joedesign30

Frustrated With Chief ....may Be Going To Softplan

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This is analogous to an argument I have made in defense of bootleg

software. Back in 2005 I bought a bootleg copy of SolidWorks on e-Bay

from a guy in England for 40 British pounds (they have since tightened

their security for these types of transactions). After using the software for

about five years I decided I had become proficient enough to justify shelling

out the big bucks for a legitimate license with all the support and content.

When I told the guy who handled the transaction that he would never be

writing up the sale if I hadn't bought the bootleg version and had a play with

it he could not comprehend the concept that having the bootleg copy led to

getting a legitimate copy. I suspect that if the time spent on policing the 

software was spent on developing a truly superior product the sales would 

take care of themselves.

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I use a number of programs that have various forms of "license enforcement" built in to them - some bad - some not so bad.

 

And ALL of the schemes have been hacked and there are places to go where you can downloaded a hacked copy.

 

I never have because there are usually trial versions available which allowed me to test the program and decide to purchase it.

 

And I think most professionals are going to "follow the rules" in the long run. The "bad guys" could care less about right/wrong and are going to hack the system, perhaps just to show they can.

 

The companies that really rile me are the ones that try to tie the program to just one computer.

 

There are other companies that don't care how many computers you install the program on - they just have a system to limit you to running only as many instances as you have a license for. I like these companies. I have computers in different rooms of my home and I want to be able to work where I am - not have to go to a certain computer to run a certain program. 

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DRM is a topic that leads to a lot of debate. We have the evidence to prove to us that it is worth doing. It is unfortunate that it is needed, but that is the world we live in.

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I wonder if that evidence was provided by the makers of DRM products.

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This is analogous to an argument I have made in defense of bootleg software.

 

 

Personally, I think that is a big load of hooey.  All you are doing is trying to rationalize your illegal and unethical behavior.  The bottom line is it's stealing, plain and simple.  Stealing software is no different then stealing anything else.  It hurts the software company and the legitimate users of the software.  You can try and rationalize it all you want so that you can sleep better at night but it won't change the fact that it is wrong.

 

I hate having security on software but as long as people are willing to steal it software companies are going to try and prevent that.

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Our evidence is independent of DRM vendor informantion.

 

DRM vendors are in business in the first place because of a long history of flagrant abuses.

 

For some reason stealing intellectual property doesn't seem to register with a fairly high percentage of the population as being a crime.

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Glad to hear that.

 

And I understand there are lots of folks who don't understand the serious nature of the problem.

 

My own family members and friends ask me to make copies of CD/DVDs for them and I have to explain why I won't do that.

 

The one thing I don't understand is with all the "cracked" programs available out there how the DRM systems are doing much good.

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DRM is more effective than you might think. Just because a site say's they have a cracked version of software doesn't mean that it is a clean crack. I have seen more than one case where a crack was incomplete.

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Personally, I think that is a big load of hooey.  All you are doing is trying to rationalize your illegal and unethical behavior.  The bottom line is it's stealing, plain and simple.  Stealing software is no different then stealing anything else.  It hurts the software company and the legitimate users of the software.  You can try and rationalize it all you want so that you can sleep better at night but it won't change the fact that it is wrong.

 

I hate having security on software but as long as people are willing to steal it software companies are going to try and prevent that.

 

Actually it wasn't "stealing, plain and simple". What it was

was a bona fide e-Bay transaction. I was in the market for

a product, did a search for said product, and found that

product up for auction. I bid on the item and was the winning

bidder. Did the price seem suspiciously reasonable, sure, but

it's not my nor any other e-Bay participant's job to research

the legitimacy of a product up for sale on their site. I wouldn't

be shopping there if I didn't think I could find an occasional

good deal. And in hind sight how much did it hurt the software

company? They ended up getting full market value for their

product which they would never have received if not for the

original e-Bay transaction, which was my whole point to start

with.

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Never have ever borrowed a book.

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The difference would be to put a book on the photo copier I guess, as borrowing a book would still only mean one user at a time.

