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My First CAD Workstation

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CADTutor

As far as I recall, my first CAD "workstation" was a Compaq Deskpro 368/20. Naturally, it was souped up with the optional 387 co-processor but I can't remember how much RAM was installed although I do remember that the RAM was on a large board in an ISA(?) slot with lots of chips on it. This must have been at the end of 1988 or early 1989 and I was running the just released AutoCAD R10.

 

What was your first CAD workstation?

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ReMark

How are you defining workstation?

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designerstuart

i learned on R12 at school - but i think it was more like a 486

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CADTutor
How are you defining workstation?

 

Loosely - anything that will run AutoCAD.

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SEANT

Interestingly enough, the Compaq 386/20 was my first workstation as well. I know it had a co-processor, but don't know the specifics. I do know it had 4 MB of ram. The original owner paid in excess of $5000, I bought it used for $1200. The hard drive had not been wiped, and a DOS version of AutoCAD (Rel.11, IIRC) was still there. I know, I know - Mr. Autodesk would likely not have approved.

 

 

I eventually gave the machine away when I upgraded. That Compaq was so 'bulletproof', though, it would probably still run today if it hasn't been scrapped for other reasons.

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f700es

1st cad station I used was in school. August of 1989.

386 cpu with AutoCAD r9 dos

 

1st home PC that ran autocad.

486 DX4/100 Mhz 16mb ram 540mb hard drive

with AutoCAD LT for students r12 win

 

1st CAD station at 1st job.

Pentium 166mhz w/32 mb ram

AutoCAD r12

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David Bethel

1988

 

Kaypro 286/12 - 287 Math Co-processor

1MB RAM

1MB Extended RAM ( $256 )

20 MB MFM Hard Drive

MS-DOS 3.1

The original HP DeskJet

5.25 Floppy

 

ACAD 9 ( 2.62 )

 

All Total just under $5K

 

 

 

Man I AM old :o

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SLW210
1st cad station I used was in school. August of 1989.

386 cpu with AutoCAD r9 dos

 

1st home PC that ran autocad.

486 DX4/100 Mhz 16mb ram 540mb hard drive

with AutoCAD LT for students r12 win

 

1st CAD station at 1st job.

Pentium 166mhz w/32 mb ram

AutoCAD r12

 

Pretty much the exact same for me, except, I started school in 1990 with AutoCAD r10.

 

I started using CAD and going to school late in life. Prior to that I worked on the Board for doing any drafting. Worked mostly on the shop floor and in the machine shop, filled in drafting, till 2000 when I moved full time to the engineering/design department.

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f700es

Yeah SLW I started drafting in HS around '85. Took 3 years of that and when on to tech school in '89. Been moving over to my new box at work and it's power is just crazy when looking back to these old machines.

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SLW210

I remember "MAXING OUT" my RAM, dang, I could have bought a Workstation today just for what I spent on RAM.

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David Bethel

I still get a stack overflow ( which is basically out of RAM ) on my oldest production machine ( Win98 ACAD R12 & R13 DOS) from time to time. But then again I could crash ACAD2000 just as easily.

 

I did take drafting in high school '69 & '70. I was not very good as I've never had really steady hands. Also I couldn't really keep a clean work surface due to oily hands. So it was another 15 years before I figured out that could at least do a decent sketch. Thank goodness for CAD software.

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steven-g

I started with Autocad late in life about 7 years ago, but the first time I used a cad program was in the early 90's, it was on a comodore 64, and it was a free program published in parts in a magazine, I remember spending 2 weeks typing out the program by hand (one christmas holiday) but I don't think I used it that much and it was very basic just simple line work.

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BIGAL

I can beat you all a Sirius computer twin floppy maybe version 2 it came out later with I think a 10 or 20Mb drive Also NEC twin floppy 1st of the colour Pc's with 8"disks.

