I’ve been tasked at work to learn AutoCad software, which is wonderful because I am always up for learning a new skills. AutoCad has been around forever, and in my youth days of P2P and illegal software (statute of limitations have certain ran out, right?) AutoCad was amongst a group of absurdly expensive software (like Maya, 3D Studio Max) that we as teens hardly knew how to use but was incredibly fun to say: yup, I’ve downloaded software worth multiple thousands of dollars.
As proper functioning adults we of course pay for software (hello, Adobe; hope you’re enjoying my monthly payments) and upon research the purchase price of AutoCad is indeed astronomical: $1,680 per year. Obviously my work would cover that no issues but keep in mind heavy 3D design work is not our milieu; I’m being directed to learn AutoCad so we can easily draw classroom floor-plans and blueprints. We are not using the software to make any money, which in a normal design firm would suitably justify the hefty entry price.
Another peculiarity I ran into is that the best version of AutoCad (some would say the only version to get) is the one that runs on Windows PC. That’s a problem because at work I am issued a Macbook Pro. You may say I can run Windows software using Boot Camp but that sounds super unwieldy and someone (not me) would have to pay for the license. There’s an AutoCad for Mac but if the PC version is de facto standard then that’s the one to learn.
What are the chances work will furnish me a PC on top of the Macbook Pro I already have?
There’s also the matter of performance. AutoCad rightfully gobbles up lots of computing power and to run it with any modicum of smoothness requires a dedicated graphics card. I had thought about bringing in my Surface Pro 4 from home to do the job but unfortunately it’s only got onboard Intel graphics (notoriously not very good). How dare Microsoft call it a ‘Pro’ level machine.
If all of this sounds to you like my work haven’t thought it through in what’s exactly required to learn/run AutoCad, well I’m thinking that too. Perhaps that's part of the directive in me gathering the information and making the necessary requests. We shall see.