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Actually it wasn't "stealing, plain and simple". What it was

was a bona fide e-Bay transaction. I was in the market for

a product, did a search for said product, and found that

product up for auction. I bid on the item and was the winning

bidder. Did the price seem suspiciously reasonable, sure, but

it's not my nor any other e-Bay participant's job to research

the legitimacy of a product up for sale on their site. I wouldn't

be shopping there if I didn't think I could find an occasional

good deal. And in hind sight how much did it hurt the software

company? They ended up getting full market value for their

product which they would never have received if not for the

original e-Bay transaction, which was my whole point to start

with.

Boy, are you living in a legal dreamworld... While you might be able to make that claim for tangible property where there is a presumption of transferable title, this is not the case with software. And "I'm just stupid" probably won't be a good defense for a copyright infringement lawsuit, which Autodesk and other large companies have not shown much reluctance to prosecute.
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To make a demo plan in Chief, go to the existing floor plan and turn off everything except the wall outlines.  (I have a separate layer set set up this way)  convert that to a Cad detail.  Change it's line properties to however you want to show the old walls on the demo plan.  make it a block and use the point to point move to align it precisely with the walls.  Place it on a separate locked layer.  Now, whenever you move or eliminate a wall it will show the wall that used to be there.  Chief could make this an automated feature, maybe I will suggest that.

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Well, anytime you have to apply a crack to any program, that says it all.

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It has to be a bit of a dilemma for software companies though. When I was in school I had access to most software for free on a yearly basis, and that way could pick the ones I found most interesting and see if it was for me. If you are a small company that is a very expensive proposition, and I don't think the typical 30 day trial period is enough. Many tools are good at the surface but it is not until you are starting to become proficient you really know it's capabilities, and it took me about a year to come to the conclusion that although Revit is an amazing program it wasn't for me in it's current shape. (I will most likely come back to it in 5-6 years though.) Now that I'm out of school I would never contemplate buying something like for example SolidWorks as I just wouldn't be able to evaluate it fully.

 

Perhaps it could be a compromise if the software companies of more advanced, expensive tools like in Cad would allow a one year trial without limitations. If they are confident in their product they know the user is going to stay. If the user is registered and identified it wouldn't be possible to renew without buying. Alternatively require a reimbursable deposit at the start of the year to sort out weed. Food for thought.

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And I think that would make sense for a long term evaluation if one then was reimbursed the full amount, minus the monthly rental fee of $19.33, if one concluded that the software for some reason wasn't satisfactory. Otherwise it would just be the same, one pays full rental price while trying to learn and figure out if the software lives up to expectations and promises.

 

Anyway, just a thought to perhaps help uncertain people on the fence handle the investment.

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I'm all for a SAS model as an option for CA.  I'd be very excited to see a price point @ < $50 per month on an annual commitment.

 

jon

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You have never checked out a book from the library? Never stood at a magazine rack and read an article or column while standing there? These are all classified under intellectual property. Music is the same and how many of us has listened to our friends records or borrowed an album to play at home or at a dance of some kind?

 

Most of us Baby Boomers grew up in this kind of world so the idea of sharing similar property is a learned habit. The software industry in it's prime was selling a large number of titles at book stores such as Barnes and Noble. It's no wonder software is viewed in the same way as books. I don't see Random House placing security locks on it's volumes in order to prevent piracy! :-)

 

I don't really care either way as I pay my money just as most of us do. The only issue I have is the security costs a lot of money and people like myself must pay the cost without any benefit. We have accepted buying software with bugs as "nothing is perfect" but I have to wonder what would happen if the buying public demanded more focus on bugs and not security.

 

What I am espousing is a sea change in marketing strategy.

Why not try a strategy like the Grateful Dead used? When

they found out that their fans were "illegally" taping their shows

they didn't spend a fortune trying to prosecute the offenders

and cracking down on them. They embraced the concept.

Then when the taping started to become a nuisance to other 

concert goers they didn't cut the practice out, they made a

special section for the concert tapers. They established a

social network long before the Twitter and Facebook geeks

ever thought of the idea and facilitated the distribution of the

"bootleg" recordings. Did this cut into album sales? Maybe, but

the trade off was a fiercely loyal fan base that would follow them

anywhere and they became one of the highest grossing touring

acts in history not to mention a merchandising cash cow.

