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AutoCAD for Windows FAQ file from 1992

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RetroCAD

January 16, 1992

AutoCAD for Windows Questions and Answers

 

1.  What is AutoCAD for Windows?

 

AutoCAD for Windows is a Windows-specific version of AutoCAD
Release 11.  It provides a Windows-standard interface which
makes CAD easy to learn and use even for the novice.  From
the easily customizable tool bar to its informative on-line
hypertext Help, AutoCAD for Windows proves that powerful CAD
software doesn't have to be awkward or difficult.

In addition to interface improvements in AutoCAD itself, the
open architecture of AutoCAD for Windows allows third-party
Developers to construct powerful applications quickly,
linking the power of AutoCAD with other Windows applications
like spreadsheets and databases.  With the Autodesk
Development System (ADS), Developers will be able to create
an exciting new class of tightly integrated applications.

Using its Windows clipboard support, AutoCAD drawings can be
placed directly into documents and other files in word-
processing, desktop publishing, or presentation graphics
programs.

Finally, Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) links to Windows
spreadsheets and other programs allow the customer to conduct
experimental, interactive "what-if" queries on design changes
to his AutoCAD drawing, giving him the flexibility of
parametric design control.

 

 2.  Who should use AutoCAD for Windows?

 

Anyone who needs the design, drafting, drawing, and modeling
tools of AutoCAD, and who wants to access them through a
Windows interface. This includes all present AutoCAD
customers, as well as those who have been waiting for a
Windows version of AutoCAD, or who were seeking a more
streamlined interface to help them become proficient with
AutoCAD more quickly.  We believe AutoCAD for Windows opens
up new markets and makes CAD accessible to new customers.

 

3.  What are some of AutoCAD for Windows' key features?

 

a) Full AutoCAD Release 11 feature set
b) Interface
1) Windows-standard Graphical User Interface (GUI)
2) Operates as a well-behaved multi-tasking Windows
   application
3) Bitmap menus and hierarchical menus
4) Tool Bar
5) Context-sensitive Help with hypertext links
6) Complete reference manual available on-line
c) Connectivity
1) Support of clipboard metafile and bitmap formats
2) Dynamic Data Exchange links
3) Open architecture, user programmable and customizable DDE

 

4.  What are the hardware requirements for AutoCAD for
    Windows?

 

AutoCAD for Windows requires an 80386- or 80486-based PC-
compatible computer with at least 4MB of RAM, 20MB free hard
disk space, an 80287 or 80387 math coprocessor chip, a mouse,
a VGA-or-better video adapter and monitor supported by
Windows, DOS 3.3 or higher, and Windows 3.0 running in
Enhanced mode.

 

5.  What is the packaging?

 

AutoCAD for Windows consists of 8 diskettes and an
Installation Guide.

 

6.  What does it do that AutoCAD Release 11 386 does not do?

 

AutoCAD for Windows has three areas of functionality not
presently included in AutoCAD Release 11 386:

1) Access to the Windows clipboard -- This allows AutoCAD for
Windows customers to copy an object to the clipboard in
either vector format, in which case it becomes a Windows
metafile (WMF), or in raster format, in which case it becomes
a Windows bit map (BMP).  From there, the customer can then
paste the image into another Windows application, such as a
word-processing, desktop-publishing, or presentation graphics
program.

2) Dynamic Data Exchange -- As a default, AutoCAD for Windows
supports Windows Dynamic Data Exchange links between an
external data source and the AutoCAD drawing database.  For
example, when the customer changes attributes in a Microsoft
Excel sprea dsheet, those attributes can be instantly updated
in the AutoCAD for Windows drawing. Because AutoCAD's DDE
support is open and programmable, the customer can also
create his own customized DDE connections by using a
programming language like C.  This allows him to create a
DDE application that instantly updates the dimensions of
objects in the AutoCAD drawing when data is changed in a
Windows database program.  Or a Bill of Materials can be
updated automatically in a Windows spreadsheet when the
AutoCAD drawing is edited.

3) Windows interface -- Because AutoCAD for Windows complies
 with Windows standards on menus and dialogues, it is much
 easier for the Windows customer who has never previously
 used AutoCAD to learn the program.  The pull-down menus and
 dialogues also make AutoCAD for Windows easier to use for
 production work.

 

7.  What doesn't it have or do that AutoCAD Release 11 386
    has?

 

There are two features or areas of functionality in AutoCAD
Release 11 386 that are not supported in this first release
of AutoCAD for Windows:

1) Advanced Modeling Extension (AME) -- AME will not work
with AutoCAD for Windows because of Windows' memory
architecture.  Since AME is a 32-bit application and Windows
is a 16-bit operating system (for now), we were not able to
make AME work with AutoCAD for Windows in this initial
release.

2) Server Authorization -- This first release of AutoCAD for
   Windows does not support AutoCAD Release 11 386's
   concurrent use network license feature.

 

8.  How does its performance compare to AutoCAD Release 11
    386?

 

Our own internal performance benchmarks show AutoCAD for
Windows to be one-half to one-third as fast as AutoCAD
Release 11 386.  However, these benchmarks are designed to
test the flat-out raw speed of the programs, and do not
reflect the typical work flow of many AutoCAD customers.  We
believe that AutoCAD for Windows' performance will be very
acceptable for most customers on all but the largest and most
complex drawings.  The productivity gains from the easy-to-
use Windows interface and Windows' ability to run more than
one program concurrently mean that this version of AutoCAD
can actually be faster to use for many design projects.

 

9.  Will my AutoLISP scripts run with AutoCAD for Windows?

 

Yes.

 

10.  Will my ADS applications run with AutoCAD for Windows?

 

All ADS applications will need to be recompiled and some also
may require modification.  You should contact your ADS
Developer and ask for an updated ADS application that is
compatible with AutoCAD for Windows.

 

11.  Will my present ADI driver work with AutoCAD for
     Windows?

 

No.  You should contact your ADI Developer and ask for an
updated ADI driver for AutoCAD for Windows.

 

12.  Can I run multiple instances of AutoCAD for Windows, or
     open multiple drawings?

 

No.  Windows only allows a single instance of AutoCAD for
Windows because it is a large memory model application.
Also, the first release of AutoCAD for Windows does not
support the Multiple Document Interface.

 

13.  Why do you call it the AutoCAD for Windows "Extension"?

 

Because the program code provided to a current AutoCAD
customer in this package requires that the user have an AutoCAD
Release 11 license for the system on which he will install
this Windows program.  The name is consistent with the
AutoCAD Advanced Modeling Extension.  It also means the
customer has the choice of switching between AutoCAD Release
11 386 and AutoCAD for Windows on the same system.


We consider the AutoCAD for Windows Extension a dual use license.

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