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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Cancel Powerbook plans only because of AutoCAD??

Cancel Powerbook plans only because of AutoCAD??
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Ryan1524
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May 11, 2004, 04:55 PM
 
i'm planning to go to McMaster Engineering this fall, and i've learned that i might be required to use AutoCAD on a few classes throughout my 4 year. i know for sure i'll have to for the first year on one class. but not sure about the rest.

now, other softwares such as MatLab, Maple, and Borland c++ compilers i can find substitutes quite easily, but not AutoCAD. Ashlar Vellum's Cobalt or Graphite maybe...but unless i can find a *cough pirated*cough version...i'll have to forget it..it's waaay beyond my budget even if i wanted to buy it legitly.

so do you think i should drop the PB plans in favor of a PC notebook instead?? maybe the Thinkpad T42p??

it feels such a waste. dropping a powerbook just because of AutoCad...?!

i'd appreciate any and all comments and/or suggestions in this matter. thx.
Ryan
     
Michel_80
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May 11, 2004, 05:04 PM
 
Well, you should not. Hope that helps.
     
Timo
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May 11, 2004, 05:11 PM
 
1. I run Autocad via VPC. Don't know what you'll be doing -- that is, which autocad doing what kind of work. For 2D stuff VPC is ok.

2. You can always get a PB, and if you need to model in autocad and the PB won't cut it, you can use a computer cluster for the work.
     
escher
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May 11, 2004, 11:49 PM
 
Originally posted by Ryan1524:
i'd appreciate any and all comments and/or suggestions in this matter. thx.
Ryan1524: It's a tough call. You can certainly do it with a PowerBook. But it will require more effort on your part than turning off your mind and buying a Wintel machine that will run AutoCAD out of the box. If you get a PowerBook, I recommend your get VectorWorks with it (the student version is quite affordable). Another option is to get a cheap Wintel box just to run AutoCAD and do everything else on your PowerBook.

We've discussed the AutoCAD on Mac issue many times at AppleInsider. If you search for AutoCAD on the AppleInsider Forum, you will find some good threads, including:

* iBook, VPC, and AutoCAD
* AutoCad on Virtual PC 6.1 (XP) and
* Do Macs support good architectural CAD programs?

Escher
"The only laptop computer that's useful is the one you have with you."
Until we get a 3 lbs sub-PowerBook, the 12-inch PowerBook will do.
     
Daniel_R
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May 12, 2004, 02:37 AM
 
> other softwares such as MatLab, Maple, and Borland c++ compilers i can find substitutes quite easily

Both Maple and MatLab are available for Mac OS X 10.3

Maple 9 with the latest update 9.0.3 runs under 10.3 well, and MatLab runs under Apple's X11 implementation in 10.3 provided that you install the update available from the MatLab website.

Borland compilers? I'm unsure about that (not saying that there aren't any, I don't know of any )
-- iBook Dual USB 600MHz/384MB/20G/DVD-CDRW
-- PowerBook G4 15" 1.25GHz/1GB/80GB/DVD-R
-- PowerMac 9600/300 300MHz/96MB/2+3+4GB/CD/ OS X 10.1.5, 9.2.1
-- iPod 15GB, 3rd Generation
     
SplijinX
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May 12, 2004, 07:50 AM
 
Just be aware that not everything you do in OS X's version of Matlab will translate perfectly when you share m-files and simulink simulations to and from a wintel box, can be a headache depending on which version you run. Can be quite a hassle when you have group projects and what not.

Also if your school has a licensing agreement with Autodesk for your AutoCAD software, you'll probably get a pretty recent version. It's sluggish as anything on my Intel P3 box, I can't imagine even trying to load it onto my VPC.

Powerbooks are definitely nice, and I'm sure if you are willing to put in the effort you can get it to do everything you want it to do. That said, I'd really check up on your school's computer requirements and maybe talk to some current students to see how they are used in and out of the classroom. Also see if there are misc software professor foreces you to use for certain projects, alot of it is often outdated. A few weeks ago a bunch of my friends had to run a program off the dos prompt and it was crapping out on their wintel machines...could be a showstopper if you only have a Mac.

Alternatively, your school might have computer labs with the latest and greatest machines with all the software you need loaded on them. Then it won't be so critical for you to have all the required software loaded on your computer, just the things you absolutely must have.
Are those free-ranged animal crackers?
     
@ho
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May 12, 2004, 12:44 PM
 
I am an architect and have used autocad, my current laptop is a Powerbook but use it for autocad, I havent try VPC to tell you how fast it will run, but I think will be similar to an cheap windows laptop, still both options to use autocad or to buy a dedicated laptop for autocad will work but first check the prices of autocad they are way to high for normal users, thats why most of people I know have pirate versions.

I have read very good reviews off other cad drawing programs for mac, depends on what you need to do.

The powerbook will last you long and enjoy it more, If you are short on cash right now buy the powerbook and when you need to use autocad try the school computer labs, maybe you will spend few time to justify a bigger expense on hardware and software.
     
Spliff
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May 12, 2004, 04:04 PM
 
I think that VectorWorks allows you to save files in AutoCAD format.

And there is a website dedicated to "Macintosh-based architects and CAD/3D professionals." It's called Architosh

They have a decent forum page, as well: http://forums.architosh.com/
     
Fyre4ce
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May 12, 2004, 06:23 PM
 
Originally posted by Ryan1524:
i'm planning to go to McMaster Engineering this fall, and i've learned that i might be required to use AutoCAD on a few classes throughout my 4 year. i know for sure i'll have to for the first year on one class. but not sure about the rest.

now, other softwares such as MatLab, Maple, and Borland c++ compilers i can find substitutes quite easily, but not AutoCAD. Ashlar Vellum's Cobalt or Graphite maybe...but unless i can find a *cough pirated*cough version...i'll have to forget it..it's waaay beyond my budget even if i wanted to buy it legitly.

so do you think i should drop the PB plans in favor of a PC notebook instead?? maybe the Thinkpad T42p??

it feels such a waste. dropping a powerbook just because of AutoCad...?!

i'd appreciate any and all comments and/or suggestions in this matter. thx.
I am a junior engineering student at Cornell, and several of my classes have required the use of software that I cannot install on my PowerBook, because it runs OS X. However, this software is available for free on all the computer lab computers around here, so I just go there to do it. It's really not a big deal. I'm not sure what McMaster's computer lab situation is like, but I'd bet they have a computer lab somewhere on campus with AutoCAD on it. I wouldn't let a little thing like that stop you from buying a PowerBook. Besides, even if you did have a PC, you'd still have to pay for the software if you wanted it on your computer, so you might think it better to just use it in the computer labs anyway. I do not have a single regret about buying my PowerBook.
Fyre4ce

Let it burn.
     
JKT
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May 13, 2004, 09:54 AM
 
Be aware that this is only a rumour, so take it with a big fat pinch of salt, but the next version of VPC may help a lot with 2D/3D stuff if it is true and it may be out before you start your course - the pertinent bit:

" Most impressive is word that the new version will also manage and support graphic cards, natively. This feature will improve on a user's ability to play Windows PC games on a Macintosh running Virtual PC 7.0, rather than allowing the user to simply launch the game and then wither in frustration at its sluggishness.

Though processor demands are expected to be steep, the software will not emulated Microsoft's DirectX API set. Instead, Virtual PC will reportedly treat DirectX as if it were running on a Windows machine sporting a PC graphics card, according to MacBidouille."
     
   
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