 

The point being that any user is a good user. Some may never

"go legit" and buy a full license but that doesn't matter. They are 

all building the user base and market share and getting the software

name out there in the marketplace. Maybe they buy a tee-shirt or

ball cap to show their allegiance, or pop for some manuals or some

instruction. There are many ways to extract some value besides

strong-arming your user base for license fees and SSA's. There

will always be the users who see the advantage of having a fully

backed license with all the tech support and content that entails.

There will also be those, like I did, that come late to the table but

end up in the fold. Not allocating all the time and money trying to

police the product would free up many resources which are sucked

up in the ironfisted security approach and these resources could be

plowed back into making the software an even more desirable 

program to use and own which in turn would increase the user base

and market share and so on and so on.

 

Will such a thing ever occur, probably not, but a guy can dream 

can't he?

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I would just like to say that to me, Chief has one of the easiest learning curves around.

The proof is in the home design series and now Room Planner that any novice should be able to use

with the included videos and support.

That best answer is in the opinion of the poster not to us experienced users of Chief and other CAD software.

For 2d CAD users Cadsoft might be better for them and the only advantage I can see in CS is maybe the materials control?

Its not unheard of for peole to use Autocad lt with CA for more 2d tools they are used to using but for me that would be a waste of time.

In Chief you need to think more in terms of 2d shapes not in line segments to get faster at 2d CAD.

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You have never checked out a book from the library? Never stood at a magazine rack and read an article or column while standing there? These are all classified under intellectual property. Music is the same and how many of us has listened to our friends records or borrowed an album to play at home or at a dance of some kind?

 

Most of us Baby Boomers grew up in this kind of world so the idea of sharing similar property is a learned habit. The software industry in it's prime was selling a large number of titles at book stores such as Barnes and Noble. It's no wonder software is viewed in the same way as books. I don't see Random House placing security locks on it's volumes in order to prevent piracy! :-)

 

I don't really care either way as I pay my money just as most of us do. The only issue I have is the security costs a lot of money and people like myself must pay the cost without any benefit. We have accepted buying software with bugs as "nothing is perfect" but I have to wonder what would happen if the buying public demanded more focus on bugs and not security.

Your question didn't ask us anything about all that other stuff, just the book. I bought my own if I wanted it.

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"...The only issue I have is the security costs a lot of money and people like myself must pay the cost without any benefit..."

The benefit in this case is that Chief Architect Inc survives into the future as opposed to them not surviving by being easy going and reasonable about their business model and intellectual properties.

Like or not the Ethics level of our World is at a criminal level, the paper thin social veneer of "Civilization" is often too insubstantial to mention in terms of a business protecting its own survival by expecting people to be personally ethical. Sure most of us are personally ethical but it takes only a few lazy thieves to eat away at an already thin profit margin except the Fed Gov which prints its own money by decree.

 

DJP

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was not aware of the rent/rent to own option ...$219 month for 15 months and Premier is yours ..... (full cost plus $290 "rental fee" )  SSA is included , so you'd get X7 if it came out too....

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Talking about "Ethics", what drives people to be ethical?

 

The fact that if people are in business and if they don't behave in an ethical manner they lose out on business and in reputation?

 

Older generations were bought up with a different set of values and if they choose to follow them, then that can be similar to ethics?

 

Younger generations are more likely to have the TV and other media influence their behaviour rather than old fashioned  values.

 

Here in Australia most Building Designers are associated with the BDA or "Builders Designers Association" and in order to join the BDA you have to we willing to follow a code of ethics.

 

I don't belong to the BDA but I still have a code of good behaviour that I try to follow not because of business but because I believe it is in the best interests for all people now and in the long run.

 

Some choose to throw away the values they were bought up with due to bad experience and become "If you can get away with it then do it type people", in their behaviour and yet still follow a code of ethics when it comes to business.

 

In the end we all choose our standard for good and bad that we will follow and that is why we will have some of the problems of today that seem to be getting worse on a global scale in our day?

