, what was the former name of its ThinkDesign software?
Clue: The company was founded in Italy.
A7: CAD.lab and Eureka.
Q6. IronCAD is currently owned by IronCAD LLC. Who was its previous owner?
Clue: The split
occurred last March.
A6: Visionary Design Systems, or VDS for short.
Q5. Name Autodesk's attempt at a selling PowerPoint-like presentation product. What division was responsible for marketing the product?
in 1992, it lasted only 18 months. The division was located in
- Steve Johnson
A5: Graphic Impact. The division was called Autodesk Retail Products.
Ralph Grabowski comments: I used the product for several talks I gave in the early '90s. Graphic Impact had one flaw: it did not wrap text.
Q4: What does
Revit have in common with Pro/Reflex?
Clue: Reflex was object-oriented architctural software purchase by PTC from England in the early '90s. PTC later killed the product
A4: Nothing. The suspicion of the relationship to Pro/Reflex because Revit was founded by two former PTC programmers.
Q3: What was the first name for MicroStation?
Clue: Half of
the current name was part of the first name.
Robert Melnyk comments on last week's trivia
question: "PseudoStation ran on a Tektronix-type terminal
attached to an Intergraph VAX to access the data files. It was
written by two of the Bentley boys. Of course, Intergraph nearly
had kittens when they caught wind of what the boys were up to.
It was either sue them or buy them. [Intergraph bought 50%
of Bentley. -Ed.]
"I had supper with Ray Bentley one time and he was telling the story about drilling a hole through the concrete floor so they could drop a dataline into the computer operations centre to connect their development machine."
Q2: Which AutoCAD release and platform introduced the ADS programming interface?
- Steve Johnson
Clue: The release number was the same as the date and month of release. The operating system can still be purchased.
A2: Release 10, OS/2. AutoCAD Release 10 was released on 10/10 (October 10, 1990). OS/2 is still available from IBM.
Q1: What was
the original name for AutoLISP?
Clue: The name, a phrase, was used in AutoCAD v2.17 and v2.18.
A1: Variables and Expressions. It was renamed AutoLISP with AutoCAD v2.5.
Steve Johnson comments: I don't think
you're right with your trivia Q & A.
It was called the "variables and expressions" feature in variants of AutoCAD
v2.1 up to and including 2.17. However, with Version 2.18 came the ability
to load files and define functions, at which point it was given the name AutoLISP.
The name AutoLISP was around long before 2.5 was released.
Ralph Grabowski replies: It was
not in v2.1. It was a developer-only
feature in 2.15; a diskette with AcadL.ovl was mailed to developers. It was made
part of Acad in 2.17, but it was beyond the comprehension most users at the time.
Although I cannot prove it (I have 2.17 but not 2.18), it does
you are right about v2.18. The marketing material for v2.5 says that AutoLISP
has been enhanced (rather than saying AutoLISP is new).