My Ford Escort

I've been thinking about some of the points Rev made. I've come to the conclusion that PowerCADD is a lot like my Ford Escort. Please don't be offended, Bill; I'll explain.

My friends make fun of my car (CAD program). Many of them drive SUV's (AutoCAD and Microstation). My Escort doesn't have four wheel drive, and its engine has been superceded by some riding mowers. There's a lot of wind noise when I drive it over 75 mph. The windshield wipers don't seem to be exactly to right shape for the windshield, and they always streak. The cup holders don't work well for anything except cans of pop. It has manual locks and crank windows.

However, I got it new for under invoice ($7900!) seven years ago, it's still runs perfectly and is totally dependable. It's paid off, and it's (I'm almost embarrassed to admit) fun to drive. With the manual transmission, it's fairly peppy, and it handles well. It gets 40 miles to the gallon. It gets me where I'm going, quickly and cheaply.

My friends with SUV's may brag about the horsepower and the four-wheel drive, but they use them for city driving. They don't even need those features. SUV's get much lower gas mileage then my car, they're higher maintenance, and they're big and clumsy; not as maneuverable. They also cost 3-4+ times more than I paid initially and all the parts and repairs cost more, too. My friends with larger, more expensive vehicles pump a lot more money into their cars than I do, but they don't get any extra functionality - at least none that they take advantage of. Still many would not be caught dead in a compact (2-D program) or an American car (Mac program).

As for the extra features, automatic transmissions, brakes, steering (yes, my car also has manual brakes and steering), windows, locks, window and seat adjustments, etc., etc. It's just more stuff that can break. You don't really need power brakes and steering with a small, light car. Windows, locks, etc. -- who cares? It's not any significant difference. The options I care about, I have: rear window defroster, radio, air conditioner.

Not that I wouldn't love to have a sports car (expensive 3-D program like FormZ) or something, but it just isn't worth it. It wouldn't be unless I had enough money for a car to play with -- not a car that I need to have run dependably and not cost me a lot of $$.

Like a high quality compact car, PowerCADD is simple and dependable. It has the functionality you need to produce 2-D construction drawings quickly and well, and not lots of extra features to slow it down and make it buggier and more expensive. It's comfortable to use -- quick and flexible. It works on familiar principles, with few confusing abstractions. Once you've worked with it for a while, you know what it can produce, and feel totally in control of your visual results.

In addition, if Ford were Engineered software, I could call up the Escort design team and say, "Hey -- your windshield wipers are buggy! Please fix them for the next model year. We need better cup holders, too," and they'd fix it. That's the best thing about PowerCADD...

Dee Colarco


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