SW Corp, Consistently Inconsistent,... paying for SW Corp mistakes.

SW Corp, Consistently Inconsistent,... paying for SW Corp mistakes.
You got to ask yourselves, is is always going to be this way, where the
users pay for the mistakes SW Corp creates? Are we not paying for programming which should be consistent, paying for code which works per release and per sp?
Is this all about Corp mediocrity and it's ability to capitalize on a system that is flawed!?
Or is SW Corp management and programming so terribly flawed and dependent on our subscriptions dollars for fixing their own internal problems, again and again and again,...??
Food for thought as we all watch the new yellow warnings and red cherries, the long regeneration times, things that were working not, writing emails to the var and solidworks support, sending Rx reports,,.. or looking at the "ctrl" - "c" lettering worn away from our plastic key caps.
..
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SW Corp, Consistently Inconsistent,... paying for SW Corp mistakes.
You got to ask yourselves, is it always going to be this way, where the users pay for the mistakes SW Corp creates? Are we not paying for programming which should be consistent, paying for code which works per release and per sp?
Is this all about Corp mediocrity and it's ability to capitalize on a system that is flawed!?
Or is SW Corp management and programming so terribly flawed and dependent on our subscriptions dollars for fixing their own internal problems, again and again and again,...??
Food for thought as we all watch the new yellow warnings and red cherries, the long regeneration times, things that were working not, writing emails to the var and solidworks support, sending Rx reports,,.. or looking at the "ctrl" - "c" lettering worn away from our plastic key caps.
..
--
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SW Corp, Consistently Inconsistent,... paying for SW Corp mistakes.
You got to ask yourselves, is it always going to be this way, where the users pay for the mistakes SW Corp creates? Are we not paying for programming which should be consistent, paying for code which works per release and per sp?
Is this all about Corp mediocrity and it's ability to capitalize on a system that is flawed!?
Or is SW Corp management and programming so terribly flawed and dependent on our subscriptions dollars for fixing their own internal problems, again and again and again,...??
Food for thought as we all watch the new yellow warnings and red cherries, the long regeneration times, things that were working not, writing emails to the var and solidworks support, sending Rx reports,,.. or looking at the "Ctrl" - "Q" lettering worn away from our plastic key caps.
..
--
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Paul, are you not so subtley hinting I hold off on loading 2005 SP1.1...?
I think the thing which has driven so many of my friends over to the Macintosh model CPUs over the last year (& it is about a dozen now), is the almost terminal frustration with maintaining and fixing their Windows boxes.
I have done my best to eliminate problems on my Wintel Box of choice, as it only runs SolidWorks (occassionally an MSO application).
But still, I consider SWks 2004 SP5 to be in need of improvement in eliminating crashes.
On the opposite side, however, one of Microsoft's QC guys had an article and discussion posted on http://Slashdot.org yesterday where he talked about the physical impossibility of checking huge software applications "100%". There aren't enough CPU cycles available to do it, even in massive clusters.
It sounds like to me that newer forms of QC testing, automatic reporting from the field, and initial programming methods and structures needs significant work. None of it is quick or easy or it would have been done by now
On the positive side, I get productive work done in 2004 SP5.
After reading other histories of other advances we saw in the last century recently, I came to the conclusion that we are somewhere only near the childhood era of software & computers, just like the electric motor and internal combustion engine and airplane were exactly a century ago.
I've chosen to live with and work around the problems, because I am sick and tired of the thought of going back to E size paper drawings, whether in 2D CAD or on paper.
I appreciate your comments about your mental state, though, and I get the same way.
Is there another way?
Bo
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If you tell yourself it is impossible, it is. I guess Macintosh and Linux to name a couple are just simple basic nofrills OSes.
And of course the military won't use MSoft for anything important like telling a bomb where to drop.
Ever since the 3 Amigo trip I get the impression that the current level (whatever that may be) is all that is achievable.
I can say that every week that I use SW I come across at least three SPR level problems on average. I doubt that they ever get raised with SW though. Probably because I don't have time to do the documentation required which can amount to an hour or more per occurance.
