Returning to ProE after 7 year gap

I got my baptism in ProE in 1992. We were using HP 750 (unix) workstations back then. I got into some fairly difficult things like
Buttress threads and surfaces. I got about 1.5 years experience.
I took a position as the network manager in a university and have not touched ProE at all, and just a little Autocad. I was laid off 1 yr ago.
I have recently run through the entire ProE 2001 SE tutorial. it took a lot of concentration and time, but now I have the ProE Wildfire SE version and I have to redo the entire tutorial. I'm hoping to find work in engineering again since there are few network positions available.
One thing that I really hate about ProE Wildfire SE is the color scheme. I have to look so close that it gives me a headache. Can anyone recommend a set of system colors, or is that a bad idea?
Under ProE 2001 I had Graphic problems, but only after several hours of operation. With wildfire I have to refresh the screen constantly, and I get serious problems in a much shorter time. It would seem that my ATI Graphics Rage 128 card just isn'i up to the task. It would be a shame to have to lose it since it has a TV daughter board I've been using to record Video and burn DVDs.
I welcome any sugsestions.
Sincerely David M. Gillespie
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I believe there's an "old style" button somewhere on top of system colors dialog.

Game cards and OpenGL typically don't mix real well (or so I believe the common wisdom goes).
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Thanks for the tip on system colors. I found it. In case anyone else is interested, It's under View/Display Settings/System Colors. That will give you the System colors Dialog box. Use the pull down "Scheme", and at the bottom of the list is an option "Use Pre-WildFire Scheme".
For other ATI users having serious graphic problems I have another of my screwball work arounds. Go to Display/settings/advanced. If your card is like mine there will be two levels of tabs to choose. Select OpenGl and change the Optimization Preference from Performance to Quality.
I also dropped my colors to 16 bit, but I'm not sure which change (or both) did the trick. I still have problems with artifacting, but they don't make it necessary to reboot like before.
It isn't perfect, but it works.
On Fri, 03 Sep 2004 16:47:31 GMT, "Jeff Howard"

