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This month we are starting off with a special interview concerning VectorWorks for Mac OS X. A must read article, even if you use a different CAD program or just do 3D or animation.

VectorWorks for OS X: Exclusive Interview
Architosh founder and editor, Anthony Frausto-Robledo, discusses the future of the number one Macintosh CAD program on Mac OS X, Apple's next-generation operating system, with Sean Flaherty, CTO, of Nemetschek, North America (formerly Diehl Graphsoft).

Sit down and get comfortable and read this highly engaging interview from one of the most respected names in the industry. You'll learn how Nemetschek feels about OS X technically and how this premier developer feels about Apple's future in general. A must read for VectorWorks users!

The Interview

AFR: Anthony Frausto-Robledo, Founder & Editor, Architosh

SF: Sean Flaherty, CTO, Nemetschek, North America

AFR: Sean, thanks for joining me today to talk about VectorWorks on Mac OS X.

SF: Thanks for letting us have this opportunity.

AFR: I guess I'd like to start by asking you to elaborate on some exciting comments made by Richard Diehl (Richard is CEO of Nemetschek, N. A.) in a recent Dispatch newsletter. He said that "longtime Mac users will be especially pleased with our support of Mac OS X." Can you elaborate on that?

SF: Sure. What Richard was trying to get at was that Nemetschek is fully behind the Macintosh. Some users have been concerned about the acquisition and the name change and we want our Mac users to know that we are not getting away from the Macintosh. In fact, we plan on fully supporting Mac OS X.

AFR: When you say full support do you mean a full Carbon native application or just full support under the Classic Environment?

SF: No, full support. That means Carbon. For us this is a real opportunity for Macintosh. OS X for me is a new foundation type of release from Apple where you get things like memory protection, preemptive multitasking, etcetera. Those are the types of things that get exciting for Mac users.

To be fair Microsoft has been more up to speed [than Apple] with these modern features. Sure Windows machines are harder to set up and run, but once they are set up, they often run more reliably. Mac users are used to machines that are easier to set up and run but may crash more often. That's the difference.

AFR: Do you see Mac OS X as having a chance to exceed Windows 2000 in this regard? [stability]

SF: The problem in the past for the Mac has been the reliability of its memory architecture. Windows 2000 prevents us from writing, for example, into a printer driver's memory. If we do, VectorWorks will immediately crash but leave the system running. On the Mac you might bring down the entire system. Windows 98 has some memory protection, so it falls somewhere between Windows 2000 and the [current] Macintosh.

SF: The user experience of OS X is still up in the air right now. The Macintosh user is going to take a few steps backwards in terms of system management. It will become more complicated, more like Windows. Some things will definitely change on the Mac and maybe there will be some advantages there. Quartz will really unify printing. PDF will become the lingua franca for display.

AFR: Can you speak about the transition to OS X for VectorWorks?

SF: This was a tough thing to jump into. We have been very cautious. It took us about ten months to do the PowerPC port [back before 1994?]. Given better tools it could have taken about three months. So we have been more careful this time around.

AFR: Can you tell me about VectorWorks and how well it runs in the Classic mode in OS X?

SF: VectorWorks 8.5.2 is fully compatible in the emulation environment and runs very well.

AFR: What about earlier versions like MiniCAD 7?

SF: We have done no MiniCAD 7 testing. It's a low priority. If we do it, it will be closer to the release of OS X.

AFR: Can you talk about how VectorWorks 9 will be more customized to each platform?




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