Bo wrote:

he
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"If you tell yourself it is impossible, it is. I guess Macintosh and Linux to name a couple are just simple basic nofrills OSes"
Hmmm. I use them both MS & Mac every day, and the reason I use Mac OSX, is that all the "frills" I desire are there and they (to plagarize) "just work" without any of the funny business of Registry, defrag, fixing DLLs, and other such things as spy-malware.
In fact the amount of maintenance on both my Dell M60 & Macs are virtually as close to zero as I could expect.
The Dell works nearly trouble free, because it is a single use machine. The exception are OS based issues where it tells me I have added hardware (which I haven't) and it must install something.
The Mac is trouble free because it simply doesn't 'go down'.
Both OSs are productive the way I use them, without becoming an IT Debug Geek spending lots of hours each month.
When I read posts like one today in this forum where a user kept crashing SolidWorks with an operation on a particular file, and his VAR said 'no problem with it here', and then he spends time reinstalling SolidWorks and cleaning out his Registry, that just shows the types of man hours Microsoft's OS can dump on us to fix issues they didn't want to prevent in programming.
I have literally, and I MEAN this literally, never ever reinstalled a program on Mac OSX since I've been on it full time in nearly 2 years.
You can make Model A Ford OSs work and work well with good gas mileage, but you have to change the plugs, brakes, rings and grind the valves a lot more often than the Mac OS Panther model.
Bo
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Interesting... I myself run into at least 6 "real" problems per/week and I don't have the time anymore to send this reports.
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Yes, but how will they improve?
After all, it is up to you, the user, to help solidworks make themselves better.
If you cannot devote all your spare time to improving their product how do you ever expect to get better software?
It is shameful that you do not want to devote yourself to helping these poor people get their software right. I think that perhaps the hundreds of correspondences and ER's you have perhaps submitted are a dismal attempt on your part to make life easier for them.
Personally, I think your criticism is ill placed. They did after all implement a squishy checkbox button that actually looks like it is made of soft material when I mouse on it. I don't really care that using all those "advanced" functions like "mating", "drawing", "part modeling" and "making assemblies" is slowing some users down. The only answer for them is to design more pure cubes and cylinders. These things are much easier to make. It also helps to keep the number of components in an assembly to a "sane" level, somewhere around 2-3 components, perhaps 4 max if the situation is really complex.
Before you throw stones at these poor people, realize that they are working tirelessly to implement the Bugs Of Tomorrow, the future Incomplete Underpowered Feature and the next iteration of the Cumbersomely Squishy UI.
Perhaps you are just new to this software and the mere 15,000 hours you have spent using it are not enough for you to command the software adequately. Perhaps you need to take training - they have some courses for only about $3000 - the good news is that it lasts for three days.
Before you complain, try to realize that SW is the victim here and that as a user and paying customer, you are not entitled to any attention and solving your "trivial" stability and performance issues will certainly not help the marketing guru buy another beamer any sooner.
Paul, please try to maintain a positive outlook. Just because things have become buggy, performance and consistency are not focused on and most of the features that have come recently are only 70% functional, that is no reason to falsly accuse them of not caring.
I like the Autocad-II statement. Autodesk rested on it's laurels and had it's lunch eaten. This can happen here. If all SW did was "make it right" for the next 1 or 2 major releases, I would stick with this software no doubt, but if this keeps up, who knows. I don't need or want a bunch of underachieving new features, I want the ones that they advertise to work better. This is what happens when too many "hoplessly creative" types get together and get inspired about the great new thing they are going to do. I wish that they had to use this stuff all the time to accomplish their jobs - only then would they be motivated to fix the lingering lameness.
In engineering, there are often "new project" types and "sustaining" types. I personally would like to see them put more resources on "sustaining" issues. I'm a bit hot here. I participated in 2005-beta and had a few issues that I pursued strongly and the issues are still happening on the production release. My exported ACAD dimvars are absolutely AFU - they have the issue open, know about it, and have not fixed it, menwhile I can't trust a DWG output from SW. Meanwhile there is all this "new" stuff - I don't care about the new stuff, I just don't want to play roulette hoping that "it will work this time". Chasing ghosts is not a profession for sane people and I feel sometimes like I've joined the cast of GhostBusters . . .
