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back to article AutoCAD LT arrives on the Mac

AutoCAD LT is now available for the Mac. On Tuesday, Autodesk announced that it has ported AutoCAD LT to the Mac, selling this "lite" version of its venerable design tool through the Mac App Store at a price of $899. Alongside AutoCAD LT in the Mac App Store, Autodesk will also offer a Mac incarnation of the free AutoCAD WS – a …

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Silver badge
Meh

and double meh

LT is looking for a niche but it's doubtful it will see any serious uptake unless consumers feel a reason to pay money for the equivalent of a free product Dassault Systems gives their product, Draftsight, away for free and it's Win/ Mac/ Linux friendly. LT will likely find a home on the desk of an intelligent* manager who doesn't need full Acad and won't settle for a viewer.

*Of course this means the IT group was merely smart enough to load his machine with LT and say "Autocad is loaded and ready for you boss."

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Pricey

Seems a hell of a price for a piss poor CAD system, and this is just the 'lite' version. Having been a draughtsman for most of my working life, I was appalled at the quality, as a draughting tool, that Autocad was compared to a real piece of CAD software. Rather like Microsoft, its appeal was more to the buyers in big companies, than to the people using it, which led to it's almost universal acceptance as the de-facto standard, rather than any quality as a practical piece of software. A factor, which all too often rules what is accepted in the workplace.

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Angel

AutoCAD Just Works

AutoCAD was there from the early 1980s on PCs right out of the gate. And it road to success along with DOS, Windows and PCs. It was fairly cheap and quick to buy and build an AutoCAD system and get it producing for clients. Anyone could customize it, you didn't need to be a coding genius. (No comments about overly complex, inelegant LISP routines please.) In only a few short years there was a gazillion specialized addons available.

Yes, it's idiosyncratic but so are computers in general, for the technical user. AutoCAD carries it's idiosyncrasies mainly because there is such an immense entrenched userbase. It wasn't beancounters that made that userbase it was simply CAD operators and managers meeting budgets and providing service to clients one brick at a time. I'll be the first to admit AutoCAD can be hard to use having run it since 1986, but it does the job.

But, porting AutoCAD fullblown or even LT to the Mac OS does seem pointless given Apple's apparent business direction. Addons and even some of the most important functionality in the Windows version is just not there in the current Mac version. By the time they get it right the professional Mac will likely go the way of (fill in your favourite now defunct workstation). I use Mac OSX and Windows and I'm no particular fan of either.

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Childcatcher

Pricey -

Yeah well. I have been using AutoCAD for over 20 years and I don't think LT is a bad product. But, and I have complained about this so many times, it is very expensive. When it came out it was about the same price as an OS, but now! Really! Would you pay over £1000 for Windows 7 and you have an upgrade to pay for each year? Well I would not if I didn't have to.

So look out MS it might be time to move over to Mac.

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Silver badge

Interesting

Autocad - 20 years ago it was the only choice - the alternatives were paper or a mainframe.

Now use the free clones or proper parametric cad - pity that the free ProDesktop dissapeared.

We looked at moving one of our survey apps to the iPhone when it came out. It used to run on a 1500quid ruggedised WinCE machine but all the customers had iPhones.

Apple didn't seem interested in anything but iFart apps. You couldn't sell to corporates without going through their store and they took 40%. Great for a 99p iFart - but annoying on a 2grand survey package. And there was then no date for when the store would be available outside the US.

And the approval process was all about how it looked. They didn't care about what our users expected of a field survey package - if it didn't use the Apple one-true-style correctly it would be rejected.

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Not true

On PCs, GenCADD was popular 20 years ago, until AutoDesk bought it out and killed it. And on high-end workstations there was CATIA, Intergraph, etc. Pretty amazing stuff compared to the crap that dominates now.

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Thumb Up

App store licencing

Covers 5 installs if memory serves, so it's just $180 per workstation, that's a massive discount that some clients of mine will be pleased to hear about.

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Not for commercial usage

This only applies for domestic usage. Commerical customers are only licenced for one seat per purchase.

