I have always designed my projects using graph paper, ruler, pencil, and
(lots of) eraser. I have a somewhat more complicated job I want to do now.
There is a design for an entertainment center in FWW that I want to adapt. I
would like to take the measurements from the article, enter them on a
computer somehow, and then change the things I want. I have a friend who
uses Google Sketchup. He found it awkward to use and not that sophisticated.
I don't want to invest the money and a lot of learning time on a CAD program
unless I can get a recommendation on this group for a product that one of
you likes to use. Should I stick to my paper, pencil, and eraser?
For things that are essentially boxes - like kitchen cabinets and,
perhaps, your entertainment center SketchUp has acquired a substantial
I happen to do relatively little of that type of work and use an old
version of DesignCAD, which lets me draw curves that aren't often seen
in traditional woodworking (parabola, hyperbola, catenaries, sine
curves, etc) and export those shapes in a format that permits CNC machining.
Some folks are working with TurboCAD and like it best.
But everybody seems to use pencil and paper along with any CAD package
they're comfortable with. :)
"Note that I did not scoop the seat in the SketchUp model..."
"I was able to trace over a scanned image of a top view of the Settee to
quickly achieve the flat face shown below."
So it can be used in conjunction with images produced elsewhere to
produce approximate copies of what has already been done with other
(circa 1820!) design tools - big deal.
True, as illustrated in this settee example, only if tracing a digitized
image produced by other tools provides sufficient accuracy, and if
representing 3D curved surfaces (like the seat) as planar meets
No insult was intended - I was attempting to point out a broad class of
design objects (which included the OP's immediate project) where I felt
SketchUp worked well for its users. If you interpret that as an insult,
perhaps you can explain why...
FWIW, when I /intend/ insult, there's no "thinly veiled" about it. :)
If you maintain that SketchUp is a superior tool for easily producing
accurate mathematical curves/surfaces in three dimensions (as is the
case in the many of _my_ woodworking projects) adequate for precision
production, then I invite you to produce the evidence - or to expand
your woodworking horizons.
Come now, Morris ... you've proven yourself too smart a fellow to _not_
know exactly what you are about.
I recall taking the time to cobble up and post a SU tutorial model
showing you how to do something with curves which you were unable to
Just because you haven't taken to the time to become proficient with the
program, don't insult the program and, by association, those who have,
with such ignorant remarks.
Nevertheless, I'll spot you the "insult", but the link posted proves
either one of my contentions to be correct, without necessity for
Whether I was too stupid to grasp SketchUp or SketchUp was
insufficiently capable or user friendly was/is a lot less important to
me than producing a result that met requirements. I did know what the
requirements were, and SketchUp didn't get me there.
You did - and it was appreciated. My next step in that progression was
to add a tapped hole using the same technique - which sorta worked but
required /way/ too much patchy cleanup. I got the job done, but wasn't
satisfied that something so simple required so much time and piddling.
Sorry, but after spending more than a half-century developing software
(link in sig), and using CAD packages for more than half of that time, I
don't feel as ignorant as you portray. I have to admit, though, that I
only started producing actual 3D renderings in wood eight years ago,
when I installed my 'Bot. Sadly, the more I've learned the more ignorant
Since you feel that noticing difficulties with software is an insult to
its user, please bypass any and all comments I may ever make about
Microsoft's software products (cough) and practices (cough, cough).
Tracing an image and skipping definition of contoured surfaces don't
work for me. Whatever you think you proved to me with the example went
whoosh - unless it was that a settee isn't a box (Well, duh! I never
said SketchUp was /limited/ to boxes.)
I hoped SketchUp would work for me, too - but it simply wasn't worth
more than 60 hours of my time when I already had a CAD tool doing what,
after all that time, I couldn't get SketchUp to do.
I glad you like it so well for the work you're doing.
By "thin film", do you mean it also had the cros (capacitance read only
memory) instruction set as the 360/30? It was punch card size mylar
with copper traces that were punched out on one of four sides of a
squeare or some such. The first time I saw the 30 power on and the cros
"pump up" to push the cros punch card ros together, I wondered "WTF"?
Then there was the 360/40 with the "tros" micro programmed instruction
That's the one I started with in '64.
You and nearly everyone else - I've always suspected it was designed by
the same madman who designed the 407... :)
I honestly don't know how RCA implemented the instruction set or the
internals of IPL. I suspect that they may have used ROMs, because IBM
was likely to have the CROS covered every which way with patents.
