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LOL! I can produce a drawing the old way faster than a professional cad operator! The only advantage of cad is easy distribution of copies, and corrections/modifications.
Steve R.
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And precision and data interchange and material takeoff and cam and...
Not that I don't appreciate the convenience and elegance of hand drawing...
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Steve R. wrote:

I very nearly doubt that, Steve.
I can still draw with a stylus in hand, but after years of drawing with CAD, I sketch with a mouse - pretty quickly.
Mostly that's because I don't use Autocad (which as Andrew rightly pointed out creates a high quality vacuum!)
Richard
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wrote:

Beg to disagree. It is also intrinsically more accurate, its ability to do geometry and trig can be a huge convenience, and one need not be a professional CAD operator for it to be significantly faster.
I've used and still have the traditional drafting tools and skills. I worked as a draftsman/detailer at Chevy Engineering back in the '60's, white shirt and all.
I find CAD both faster and more accurate, even when making orhtographic projections, true views and suchlike. I use an ancient version of AutoCAD (R-14) because I invested the time to become fairly facile and comfortable with it years ago. I agree with others that ACAD has its warts and is not easy to learn, but it's as familiar as a pencil to me.
The fastest pro operators do much or most of their work with keyboard rather than mouse, or at least that was once the case. People can type a hell of a lot faster than they can mouse. Watching a real pro make a drawing "happen" with ACAD is quite a show. I seriously doubt that anyone could do it nearly as quickly with conventional drafting tools. It would take a fast sketcher to keep up.
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Don, it pains me to say it, but this thread proves we are turning/have turned into a bunch of old farts, lamenting the "good old days"........ (I include myself in this, just had my 56 birthday)
Andrew VK3BFA.
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On Tue, 23 Jun 2009 21:08:45 -0700 (PDT), Andrew VK3BFA

I'm definitely a card-carrying cardiac-implanted, creaky, grandfatherly old fart, kid, but I don't lament the retirement of my old drafting tools in favor of CAD software. I haven't used my old Vemco drafting machine in more than a decade.
I keep learning new skills. That takes longer than it used to, but we retired guys have time to spend on learning slowly. Five years ago I could barely hit the inside of an outhouse with a 1911 .45. I've practiced and improved some since then. Selecting a gray head as prey can be risky to a predator in Minnesota USA, perhaps less so in Oz if you have fewer predators and no predators have firearms in Oz. I suppose that depends a lot on where in Oz, as it does here.
In the "good old days" in the U.S., young men didn't expect instant gratification, gov't handouts or easy paths paved by "others" and we didn't have to lock our doors. I do lament the passing of that era.
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This reminds me of a contest reported when electronic calculators first came out. The contest, in Japan, pitted an 80-something with abacus against a 20-something with calculator. The geezer won hands down, of course. He'd been practicing longer than the kid had been alive.
But if they had been asked to compute the sine of 27 degrees or the log of 7689, the kid would win (if he had the right calculator).
Joe Gwinn
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It seems that the later versions of ACAD have emphasized selecting tools and menus as opposed to keyboard shortcuts or entering commands or coordinates by typing. Most commands still work, I think a few old ones don't, but the tutorials point you towards navigating the menu structure.I guess that's true with most software, but it seems markedly less efficient to use ACAD that way. It's still a tremendously complex program that is not going to be made user-friendly with some tool palettes.
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On Wed, 24 Jun 2009 21:19:32 -0400, "ATP*"

Right, and that may be why it continues to be a de facto standard drafting program for professionals, particularly architechts. It doesn't compromise speed and efficiency for skilled users to be "user-friendly" to casual users. CAD technology and software has made huge strides in the past two decades as regards design and 3D parametric modelling e.g. ProE, SolidWorks, Alibre, etc, but drafting is still pretty much drafting. ACAD does drafting and geometry with almost arbitrary precision, and with mindboggling speed at the hands of a skilled operator. It is possible (and easy) to make a drawing with scope of precision like a drawing of a state-wide railroad network that can zoom in on the winding stem of a brakeman's watch dimensioned in microns.
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My Dad cut a square of upholstery foam and put a hole partway through the center the size of the Mars sharpener and put the sharpener in the hole. Then you stick the sharpened point in the foam to clean the dust off it. Karl
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On Mon, 22 Jun 2009 15:36:51 -0400, "Ed Huntress"