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One thing you can do regarding the colors is to save out a "system colors" file from 2001, then in config.pro in Wildfire specify the path to load that file on startup. Sorry, I'm not in front of ProE right now, so I can't tell you which variable it is to specify the path to the system colors file.
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<snip> : > One thing that I really hate about ProE Wildfire SE is the color : > scheme. I have to look so close that it gives me a headache. Can : > anyone recommend a set of system colors, or is that a bad idea? : > I agree with MS suggestion to save a syscol.scl file through 'View>Display Settings>System Colors'. When you've adjusted the colors to your satisfaction, go to the File menu and save the file to where ever you are keeping your other configuration files. This produces the syscol.scl file that you point to with the config.pro option, system_colors_file. For the value, just Browse to the file location and pick the file.
If you want to do as Jeff suggested, back under the System Colors interface, you'll see a menu item called Scheme. This has a list of predefined schemes which each set the colors in a unique way. One of them is Pre-Wildfire. Any of these scheme settings can be adjusted by clicking on the color panel next to the item you are setting. You can do this for all four pages of color settings. But, whichever predefined scheme you pick, you have to save the .scl file and point to it. Pro/e isn't going to "remember" your settings otherwise.
You may be more familiar with using config.pro and its system_xxx_color options to set colors. This way seems to be phasing out. After all, you can set only 11 colors with these options; the system colors file stores and controls 26, plus you get the interface for graphically showing/setting the color with a color wheel. This generates the RBG numbers for you.
: > Under ProE 2001 I had Graphic problems, but only after several hours : > of operation. With wildfire I have to refresh the screen constantly, : > and I get serious problems in a much shorter time.
In Pro/e, it has always depended on what I'm doing. In modelling/assembly operations, working with shaded solids, I've had minimal problems. I had a computer with integrated/shared video memory. This greatly limited the number of windows I could work on simulteneously. It and the operating system also insured that I didn't have any advanced graphics functions in the Visibilities menu available. But for normal shaded spinning of models, even this worked fine. The most incomprehensible thing about Pro/e's OpenGL graphics is how much trouble it has with the supposedly simple, 16 color, 2D display in detailing. This is where you get views and dimensions disappearing and where simple refreshes don't even work, where you have to go to View>Update views or turn a layer on and off to initiate the level of regen needed to completely reset the screen in the right order (or something, I don't have the foggiest idea what causes it, though I suspect stripped down, generic screen routines that bypass optimized OpenGL routines because the program is compiled for a dozen different operating systems and very little system specific optimization.) It would seem that : > my ATI Graphics Rage 128 card just isn'i up to the task. It would be : > a shame to have to lose it since it has a TV daughter board I've been : > using to record Video and burn DVDs. : >
My advice is try to catch up on developments in graphics. The link below is to the only registered FAQ for this NG. http://www.faqs.org/faqs/pc-hardware-faq/3dgraphics-cards/part1/#ct It some extensive research into OpenGL graphics cards from about 8 years ago. In some respects, the information is still current. In other respects, OpenGL and the hardware have come a long way and even your 'gaming' card outclasses most of the professional cards listed. But, so have the demands put on those cards. For the kind of demands placed on a graphics card and the entire system, you need a computer that's built to handle the demand or have a high tolerance for frustration. Because, without the hardware support designed for Pro/e's demands, you are looking forward to a lot of frustration. Keep the box you've got for video editing and burning DVDs. Get a good one with a good graphics card (30-50% of the cost of the system) for Pro/e. Check out the cards/systems listed on ptc.com as supported/certified to get an idea of what you need. I don't predict a lot of success in adapting the Matrox card ~ the manufacturer doesn't appear on the list.
If you're not going to be going into business for yourself, maybe you don't need to go this far. But at least investigate the cards that can be soft quadroed. The other thing that makes a great deal of difference in how Pro/e runs is graphics drivers. Every card manufacturer has dozens of them, including some that are app specific as well as being certified for the operating system. Look for cards that have drivers that support Wildfire. Ask this on the Nvidia, ATI, 3Dlabs, SGI or Matrox NGs. Even just softquadroing a card and getting the appropriate driver will make a difference in how the SE of Wildfire runs, a big difference.
David Janes
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David Janes wrote:

Well, actually, that's the point of OpenGL. If you use OpenGL for graphics, then the optimizations should be done at the os level (aka graphics card drivers). That way a company can write very generic code yet still have it optimized for many different operating systems.
I think you'd be closer if you blamed the graphics card drivers rather than PTC on this one. That's where nVidia shines - best drivers in peeceeland, especially for OpenGL. Makes sense; many of the engineers at nVidia came from the company that created OpenGL.
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: > David Janes wrote: : : > I don't have the foggiest idea what causes it, : > though I : > suspect stripped down, generic screen routines that bypass optimized : > OpenGL : > routines because the program is compiled for a dozen different : > operating systems : > and very little system specific optimization.) : : : Well, actually, that's the point of OpenGL. If you use OpenGL : for graphics, then the optimizations should be done at the os : level (aka graphics card drivers). That way a company can write : very generic code yet still have it optimized for many different : operating systems. : You would think so, anyway. But how can one OpenGL, from one system to another, be better or worse if they all have the exact same functionality, optimized for the particular os? What I'm talking about is PTC recognizing these differences in performance and gearing their code to a 'common denominator' approach. Especially needed since they've spent more than a decade on an 'easy' marketing/licensing/distribution system that ignores operating systems, tries to at any rate.
: I think you'd be closer if you blamed the graphics card drivers : rather than PTC on this one. That's where nVidia shines - best : drivers in peeceeland, especially for OpenGL. Makes sense; many : of the engineers at nVidia came from the company that created : OpenGL.
I agree that a lot rides on those drivers. PTC is quite specific, in fact, about which ones are needed for particular cards and operating systems. I thought I emphasized that in my answer to Gillespie. Maybe I wasn't clear enough, presenting so many options, from just upgrading drivers to upgrading hardware, including getting a new machine especially tailored to Pro/e use. In any case, something I've said before, bears repeating: a good graphics accelerator card and driver are key to a happy life with Pro/e because it is so much easier to get along with.
David Janes
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David Janes wrote:

