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Steve Frushour

Video card woes

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12 pt. type would become almost 12 pt. and would no longer have a check by it in the font size menu. Also, one could see differences in font sizes, depending on the zoom level, for type which was all created with the same font size setting. Never looked right on the screen. This problem is gone. I only see it on older files and they can now be corrected and will remember the correction. The only change I made was a new computer with a new video card.

I can't tell you how glad I am to hear that I'm not the only one with this problem. It has been my experience that Vectorworks simply does not handle text well.

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Please add me to the list of disgruntled Vectorworks 8.5.2 users. I just installed VW on my new G4 733 with NVIDIA GeForce2 card, and have the same problems (no handles and ghosting lines) as everyone else. I hope a solution is coming soon. This problem is rather severe to be unresolved for so long.

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Reading this entire thread, you can almost be assured that this is a driver issue. But, that fact that it is a driver issue means that it IS related to whatever OS and software one is using. Which places blame on everybody. As far as the Mac users are concerned, I would place most of the blame on your notoriously buggy and finicky OS. Whether or not X will fix anything will remain to be seen, far down the road. Plan on at least a year from now before most of the 10.0 bugs will be worked out. However, your video card options as a Mac user are pretty limited, so it's really a rock and a hard place for you guys, and I sympathize.

I, personally, have been using MiniCad/VW since 6.0, and have never had a display problem, except for the well-known "buttons turning black" issue, which was theoretically a driver issue, but never really solved.

Finally, keep in mind that while VW/RW is (IMO) an excellent architectural CAD/rendering package, to this day is not optimized to utilize the amazing capabilities of most current mid to high end video cards, unlike many other comparable programs, whether CAD or 3D modeling. Which should give you some idea about how much priority Diehl/NNA gives to video card compatibility.

Again, I have none of the display problems indicated in this thread. Currently running VW/RW on top of Win2000 SP1, using an Oxygen GVX1 with a 600 P3 and 256 RAM. BTW, Win2K runs VW/RW flawlessly.

My $.02,

Jack Fulmer

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On the systems tested we were able to turn off the Nvidia 2d accelleration extension from the Extensions Manager enabling the system to run higher then the 256 color mode previously required to show the Handles, etc.

Our engineers are still looking into the situation but this seems to be a feasible work around for some if not all users with this particular problem. If this does not work for you we would be interested to know.

Thanks,

Mike S.

Technical Support Manager

Nemetschek North America

mswilley@nemetschek.net

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"turn of the 2D acceleration extension..."

This should give an indication of where to look for the problem. I found that disabling this extension worked fine in VW, it does indeed return the handles at high resolution. Scrolling and panning were ok. However, it's a mess with other programs like Netscape, Excel, and Word. Scrolling in those apps with the extension off is painfully slow. I'm afraid this workaround exchanges one set of problems for another.

Donald

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quote:

Originally posted by doug shaffer:

Howdy -

Here's the latest...

I continue to have the problem discussed under the topic entitled 'Video Card Woes'. After much inquiry, and finger pointing between Apple and Nemetschek, I received this email from the Nemetschek Tech Support Manager. I called him and was assured that it IS indeed a Vectorworks issue, and that the 'engineering' department was working on it. He also told me that an interim solution (downloadable software fix) may be posted on the site soon, and that V9 (due 'shortly') will solve the 'Video Card Woes' problem.

I hope this helps.

d. s h a f f e r

a r c h i t e c t

Dear Nemetschek North America Customer:

Thank you for your inquiry. We have been getting a number of customers

having the same situation. Our Engineering dept is being made aware of this

problem and I will be contacting you shortly with a possible solution to the

problem.

If you have any other questions, comments, or suggestions, please feel free

to contact us at (410) 290-5114 (tel) or (410) 290-8050 (fax) or

tech@nemetschek.net (e-mail).

Respectfully,

Mike S.

Technical Support Manager

Do you know what the latest is on this. I haven't seen any movement other than version 9 being released.

