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MHBrown

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Everything posted by MHBrown

  1. I'm looking at a 2013 Mac Pro cylinder. The specs look pretty good, except it has two video cards, each with 2GB of RAM. My question: does Vectorworks "see" this as a 4GB GPU or does it only see one of the video cards? It seems like an odd thing for Apple to do, but it is less than the cost of a reasonably equipped iMac. I already have a monitor; I just need a CPU for VW. Any advice on this is very appreciated. Thanks, Mike
  2. I'm looking to design trade show exhibits and museum exhibits using Vectorworks and Renderworks. I don't think these are heavy duty projects like a skyscraper or similar model. I'd like to stay on the Mac platform, so I've been looking around. I will have to do fairly high-end interior renderings, but that seems doable on the old iMac I was using with 16GB RAM and a 2GB video cards. I noticed Other World Computing has "trash can" Mac Pros for under $2,000. Typical specs as follows: Apple Mac Pro (Current Model) 3.7GHz 4-core Xeon E5-1620v2 - Used, Excellent condition, $1,549.00 Mfr P/N: ME253LL/A | OWC SKU: UAGA4HS3HXXXXXB 16GB RAM, 256GB Solid-State Drive, AMD FirePro D300 x 2/2GB. macOS 10.12.x Sierra. 90 Day OWC Fulfilled Limited Warranty. I know 256GB is small for an HD, but I could save up for for an external drive and this would be dedicated to VW and Adobe apps only. Also, 16GB is a little low, but, again, I could upgrade that. How does this compare to a new iMac with 16GB RAM, i7 processor, the 4GB video card, that comes in around $1,800? I have a nice monitor, keyboard, and mouse already. All I need is the CPU. The Mac Mini is out of the running because of the lack of a dedicated video card. The iMac Pro and new Mac Pro are not in my budget. I'd look at a Windows machine, but I'm a one-man-band, so I have to do my own IT troubleshooting and Macs are what I know. Any advice is very appreciated...expecially if you can explain why the used Mac Pros are so inexpensive. Are they really that old or are there bugs I don't know about? Thanks, Mike B
  3. I'm back in the self-employed world after 15 years and I need to find a Vectorworks 2018 solution...on a budget. I have a MacPro early 2008 (see attached image). It runs El Capitan and VW2017, but with a 256MB video card and only 2GB ram it is not real quick. My 2015 Macbook Pro blows it away. My question is this: I think I can purchase a 4GB video card for around $500 and 16GB ram for $160, for a total of around $700 after shipping. The drive is fine for now, though a little small at 384GB, it is 7200rpm. My other option is a Mac Mini. I have a monitor, keyboard, mouse, so all I need is the CPU. Is the Mac Mini a reasonable VW machine? What configuration is the best? Can I upgrade it as I make a little money? I need to figure this out fairly quickly or I'll be doing all the work on my MacBook. I also need to run Adobe Cloud, but that's another forum. Lastly, I could purchase a reasonably equipped iMac for around $1,700 (faster video card) and add RAM as I go. See specs on the old Mac Pro below. Any thoughts are very much appreciated. Thanks, Mike
  4. Thanks, Larry, but I think that the Renderworks renderings are done by the main memory. It is true, however, that a GPU with at least 2GB of RAM is required for OpenGL and all the other model navigation requirements you mentioned. Since the Mac Mini does not have a separate GPU it sounds like you are implying that it would not be a good VW computer. Is that right? What do you (and others) think about upgrading the old Mac Pro? Is that worth it? Will it run VW 2017, 2018 or 2019? Anyone else have an opinion? Thank you, Mike
  5. I'm back in the self-employed world after 15 years and I need to find a Vectorworks 2019 solution...on a budget. I have a MacPro early 2008 (see attached image). It runs El Capitan and VW2017, but with a 256MB video card and only 2GB ram it is not real quick. My Macbook Pro blows it away. My question is this: I can purchase a 4GB video card for around $500 and 16GB ram for $160, for a total of around $700 after shipping. The drive is fine for now, though a little small at 384GB, it is 7200rpm. My other option is a Mac Mini. I have a monitor, keyboard, mouse, so all I need is the CPU. Is the Mac Mini a reasonable VW machine? What configuration is the best? Can I upgrade it as I make a little money? I need to figure this out fairly quickly or I'll be doing all the work on my MacBook. I also need to run Adobe Cloud, but that's another forum. Any thoughts are very much appreciated. Thanks, Mike
  6. I'm not even in a symbol or editing window now. I'm just looking at an object in front elevation. I have Screen Aligned only, all the other necessary boxes are checked and I STILL cannot draw a dimension line without it disappearing. So it is worse than I described before. I don't really see this as a "bug." A "bug" is something that was simply too odd to notice. You can't check every possible combination of moves. I know that. This, however, is more akin to putting a car into production, but forgetting to put rotors on the disc brakes. It is a fundamental feature of the car that it stop on command. It the same sense, a CAD program's number one requirement is that it show the size of things. The size, folks. That is what it needs to do. I can't believe that someone didn't try to take a dimension of an extruded square in a Design layer before this version was released. But that is apparently what happened and it is now exhausting to use. Please don't tell me VW2019 is better. I'll keep the devil I know for now until I hear that VW has staffed up or has abandoned its 18 month release cycle for something more attainable, 24 to 30 months maybe. Until then, I'll keep the bugs I know rather than trade for new ones. Thanks, however, for everyone's tips and suggestions. I have to say that usually someone has figured it out and is generous enough to take the time to let us all know. That is greatly appreciated.