 

Yeah heaps of cost $5000, as I was involved very early in Civil software sales it was common to have a 10% commission with a wholesale buy of up to 30% so at $5000 you work it out. Pc today maybe $200 profit.

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Hsanon

I hadn't discovered this section as yet......

My first experience was on an XT 286 with a 287 co processor. That was very temporary and I quickly moved upwards onto a fast AT 386 with the 387 in tow..... Yes it cost a bomb those days.

From what remember , the Ram was 640kb. I was told dos couldn't read beyond that. (Probably a sales gimmick)

My first attempt was on Autocad 2.6 without a mouse..... All I can say it taught me patience, how use my fingers on the keypad and how to squeeze file names into 8 characters

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Hsanon

Don't even get me started on the 80column dot matrix printers, and my first Roland 8 pen plotter.... ;):roll:

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Dana W

Here is a Wiki of my first CAD workstation. A tectronix 4010, 1982. It was connected to a VAX mini mainframe computer that had something like 512meg of RAM, and 4 disk drives, each the size of a laundromat dryer.

 

No mouse, X and Y thumb wheels.

 

The company ran a proprietary in-house software named CD-Edit. About all the program could do was lines, circles, and fillets, and it could insert electrical symbols from a "block Library".

 

I spent my time on it correcting hand digitized CAD files that were full of open vertices and off perpendicular lines. My storage media was 8" or 12" tape reel.

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lrm

My first CAD workstation was made by Applicon. The system used a PDP 11/04 and an 11 inch Tektronix 611 DVST (direct view storage tube) display. Applicon's principal market was printed circuit board design. In the early 70's they were looking at getting into IC design and fabrication as well as mechanical design and drafting. I was hired in 1972 by Applicon to help develop its mechanical CAD system. I would store the program I wrote in assembly language on cassette tapes. The system relied on a character recognition feature that allowed the user to free-hand draw symbols for various commands such as a circle to zoom in, a Z to zoom out, the letter D to delete, and an S to select geometry. It was an exciting time to be in CAD.

Here's a sales video from that time.

 

Our primary competitors at the time were Computervision, Gerber Scientific, M&S Computing (which would letter become Intergraph which was the system Bentley was modeled after), Calma and a few other "turnkey" systems. This was almost a decade before Autodesk introduced a deskful of applications at a computer show at Disney World one of which was a CAD system.

~Lee

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Andrew1979

My first go at AutoCAD was at Uni. We had 2 seperate computer rooms that were called the DOS lab and the Macintosh lab. If you wanted to use AutoCAD you would use a computer in the DOS lab, if you wanted to use Photoshop you had to leave the DOS lab and goto the Mac lab....pretty stupid really when you think about it but thats how it was then.

The first version AutoCAD I used was R13. I think even though it was called the DOS lab from memory R13 was the first version to make it into Windows.

I can't recall the specs of the computers at Uni, but at home I had an AMD k7 CPU.....and I think 16mb of Ram.

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Handiman
As far as I recall, my first CAD "workstation" was a Compaq Deskpro 368/20. Naturally, it was souped up with the optional 387 co-processor but I can't remember how much RAM was installed although I do remember that the RAM was on a large board in an ISA(?) slot with lots of chips on it. This must have been at the end of 1988 or early 1989 and I was running the just released AutoCAD R10.

 

What was your first CAD workstation?

 

My first computer was 386/20 with a 5 1/4" floppy and a 3.5" disk, I needed some memory so I bought 1 MEG of ram for $180. 1 MEG!

It was a single stick about 3 1/2" long and I think about 180 pins.

It was a speed demon with that added, I was able to play so many more games then.

That was running on DOS 5.0 and then I was able to go to DOS 6.0.

Amazing how things have changed in a short time.

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Biscuits

My first workstation was manufactured by the Ohio Art Company back in the 60's.

The hard drive was commonly known as Etch-a-Sketch.

Incredibly fast when it came to a re-boot!

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