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*JPRINCE13
Message 1 of 6 (310 Views)

Soft Engine 4, Liquid Speed, or what's behide door #3

310 Views, 5 Replies
10-05-1998 05:05 PM
I'm considering purchasing Soft Engine 4 or Liquid Speed from Vibrant
Graphics
to improve our ACAD14 performance.

Has anyone used either of these products?
Are they worth the cost? If so, how.
Can you recommend some other solutions to accelerate AutoCAD?
(besides the obvious hardware upgrades that are neccessary)

Here's what we are using......
NT4.0--P2 300 w/64MB RAM using a 8 MB AGP Video Card
WIN95--P 133 w/ 80MB RAM & a P 120 w/96 MB RAM both using Diamond Stealth 64
PCI video cards

Thanks,
JPRINCE13
*Millar, David
Message 2 of 6 (310 Views)

Re: Soft Engine 4, Liquid Speed, or what's behide door #3

12-05-1998 01:19 PM in reply to: *JPRINCE13
Yes:

I have installed all of them on our workstations. I have shown management a
increase in productivity of min. 15%.

Dave

JPRINCE13 wrote:

> I'm considering purchasing Soft Engine 4 or Liquid Speed from Vibrant
> Graphics
> to improve our ACAD14 performance.
>
> Has anyone used either of these products?
> Are they worth the cost? If so, how.
> Can you recommend some other solutions to accelerate AutoCAD?
> (besides the obvious hardware upgrades that are neccessary)
>
> Here's what we are using......
> NT4.0--P2 300 w/64MB RAM using a 8 MB AGP Video Card
> WIN95--P 133 w/ 80MB RAM & a P 120 w/96 MB RAM both using Diamond Stealth 64
> PCI video cards
>
> Thanks,
> JPRINCE13
*McDonough, Mark
Message 3 of 6 (310 Views)

Re: Soft Engine 4, Liquid Speed, or what's behide door #3

12-08-1998 10:14 AM in reply to: *JPRINCE13
We have used Soft Engine for a good number of years. In the DOS days, with
AutoCAD R11 and R12, Soft Engine was unsurpassed for speed, feautures, and
for bringing Windows-like toolbars, icons and utilities. In the Windows
environment, Soft Engine is perhaps less compelling to own, but still highly
recommended. On the downside, the software is hardware lock protected,
although I'm told they're finally working on a software-based scheme of
software protection.

We run a 58-user network version, with a single hardware lock loaded on a
low-end pentium 90MHz station running Windows 95 as a node on a Novell
Network. Clients talk to the "server" via TCP/IP. The setup is very simple.
Soft Engine delivers the following great benefits:

1. High speed display-list screen caching of the drawing.
2. A terrific, robust suite of zoom and pan options which are completely
configurable... a nice compliment to the improved rtzoom and rtpan in
AutoCAD R14. Most of the Soft Engine commands can be added to mouse picks,
including key-mouse combinations.
3. The ability to edit screen display colors... full access to 16.5 million
colors for screen display. For example, we wanted to use the first 30
colors in AutoCAD for our pen standards. Unfortunately, AutoCAD screen
colors from 8-30 are all very similar dark red colors, and hardly
discernable. Using Soft Engine's interactive palette editor (just drag the
red, green, blue color bars until you like the color), we created a screen
palette for the first 30 colors that looks terrific and with 30 readily
recognizeable colors.
4. Soft Engine commands can be accessed via AutoLISP. Switches are
provided on many Soft Engine commands to provide control within macros or
lisp. Screen colors can be output or input via scripts created with Soft
Engine commands.
5. The Soft Engine Bird's-eye window is very flexible and well implemented.
The "detail window" is like a magnifying window showing an enlarged via
around your crosshairs.... very useful to read small text without zooming
in.
6. Configurable edge-panning, & zoom and pan slider bars are still wish
list items for AutoCAD, but available in Soft Engine.
7. Do a "long-depress" on the right mouse button brings up icon tool
palettes with just about every AutoCAD command on on a series of
"toolboxes".
8. Tech support is accessible and very willing to work on issues that might
arise.

On the downside:
1. It takes Vibrant Graphics (makers of Soft Engine) a while to catch up
and get a stable release of their software ready. To date, there are still
some bugs in the current version of the software, a couple of which I
consider to be rather significant and annoying. The long and detailed
history of bug fixes for the recent release indicate that early releases of
the software would be very painful and problematic to work with. The
current release, appears pretty stable, although as I mentioned, not without
some definite bugs still.

