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  1. My 2 cents: I have had a TM-305 for quite a while now. It replaced an ancient HP 750C Plus which served me faithfully for a very long time. The TM-305 is superior to the HP in almost every way including including its output quality and versatility in both B & W and Color. Even on run of the mill 20 pound bond Architectural output, be it working drawings or renderings is both consistent and high quality that is superior and significantly faster than my old HP. The other big difference is that by simply switching to premium paper I can output a truly Photo quality print with ease, something my HP could not do on its best day. Bear in mind I am a bit biased given that I when I made this purchase from Cannon Solutions America the TM series was new to the market. Consequently, they were anxious to generate sales volume. Not only did they give me a ton of trade in credit for my old HP, they gave me huge discount below MSRP as well. However, if I suddenly decided to come out of retirement, and needed another plotter, I would not hesitate to buy one. The only downside these days is that since I am not generating billable hours, I can't pass on the cost of consumables... And while this plotter/printer can generate low cost per page "blueprints" quickly and quietly all day long, printing photo quality E-sized prints/renderings still puts a lot of ink on paper. If this is your first rodeo with "plotters": Make sure that at the very least that delivery and set up are included in the price. These plotters are HEAVY, awkward to handle, and require assembly that typically takes 2 people. And given that Ink remains ridiculously expense, try and negotiate a discount price on a complete set of the high capacity PFI-320 Ink cartridges as part of the sale. As I recall the set that comes with the plotter are 120's. They also threw in a couple of cases of Bond as well. Find a well established local dealer with a good reputation for after sales service to handle the installation as well as the inevitable questions that always seem to come up just before deadlines. (Cannon Solutions found a local dealer to deliver and set up the Plotter for me) These are not just big "inkjets" like the ones you get from Best Buy. And I suggest you order an extra spindle. I use one to hold 20 pound bond for everyday printing and the other spindle has my pricey photo stock on it, it just makes life simpler. Also, consider where you are going to put it and how you are going to connect it to your network. These offer a lot of connectively flexibility that my 750C lacked which was another big selling point for me.
  2. Given the exponential increase in data retention requirements that have occurred over the last 10 years I have gone with a tiered approach to preserving my data. Completed projects/designs have been permanently archived using a Blu-ray burner using reasonably priced 100/50GB M-Disks. These have a projected lifetime of several hundred years (based on ISO/IEC 16963 testing) or longer. Prior to this I was burning critical data files (irreplaceable) using DVD's. I have used either hardware or software based hot-swap RAID arrays in my workstations for many years. I never did adopt NAS, though admittedly I probably should have. I am running 4 2TB HDD drives in RAID 10 in 2 hot swap drive bays for less than I would have paid for a single 4TB enterprise level SSD. Depending on what I am doing I burn either to DVD or blu-ray daily or weekly using a portable burner, then consolidating to Blu-ray M-Disk as needed. The bottom line is anything I can't afford to lose is maintained physically separated from my work area and always air-gapped from my LAN/internet. The key to a good inexpensive small business back-up plan is developing good habits from day 1 so that after a while it becomes automatic. I admit that I did not, and early on it cost me dearly in time and money. Ironically, now that SSD's have finally matured with the advent of PCLe Gen 4 M.2 drives offering amazing cost/performance benefits, the use of some sort of conventional multi-terabyte (and cheap) HDD array is more relevant (for me) than ever. In my opinion SSD's have 3 major weaknesses: First is the cost, large capacity 4TB SSD's in RAID is simply too expensive right now. Second, in the event a single SSD fails, the chances for data recovery are essentially nil. And third is the question of data integrity and retention if they remain powered off for long periods of time-the jury is still out. Everybody has different needs, mine are tempered by the fact that I am retired and now do this for recreation rather than sustenance. Just my 2 cents. New workstation: Previous (...) X11-SSA. Chief user for decades. Win 10 Pro (Win 8.1 Pro) AMD 3950X-water cooled (Prev Intel 4930K-water cooled) ASUS ROG STRIX E-Gaming (ASUS X-79) G.Skill Trident Z Royal 64GB 3600mhz (G.Skill 32GB) Sabrent Rocket PCLe Gen 4 1TB Primary drive (Samsung 850 Pro 500GB) Samsung 860 Pro 1TB scratch drive (from old system) Seagate Barracuda Pro 4TB (4) RAID10 (Western Digital 1TB RAID) MSI RTX 2080 Sea Hawk- (EVGA GTX 2080 Hybrid-) basically waiting on AMD/NVidia BENQ 32" 1440P Monitor Lian Li O11D-XL (Phanteks Enthoo)
  3. In response to Alaskan_Son who in part stated in a post below: “If you decide to go it "on your own", then at least have the decency of not wasting people's time if your questions aren't sincere. It can take a lot of time and energy to answer questions sometimes.” First, let me start out by saying that I for one appreciate the many informative and well thought out posts you have written. Like the contributions of many other regular members here, they provide valuable information and insight to users of this forum. A forum in which all registers members can post their thoughts and read others free of charge or obligation. Michael you are a member who openly incorporates (advertises) your commercial connections to Chief in every post. You go so far as providing a link to your Paypal account. As far as I can tell, no one is holding a gun to your head compelling you to respond with detailed solutions to members’ problems. One fact that is clear Michael, your posts providing information, tips and solutions showcase your Chief skills and therefore are in very real sense, blatant forms of advertising for your services. You are certainly “giving” something to the forums, but you are also “getting” something in return every single time you provide information, tips, or direct solutions. I humbly suggest that your righteous indignation on display here is, to say the least, grossly overstated.……
  4. The year is rapidly coming to and end and thus far I haven't seen or heard anything at all about X11. Usually by this time Chief has released the highlights of the new features. Generally speaking over the years (IMHO) the less Chief has had to say about a pending release, the more underwhelming it turns out to be. Offering concrete information regarding a pending release creates trust. On the other hand, refusing to do so demands faith. Call me crazy, but I only have faith when I am using other people's money........
