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AppleFan

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About AppleFan

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  1. I am not sure whether a 10.5.1 CD exists yet but there is certainly a 10.5.0 version available from the following URL: http://www.transaction-one.com/gs/html/cu_form/vectorworks/vectorworks.jsp Good luck!
  2. AppleFan

    G4 vrs G5

    ionw is absolutely right to point out the other architectural improvements ushered in with the new range of Powermacs. The list of enhancements is a long one and can be seen at http://www.apple.com/powermac. Andrew Bell (where is he when you need him?), one of the Nemetschek software engineers, gave a wonderfully lucid exposition of the reasons why VectorWorks is not multithreaded on this board a year or so ago. As I remember, it all boiled down to resources and reliability. Not only is it extremely time consuming to thread an application like VectorWorks but you also end up with code that is orders more difficult to debug. Apparently Renderworks is a totally different proposition, however...
  3. AppleFan

    G4 vrs G5

    Kevin: Video cards accelerate a very specific set of 2D and 3D calculations which means that applications using proprietary screen drawing routines do not receive much of a performance benefit. VectorWorks is just such a piece of software and as such, 2D screen redraw performance is almost totally CPU bound. Having said that, you would need to have a pretty massive drawing to experience anything other than instant screen redraws on something like a 1GHz PowerMac. If you can?t afford a new machine, you might want to play around with Classes and Sheets to set-up ?views? of your drawings which exclude extraneous details, thus improving redraw performance. The one aspect of VectorWorks which does benefit from the provision of a modern Video Card is the interactive OpenGL rendering. This is another reason why the new G5 with it?s AGP 8x graphics interface is the natural choice for any Mac users doing 3D work in VectorWorks. I would also agree with iboymatt?s 17? iMac recommendation - I know a couple of architects who use these and have nothing but praise for them.
  4. AppleFan

    G4 vrs G5

    To be honest, you probably wouldn?t notice a whole lot of performance difference between the three machines when using VectorWorks for 2D stuff. If you were to get into 3D work in the next few years, however, the G5?s advantages would become very clear cut. The geometry engine in Vectorworks 9 and 10 uses double-precision floating point maths and it just so happens that the G5 performs these kinds of calculations quicker than any current desktop processor. This exceptional ability isn?t obvious when an application performs a computation in milliseconds as is the case with VectorWorks when handling most 2D routines. However, when task durations start to span minutes and hours as is the case with certain 3D functions, the superiority of the G5 will become very obvious. Currently, nobody really knows how great the G5?s speed advantage when running VectorWorks will be but my guestimate is that a 1.6GHz G5 would be at least twice as quick as a 1.25GHz G4. The performance deficit would be the same for the dual 1.25 GHz G4 as VectorWorks only utilises a single processor. Of course, in multitasking situations, the dual G4 would show marked speed advantages over it?s single processor G4 sibling. The PowerMac G5?s performance advantages aren?t simply limited to the new processor either, as the new models? sport vastly superior interface, memory and video subsystems. It is also worth noting that the new PowerMacs are much, much quieter than the current crop of machines. The only real caveats I see in regard to the G5 are: 1. Will they ship on time or will you still be waiting for your new machine at the end of September? 2. Will Apple have ironed out all the hardware bugs in the first crop of machines? If you still want to go down the G4 road, be aware that the dual 1.25GHz model is now discontinued and the single processor version features a year-old motherboard - ie no ATA 100, Airport Extreme, FireWire 800 or internal Bluetooth.
  5. The lack of Palette minimisation in VectorWorks running in Mac OS X is pretty much the biggest criticism of the application I hear from local VW users. They have all tried Windowshade X to no avail and have resigned themselves to sacrificing screen real estate in order to manage the Resource and Info palettes. The keyboard shortcuts for displaying/hiding these palettes are well known to them but toggling visibility isn't the same as minimising in place. Nemetschek are wrong to wholly lay the blame at Apple's door however. It is possible to have palettes with a minimise button in the title bar which can then be 'windowshaded' by the eponymous Unsanity Haxie. If you don't believe me, go and download a demo of HighDesign from www.ilexsoft.com and verify the minimisation characteristics of the Quick Reference palette when using Windowshade X. It should also be noted that all Adobe applications running in Mac OS X feature a proprietary 'windowshade' behaviour, assigned to palettes sporting greyed-out minimise buttons. Personally, I think Nemetschek should introduce a built-in windowshade-style minimisation action like Adobe or adopt Macromedia's rather nifty palette system. I'm sure Macromedia wouldn't mind given their own palette-related legal run-in with Adobe.
  6. Further to my previous post, which only really addressed the issues raised by the second post, the term 'NURBS' is a catch-all for a series of mathematical tools which are used by computer modelling applications to describe perfectly smooth 3D curves and surfaces. As far as I can see, VectorWorks 9 currently uses NURBS for the following tools: ?NURBS curves (smooth 3D polylines - imagine a bezier curve where you can move the points and handles in three dimensions but which does not have a 'Fill' colour or pattern).?Extrude along a Path.?Tapered Extrude.?Solids Modelling. Unfortunately, it does not allow you to create NURBS surfaces directly. In most 3D packages this is done by using a Primitive (like the Spheres and Cones in VectorWorks but in this case a NURBS surface in the form of a grid which can be pulled about to create the desired shape) or by extrapolating a surface between selected NURBS curves. You are generally able to reshape these NURBS surfaces by moving their control points and handles - again rather like a bezier curve. The only way I found to create NURBS surfaces in the VectorWorks 9 demo (I add this caveat because they may have added features in subsequent releases) is to ungroup a Path or Tapered Extrude. Regrettably, there does not seem to be any facility to edit the resultant surfaces. You might also want to try Lundstrom Design's MCNurbs plug-in for VectorWorks. You can find details of this at http://www.algonet.se/~ludesign.
  7. Judging by the demo, the NURBS capabilities of VectorWorks 9 are indeed rather limited (although very nicely implemented). As far as I am aware, Nemetschek will be launching a new product called Engineer in the near future which will fully leverage the capabilities of the SMLib modelling library - i.e. Skinning, fillets, shelling etc. Currently, the best NURBS modeller on the Mac and one of the best on any platform is Vellum Solids. It has a standard Mac interface and is infinitely more powerful and easy to use than FormZ. It is also orders quicker than VectorWorks 9 for solids operations. The company which produces it can be found at http://www.ashlar-vellum.com/. They are about to release a new product called Argon which will be OS X native and will cost $1000. It will have all the NURBS modelling capabilities most people need plus reasonable rendering. It does not, however, have the drafting and architecture related features of VectorWorks. It will also give Nemetschek/AutoDessys (FormZ's publisher) a major headache given the price and feature set.

 

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