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Aug 05, 2010


Kevin E.

Not worse Ralph, just different. Try clicking the track pad while holding 2 fingers on it (not sure if that will work, but it is how you can bring up the right click in Windows).

What is so dreadful about the hardware? What hardware would you point me to that is better? The OS is pretty good too. In fact, it is a close cousin to your beloved Mint Linux. Biggest difference is that it is easy to install and updgrade things on OSX.

Have you tried the dashboard yet and used the Widgets? You can set up mouse gestures too with the dashboard that will do different things depending on what corner of the screen you move the mouse to. Did you try that yet?

Olaf Myklebust

"Let me get out of the way my impression of the hardware and operating system produced by Apple: both are truly dreadful."

Hm, aren't you confusing familiarity wit quality now? I suspect you have 20+ years of experience with MicroSoft/Windows products, while just a few weeks of experience with Apple/Mac OS X. Of course everything is going to feel dreadful, you are out of your comfort zone. I have used Macs for 20+ years, and feel the same way about Windows.

In most cases, Windows has a 20 year lead over OS X in accommodating CAD products. It would be totally unrealistic to expect this time-evolved Windows/CAD integration to instantly transfer to OS X. Now give Apple and the CAD vendors a few years to work out the issues, and we'll end up with a winning combination.


@Olaf, I think you hit the nail on the head. Confusion is the issue. Ralph often (if not always) confuses his opinions with facts.

The Mac is very different than other OS. It takes a while to get familiar with. It has strengths and weaknesses, like all OS. I find it very funny that he complains so much about writing on the Mac when many others buy the Mac specifically because it is so good at desktop publishing.


In particular, you won't get ActiveX, COM, VBA, or VSTA on OS X, because they are proprietary to Windows.

No VBA on Mac? Microsoft have it in MS Office for Mac.

Among other UI elements that are missing or changed, count on no ribbon.

A win for Mac...?

You will want a proper three-button mouse, since accessing shortcut menus through the MacBook's trackpad requires you to hold down the Control key and then pressing the (sole) button. Oh those Cupertinos and their thinking differently!

Oh Ralph, shouldn't you really have picked up a Mac for Dummies book before buying one, in order to learn the thing? (As others point out, the multitouch trackpad is trivial to configure and intuitive to use, particularly if you've ever used an iPhone).

Kevin Quigley

Ralph it is clear that you are commenting based on what you have access to and what you have been asked to work on rather than actually looking at what is out there in Mac CAD land.

OSX is actually a very rich and diverse land populated by some very well established names in CAD. If you go back to the early 90s in fact, even the venerable AutoCad was on the Mac platform - but it was rubbish and nobody bought it because Microstation mac was a lot better and MiniCad better yet.

Over the years as Apple drifted into the wilderness in the 90s and the market share collapsed the big names moved away and the mac only developers had to develop Windows versions to grow. And grow they did.

Minicad became VectorWorks and is still going strong, for example. I would say that the architectural design market has a higher percentage of Mac users than any other CAD market but there has always been a strong product design representation. Companies like Ashlar-Vellum, SolidThinking, Alias and maybe lesser known ones like Punch (Shark FX and ViaCad), Turbocad, FormZ and others, not to mention the forthcoming Rhino OSX.

In this context the Mac market share - or rather the value of the Mac market - makes it worthwhile for developers in these areas to write native apps.

A lot of the components you mention are not relevant to a lot of 3D design activity. The important components like D-Cubed's geometric solver, Parasolid and ACIS are all available on the Mac platform. Same for the APIs. Sure if you want to have a customised solution and you are the type that likes to tinker in the bowels of your software then fine, but most Mac CAD users are not like that - they like to, er, design.

So before others shoot me down in flames for being a mac fan my point is that before venting maybe do a bit of research, thats all.

BTW I don't use Apple mice as they are rubbish, but I do use a 5 button mouse and 3D Connexion Spaceball - on a mac - but I never would even consider drawing a line in any CAD programme on Windows or OSX using the trackpad :-)

Nolton Johnson

Ralph, this is my personal experience: Machine Design & Drafting full time for pay with a pencil 1962-1983.

Traveled to try out everything on the market in CAD 1982-1983.

MD&D with powerful Cascade Graphics Development software on a souped up Apple lle 1983-1989.

MD&D on a Mac in color with Claris CAD & MiniCAD/VectorWorks with a little (ugh) ACAD/PC experience 1989-2001.

Switched to Win2000/PC only to use SolidWorks 2001-2009. SW is great but I am absolutely sick of the years of Windows/PC experience with my productivity going downhill. In 2009 I found Siemens NX Unix Mac and bought a MacBook Pro. I will keep my Windoze PCs & SW but I absolutely love the pleasure of working again almost all of my day on on the Mac because I don't have the stupid interruptions & stoppages that have been the norm with the PC & Windoze all those years. That is gold!

My objective is to produce design work and documents so the stuff can be built. I don't like being forced to waste time fighting with and trying to understand the inner workings of the computer (the tool).

After using both platforms as a tool to do my work for many years I think my opinion is justified. You can be a lemming and follow the rest of the PC junkies over the cliff. You can devote a big piece of your life and talent to loving and learning the bloated Windoze OS with all it's vulnerabilities and instabilities. You can load the constant flow of MS patches instead of having that time free to think and work on whatever YOU want to.

I am telling you Ralph, CAD and everything else on a Mac is just more natural, productive and fun. Give it a REAL try and you'll like it.

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