Later - SMA
(by the way - I'm completely with you. I have many headaches in my occupation, as do we all, and this software has become another source of real irritation lately - but it has it's "up moments" too - maybe through experience I have come to expect too much, but year-upon-year the same things are needed and ignored and that's what hurts. I'm going to go stare at the squishy check button some more).
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On 9 Mar 2005 23:39:23 -0800, "Sean-Michael Adams"

aining"
I could not agree with you more - The way SW works is very unpredictable and can be unreliable. Luckily I only design things that are of no consequance to peoples' health and safety, but it does pay my bills.
The only time SW will improve is when our Professional Insurance Underwriters start to increase our premiums when they hear we use SW. - Years in the past I remember being in a rush and adding a BOM to a drawing before going to a meeting - At night I checked the numbers were correct, and then the next day when I printed out the sheet I did not notice that many quantities were now incorrect.
After the presentation, the MD of the client was looking over some parts with me and noticed the totally incorrect quantities !!! lucky I managed to talk my way out of it - but I have never trusted SW again - especially when I later read it was a know bug at the time.
Thank God I'm not a toolmaker, and that the toolmakers I use pick up any errors. However I feel sorry for any that use SW as they are at the end of the chain. They use the data to cut metal and take the cost when mistakes happen.
Configurations , subassemblies and configurations in subassemblies is just a recipe for chaos !! SW seems incapable of drilling down and maintaining the configs correctly - I am forever opening and saving subassemblies and parts in subassemblies so that they look right in Main Assemblies. Is there a macro that might just opens and close every component in the assembly just to cure this - a 'Super Ctl Q'
Yesterday I looked at Alibre - it so cheap !! same as our yearly sub - and discovered they use the Lightworks renderer - why did SW move over to Mental Ray for PW2 ??
SW claim that the software is modular is just BS, and each release just shows that new additional features usually cause faults elsewhere in totally unrelated parts and previously reliable areas of SW. The saying - " don't piss on my back and tell me its raining" could not be more appropriate for their lame excuses.
TTFN - I'm off to see the same client all these years later - no BOM in sight.
Regards
Jonathan Stedman
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I hear you on the BOM issues. One of the scary things about swx is that when they finally get something fixed, it doesn't stay fixed. I was getting along pretty well with the BOM's and ballooning, etc for a good while until recently, I had one where the balloon numbering didn't agree with the BOM. Fiddled with it for a while, and finally went to manually numbering the balloons to get the drawing finished (couple of wasted hours). Later on I added another view of the same assembly, same configuration. Only thing different was angle of view. The balloon numbers work on this view, but not the original one. wtf ! anyway, typical snafu session while trying to get some work done. For one thing, I think the corporate culture at swx is anti-drawings. Much of the timewasting and other problems are drawing related, and resolution of the problems is moving at glacial pace, to put it mildly.
Hey, Adobe does some vector work. Maybe they'll make a modeler that runs on OSX ???
Bill :)

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I hear ya, Sean. Kewl break down, real and satire all at the same time. I honestly posted this as a point of thought. I think everyone has and will have a level of tolerance with each release and sp. I reached the breaking point a long time ago, I'm just baffled how it persist with such consistency!? The persistence of these problems has become exhausting for me, I'm yelling at my monitor more than usual, and that's not good. Sure I can buy a hamster, energy bars and hamster wheel with super lube bearings to make my software run faster but, I know it ain't going to go that much faster. I'll just end up with a lot wasted sh$t on the bottom of my pc enclosure (with the see through window) and I don't wanna see or smell that, ya know!? I honestly think this is not normal for software to have these many problems or new problems brought on by their own software writers? Anyhow, it's absolutely freaking amazing how they've been getting away with this.
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I guess, since things have not change, that we have to invest in "ctrl" and "q" keycaps?
The obvious is, yes, software for design has made things better then what was, but that is not the point. It's a relative question of balance, getting things done today while dealing with new features, feature failures, new bugs, workarounds,.. and performance issues while dealing with the fixes. These all effect the bottom line, time and user frustration.
