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MiniCad7 upgrade

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I started with MiniCAD6 and upgraded to version 7 about ten years ago. I love it, but am getting tired of having to start up in Classic9.2 on the Mac. Is there an upgrade path available? I have tried contacting VectorWorks several times by email and once by phone but have had no response. Also is there a demo version available (I'd like to know how similar the interface is)? and or is anyone one willing to sell/loan me an older version like say VectorWorks9or10?

Thanks for any upgrade insight / help thats out there.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Bear in mind that it is a violation of the VectorWorks (and MiniCad) license agreement to "sell" an old version (that, say, has been upgraded). Not trying to be a killjoy here, but them's the facts. I would guess that a lot of what's on EBay is stuff like this.

I would say that anyone who's been with the software for 10 years and has never upgraded is going to find a pretty big change. Such a large amount of change, all in one dose, can be painful, and I empathize. Although working using the same workflows as in MC7 should be possible, it would be a mistake to not make the effort to learn about the improvements over the last 10 years.

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EBay is just EBay ... people buy & sell stuff ... why should software be any different.

In an ideal world all Users would be using the same 'upgraded' versions. In reality software usage follows the same utilization curve as everything else. People are encouraged to use as much software as they can afford... from small seeds large trees grow. It's inspiring that there are still a few people out there finding value in old programs .. more power to them. Hopefully, one day they will feel confident in the need to upgrade. But until then, I encourage all CAD Monkeys to rock-on. Minicad 7 was pretty darn good code... much of it created by the current CEO.

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Thanks for all the advice and comments added to this thread. I called the sales dept. at 410-290-5114 and after a bit of discussion and explanation ordered the upgrade to the Fundamentals module. This seemed the best/most similar interface with what I am used to... hopefully I wont be too blown away by the changes. I'm actually looking forward to a more usable program.... scrolling, zooming, quick tool changes, better file compatiblity, printer interface etc, etc.

This seems to be a very thoughtful forum, thanks again.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Cedro, good for you. Islandmon, one buys a license to software, and MiniCad / VectorWorks is no exception. Usually that license bars resale without acknowledgement by the licensor (that's NNA) and giving up the license by the licensee (who usually doesn't want to do that, because he's upgraded the version for which he's selling the physical media.) This is why buying software on eBay is such a crapshoot -- usually you're buying non-legitmate stuff.

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Islandmon, one buys a license to software, and MiniCad / VectorWorks is no exception

yes yes yes .. even if the software is Minicad v1, we're still prohibited from donating it to charity or selling it for $1 on eBay.

Like most users i've got floppies, harddrives, removable media, CD, DVD's , shelves & files & boxes & drawers filled with old software programs ... the single-user licenses restrict me from giving it away or donating or selling any of it on eBay. Basically, I NEVER should've bought that crap in the first place ( whatever happened to WINGS ? ). No Licensor has ever offered to dispose of any of it as part of the deal.

Does Nemetcheks Software License require the company to collect, and recycle all the old out of date versions of Minicad and Vectorworks to prevent the licensed single-user from reselling it ?

Regardless, our world is fully saturated with old dead & dying code. Software developers like to hide behind some 'special' Intellectual Property exclusivity for products that are routinely upgraded & replaced & locked out by future incompatible versions.

Why scare or intimidate the humble User or deride him for acting sensibly?

From small seeds large trees grow. All's well that ends well ... Sir cedrowooly wisely chose to upgrade to Fundamentals based on the response from this forum and his positive interactions with your Sales Representative, and no amount of restrictive Licensee Law will change that. Hopefully, when he reaches the limits of this purchase he will upgrade and then pass it down the line to help spark future interest in Vectorworks.


The original Minicad required a 700k floppy security disc be inserted during use of the program. The founder of the company soon realized that not only was this restriction costly to produce & manage but it also prevented potential customers from experimenting with Minicad.

In contrast at the same time the brash start-up AOL saturated the market with free floppies and gained instant success. Elimination of the floppy security allowed people to "pirate" the code and play with it and join in the fun.

Richard Diehl saw the writing on the wall and embraced virtual 'pirating' as the fastest way to grow Minicad market share. Emphasis changed from onerous security to proactive customer service & support, manuals & media . Only the most used and the most familiar Programs in each category would survive the "Big Bang".

The rest is history...

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