Pros: Exceptional quality in work and saved files and allows password protection.
Cons: Very hard to learn and is expensive
AutoDesk introduces another version of AutoCAD which is user friendly and has windows xp look a like interface. For those of you who have never used or heard of AutoCAD, I will go into brief details to describe its basic purposes and its features.
AutoCAD is a software that is widely used by most *drafters, architects, engineers, and designers. It provides essential elements that help *designers in putting 3d images or ideas onto a 2d surface or picture. This is important because graphics and pictures explain more sometimes than technical aspects can.
Ease of Use
AutoCAD is difficult to use. It's not something you can pick up over a weeks time just by practicing it. It takes at least a hundred hours to become familiar with most of its capabilities. For some it may take longer to learn. So, the fact that AutoDesk came out with a new interface and friendlier toolbar will give future AutoCAD users more of an advantage in learning the ropes.
Software installation Specs
First off, before you buy AutoCAD 2002, be sure that your system (computer) meets the requirements of the software. Failure to this can cause not so fun computer problems such as short memory, lock-ups, and so much more. Here are the main requirements:
Min RAM size needs to be 128 MB
Min hard drive space should be 200 MB
You should have a CD-ROM Drive, a Mouse, or compatible device (tablet, etc.)
Min OS system is windows 2000 or XP
You can draw anything on AutoCAD; from clothes to homes the tools needed are there. AutoCAD has several ways of drawing one item. Lets say I wanted to draw a line; I could go to the toolbar menu and find line or I could type Line in the command area. There are also hotkeys that can be used, for example, if I enter L enter, it will be the same as the toolbar and line option.
AutoCAD 2004 allows the user easy access to the toolbar with better quality pictures than their previous software. It also has a quick right click method that helps with commands and makes things go faster. This is important when it comes to drafting because the less mistakes the better.
When you save a file, it becomes a .dwg file. These files can be very bulky but lucky for us AutoDesk adds a better feature in 2004 and the file is reduced by 40 percent, making it much easier to transfer, share, or upload them. The files can also be encrypted with a password allowing the person sending the file to feel more secure with sharing their ideas.
There are endless commands to AutoCAD such as drawing arcs, circles, lines, clouds, octagons, and much more. Also you can fillet, chamfer, trim, extend, stretch, and zoom into your drawings. Layers make for easy organization of technical drawings and colors may be assigned to each layer separately for less confusion.
Unfortunately, I cannot afford this software as it ranges from $600.00 to $6000.00 depending on the license you buy. Fortunately, I attend a technical school and have had the advantage of using it there to learn. This cost is bound to drop, especially if AutoDesk creates a newer version in the future.
would I trust it with my work?
Like all software and computers, there is always a chance of power outage computer problems. Luckily, you have the choice and utilities to save your work as often as you would like with the save command. This includes automatic saves also. I haven't had any work lost since using AutoCAD 2004. I used to have more than I would have liked with the last version so I think the file size has a lot to do with that.
Should I recommend?
I love AutoCAD 2004. I highly recommend this software to all professionals and businesses or to anyone that wants to learn AutoCAD. This is a must for designers! I do recommend checking around for a better price depending on the project at hand.
*This review was based on inexperienced users and was not written with detailed specs on software, which would have been very confusing to most readers, thank you.