I feel powerless with these issues. The only thing I know is I feel like I'm working for the software and not on my designs.
..
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I'm thinking AutoDesk II may be an appropriate nickname for the occasion. How do programmers for some of these what seem to be complex games get it right before release? Or is CAD on another level not to be compared.
SW doesn't try very hard to fix all the bugs it can before next release. Leaving the previous release in not so good condition is an incentive to purchase the new stuff and continue paying subscription fees. It is human to want to believe things will or can get better and we all like to hear how much better the next release of SW will be. They play upon that intrinsic desire to increase their profits and market share. If SW had to pay for beta testers and were held accountable for lost revenues in corporations and small businesses, their programming quality would greatly improve. All this talk about too complex to fix the problems is PB
Kman

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Kman wrote:

get it right before release?
They don't, every game out there has 2-4 patches available. One of favorites, Battlefield 1942 has 6 patches. Mechwarrior(4) had 3 patches and there are still bugs and there is no more patches being developed to fix it.
These problems certainly aren't unique to just Solidworks. I use UG and experience lockups, crashes, and anomalies. Browse the Inventor forums and you'll see major issues.
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I agree with you about swx. I think there is some deeply ingrained deficiency in their organization, regarding the priorities of quality vs marketing. I think, in the end, quality will win out in this market, but I don't think swx will be there when the awards are handed out.
I feel like we're waiting for the next player to arrive.
I haven't heard much lately about Pro-E. How are they doing these days? It seemed like their prices were starting to come down a year or two back.
Bill
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Interesting,.. you know, I was thinking about this myself a while ago... we are just part of a evolution, and we ain't there yet!?
Cuz, it's still screwed up brother!
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Hi,     I read this thread with some interest, and wanted to throw my two cents in... At the beginning of the thread, there is a statement about "not going back to E size drawings..." that I would like to elaborate on. If you don't want to read this whole thing, at least read from "OPTIMIZE..."
     Most of us doing this can remember back to the first "8086" systems. AutoCAD was a "big deal". At this moment, I run a completely "paperless" design company, using tools like electronics CAD (OrCAD), SW, Lightwave 3D (for rendering stills and animations). I can design all aspects of a product, send files out and get real parts back. I can send a file to China for tooling and get parts back in 4 weeks - none of which was possible 10 years ago. This in contrast to the "old days" of marker renderings and hand made models (no SLA parts). Do some of the "bugs" and such bother me in these programs, absolutley. But what is the alternative; going from SLA models to hand made ones? No-F**cking way...
    Granted, it seems like with every iteration of ANY program things get worse and worse; but in reality, we are still forging a path with a VERY immature technology. With every single high-level program I use, every release "seems" more buggy than the last. Let me tell you, take a program like Lightwave 3D; it is nothing short of magic the things that can be done (full motion pictures from your desktop?!). I feel the same way about SW; though there are alternatives, are any of them actually BETTER than the one you are using. I have a friend that has been using Pro/E since the beginning of time, an expert beyond experts; though some aspects (large assemblies) are better, there are just as many things "wrong" in Pro/E as well (as well as in the last release, they changed things so much in the interface, he says he may have to take a class just to figure out where things are now!).
    Lastly, a word about the obvious, and a bit of personal "computer philosophy". It is a grand idea to have a "box that can do everything". Since the beginning, this is what has been forced down our throats. As someone that hand wired their first computer (6800 CPU, 1K memory, programmed in BINARY by flipping switches), I continue to state that the "ubiquitous computer" is a mistake. IMO, unless you are using MS Word as your main app, treating the computer as a "black box" is a mistake. We are professionals, and need to focus on what it takes to make our tools work their best. A carpenter would not try and get a smooth surface with a dull plane; you cannot expect SW or any other program of this nature to function well if "AIM" is on in the background, as well as Outlook, etc.Though it smacks in the face of the MS hype, a dedicated box is essential for running these apps like SW. Here is how I am "coping" with the current situation.
