Meanwhile, The Peddie Report sees a shift in focus, as hardware and software vendors hunt for The Next Big Thing. Last year, it was set-top devices that were meant to access the Internet with your tv [I don't know why anyone would want to cruise the Internet with bleeding graphics and fuzzy text]. This year, it will be "anything that connects to the Internet and has a screen: computers, PDAs, phones, Webpads, wrist watches, game consoles, you name it."
Speaking of which, Transmeta [wouldn't Transmuta be a better name?]
has thrown the industry a curve ball with its new Crusoe CPU -- a chip
that uses "code morphing" software to emulate other chips. In theory, this
one CPU can pretend it is an Intel CPU, a Solaris CPU, a graphics board
CPU, etc. Transmeta admits that its CPU slows down when performing the
translation. Graphics board vendor S3 announced it is working on an Internet
appliance that uses Canoe.
Initially, there are two CPUs: TM5400 for notebook computers running Windows; and TM3120 for Internet appliances running Linux. Like new Pentium CPUs due out soon from Intel, the Crusoe features variable power consumption: full power for dealing with multimedia apps; low power (and longer battery life) for reading email. Intel's 650MHz SpeedStep CPU slows down to 500MHz when running off the battery. [I can't say I am impressed, since my "old" 75MHz 486 notebook can be made to slowdown to 8MHz -- as did early "high speed" 10MHz XT computers. Everything old is new again.]
The long-delayed Windows 2000 is shipping this week on selected PCs. In its promotional booklet What Will Windows 2000 Do For You?, Microsoft admits that Windows 2000 "reduces the number of reboot scenarios from 75 to 7." [Windows NT 4.x currently has 75 situations that cause it to reboot? Glad I'm not running it.] The upgrade price from Windows 95/98 will be US$219 as of 17 February.
I attended Comdex Canada West 2000 in Vancouver BC last week. I must say I was amazed at how small the show has become: my wife and I cruised the entire show floor in under 20 minutes. I guess that's the future for trade shows: increasing irrelevance in the face of Web sites. While the Microsoft booth was no more crowded than the adjacent Epson booth, the Corel booth was packed with attendees spilling out into the aisles chanting "Linux, Linux!"
Finally, 3COM has announced that the first color Palm IIIc handheld computer will be shown to developers in early February, and will become available by the end of February.
Framework is a Web site that allows companies to create discipline-specific XML formats. Bentley took the initiative to promote aecXML for the exchange of AEC documents and drawings; Autodesk joined with Intergraph to promote LandXML for land development, surveying, and civil road design.
The second part to BizTalk is Server, the XML software application that is supposed to handle the transactions. As is common with Microsoft, the beta of the software was originally supposed to ship last summer, but was delayed by six months. BizTalk Server is now due to ship by "the second half of 2000."
Part of the reason for the delay is that Microsoft is tinkering with Server's architecture because competitive products from HP (Changengine) and Vitria (BusinessWare) had business process automation features that made their products easier to use than Microsoft's.
According to CNET, Microsoft "has begun beta testing two of BizTalk Server's three components. The two in beta testing include a communications and connectivity layer for moving data between applications using Microsoft's Message Queue Server or Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), and a layer to integrate business applications using XML."
The virus infects Visio's template (VST) and stencil (VSS) files. Visio's macro virus detection is turned off, by default. For more details, watch for our Visions.eZine newsletter coming out in two days.
SmartPlant Review consists of a main application, and five add-on modules for: construction and schedule review; simulation and visual effects; photorealistic rendering; customization resources; and enterprise-wide collaborative review. The main software will ship in Feb; collaboration modules will ship in mid 2000. DesignReview customers with maintenance agreements can upgrade free.
In other news, Intergraph and Raytheon Engineers & Constructors signed a global alliance agreement; Black & Veatch has standardized On Intergraph Plant Design Software; and Foster Wheeler USA has deployed Intergraph SmartSketch software worldwide.
With these direct interfaces, CoCreate says its customers can directly exchange 3D designs with more than 55,000 companies worldwide. In tests conducted by CoCreate 100% of the 3D designs were successfully imported; 90% were imported and automatically converted to solid models; 10% were imported as surface parts.
