In Defense of AutoCAD for Mac

Ok, so it’s 3am and I have insomnia. As I was reading through some blogs and general public reaction to AutoCAD for Mac, the response has been generally favorable. However, there are also some naysayers that perhaps think that Autodesk has made a huge mistake developing AutoCAD for Mac. Perhaps they are Mac-haters. Perhaps they feel that their “sacred” PC has been violated by this new intrusion. I don’t know, and frankly I don’t care.

Autodesk has clearly stated the reasons behind the Mac release was because the outcry of the people and it gives users another choice. No PC vs. Mac debates.

I was fortunate to be a part of the AutoCAD for Mac (code name Sledgehammer) from the Alpha stages, up through the beta stages and finally out the door to the public. Those who were also a part of this will agree, that MANY kudos go out to the team. They are hit from users with all kinds of problems, suggestions, and wishes. They have internal deadlines to keep, all the while troubleshooting users issues. After a while, the team can relax a bit while “rehashed” questions pop up. These can be answered pretty easily by the beta users.

One of the perks of being an Alpha/Beta tester is that your voice is heard, and even some of my suggestions were pit into the final product. So, It is like I have partial stock ownership in this product. 🙂

But on to the naysayers. There is a cry that the product “sucks” because it is missing XYZ Functionality. Because it doesn’t have ribbons, because the interface looks different than the PC version, and so forth.

It is true that there are some features missing, but Autodesk has released a bulletin with a list of features that are not included. I think that this is a wise move on Autodesk’s part. Other than a read me file with limitations, I’d like you to tell me another company that sends a document out that spells out what is missing. I’m sure there is, but this in the minority.

People must remember a few things regarding AutoCAD for Mac before they go off on their “This sucks” tirade:

  • Whether you want to believe it or not, AutoCAD for Mac really is a version 1. Yes, there was a release many years ago, but that was then – this is now. As a geek, I do enjoy being on the cutting edge of things. Many version 1 software packages have passed before my computers. I would like to challenge you to find a piece of software in a version 1 that is as full-featured as AutoCAD for Mac. Again, I’m sure that there are, but none could come my mind this quickly in the wee hours of the morning.
  • In tandem with the above, consider that AutoCAD for Mac is NOT a port from Windows but totally rewritten from the ground up. Many users are comparing AutoCAD for Mac to the Windows version; comparing it physically. It shouldn’t be. AutoCAD for Mac was created FOR Mac users and also is easy for PC users to migrate once they understand some basic Mac gestures and keystrokes.
  • * Last, but certainly not least is resources. I will admit that I would have liked to have XYZ functionality in AutoCAD for Mac but if that were the case, multiply my single wish by the approximate 5000 other beta testers and their wishes and AutoCAD for Mac would not be released to the public until 2013! It all comes down to resources; physical manpower and the money allocated to those resources. Folks, they only have a set budget and needed to make many painful decisions (I would venture a guess that even the internal staff had some heated debate over what stays and what goes). And we only see the end result.

So consider these things before you press the send button on your blogging program, or press return in your favorite social media site. Just think of what we have, how it came to us, and what we have to look forward to in future releases of AutoCAD for Mac.

Now, I’m tired and think I’ll go to sleep.

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3 Responses to “In Defense of AutoCAD for Mac”

  1. Lisa Pohlmeyer Says:

    Well said Rick. I too was part of Alpha/Beta, though I didn’t participate to the extent you did. Unfortunately work & personal life too prescidence over this particular beta. Sometimes we have to pick & choose. I’m glad you chose to pursue this one. I appreciate your tenacity and your point of view. I often found myself having to close my mind to the PC version and focus on the features given to me. Being a Mac virgin (anything under a year in my mind) the UI is still somewhat foreign and I find it difficult to go back and forth. But I’m sure the Mac interface itself is focused toward the more creative minds and thus easier for them. Thanks for posting.

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  3. It’s quite clear it is V1.0. so much so that for many the missing features makes it unusable in a production environment. I hope V1.0 is just that and there will be many more enhancements to come! I for one will buy it but not in its current form. I pray that Autodesk are not under the delusion that futer development rests on the successful sales of this version.

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