    OPTIMIZE YOUR SYSTEM: It sucks, but if you really want to get the most from your tools, you MUST take the time and "undo" some of the "niceties" that have been provided for you. I took the extreme path here, but you will see what I am suggesting. In my case, I did the following:
    1.) Removeable "C" hard drive: Get a new hard drive, and install the OS on it. Do all the updates from MS until you can't do anymore. Then, optimize the OS. Follow what "BlackViper" (www.blackviper.com) has to say. Turn off all the crap that is on by default (system restore, remote monitoring), use Classic interface, set system for "performance" through the system panel. Use the "other" drive with Outlook, Word, etc. when you need it. Granted, it is a major pain inthe ass, but when you experience the difference in performance, you will become a believer.
    2.) Using TweakUI, msconfig, whatever you'd like, go through all the startup processes. You are going to find that almost EVERYTHING RUNNING IN THE BACKGROUND IS NOT NEEDED! When you examine all the crap that is running, and how much memory it takes, it will make you sick to your stomach. I reclaimed over 100 MEG by stopping these background tasks. And that was JUST OS non-essential tasks! Once you do this, you will find that simple tasks seem to be "lightning fast" with the bare bones.
    3.) DO NOT INSTALL ANY OTHER PROGRAMS, ESPECIALLY VIRUS PROTECTION SOFTWARE. Virus protection in particular is a killer. They are bloated, and try to protect the casual user from themselves. This is a CAD box, not a web-site browser. Avoid the urge to "go on" the internet with this setup, unless you are certain that the site is "safe". Fundamentally, stick with sites that you download new drivers for hardware; avoid looking at that "funny flash site" with the singing monkeys. This can't be stressed enough; only install programs that you know run in their "own space". In other words, things like MSO install "quick start" features that sit in the background waiting for you to click that icon and make it look like the program loads very fast. Actually, the application is already running in the background. KEEP AN EYE ON PROCESSES RUNNING. Stop any that are non-essential.
    4.) Install SW fresh. You will find that, *magically* it seems to load much faster. And no probelms installing service packs. Hmmm...
    5.) Though I haven't run benchmarks between the two "systems" the performance is clear; SW runs faster, does not crash, lock-up NEARLY as much. I forget that the app does crash since they are much fewer and farther between. Large assemblies with many mates do in fact load ok. You will find that with the reclaimed memory, and only housekeeping going on in the background, things actually function well.
    6.) Do your chores: Housekeeping is essential. Defrag, "registry mechanic", etc. Keep things up to date and clean.
    It is perhaps extreme to have a seperate box (or in my case, switching hard drives) for running just one program, but I will trade the benefits over the bitching anyday. Of course, I completely skipped over the obvious things such as having a fast CPU, maxed out memory, good video card. These things are pointless to me if other things are "stealing" cycles away from the system. Also, I am not one of the extremist with a liquid cooled CPU, etc. I use a box that I bought at CompUSA with added memory and a good video card.
Mike Tripoli
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Spot on Mike! I have done all those things you mentioned, and the results are pretty good. Having Solidworks and Ms Office on your C:, drive is like having a 24 Stone woman, in a Sinclair C5! Adding other programs, antivirus and internet access, is like adding another 24 Stone woman to the same Sinclair C5! Slooooow! The best way I have found, is to have 5 drives, 2 Sata and 3 Eide. First Sata with OS, Sw and Office, fastest. Second Sata for you first Sata swap file and Current working Sw data. First Eide with OS, Sw, Office, Antivirus, Antispyware, other software and Internet access, slowest. Second Eide for your first Eide swap file and Sw data area. The third Eide is for you temp and back up files, which then leaves a free Eide for you Recordable Cdrw/Dvd Drive. In the bios you can set which controller starts first, Sata or Eide. If you need Internet access or other programs with Sw, choose Eide controller, When you don't, choose the Sata controller, easy! A bit of work to set up and maintain, but it keeps your main Sw drive nice and clean, less prone to crashing, and lots of space for the swap files. Add a Hardware firewall and then you can go and watch those singing monkeys, oooh look at him :-) lol

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seems like it would be simpler (and maybe even cheaper) to just have another machine running. bill

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Thanks Mike - that was a good practical post.
Not as much fun as the kvetch, but emminently more useful.
You are right in that there is a bundle of extra baggage that we don't even need.
:)
SMA
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