This story marks the introduction of what we hope will be a growing series of Pro Switcher stories -- testimonials from real life CAD and 3D professionals who have decided to make the switch from the PC to the Macintosh.
These stories will lend credence and specificity to Apple's now famous Switcher ads--which also feature professionals--by focusing on the technical professionals that use CAD and other technical visualization software.
In this first story we talk to architect Jeffrey Yap.
AFR: Jeffrey, thanks for taking the time to share your Pro Switcher story with us. So what prompted your interest in the Macintosh platform...did you see a switcher ad or something?
Jeffrey: I have always been interested in the Mac platform but due to circumstances under which I started my practice and the availability of software for design architects at the time (circa 1994), I was forced to use Autocad on the Windows PC platform. The reason for Autocad was that it was [perceived] as the design industry standard and all the other allied professions were using it. I started out with 3D modeling in Autocad but over the years found that Autocad was excellent in highly detailed production type work...that I was not necessarily interested in that, as our focus was on conceptual design and presentations.
I was left experimenting with the use of different software to convert files between Autocad and Adobe Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator, and so on. A close friend of mine from Canada introduced me to MiniCAD on the Mac platform, which could perform all my tasks seamlessly. Since then I have been secretly trying to move to MiniCAD (now VectorWorks).
AFR: Any other reasons why you switched?
Jeffrey: The new iMac G4 and PowerBook G4's have also certainly helped in pushing me along.
AFR: What do you think of Apple's efforts to attract PC users? Do they resonate with intelligent, professional PC users?
Jeffrey: I think the biggest problem lies in the need to confirm among PC users that the existing software that many of us have been using for years can be smoothly and seamlessly switched over. Many of us dread the thought of going through another learning curve. More can be done by Apple in this respect.
AFR: How many years have you been using Autocad?
Jeffrey: I've been using it since 1994.
AFR: Have you tried other CAD programs besides Autocad?
Jeffrey: I tried something called FASTCAD.
AFR: Why do you want or need Autocad on the Mac platform? Are you aware of the many excellent choices available to the CAD professional on the Mac?
Jeffrey: The reason I thought I needed Autocad on the Mac platform is the fact that I still need to edit and correct plans done on Autocad by my draftspeople. Most of these drawings are Xref'd into Autocad .dwg format. And I am of the understanding that other CAD software still have problems associated with Xrefs created in Autocad.
AFR: What has been your Mac experience so far? Are you finding the applications that you need or have used in the Windows world?
Jeffrey: Yes, as I intend to do all my graphics on Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and Adobe InDesign (which I think should work best on a Mac), it would be a natural choice to get my drafting software (besides being familiar with it) on the Mac as well.
AFR: In your opinion, is the Macintosh considered a serious contender among your peers?
Jeffrey: Definitely! As the industry (architects) gets more computer oriented (we architects were some of the last to get into CAD) the younger architects need more design-oriented software as opposed to drafting (Autocad) which is more intuitive and less technical. Once the concepts are done and presented, there must be some sort of software that can seamlessly translate these concepts into precise drafted documents.
AFR: What do you think Apple should do to support CAD and other technical professionals considering the Mac?
Jeffrey: As I am beginning to discover Apple, I think more has to be done to tap CAD as a tool for creative concept design...very much like how we all sketch and doodle on tracing paper but to do this on a computer. I think Autodesk is trying to do something like this but I think Apple should take the lead.
AFR: Thanks for talking to us about your new platform of choice!
Jeffrey Yap's firm, JYD was established in 1994 to provide concept design and presentation services in the architectural field. The firm quickly established itself as the first Singapore firm specializing in concept design and presentations. JYD has been responsible for securing several major international architectural competition projects for its clients, mainly other architects whose firms were not geared up to the rigours of architectural competitions using CAD.
- Architosh Site Switch Resources
- Our resources at architosh.com for professionals considering a switch to the Macintosh platform from Windows or UNIX are very extensive. We have published over 1000 news and special reports, including feature articles and exclusive interviews concerning the key developments in the Macintosh CAD and 3D market place. For more information choose a link below:
- DPG: Digital Practice Guide
- Architosh Firm Profiles
- Architosh Forums
- Architosh Article Indexes
- Architosh e-Store
- AIWUG: Architosh International Web User Group
- Other Switch Resources
- Here are other resources to help CAD and 3D pros make the switch to the Macintosh platform:
Apple Switch Web Site Mac OS X Apple Site