Case Study on ARCAD for Linux
Through the eyes of an architect
Michael Bauer

Michael Bauer describes in this article how he did in his architectural firm in Dormagen with ARCAD the transition from DOS to Linux.

Clear the stage for a probably quite unusual experiment.

Model of ARCAD, produced with the new Quick Shader

Nowadays it is not easy for an SME to prove competitive ability in competition.

Therefore one often gets the award for the same money which can provide more power.
In our industry, this means the clients in a short time can design variants present in the layout and elevations.

Of course, the visualization has become an important decision aids.
We are a medium sized company that has also made a few years ago, the question of the CAD entry.

As a small office with no more than four fixed and now and then a freelancer is the time of amortization of a major purchase such as a CAD system to a critical point.

The choice then 1993 on ARCAD.
Since our office is in the areas of design and implementation planning to work with the software under DOS/Windows95.

The new Quick Shader

Where do you want to go tomorrow?
The current situation of constant price decline in hardware opens the creative cost access to computing performance that was previously only accessible to large corporations.

complex visualizations and animations are no longer an issue.
Nevertheless, one gets very quickly reach the limits of its computer system.
DOS and Windows 95 offer because only the Intel world, everything else is closed.

Linux offered as a refreshing alternative to hardware limitations no longer exist in practice.
I had long been toying with the switch to a different operating system, IBM's OS / 2, then ran well for quite some time on a computer in parallel with DOS / Windows.
Missing drivers, lack of standard applications, the usual.

Linux was decried at the time still a system for enthusiasts and to learn another operating system I was far too time consuming and labor intensive.
Once the CAD software had made the leap from the 16-bit DOS world in the 32-bit world, it was only a matter of time before there will be a port to a pure 32-bit operating system would.

Earlier this year it was clear then that ARCAD for the operating system platform of the future Unix or Linux would mean.

As the new software is now times, it takes some time until the approximate correctness and so I decided to wait a bit.
In June I ordered my first Linux distribution from SuSE after me ARCAD had introduced the fully functional Linux CAD software.

Getting Started

The relevant press has indeed increased in recent months, reported on Linux, all workshops were found or trial versions.

That helped, that I approached quite brave to the Linux installation.
In short, hard drive formatted, partitioned, reinstalled Windows 95, eingelgt Linux CD and ran the whole thing in an hour.

I never thought that it would go so smoothly.

Studying the manual and rethinking of WIN / DOS even took his time, but much less than expected.
Linux and Windows 95 live a common juxtaposition on my hard drive.

Copyright © 1997 Linux Magazine Publisher
Written 1997..

April showers bring ... the operating system

It took a further site visit in holders, the headquarter of ARCAD, for the purpose of installing the Linux version and a short briefing before I could undergo the CAD program to a fitness test on a daily basis.

After years of working with the same program, you'll soon stumble, if the new version throws some once well-known over the side.

This one takes in their stride but if in return for using it more fun.

And it really has become.

multitasking, olé!

In order to edit a newly rendered image or want to send a fax you can not always have to leave the program.

DOS pushed the simultaneous work on several levels always have been a stop to this, you had to use Windows.

Real work with multiple programs enables parallel alledngs only a true 32-bit operating system such as Linux.

The biggest advantage of the new ARCAD version on Linux is not working in parallel with other applications, but the other processes in parallel Abarbeitenlassen ARCAD.
Thus, the renderer in the background to calculate an image while in the foreground a plan is changed.

Power windows instead of manual mode

As a skilled user of the DOS version of the upgrade to an operating system with a graphical user interface such as the switch from a VW Beetle to a Mercedes-Benz.

So the DOS version had to struggle constantly with the problem of how to integrate an additional menu item, without allowing the User to be confusing.
The Linux version of the CAD program surprised me with a redesigned menu that the functionality and the command arrangement largely identical to the DOS version, had total but much tidier and clearer logic.

flyouts in the pull-down menus now allow unrestricted expand the number of menu items.
Of course there is always the risk that you get lost in a far branching menu structure.

Therefore, there is the possibility in ARCAD, the menu items that you use frequently, such as tear off a piece of paper and in some place on the desktop.

Even now are a number of tools available that would have been realized under DOS only with great effort, to develop under Linux but were very light or already existed.

These include, for example, because the possibility of Echtzeitshadings in an OpenGL-enabled environment.
The quality of the implemented in ARCAD shader is now slightly closer to large external programs.

Even raytracing and external rendering programs are supported directly by ARCAD using POV-Ray and 3D Studio interface.
What this means for me as a user the greatest possible freedom to choose my tools, the element contained in ARCAD until now always sufficient.

... and then the day a

Sometime ebbs enthusiasm for a new toy every now and then you have to deal again with the daily tasks.

Right here there was yet to be overcome for the Linux beginner some hurdles, such as why can not create a new directory, etc..
But at a certain point you just what does not get used again.

functions of functions

More important than the smooth cooperation with several programs is certainly on a multitasking operating system, how the user is relieved by the program itself in repetitive tasks.
It all starts with mundane things such as changing wall thicknesses and stops at the constant updating of the tender items.

The normal procedure lawn looks like this:. Sketch by hand, transferring the design into the CAD program as a 3D or 2D model, depending on the complexity
Then the phase of the constant changes to the final product satisfies the author or the client.

ARCAD support the various steps of designing with a complete set of tools.
For every function that will be called to appear under Linux now also belong to Kontetxt dialog boxes for attributes.

you to change the settings for each tool to enable parallel processing of an object.
be placed anywhere on the desktop, they can be either permanent 'pinning' or to finish off a function.

The on the market CAD systems differ in my experience mitlerweile barely featured in, is crucial because by now, the processing speed and the time taken for training.

On both counts ARCAD has always done very well, so it makes the calculation of hidden lines of 3D models, the renowned competitors slightly behind.
The simple menu structure and the largely consistent use of text instead of cryptic menus toolbars I found myself quite at home in the work with ARCAD.

New users need my experience, not after more than a week of entering the planning principles in 2D to a model in 3D (no kidding!), Where it makes no difference whether it is now one of a single-family or 20-parties building is

Copyright © 1997 Linux Magazine Publisher
Written 1997..


Although a lot of 3D design software for the home builder on the market now that are moving in pocket money-priced regions, it comes as a professional not around a bigger investment.

The plan can, however, adapted to the personal needs luck when you have opted for ARCAD.

So I have introduced five years ago ARCAD in our office with a reduced version, which has expanded to the complete version, as the scope of the license was not sufficient.

In the market for architectural software is ARCAD in the available for Linux products probably quite alone, the professional UNIX range includes but has long been a professional software, this is removed priced but far from what-ARCAD one license would cost

But it's like buying a car, one of the cars must be just expensive enough, the other comes out with a duck.

It is advisable for every Once a test drive.

Copyright © 1997 Linux Magazine Publisher
Written 1997..