Sorry, guess I wasn't clear. OpenGL is sort of a cross-platform API. It started life as IrisGL for the SGI workstations. It's a graphics programming *language*. Then they genericized the thing and promoted it as a standard graphics programming language for everyone to use.
It's analagous to programs written in C or Fortran. In theory a C program will run on any operating system which has a C compiler. (Usually it's the interface elements which create the problems these days.) Now, given a good C program and given good optimizing compilers on all the target operating systems, you have the situation of choice - one program which can run well anywhere.
Unfortunately, this is dependent on a) the program being well- written and b)the compiler being good. There's the biggest problem with Linux programs - they're written like crap. They are almost universally so full of non-standard gcc-isms that they're very unportable :-(
Anyway, what is *supposed* to happen is that PTC writes good standard OpenGL graphics routines and the operating system (graphics card drivers in the case of Windows, SGI does it in hardware, don't know about HP or Sun) changes the OpenGL statements into on-screen pixels.
This is why the graphics driver is so important - in the case of OpenGL it's actually interpreting code on the fly.
Two problems with Windows : one is that back in the day when M$ was actually competing with other operating systems, they put the graphics system into the kernel to make the system *appear* snappier. Of course it wasn't really snappier since all that did was open the window faster but still didn't put anything *into* it, but it did *feel* that way. Alas, the drawback to this is that a crappy graphics driver running at kernel level can totally screw up the entire system.
The other problem with Windows is that M$ seems to encourage people to use weird-ass undocumented "hooks" or secret API's and such for added performance. But since they are undocumented or secret or just plain strange, other apps can and often do create conflicts and crashes or screen corruption. Or they can have conflicts with the operating system itself, since none of these weird-ass tricks are really tested very thoroughly. Gamers are famous for this.

Well, that's what OpenGL is supposed to be. IF you write good OpenGL code (and there's no reason to think PTC doesn't) and IF your operating system has a good OpenGL subsystem (here's where the drivers become *very* important on Windows) then viola, cello, and double bass. All the users should be equally happy. So honestly, I think you should be pointing your ire (in this case) at the companies which write crappy graphics drivers. ATi, for one :-) nVidia seems to be very good at drivers. I've got a cheap GForce-something in the Winshit box and it's reasonably good, considering it's not a $500 card. Never had a problem I could blame on the graphics, at any rate.

If they weren't cross-platform I probably would not have chosen Pro/E. There are Windows-only programs which are better suited to what we do here - but I'll be god-dadmned if I'll be stuck running that shit. Sorry, I despise Windows. It really IS crap. Crap file system, crap architecture, crap security, crap multi- user organization, crap multi-tasking, crap networking, the cheapest lowlife copy of every creative idea in computerdom with the quality removed. Look in the dictionary under "predatory" and there you'll find the Windows logo. Plus Bill Gates is a convicted criminal and if you acually *believe* in the free market it is incumbent upon one to avoid supporting people who abuse it. Soooo ... I'm probably abnormal, but cross-platform is Good, in my book.

Guess I've just been lucky, since nVidia really is a pretty decent choice.
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snipped-for-privacy@tampabay.rr.com (David M Gillespie) wrote in message

For the colors, go into View>System Colors and from the top of the dialog, select Scheme>Use Pre-Wildfire Scheme. Then save this file (.scl) and put it in a folder. In config.pro, point to it through the system_colors_file (?) option. It will load on start-up. We use a modified version of this, with some customization.
As for your Rage card - give it up. The ATIs are notoriously bad and are really 'gamer' cards. Problems are generally encountered after opening 5 windows, and then the refresh occurs in two diagonal swipes of the screen. Eventually it will just lock. Workarounds include running in less than 1600x1200 resolution (helpful on my laptop) and not opening more than 5 windows simultaneously. I hear people having success with GEForce cards, but we use high-end FX3400s at work.
Regards
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