Saturday 17 August 2002

General CADD Pro ~ Daughter of Generic CADD!

My first encounter with Generic CADD was the very first release.

I must confess that a friend gave me a copy to play with and look at. I found a bug in the coordinate entry process. I rang the sellers in the UK and asked if this was a known bug because I had heard of the problem and I wanted to know before purchasing. They confirmed that it was and that it had been fixed, so I sent them a cheque and order for a licensed copy.

In the early 90’s Autodesk discontinued support for Generic CADD and killed off one of the most popular low-cost CAD packages in the 1980 and early 90’s.

However they had effectivly bought the Generic CADD customer base of around 275 – 350,000 users, and killed off a rival product.

I later assisted in the Beta Testing of Visual CADD ( the Son of Generic CADD ) for the UK Box shifting distributor FastCAD. not wanting Autodesk’s AutoCAD’s LiTe product for yet another £99, having just purchased what was to be the last upgrade release, which was sold on the platform of “providing more AutoCAD Compatibility”.

I have often a likened doing business with Autodesk to making love with a condom.
“One gets a sense of security whilst being screwed ”

Support in the UK for Visual CADD was dire, I offered to start a UK Visual CADD users group, FastCAD were just not interested. There was no Internet, only a few BBS Sites, and UK users had a sense of being on the outside, far far way from the developers ( Numera Software ) over the pond in the USA.

Not enough copies of the first version of Visual CADD were sold to cover the development cost, The second version required an upgrade of operating system to Windows 95, effectively futher restricting the potential client base, for not eveyone wanted too or had the cash to upgrade operating systems at that time.

The product then bounced from owner to owner -- from Numera to Corel to IMSI (makers of TurboCAD), and finally to TriTools, who continues to support and update VisualCADD today.

I regret to say that I stopped using Generic in (1999), when it got just to much agro to get it to work on my new computer / operating system, and pressure of work forced me back to AutoCAD Products.

For those that are still persevering, I wish you well, and a glimmer of hope!.

Jim Faliveno, Carl Ransdell, and Matt Brown, software developers well known to many Generic CADD users, assisted by some two dozen loyal beta testers, will soon deliver the Daughter of Generic CADD – General CADD ( How near can you get two names, without using the original !)

Let’s hope that Jim, Carl and Matt have got their sums about right and that General CADD will not be still born.

I have been beta testing and must say that General CADD feels more like Generic CADD than Visual CADD did when I first beta tested it.

You can learn more about General CADD, and download a beta version” to help Bug Test/ Evaluate at for one would love to see Jim, Carl and Matt succeed with a viable Windows based replacement for Generic CADD.