 

Wow! we have diverged quite a bit from going from Chief to Softplan? I can say, if I was still a quantity surveyor for houses, I would give it a good trial to see if it is worth the money to me and to be able to do both design/drafting and quantities from the same app would save time. Others here say SP is not doing the full job properly and I agree.

 

To me it is clear that Chief is the best all rounder and you can use the ML feature as much as you like and it will only get better in newer versions.

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And as I've said at least once before, Softplan and Chief should have an affair (without wearing dongle protection) and the offspring would benefit all of us. User definable wall heights, floor platforms and ceiling hgts that don't readjust because you've moved a wall etc.

 

Learning curve wise, I self learned Softplan 8/9 while working for a builder through a temp agency during a 5 month span. At some point during that time period, I purchased a Chief '97 demo cd and manual for $25.00 (a terrific value and marketing device) and started playing with the program on my home computer. Compared to AutoCad (tried ACad 10, DOS version beginner's course at our community college and hated the interface), and DataCad (good price, promising 3d but very difficult to learn and use) both Softplan and Chief were the only two that drew walls in an intuitive, user friendly manor. Both programs allow a person to be self taught and become real world usable, fairly quickly.

 

At first, Chief seemed a bit "Micky Mouse", like one of those $50 homeowner CAD programs (and it kind of was: re: identical interface as 3d Home Architect). Unfortunately, to a degree, all of Chief's current shortcomings are related to it's "Homeowner CAD" roots but it continues to improve (grow up). In my short stint using Softplan, I never got the hang of their cryptic roof tool (sort of like Chief's cryptic Terrain Tools). Softplan did have a killer roof dialogue box graphic which showed your birds mouth seat cut and HAP (height above plate)  which you could adjust on the fly, which I would like to see implemented in Chief. Each program had good things to offer and Chief always had a slightly more user friendly intuitive feel that allowed the interface to get out of the way and allow me to draw. Lately, since the X-versions, I've been fighting the the loss of some of that intuitive feel. When I purchased Chief "97 I paid $599.00 or 699.00 on sale. At the time Softplan 9 or 10 was about $2 Grand, or I would probably bought Softplan because of it's material list (gives wall framing lumber count versus lumber lengths and had a good wall framing detail per wall section, similar to what Chief now has). 

 

Not having any real CAD background using AutoCad etc, I found Chief and Softplan to have much less intense learning curves compared to any other software I've tried to learn since. I started learning ArchiCad one summer in an architect's office a few years ago and my brain could not wrap around the drawing interface (having been spoiled by Chief's for over ten years). After 3 months, there was no way I could attempt to do a project in ArchiCad.  I did see and use some CAD tools in ArchiCad that would be nice to have in Chief but I would expect Chief's developers to be continuously reviewing their competitor's software and user interfaces.

 

Lately, I've been contemplating purchasing Sketch-Up Pro because I'm having a lot of difficulties with Chief's framing tools (inconsistant floor and roof truss behavior- I don't understand why Chief does roof trusses so cryptically).I've read about an architect that uses Sketchup to create complete sets of construction drawings (I wouldn't mind seeing Chief merger with SketchUp). I also hate the default automation of Chief's deck framing tool. I would like to just draw a closed polygon (still don't understand why Chief calls a polygon, a poly-line?) and set the framing parameters (joist size, spacing etc) and manually add my beams (boxed or dropped) and add a railing later. I don't like defining my deck perimeter using a railing (glorified wall tool). Chief's roof tool is the most versatile and creates the most stable areas of a drawing (roof doesn't automatically change hgts when you move walls or adjust floor hgts etc.). I wish they would stabilize or provide floor platform thickness and floor elevation locks so that a floor platform remains as drawn when moving interior partitions. Nuff said.

 

I too have heard that Softplan's management is no where near as accessible and friendly as Chief's regarding issues and program suggestions. For now, Chief works best for me but I'm constantly looking over the fences to see if Softplan's grass has gotten any greener. Would like to hear more from current Softplan users regarding roof creation tools, wall heights and floor platform stability, oh yeah and do they allow you to draw a foundation wall that doesn't incorporate the sill plate in the calculation (eg" 97.5" for an 8' high cmu or poured wall in Chief)? Better yet, I'd like to hope some of those improvements are in X9-BB

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