Tim

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Just to pile on, we have the same issue with our new DP533-G4's with the Geforce2 and either an ATI Rage Orion or ATI Radeon

Turning off the Nvidia 2d accelleration extension works for Vector works, but slows everything else down pretty badly.

Tim

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How long does it take to fix a driver coz running without 2D acceleration is very annoying. Iwsh Nemetschek would at least announce a fix date.

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Hello again -

NNA, please respond.

Has there been any progress regarding this issue? Please give us an update.

Thank you.

------------------

d. s h a f f e r

a r c h i t e c t

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Me too.

I've been staring at my brand new unopened box of Radeon for the Mac several days now -- mostly because I don't have time yet to install it -- but this issue of VW8.5.2 not working well with it does not help.

This section also seems to be deep in the Oblivion Zone (see Wish List Items). frown.gif

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Just had an e-mail from VW tech support saying it's not their problem, see your card manufacturer for a fix. Actually here's the message

"The issue with disappearing handles is a video driver issue. While our

engineers are looking for a way to work around the driver bug. It is up to

the graphic card manufacturer to fix their drivers."

Looks like we can't expect a fix anytime soon.

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just installed system X and it seems to have cured the handle problem. Dont know why but I'm not complaining. I have to run in clasic obviously but the speed seems ok. I'll just have to see how it goes

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quote:

Actually here's the message

"The issue with disappearing handles is a video driver issue. While our engineers are looking for a way to work around the driver bug. It is up to the graphic card manufacturer to fix their drivers."

And that's a very accurate answer. If changing a video card setting, driver, or extension removes a problem, that fundamentally is the source of the problem. NNA can put in a workaround and probably will have to, but it's a lot of effort to go to for someone else's blunder.

----

Andrew Bell

andrewb@nemetschek.net

I am not an official spokesperson for NNA

[This message has been edited by Andrew Bell@NNA (edited 05-08-2001).]

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Hello -

Why is this the first time we have heard this explanation? Is this the 'official response' to this issue?

We have been sitting around for months assuming that Nemetschek has been working on this. Given Andrew Bell's explanation, there is no reason for them to have been doing so.

I must repeat something; NONE of my other programs have problems due to my ATI video card drivers.

Another thing that must be considered. People with ATI Radeon cards and those with Nvidia cards are experiencing the exact same sypmtoms. Is this just a coincidence?

Unfortunately, I don't know much about the technical workings of a computer or software, but before coming up with a 'work-around', has Nemetschek contacted ATI Technologies and and Nvidia to tell them that there are problems with their drivers?

By the way, if this truely is some other companies fault, then I will expect to see a posting on the Nemetschek website warning people not to buy a ATI or Nvidia graphics cards (which come with most new Macs), because they will not work with Vectorworks. Perhaps this should be a 'system requirement.'

If I sound frustrated, it's because I am very frustrated.

------------------

d. s h a f f e r

a r c h i t e c t

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Little me is having a hard time understanding what is so difficult about having those little handles display at full color depth.

Donald

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Firstly I take offence to the "here is the actual message" when it is exactly the same as the one I posted. It had to be, I copied and pasted it from the original message. The reason for posting it is that I mistakenly assumed that "support" meant more than "its not our fault so its not our problem"

Aside from that, the previous message asked why we need depth of colour. If you draw full colour images as I do there is a marked difference at low colour resolutions and switching back and forth is a pain. Occasionally I forget and the prints look rubbish.

My previous mesage that System X seems to have cured the problem has raised no comment from anyone. I was hoping someone else might have tried it to see if it is actually a fix or if I have just introduced a new set of variables/problems.

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OS X has cured that problem, off course! But since I'm having troubles printing, I have to choose OS 9.

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quote:

Originally posted by alan:

Firstly I take offence to the "here is the actual message" when it is exactly the same as the one I posted.

Offense should not be taken, I was quoting your quote in order to respond -- thus the single tics around the whole thing -- but clearly the single tics weren't nearly obvious enough. I've fixed the original message.

------------------

Andrew Bell

andrewb@nemetschek.net

I am not an official spokesperson for NNA

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No, this is not an "official" response. Note the disclaimer.

