While a lot of you are running one of Autodesk’s current-model products, there will be a very large portion of you that are using something older. This post is addressed to the latter group. Even if you’re on Subscription and have the current release available, but have chosen to keep running an older release, this question is still addressed to you. In fact, even if you’re now using the current release but have avoided installing some releases in the past, so at some stage you didn’t use the current release, I’d still be interested to hear your answer to this question.
Here’s the question:
Maybe you need to ask the contra-question “why do you want to install the latest version”?
Anyway…..most of us use a range of engineering tools some of which exist on the PC. Once the PC engineering tools are happy enough with their neighbours then we can get on with what pays the bills. If we keep fiddling with Windows by adding or changing even trivial things then there is no way of knowing how long it might be before we’re earning a living again. The cost of upgrading the CAD application is not trivial when some of these aspects are factored in.
The cost of upgrading the CAD application is trivial compared to the potential cost of sorting out a working system once it’s installed.
Oh, that old bug is possibly still there too.
And,there will be nice shiny new bugs too.
Of course, we need to update the hardware.
Soon the old familiar system with which we were proficient is now some unwieldly beast bent on thwarting daily progress.
Guess what, we’ll also need some re-training on a tool that’s used for 6 hours a day over some years.
Here’s a question, if a new CAD version is so good that we need to upgrade to it now, why does it become no good in 12 months?
IV 5.3 series (2002)
For us it was the Ribbon Interface. The pain of not being on the current interface was less than the pain to introduce it. This is changing however and we are considering coming current this year.
It’s the same logic as the dishwashing detergent you see advertised on TV. The new formulation i s now 100x times better at washing dishes than the old formulation. That old stuff is n o good. But the new stuff is great. You need to buy our new stuff.
6 months later the same story. Our old products is crap, but the new product is really worth the money.
This is nothing new. Companies have been doing this for decades.
However at some point you DO have to upgrade. IV5.3 is an etch-a-sketch compared to the latest release. While they might be incremental at some point those small advances do add up. Otherwise you’d still be driving a steam powered automobile.
Sean, Ok, I’m no expert with IV but it seems reasonably capable and whatever it lacks for me is made up for in MDT6. Now you’re really not happy with me!
Together with Cadkey99 (that’s 1999!) they do a creditable job for me and can read and write each others STEP/SAT/dwg/dxf files and export to OSLO (Optical modelling and ray-tracing).
Cadkey does the quick and dirty ‘direct editing.
MDT handles all the parametrics I need and IV does the sheet metal. Cadkey imports/exports Parasolids too.
Both IV and MDT work fine with my Excel 97 so I’ve got ‘versioning’ covered.
Both Cadkey and IV do ‘direct memory image transfer’ into my ALGOR R14 (2004) for physical linear/non-linear analysis and heat transfer stuff, so the FEA is covered too.
Where would the latest release of IV fit in with my setup? How much time should I allocate to getting up to speed on it? Is there a guarantee that it’ll all mesh ok? Will it run on my existing hardware? How much time do I get before you cry ‘luddite’ again?
The detail is to show that I’m not a luddite. The mission that you and the CAD vendors are pushing is not a revolution, merely commerce.
We’ve had 3D CAD for 20 years and in the meanwhile, the job in hand is design engineering which some of us used to do with a pencil. Not that I’m advocating going back:-)
I don’t think I’m an isolated case either.
Oh, and my current transport is 2 wheels with a V4 VTEC valved IC engine.
It is interesting how CAD/Business software is often compared to consumable items as if it is a reality.
There is no similarity given software doesn’t wear-out, deteriorate or run flat. So, unlike a kettle whose element has failed, a hat whose colour is no longer fashionable or, an alkaline battery that has expired, provide all the supporting systems for software continue to exist and run, so will the software; and if the user is happy so be it.
Those who wish to throw good money at later software releases for no other reason than to show they are ‘current’ are possibly slaves to poor business thinking.
I think your line “a hat whose colour is no longer fashionable”, is maybe close to reality?
In an erstwhile attempt to make a positive contribution ….
What if the CAD vendors were to concentrate a major ongoing effort to re-write the application core so that it became smaller instead of larger (wow) Maybe platform independant too:-)
Less lines of code, less bugs, more readable, more maintainable. Each release would get smaller, faster, more stable.
We could decide to purchase on quality rather than quantity. Now there is a pukka market feature I’d be interested in!
The suggested core CAD module would comprise an able evolving product with a reasonable feature set: -Part & assembly, Parametrics & Direct editing, Draughting, BOM, export/import etc. but…….keep it lean. Put it on a 1Gb ROM card for me please.
All of the new ‘try-out’ feature-ets which are deemed neccessary to compete year-on-year (PLM, Ribbon, History free, new bugs) are additional modules at extra cost and could be offered only to those on (fashionable) SAS/subscription/cloud. They would be backward compatible with all previous releases, no quibbles please.
Those of us just using CAD just to do work with would thus be assured of continuity (keep the command line) stability and the pleasure of what could become a transparent tool. PC crash? Just pull out the 1Gb card and pop it into another PC!
Those who wish to exist at the leading edge could do so at their leasure.
Because now, in addtion to all the big reasons, Autodesk has deemed it necessary to have something as basic and and simple as leaders (multileaders) be PROXY OBJECTS in vanilla AutoCAD. I have to not use this new default or trust that folks on the receiving end (clients & vendors), who haven’t upgraded, have Proxyshow set properly or it’s possible they won’t even know there’s anything missing.
There are several reasons why….many of which has been answered previously, but the biggest reason why we don’t upgrade with every release is the re-training costs and difficulties in rolling out a new release to 125 CAD users located in 5 offices. A change in the drawing format is especially troublesome as many of our remote staff collaborate on projects together.
Also, I would upgrading to any version until the first SP is released….and by the time my testing and configuring is completed with the new version, and the SP is out, it’s only a few months away before the next version is scheduled to ship….it’s insanity!
TBarret? Given your reasoning for ‘delayed upgrading’ and, the discussion lately on the web about ‘the cloud’, do you see a benefit in the ‘cloud’ for you or not?
I have an evolving opinion that CAD vendors are relying on a marketing model which is no longer valid.
There appears to be a split distribution of users?
One group values stability, continuity and daily availability. The other group gains enthusiasm from exploring the processes which arise from a constantly changing work platform.
Being in the first group I’d prefer to purchase a CAD tool as a ‘consumer product’ ie ‘it’s mine’ once I’ve handed over the cash. An ideal candidate for a piece of hardware in a similar to the old 8k BASIC in ROM?
The second group could remain with the vagaries of currently sytem and the promise of the cloud and annual changes?
If no one has previously come up with this CAD marketing idea then I hereby grant Autodesk a perpetual license to use it in return for: –
1…a free issue of “MDT6 & IV5.3” on a PCI card to do my daily design work.
2…a free annual update service via some sort of cloudy delivery system for when I’ve got too much time on my hands