  7. In VW 2018 SP56 on an iMac, High-Sierra, late 2017 The well-known bug that causes Renderworks renderings to render black at random times (or sometimes white) has apparently been ignored by VW. As far as I can tell, this has been going on for around three years with zero action. This is not acceptable! I am NOT going to restart every time something new does not work with this software. My renderings work fine in OpenGL, but do not render with the Renderworks engine. When. Is. This. Going. To. Be. Fixed.? Really. I am NOT "upgrading" to a new set of problems with VW2019 until I have satisfaction that the old problems have been corrected. You can also add the disappearing wireframe when editing inside symbols and/or groups. This is NOT an issue with my file since it happens in many files. Please. I want to use this software, but it's continuing lack of stability is killing my productivity. When will these bugs be fixed? MHBrown
  8. Thanks, Matt, but that doesn't work either...at least not all the time. It is a bit hit and miss. My definition of "working" does not allow for random failures, but it is always something to try when I'm stuck. To respond to markdd, I appreciate the explanation so I won't bang my head against the wall anymore. I appreciate your help very much. But this flaw is simply not acceptable. That's like saying "well, the volume works except when you are on even numbered channels" and thinking that's OK. It's not. It's not even close to OK. The whole point of symbols is to only have to edit the master file instead of all the instances scattered around the drawing. I'm not putting a dimension on it as part of a presentation drawing. I'm just wanting to see how big something is (in the latest case, I wanted to see if I was in compliance with the ADA for wheelchair clearance.) Don't tell me to use the tape measure tool, draw a line and look in the OIP, or some other workaround. That is the point. VW has become a rat's nest of workarounds for things that are fundamental to drafting: such as knowing how big something is. If I want to be a fine artist I'll get some paints, canvases and brushes and slop around shapes and forms. But that's not what I want in my drawings. I want precision. I want it available wherever I am in the drawing. Previous versions of MC and VW allowed dimensioning anywhere on any orthographic view. If that is not the case, the application is fundamentally broken. I know I need to pass this along to the VW folk, not here. So sorry for the misplaced rant. MHBrown
  9. I am on a Mac, High Sierra OS. Sorry for the omission. I usually put all that in, but I'm in a rush.
  10. Of course as soon as I hit "submit" I found it. I followed your advice. Nope. Still does not work. To be honest, I don't need anything other than "screen aligned" view. The other views are far too unstable. Even when I select "screen align only" it jumps back to one of the other views. I wish there were a way to remove the lines of code that give the other two options. Thanks again for the help, but it is still not allowing dimensions in orthographic views within the symbol edit (perhaps elsewhere, it works, but I don't have time to do VW's work for them.) MHBrown
  11. Thanks for the tip, but I don't see any menu that reads "Display Screen Objects" anywhere (what else would be displayed if not "screen objects"? Why would I want a blank screen?) I also don't see anything that reads Unified View Options and the VectorWorks "Help" menu is no help. Can you elaborate? MHBrown
  12. In VW 2018 with the latest SP. I go to edit a symbol in 3D. I want to check a dimension, so I go to a right elevation. I measure the overhang of a counter top. The dimension is distorted. Then it disappears. I switch to "Screen orientation only." Still it disappears. I change from "3D" to "working plane" in the OIP. Nothing. I know that for over 25 years I have been able to do this very, very simple action. This happens all the time in all sorts of views, not just in symbol edit. There is no reason for this and I'm sure it is an accidental change due to some addend "feature." I do NOT want to work in any mode other than screen plane due to the instability of the program. Look. It is like this. If I'm in an orthographic view--whether it's 1919 on a drafting board or 2019 on a computer--I am looking at true size projections. If that is the case I should be able to pull a dimension between two points parallel to the paper/screen. This. Is. Basic. Why are my dimensions either 1.) distorted 2.) invisible (just the blue handles) or 3.) visible, but no longer anywhere near my drawing. Do NOT tell me to put it in a viewport and use the annotation tool. I'm editing a symbol, remember? I want to be able to dimension, alter, or otherwise edit in orthographic views. Doing anything in a 3D view results in imprecise changes at best and pieces and parts slung to the far reaches of the desktop at worst. If I just wanted to slap together a massing model I'd use SketchUp or some other consumer CAD-lite system. I need precision. What is happening here with VW? By the way, "Screen view only" does not "stick." what is up with that? MHBrown
  13. Yes. I have the latest service pack. Why do people always ask that? That has never helped an unknown problem. This is a big problem with VW not having the resources to do a major upgrade every year. Is there an SP for that problem?