Thin film refers to (yet another) logic family (like ECL, TTL, MOS,
CMOS, etc). RCA claimed it was cheaper, provided higher yields, and was
more reliable. Of course, when you asked around you discovered that
every company's technology flavor was well above average. :)
You might get a kick out of learning that the floppy disk was originally
developed to load the microcode into the ill-fated object-based FS (for
Future System) machines.
I was away from computers from 62-65 working for Uncle Sam, but IIRC I
was introduced to the 40 (but it could have been a 50) and DEBE at the
same time. :)
"Thin film" was a manufacturing process rather than a logic family. IIRC,
everything was RTL at that time. IBM's variety was SLT (Solid Logic
Technology). It *was* RTL. ECL didn't come along until the 370s and "MST"
(Monolithic Solid Technology), which was made by TI.
Nah, floppies were used on the 370/158s to load microcode, well before FS.
On 4/11/2010 11:02 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Are you sure? The 158 was announced in August 2, 1972 about the time
Dept 71J in East Fishkill received a bare (no electronics) /Igar/ drive
from Boulder, and at that time the folks at Boulder were still having
difficulties producing diskettes (something about the jacket lining
abrading the oxide).
In 1972, D/71J was working on the UC0 and UC.5 controllers and firmware
drivers for not only /Igar/, but also for /Gulliver/ (the new sealed
hard drive from Hursley), /Lynx/ (a new band printer to succeed the
print-chain 1403), and an SDLC adapter - and all of these were being
developed (primarily) as building blocks for FS.
It was the guy across the hall from me who came up with the
motor+geneva+leadscrew drive to implement seeks (clack, clack, clack) on
/Igar/, which was later replaced with a (quiet) voice coil seek mechanism.
They all underwent final product test at the same time in Kingston
during, IIRC, 1974. We worked 12 hours on and twelve hours off with a
long commute, through that entire 6-week test process - it was an
exhausting experience (I remember waking up one morning on the way back
from Kingston - driving down the shoulder of US9 doing 65).
The evolved /Igar/ drive graduated as the 33FD. I still have some of the
I'm not sure when they were introduced into the 370s, but yeah, they
were used for /158 microcode. I remember interviewing at CDC in early
'74. They had a /158 with its covers off, with a bunch of people
reverse-engineering the floppy drive. The /158 was their pride and
joy, which I thought odd. The whole place was "odd" and I told them
so before I left (didn't get an offer ;).
I worked on FS for a few months, before it was killed. I started in
P'ok in June of '74. IIRC it was killed that fall and the 308x
started using the hardware. FS was a *bad* idea and would have killed
any other company.
I did a lot of 12/12 projects in my time at IBM. In a department
meeting my boss announced that he had good news and bad news. The
good news was that starting immediately, we would be working half
days. The bad news was that there were 24 hours in a day. I'd
already been working 70-hour weeks, for months, so no change.
On 4/12/2010 8:24 AM, email@example.com wrote:
You're right - I went digging and found that there had been a /Minnow/
R/O floppy drive with diminished capacity released in 1972. I'm guessing
it was an early /Igar/ prototype.
Yuppers on the oddness - my impression was that the CDC management team
had never quite been able to decide what they wanted to do when they
grew up. At one point they were even in the windmill business. :)
It was R/O (forgotten that detail). The floppy writers were a desk-
sized contraption that connected to an internal use only computer
(RSTS?) from Rochester, IIRC. It was IUO because it would put shame
to the S/7 and there were a *lot* of S/7s, unsold, in the warehouse.
It was obviously run by a bunch of MBA kids, still wet behind the
ears. The treated candidates like grade school kids. Just amazing.
On Mon, 12 Apr 2010 11:18:42 -0500, Morris Dovey wrote:
I'm beginning to wonder how many old computer jocks and card pushers
there are in this group :-). Is there some mystical connection between
computers and woodworking?
BTW, to see the 1st computer I programmed (and helped assemble) go to:
and click on Readix. I worked on one at Science Research Associates in
the late '50s.
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw
Good call! I've been convinced for a very long time that systems design
and woodworking use the same circuits. People who're good at one seem to
have a shot at being good at the other.
I like that you don't even have to open the covers to see which board is
on fire. :)
I started programming in '59 on a Bendix G-15, but it was definitely
_not_ as impressive looking as the one in the BRL Report - and it did
require opening the covers to see what was roasting...
I guess I qualify except I don't consider myself "old"!!! :)
I actually used paper-tape (over a dumb-terminal) before I "graduated"
to punch cards.
I fully expect that my post-HS woodworking projects will be better my HS
projects of about 30 years ago, but it's hard to explain "why" in words.
I'm the same person, but somehow I'm a more learned person--that's one
of great things about staying young is you get to keep on learning! :)
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