  5. What are people using for rendering at this point, ray tracing, PBR or some combination of both? Are you keeping a copy of a previous version or relying solely on X10? I realize that this general topic has been discussed several times already. I recall reading a comment from KBird1 that "most people have switched to PBR". I don't get the sense that most people have dropped ray tracing and fully embraced PBR, perhaps I am mistaken. I am wondering how many people have actually fully implemented PBR given the number of kinks that remain to be worked out with it, and given that X10's implementation of PBR and the changes to the materials catalogs tend to cannibalize ray tracing. I haven't downloaded X10 from my locker yet and remain on X9. Obviously, at some point soon I will implement X10.
  6. Good Morning: Just wondering if anyone who is using X10 can tell me if we finally have an "offset CAD line" command. You know, where we simply select the offset command and are prompted to: input the offset distance, decide whether or not to delete original line, specify the CAD line to offset, and then click on the side of the line you wish the offset to be made. A simple 5-6 second operation which has been around for decades in even the most basic CAD programs. (I haven't installed X10 yet, it is waiting in the vault for the Ray tracing issues to be sorted out) I still use ACAD for most 2D stuff. Old habits die hard.
  7. I have more often than not gone ahead and purchased the hardware lock. Clearly, based on the massive price increases in the cost of the hardware lock, CA has been trying to discourage users from purchasing the lock. And in fact, I have no doubt that CA will claim that among other things, they have dropped the hardware lock option due to declining sales....... The bottom line is that as others have pointed out, for what ever reason, not everyone has ready access to the internet. For myself, I predicated my purchase of the lock on the idea that at some point the internet and Windows would become so unsecured that to keep my files safe I would keep my primary workstation permanently disconnected from the internet. I find it troublesome that just that point has, in my personal estimation been reached, that Chief suddenly drops the Hardware lock. I for one want a lock. It is not that I don't trust CA per say, but the internet has evolved into a device that is equally adapt at stealing information as it is providing it.
  8. AMD introduced a 32GB Firepro card back in April of 2016. I would be interested to hear from anyone who is using the new AMD 16 core Threadripper processor. I often model houses right down to the silverware that have massive poly/face counts and correspondingly large files sizes (routinely 100mb+). I currently use a 6-core intel chip with 32gb main memory and an NVidia 1080 graphics card. Both are water cooled. And while it is clear Chief can handle very large data sets, there is a threshold (for me typically starting with file size above 90MB) that once breached will start to slow down chief considerably. In chiefs defense, the program is now capable of nearly real time rendering and manipulation of massive data sets that even a few years ago was simply not possible. And it bears mentioning that size of the file in of itself is not necessarily a predictor of program/system performance. Chief responds to more cores and more main memory. A fast graphics card with at least 8GB's of ram doesn't hurt. With the new AMD 16/32core processors and more on the near horizon from intel, I think many of these problems with recede into the background assuming one doesn't go crazy with objects and textures.
  9. Thank you for the Library MarkMc
  10. "Reputation": Just another name for censorship. One group attempting to impose it's will on others by institutionalizing a totally arbitrary and opaque "rating" system. Good grief. It is a sad day when a forum as seemingly benign as this one falls victim to the political correctness madness that has infected the country. Thank god I am retired and don't have to submit to this kind of nonsense anymore.
  11. Hello For some reason I never post here, which is a bit ironic because I am a rather prolific poster elsewhere on the net. Perhaps it is because the questions I do have are always answered on the forum by the time I raise them. I am a very long time user of Chief, 1993? I migrated from AutoCad/Architectural Desktop a long time ago. Though I do keep a licensed copy of AutoCad around. I am essentially retired at this point. At one time had my own CAD business among other things. Now I use Chief simply for the pleasure it brings me. I love residential home design using Chief. 4930K CPU Asus X79 motherboard 32GB Ram R9-280X graphics card Samsung 850 Pro SSD 2TB 7200 HD Swiftech 240X watercooling - drops my rendering temps for all 6 cores at 100% well below 70C Chief X7 etc. A direct quote from Samsung's support site regarding SSD's and defragging: "Defragmentation is not required. Because SSDs have no moving parts, they can access any data location equally fast. You should disable automatic defragmentation on your computer. Frequently defragmenting your SSD will reduce its lifespan. Please visit the OS Optimization section of Samsung Magician for help disabling automatic defragmentation." As for Chief X7, I experienced a slight but perceptable slowdown from day 1 compared to X6. I tend to have fairly large drawing files well over 100GB. I wish I could be more specific, it is difficult to quantify or qualify the nature of the slow down. But I believe it is still there after the latest update. Would like to add that I for one consider "undo" a vital component of the software, but that is just me. Though one consequence with X7 is that I no longer preview with shadows on. Having said all that, the "slow downs" are minor and not across the board. I highly doubt that if I was back in a production environment it would be enough of a difference to warrant my concern. Again that is just me. But looking down the road, the overhead placed on the system by Chief is only going to increase and therefore I believe this issue needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.