  14. The Magic Mouse is not really good for Vectorworks because often the clicks don't "take." Most long-time users have gotten used to quickly clicking the tool palette (if not using a short cut) and then zipping back to the drawing. You have to linger on the tool for the Magic Mouse to work. You just can't click quickly and move away. It is super annoying and a backwards step in UI. I'm not sure why this is. MHBrown
  15. It is 2019. I am rendering in Renderworks and it can NOT be stopped. Sigh. What is wrong with this software?
  16. I agree with Jim. The eyedropper tool has devolved. It doesn't work on anything grouped (why not? This is an absurd flaw. Things are grouped all over the place in a VW document.) It works only around half the time on anything else. If you can't fix something, just delete it and send a message to your users saying that you have done so. It is much better to weed out tools and plug-ins that don't work than to leave them there because you are embarrassed about it. Be honest and honesty is nothing more than being able to deliver bad news. VW would be better off in the end with fewer tools, but where all the tools work. That said, will this tool be fixed anytime soon? I'm using VW2018SP6 and is not working. MHBrown
  17. OK, thanks. I'll try to get to it later on this month. Since it is intermittent it will be difficult to isolate, I think. Was this not a problem that many people had? I seem to remember that it was, starting around 2016 or so. If so, was it fixed?
  18. My understanding is that the "black rectangle" problem goes back aways and is not unique to my file. Also, it does the same thing with much smaller files with different items. In short, it's not my file. It has something to do with the Renderworks engine (OpenGL has no problem rendering a scene.) Thank you for your advice. I think I just need to wait for a fix from VW.
  19. Did all the upgrades. Still getting the black rectangle of death on rendering. Not Happy with this application. I rate it a zero.
  20. OK. I'm so sick of the "black rectangle" rendering bug that I'm going to try to update VW with SP5 and SP6. Crossing fingers...
  21. rDesign, thanks for letting me know about the service packs. I'm not going to upgrade due to the uncertainty that I'd be just be replacing unknown problems with ones I already know about. There is no reason to believe that SP5 and SP6 will result in a more stable version of VW. Just a different one. Thanks, Neil, for the suggestion about objects very far away (I've had objects whose distance were so far out it was given in scientific notation!) I checked that already and that is not the case...but it was a good thought. I think that after using the same file for over a year--with lots of rendering and textures--that it broke down.
  22. Thanks, Neil, I might have too many legacy symbols that I'm not using. Other than that, there is not really anything unusual. I have quite a few texture maps, perhaps 75 or so. But it's a interactive science area with lots of graphics and colors. I'm always careful with my polygon sizes and only use real geometry when I need to. VW's transparency maps, however, don't always render transparent. So if I have something punched out of metal, I have to actually punch it out. I'll try to clear out unused symbols and texture maps and see if that helps. I've generally used Strata3D for my color rendering and this is the first time I've tried to keep a project in one application. It is not really possible to model with precision in Strata and VW's rendering has gotten better so I've giving it a try.
  23. rDesign, thanks for letting me know about the service packs. I'm not going to upgrade due to the uncertainty that I'd be just be replacing unknown problems with ones I already know about. There is no reason to believe that SP5 and SP6 will result in a more stable version of VW. Just a different one. Thanks, Neil, for the suggestion about objects very far away (I've had objects whose distance were so far out it was given in scientific notation!) I checked that already and that is not the case...but it was a good thought. Neither to I have an extremely large object. I think that after using the same file for over a year--with lots of rendering and textures--that it broke down. At this juncture, VW is simply not robust enough to do even simple projects if the file is used too often. I'm not building a skyscraper; my projects are very modest in size...although the latest file is over 500mb. I think it is the repetition that eventually causes things to go crazy. Even after I put my model into a blank VW2018 file the images come and go.
  24. It is not a corrupt object, unless you are defining as "corrupt" any object in a drawing created in a VW2017 file and opened in VW2018. All such objects within seem to have a significant chance of being misinterpreted by the newer version software. But I would not call that a "corrupt object" since it is somewhat intentional. That is what appears to be happening, anyway. It is not behaving as if a single corrupt object were living inside the file. Anecdotal evidence, to be sure, but gathered over 25 years of using the software.
  25. Yet another bug in bug plagued VW2018. Dimension witness lines cannot be dragged out from the text end, only where the lines touch what is being dimensioned. This means you have to drag the "wrong" end of the witness lines into the work and then try to snap the lines back to where they belong. This means you have to zoom way in to make sure you are hitting the points you want to hit. VERY frustrating. Add to this VW's generally eroding ease of dimensioning (the snap points are chaotic and nearly impossible to choose without randomly running the cursor around the area and hope, by chance, to hit the point you want.) Has anyone else experienced problems with dimension lines in VW2018?

 

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