VW selection handles are drawn in what is called XOR mode, where rather than drawing a specific color, the existing colors on screen are reversed. Thus the same code draws black handles in white background and white handles in black background. VW uses it because it is fast, as you can restore the original screen ("erase" the handles) by XORing the same screen region. (This can also be a problem. If you have two selected objects with handles in the same place, the handles cancel each other out.)

As a general rule, this is a much less common operation than drawing a solid color. A lot of other apps may not use it at all. So driver writers may miss the problem in testing. It's possible Apple provided some code to both nVidia and ATI, or had a flaw in the documentation, leading to both incorrectly implementing this aspect of the video driver. (It's also possible NNA is misunderstanding some detail of the video API, although since it works with other cards and OS X, this seems unlikely.) Unfortunately, they're probably more interested in OS X and would prefer never to work on OS 9 drivers again, but have you tried contacting them? Multiple customer comments might help spur them to fix it.

Meanwhile I nudged some higher-ups to make sure they knew this is a significant problem and to try to expedite a fix.

------------------

Andrew Bell

andrewb@nemetschek.net

I am not an official spokesperson for NNA

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This can be considered an "official response" if you like.

Here is what we know:

The newest video cards shipping with Mac G4s have problems displaying some elements of VectorWorks user interface - notably those drawn using the XOR transfer mode - which causes serious usability problems. NVIDIA GeForce cards exhibit this problem 100% of the time and ATI Radeon cards exhibit intermittent problems. Using 256 colors can avoid the problem, but turning off the 2D Acceleration extension for the video card in question is the best workaround for both video cards.

With the NVIDIA card, this problem affects VectorWorks versions 8.0.1 through 9.0.0. With the ATI card, it affects versions 8.0.1 through 8.5.2. This behavior stems from bugs in the 2D acceleration drivers for these cards. We are currently talking to Apple about getting these problems fixed in the drivers. Other software is similarly affected by this class of bugs - for example AppleWorks 6.0.

The details of the problem seem to point to an incorrect implementation in the video drivers of XOR transfers when a color pen pattern (PenPixPat) is active in the graphics port. This is a relatively uncommon situation, but one upon which we rely fairly heavily.

We are developing a workaround which can avoid these bugs in the video drivers for many if not all of the situations in which our GUI is most affected. We intend to incorporate this change into our next maintenance release of VectorWorks 9. Until then, we recommend keeping your 2D Acceleration extension disabled while using VectorWorks.

We have no plans to release an update of VectorWorks 8.x.x. VectorWorks 8.x.x users must run with 2D acceleration disabled and wait for corrected video drivers from Apple, ATI, or NVIDIA. I have every confidence that there will be new drivers for these cards which fully resolve these problems, and we are doing everything we can to make sure that happens as soon as possible. We regret that you have as yet been unable to take advantage of the full speed of these new video cards with VectorWorks.

Thanks,

Paul C. Pharr

CAD Software Manager

Nemetschek North America

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Thanks. Information is the pivot to good support. It's much appreciated.

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The reason for using XOR drawing for things like interactive drawing and selection handles is that you can erase the stuff you've drawn by simply drawing it again. This makes drawing and erasing very fast, and it doesn't use much memory. If such things were drawn using a solid color, then a) they wouldn't be visible on top of any objects that share that color, and b) VectorWorks drawing would be a lot slower and less efficient.

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<<If such things were drawn using a solid color, then a) they wouldn't

be visible on top of any objects that share that color, and b) VectorWorks drawing would be a lot slower and less efficient.>>

I was just tossing out an idea, maybe not a good one. I do note that Formz uses simple red handles and for some reason it is fast and easy to read. I can't spot any inefficiency. Never seem to have any difficulty distinguishing one object from another. Don't know if the expected problems are real or theoretical.

Donald

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I too appreciate the info. Thanks.

I think a work around might be, ok this is innocent, to have a preference option for colored handles, say red. I can't really say, now that nobody uses an SE anymore, that black/white reversing handles are a superior concept.

Donad

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