Welcome to Delta Pavonis

Dom Mooney's Website... Cybergoths no more.

A return to CAD

Ever since I first got a Mac back in 1996, there have been a number of PC programs I've really wanted to get hold of to try and match the stuff I use at work. The key ones I wanted to replace were CAD, Visio and MS Project.

OmniGraffle has solved the Visio demand - in the latest 'Professional' edition it can export and import Visio XML. The only area it gets let down with is the way Vision handles drop shadows. i did some work for work the other week, and I need to modify it to remove the shadows as they are pretty ugly in XP.

OmniGroup also seem to be closing the gap with the forthcoming OmniPlan. i was involved in the initial beta testing of this, and it is a superb package. It may not have quite all the features of MS Project, but it has all the important ones and is slick and stable, even in beta. If I was still doing Engineering I would be rushing to buy this!

The final part of the gap was closed last week when I got hold of TurboCAD Mac V2. This will import and export to AutoCAD, but has a look and feel very much like Bentley Microstation SE, the package that I spent much of the time that I spent doing CAD on. I'd previously tried to get by through a number of methods. The first was the addition of a plug-in for illustrator (Hot Door CAD Tools 2) but I found it really unstable, and the price to upgrade was somewhat extortionate. I decided not to because there was no guarantee that it would be any better. Next up was using the scale function on OmniGraffle 4. This was excellent, and has been really useful in preparing crude room layouts for the nursery and study, but it was far less intuitive than a CAD package. So TurboCAD looks like it is going to be really useful, especially as I can enter a CAD mindset really easily!

All of a sudden, all the burning advantages that PCs have over Macs for my work have gone!