No sir, you are not alone. That's why I kept an much older version and never upgraded and now when I have a computer problem or obtain a new computer, I can reinstall the software from a good old fashioned CD and it works just fine. Also, I have started using an initially free software that costs $495 when you get the Pro version; SketchUp Pro 8 + Layout 3 from Google. It is 3D software and Layout is its 2D "paperspace" documentation software. Don't get me wrong: it is Not the 2D drafting workhouse that AutoCad is. While SketchUp is very cool at building your model in true 3D, it has its own quirks and doesn't even have some of the drafting basics like Acad's offset comment (it does have an offset tool, it just works differently). So now I am thinking that I will use my older Acad version for my initial 2D drafting, because it is more efficient at it, then import into SketchUp 8 Pro for continued development into 3D.
I recommended to AutoDesk a couple of years ago that they should Give Revit Free to all architects to get us all on that platform, and give us free training as well, then charge us 1/2 or less what they are now for their software for future upgrades. In that manner they would likely gain the loyalty of the entire profession. But it appears that their people in charge have instead elected to, as you so correctly put it: become parasites instead of partners with us. Rather than helping us in our time of need, and in so doing, obtain more clients for themselves, they keep assailing us with needless complicated "upgrades" that steepen an already ridiculously steep learning curve, changing things, seemingly just for change's sake, forcing us to pay yet more parasites to train us about the needless changes, whose main motivation appears to be just to create something "new" that makes us feel that if we do not "upgrade" that we will be left behind.
Yes. It is definitely time for some major change in the main software we all use. I really like your idea of an AIA created software, developed by architects for architects. What a great use of our yearly fees! The AIA could offer it free, or at nominal cost to its members (nominal being under $500 for a one-time charge, and perhaps $95 for an optional upgrade every 3 years or so). It should always be backward compatible. And we would Own the versions that we buy and Not be compelled to upgrade if we did not want to do so.
In the meanwhile, I wish Google would spend just a little bit more to enhance their drafting tools in SketchUp; it really would not take much to make that the new architect's software. Perhaps an alliance of the AIA and Google to modify SketchUp just a little for our needs would be a big step forward for us all.
Thank you for pointing out "the elephant in the room." This is something that has been brewing for a long, long time. I guess it has taken a major recession for us architects to finally realize that we have been economically brutalized by a large software company preying on our fears of always having to have the latest. Time for a big change.
Rand Soellner AIA
Rand Soellner Architect
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