Other enhancements to SolidDesigner 2000 include the design sheet-metal parts (bend creation and modification, and folding and unfolding); the dynamic relations module, with new table-driven parameter modification capability; and clearance analysis.
A workshop on Evaluating Collaborative Enterprises, June 14-16, 2000 at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg MD, USA. The workshop is part of the IEEE 9th Intl. Workshops on Enabling Technologies: Infrastructure for Collaborative Enterprises.
The first International Conference on Axiomatic Design to be held in Cambridge MA, USA, in June. Details can be found at http://axiom.mit.edu/icad2000/.
CAD/CAM Solutions is a Canadian Autodesk Reseller that has been producing an ezine for a couple years for the AutoCAD user community in several industries. You can have a closer look at http://www.ccsc-online.com/new/index.htm .
It's not quite clear to me what the CSI News e-newsletter is for, although the subject line reads "Business Document Exchange News." If headlines like "Object Design and CSI Form Strategic Alliance for XML Apps" interest you, find out more at http://www.csiusa.net
ProjectCenter has been selected as the project extranet solution for the Royal Institute of Dutch Architects.
CADminer v4.6 shortens the time and simplifies the process to do quantity takeoffs from CAD drawings. It is a stand-alone application that requires no native CAD application or CAD experience. Download a free copy from http://www.cadinfo.com
CadKey Corporation will present CadKey 99, the full CadKey product line, and preview CadKey Parametrics in Booth G44 in Hall 21 of CeBit 2000, Feb 24 - Mar 1.
DataCAD v8.5 architectural CADD software has received a 1999 ADEX Platinum Award for Design Excellence, the highest level recognition from Design Journal magazine.
LTX v2.0 is a new version of the AutoCAD LT Extension engine for loading and running AutoCAD ARX applications in AutoCAD LT. The version 2.0 toolkit adds support for AutoCAD LT 2000 and improves stability and compatibility on all supported platforms. The LTX engine is targeted toward developers of commercial and in-house ARX add-ons who want their existing applications to run on AutoCAD LT. LTX 2.0 supports AutoCAD LT 97, AutoCAD LT 98, and AutoCAD LT 2000.
Both QuikPik and Periscope have been updated, including bug fixes and improved support for AutoCAD LT.
Rebis, Eagle Technology, and Soft Solutions are partnering to offer a Web and e-commerce enabled Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) solution for the industrial manufacturing and facilities markets. ,, and
IntraVISION v4.1 software for 3D CAD viewing and markup is in beta for access, view, measure, and markup of CATIA and PRO/ENGINEER 3D files. The software supports 300 other 2D, 3D, and office document formats.
PTC's annual revenues fell from US$250.1 million to US$239.0 million for the three months ending 1 Jan. Earnings per share fell from US$0.11 to $0.04. CEO Steven Walske said "PTC is involved in fundamentally transforming itself from an MCAD-only company to one that is strategically positioned for Internet-based collaborative product commerce."
Dassault Systemes announced that Boeing selected CATIA and ENOVIA as enterprise-wide standards For digital design and manufacture.
IMSI hired Lori A. Gray as Executive Vice President of Engineering, formerly with Quarterdeck Corporation.
ViewSonic has bought Nokia's display business in Europe.
Mexico retailer Grupo plans to buy CompUSA for US$10 per share.
STEP Tools has been awarded a US$70,000 Department of Defense
Small Business Innovation Research Grant from the U.S. Naval Sea Systems
CAD Primer by Vijay Duggal is a new general book on CAD that does not focus on a specific CAD program. Portions can be downloaded from http://www.caddprimer.com/ for free; the entire book can be downloaded for S$10.
Now available in bookstores is editor Ralph Grabowski's latest edition of Learn Visio 2000 ($29.95). This new edition is suitable for new users of all editions of Visio 2000: Standard, Technical, Professional, and Enterprise. Available for online purchase from http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=155622673/XyzpublishingltdA/
Installation proceeds until the progress meter shows 25%. It then appears to stall. After waiting a while, I reboot the computer, and restart Linux installation. This time, Linux does not see the D: drive (later, I find out why). I grit my teeth, and select drive C:, specifying 1.7GB for Linux.
