Greetings and happy holidays to all!
Misc. replies, my two cents:
Penny 1: While Google did release a limited free version of Sketchup
after they purchased the company (www.sketchup.com), the company still
sells a non-free version. The program struck me as being quite spiffy
-- especially it's user interface -- and well worth its cost (assuming
one has a use for it).
Penny 2: If you are keen to purchase a version of DesignCAD -- a tact
that I neither recommend nor gainsay -- you might well wish to
purchase the very version (14) that your magazine recommended so
DCAD 14 is, AFAIK, fully compatible with all versions of 32 bit
windows, whereas the help system in Ver 15 -- and maybe 16 ??? -- is
not compatible with Win 95, although the rest of the program is
(version 17 also seems to be Win 95 compatible, despite what
Even if you're not interested in Win 95 compatibility, the help system
is increasingly less helpful in post 14 versions (again, 16 is a
mystery to me). Indeed, in version 17, attempting to get
online/context sensitive help merely causes the program to launch the
PDF version of the user's manual in another window, opened to the
front cover (sort of like having the program scream "RTFM!" every time
you are in doubt).
While a seasoned DCAD user might not suffer greatly from the
diminished help in newer versions of DCAD, I assume that having online
help available to a new user might be, well, helpful. <g> If you are a
speed reader with a photographic memory, I'm sorry to have wasted your
Remaining copies of DCAD 14 are generally obscenely cheap, meaning
that you won't be out any great sum of money regardless of whether you
disdain and discard DCAD 14, or if you fall so head-over-heals in love
that you rush out an upgrade to version 17.1 (don't forget to download
the 17.1 patch!).
You can find the user's manual for DCAD 14 here:
(That they placed DesignCAD Version 14's user manual on TurboCAD's web
site is, alas, just one example of their attention to detail.)
Manuals for other DesignCAD versions can be found here:
The manual for DCAD 17 seems to be available only bundled with the
Penny 3: (Bonus penny!) Based upon my EXTREMELY limited contact with
Alibre, both the company and it's FREE Design Xpress 3D software
(http://www.alibre.com/xpress /) seem to have much to recommend
themselves. How difficult is it to master? I don't know, you tell me!