Or stab the cigarette filter centrally mounted for this purpose - can even be one retrieved from the urinal. Gerry :-)} London, Canada
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and takes only two or three spins to give you a

Ed, standard practice also used to be to simply wipe the excess graphite under the armpit or your white shirt. You put on a clean one everyday so made no difference. I remember rows and rows of draftsmen all wearing white shirts and ties. All facing in the same directions to cut down on the chit-chat. Oh, those were the days.
Ivan Vegvary
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I've seen those drafting departments. I wish I had the local laundry franchise. <g>
Somebody (Gerry, I think) mentioned cigarette filters. My Staedtler sharpener has one in a pocket in the top of the device. One filter is good for a year or two. I still use those lead holders when I'm editing in pencil; they're especially good in red and blue.

I used to love the craft of it. I did a lot of architectural drawing around 35 years ago, and I spent endless hours practicing architectural lettering -- a limited enterprise, because only certain architectural fonts are practical for lefties. My pre-war Dietzgen drafting set was the envy of the classroom.
However, although I'm strictly an amateur with CAD (I've used GenericCADD, Cadkey, AutoCAD, Vellum, Rhino, and several others), I wouldn't trade my computer for the best traditional drafting equipment ever made.
-- Ed Huntress
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Ed Huntress wrote:

Complete and total agreement, Ed.
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Ed Huntress wrote:

Have you ever tried 'SwitcherCad'? It is a Spice program you can download for free from Linear Technology.
http://www.linear.com/designtools/software/ltspice.jsp
--
You can't have a sense of humor, if you have no sense!

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I haven't, but I'm a registered Rhino user and I've settled on that for the little bit of work I do with it these days. I did try an early version of Spice for electronic design, but it's been years since I was involved in ham radio.
I was one of the first beta testers for Rhino and I've stuck with it.
-- Ed Huntress KC2NZT
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Ed Huntress wrote:

(...)
Second the motion. LTSpice is the best kept secret on the web. It is free and works nearly as well as the $K simulators like Cadence PSpice (Which I love but cannot afford.)
I've designed and simulated several circuits in LTSpice including some that required importation of 3rd party models. It's so easy, even Winston can do it!

Try LTSpice Ed! It's way different from the User Vicious (SM) Bad Old Days. Very fun and user friendly. It is dangerous because you could find yourself losing a few hours just noodling around with it.

Rhino! Yay! I love Rhino.
--Winston
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OK, with both of you being enthusiastic, I downloaded it to try it out. I'll get to it this weekend.
Thanks.
-- Ed Huntress

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Ed Huntress wrote:

I'm interested in your reaction.
Notice how your mouse cursor changes from a voltage probe to a current probe during simulation, depending on where you place it on the part. Click to take a reading and the results show up on an oscilloscope - type display.
LTSpice lets you create definitions for simulation measurements using the Expression Editor. You can, for instance dynamically calculate power in R1, for example by editing it's current reading from: 'I(R1)' to: 'I(R1)*(V(n002)-V(n001))' where the voltages are taken from each side of R1 to ground. Notice how LTSpice automagically changes the display from 'amps' to 'watts'! :)
You can copy the equation and paste it into your schematic as a comment, so it is handy for future simulations when you paste it back into the Expression Editor.
Super Nifty.
--Winston
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Sorry I've been offline for a while. I did get to try the program and it is impressive -- 'way more capable than the early versions of Spice I fooled with years ago.
If I still played with radio, I'd be hooked. Thanks for getting me to try it.
-- Ed Huntress
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