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Anonymous Coward

User friendly is not anti-professional

Quote: "Apple is actually moving the Mac away from the professional user"

Based on what? Because Final Cut was so contentious? Because Lion is easier to use, or includes iOS features? Maybe you should ask some professionals using the Mac what they think rather than putting words in their mouths. I wouldn't use anything else for my business - Apple equipment is good value for money, its software isn't 'in-your-face' (you can focus on your job), and the hardware/software combo holds up well under pressure. I'd recommend it to any professional.

Not so keen on AutoCAD though, LT or otherwise. Even AutoDesk is focussing on Revit. If you're on a Mac, there are better choices, e.g. VectorWorks, ArchiCAD, and many others.

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WTF?

Apple gear is not professional

"Quote: 'Apple is actually moving the Mac away from the professional user'

Based on what?"

Based on their offerings? The Mac Pro has laughable expansion capabilities (32GB RAM my ass), and unlike with its older counterparts there aren't even professional graphics boards (Nvidia Quadro, AMD FireGL/FirePro) available. On the other side, that probably isn't really a problem because the Mac OS graphics drivers suck big time. And of course the Mac Pro lacks certification for the majority of relevant professional applications out there. It's a joke.

"I wouldn't use anything else for my business - Apple equipment is good value for money its software isn't 'in-your-face' (you can focus on your job), and the hardware/software combo holds up well under pressure."

Maybe your work isn't really demanding then. As to 'value for money', £1800+ for a single processor machine with consumer graphics is anything but 'value for money', a real workstation like a HP z400 can be had with better config, professional graphics and 3 year onsite warranty (compared to the Mac's laughable 1 year bring-in) for less money. And this is a system where ISV support won't turn their head away in disgust because it isn't supported.

"If you're on a Mac, there are better choices, e.g. VectorWorks, ArchiCAD, and many others." Most of the CAD packages for Mac are lowend or for a limited niche (architects). None of the grownup ones like CATIA, SolidWorks or Pro/E are available for Mac (and most of them are still available for old UNIX workstations from Sun and HP, go figure!), which is very likely because Apple at the end of the day does not have any professional gear (aka Workstations). All Apple offers are very expensive consumer PCs.

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CAD programs

It's not just that "if you're on a Mac, there are better choices." Even back in the mid-late 1990's, ArchiCAD was so clearly the right choice for the interior designers and "design-oriented architects" that were developing J. Crew's new retail stores that the software itself led to our adoption of the Mac platform for this purpose. Not to mention the other things that came along with it, the font issues and the color issues that had solutions in the Mac world and not in the Windows world... it was the right choice then, and it remains so for many professional and high-end users today.

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Anonymous Coward

Delusional

There are vast numbers of professionals using Macs, many in very demanding fields. About two-thirds of the professionals I meet at conferences now have Macs too. They *all* attest to the high quality, durability, and longevity of the Mac equipment (plus it makes a good impression). And former Windows users openly wonder how they ever put up with it. Support is amazing too - I can walk into *any* Apple store around the world with a problem - no matter where I live or purchased my equipment from - and get immediate help. That's professional service. Care to suggest where I might get better?

So by all means, keep inhabiting your little dreamworld if you must, but you might want to get out more.

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Happy

Need IPad version

According to all the pundits - desktop computing is dead. Autodesk needs to come out with a new version for tablets ASAP

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bollocks

I look after architects IT.

This news added to their predisposition for 'art', signals a return to offices full of Macs.

Must remember to make sure NO Mac servers...

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Anonymous Coward

LT does not equal "lite"

According to Auto Cad, the LT version does not mean it's a "lite" version.

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@LT does not equal "lite"

For those of us old enough to remember FORTRAN LT means less than

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Facepalm

with distributors, I can still manage to import it...

... with _regional_ _locked_ digital stores, I have no way of _legally_ obtaining it. Currently I am working in Tanzania, Africa. I see people who have bought iPads/iPhones while traveling, and they all have the same problem: They can't even create an iTune account using their local address, they can't download any of the free stuff nor can they _buy_ anything from the application store!

and those in the neighboring country, Kenya, are faced with an application store that is missing the lion share of the applications. You can't even begin to compare the UK application store to that of Kenya's!

regional lock, to many, it is the prime reason to start pirating.

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