Installation proceeds until the progress meter shows 50%. It then appears to stall again. Again, I reboot the computer. To my relief, Windows 98 starts up: Linux hasn't wiped out all my data! I notice, however, that 1.7GB of disk space is used up; I wonder what happened to it.
At this point, I decide to look for some technical help at the http://linux.corel.com Web site. I find a PDF document that states that the "stall" during installation is normal (Linux is hunting down hardware) and just wait it out.
I start installation a third time. This time, I notice the hard drive is down to 1GB free disk space. Again, I wonder what happened to the other 1.7GB. For this reason, I specify just 800MB for Linux. It's a good thing I bought a spare 20GB hard disk, I think to myself.
This time, I wait it out -- about 30 minutes. During installation, one false status message is unsettling: Linux reports it is "Partitioning/formatting drive..." when in fact this does not take place with Option 4.
When installation is complete, the computer reboots, and Windows 98 appears. To start Linux, I select Start | Shut Down | Restart in MS-DOS Mode. Once the DOS prompt appears, I type startcdl to activate Linux. After a few minutes of text scrolling on the screen (along with some hilariously-worded messages), the KDE interface appears. Success! My son and I try out WordPerfect, the help system (based on HTML and Netscape), fool around with settings, and settle down to try out the ten games included with Corel Linux.
Later that day, I realize what happened to the "missing" 1.7GB, as well as why the D: drive disappeared from the list of acceptable drives. Recall that Option 4, which I selected, installs the Linux operating system in a Windows directory called CDL.
The first time, when I attempted to install Linux on the 2GB Jaz drive, I had gotten impatient waiting. Nevertheless, Linux had already created the \CDL directory on the Jaz drive, along with nearly 2GB worth of IMG files that simulate the disk partition.
During the second installation, Linux saw that the Jaz drive had only 50MB free disk space. The drive was "full," so that's why C: appeared alone on the list of acceptable drives. This is a flaw in the installation: I should be allowed to install over an existing Linux installation.
During the second installation, Linux again created the \CDL directory, this time on the C: drive, and filled it with 1.7GB of IMG files. These were the 1.7GB got used up.
When I installed Linux the third time, it renamed the first \CDL directory as \CDL_1, and proceeded to create a second \CDL directory. To recover the "missing" 1.7GM, I simply deleted the \CDL_1 directory and its contents.
After realizing all that, I thought: "Hmmm... I wonder if I can reinstall Linux on the Jaz drive after all?" I erased the \CDL directories from both the hard drive and the Jaz drive. I installed -- for the fourth time -- Linux, this time to the Jaz drive. I knew enough to go for a 3/4-hour walk with my wife. When we returned, installation was complete.
The first time Linux boots, it takes about 12 minutes to configure itself for my computer's hardware. Running off the Jaz drive worked fine.
Next week, in part IV, I describe my first experiences with Linux.
Re: Disadvantages of CAD
"The most disadvantage of CAD is the loss of freedom of the individual towards the group. In going through CAD you are obliged to cope with a heavy machine that distorts your intentions and rubberizes the human touch. The group is gaining because transmission and expression is far more precise. Our search is a digital screen which could allow us to draw directly on it."
- Marc Anglaret, architect
"Just wanted to drop you a quick line and tell you how much I enjoyed
the Letters about the disadvantages of CAD. Sort of brought back memories
of the good old days before the horse was replaced with the car.
"You could leisurely trot down the road and enjoy the air. What pollution there was you could see and step over. Not this invisible fumes problem. We didn't need gas and we sure didn't need the expressways and the highway trust funds. But I guess time marches on. We got all of that, and we got CAD too.
- Ron Diegelman
"One of my clients has the best quote on CAD: 'There are many things
you CAN do with a CAD system, the question is - is it something you SHOULD
do!' My 2 cents!"
- David W. Edwards
"I appreciate your comments on, and insights into, the CAD/CAM industry.
I look forward to future e-mails from you."
- David Poppe
"No unmet needs exist and ...current unmet needs that are being met
will continue to be met." Quoted from the 'Transportation Commission
on Unmet Transit Needs, California'
- Thanks to Scott Sherman