2. The hardware lock. In the past, we've had significant troubles getting
the network hardware lock to function properly. Documentation on the
network component hasn't been sufficient... it'll require a call to the
Vibrant Graphics people who at least seem committed to getting you up and
running.

3. Using the Vibrant Graphics driver, you can't make use of internet
publishing capabilities and dwfs, although with the recent release of Soft
Engine 4.0.4.p1 they do have something called the "Vibrant Switch", making
it easy to turn Soft Engine off or on, if you want to use the standard Whip
driver and internet publishing capabilities.

Summary: Not sure what the list price is.... used to be $350 per seat...
can be had for about $100 less per seat for quantity copies for a network.
The software is definitely worth the price. Our CAD users have Soft Engine
withdrawals whenever they have to work with AutoCAD without it. I give it
a thumbs up.

Mark McDonough
mmcdonough@sasaki.com

>JPRINCE13 wrote:
>
>> I'm considering purchasing Soft Engine 4 or Liquid Speed from Vibrant
>> Graphics
>> to improve our ACAD14 performance.
>>
>> Has anyone used either of these products?
>> Are they worth the cost? If so, how.
>> Can you recommend some other solutions to accelerate AutoCAD?
>> (besides the obvious hardware upgrades that are neccessary)
>>
>> Here's what we are using......
>> NT4.0--P2 300 w/64MB RAM using a 8 MB AGP Video Card
>> WIN95--P 133 w/ 80MB RAM & a P 120 w/96 MB RAM both using Diamond Stealth
64
>> PCI video cards
>>
>> Thanks,
>> JPRINCE13
>
*Miller, Steve
Message 4 of 6 (310 Views)

Re:

12-17-1998 01:57 AM in reply to: *JPRINCE13
In article <74kbjj$5hh4@adesknews2.autodesk.com>, mmcdonough@sasaki.com
says...

Mark - Whats that "simple" setup procedure entail? Our AutoCAD seats are
network based also but I haven't heard of utilizing (1) hardware lock on
our server before. What needs to be setup for SE to search via TCPIP?

Thanks in advance

> We have used Soft Engine for a good number of years. In the DOS days, with
> AutoCAD R11 and R12, Soft Engine was unsurpassed for speed, feautures, and
> for bringing Windows-like toolbars, icons and utilities. In the Windows
> environment, Soft Engine is perhaps less compelling to own, but still highly
> recommended. On the downside, the software is hardware lock protected,
> although I'm told they're finally working on a software-based scheme of
> software protection.
>
> We run a 58-user network version, with a single hardware lock loaded on a
> low-end pentium 90MHz station running Windows 95 as a node on a Novell
> Network. Clients talk to the "server" via TCP/IP. The setup is very simple.
> Soft Engine delivers the following great benefits:
*McDonough, Mark
Message 5 of 6 (310 Views)

Re: Soft Engine 4, Liquid Speed, or what's behide door #3

12-17-1998 09:41 AM in reply to: *JPRINCE13
Perhaps I didn't mention, but our AutoCAD is also being run from a ADLM
server (separate from the Soft Engine one). As documented in the Softengine
tech docs, the server portion was written for NT. When I tried installing
on a Windows 95 "server" (just a node on our Novell 4.11 network), I just
couldn't get the clients to connect. Here is how its supposed to work:

1. only once, you run a hasp-install routine, it places a couple files in
the Windows system directories.
2. Then you run a small "Nethasp License Manager" executable. You can
enable it with various protocols, IPX, TCP/IP, & NetBios (we use TCP/IP).
3. There is a Nethasp.ini file that can be customized with pertinent info.
4. On the client side, while in AutoCAD with SoftEngine, you enter the
SECFG command, Optimization Tab, and select "Enable Nethasp", and in the
fields allowed enter the SE severname and name of the configuration file
used.

We couldn't get this last part to work, Via tech support, the solution was
to eliminate the server's Nethasp.ini config file entirely, don't enter the
SE Security fields (leave them blank), and to only select the "Enable
Nethasp" option. Doing that, the SoftEngine client finds the server
hardware lock via TCP/IP broadcast, and we've had no problems since.

So after mucking about with every Nethasp.ini option under the sun, the
solution was to not use it at all and just let the TCP/IP broadcast work.
I've asked for a clarification of how the network hasp works on 95, but they
haven't given me an answer yet!

Mark McDonough
mmcdonough@sasaki.com

Steve Miller wrote in message ...
>In article <74kbjj$5hh4@adesknews2.autodesk.com>, mmcdonough@sasaki.com
>says...
>
>
>Mark - Whats that "simple" setup procedure entail? Our AutoCAD seats are
>network based also but I haven't heard of utilizing (1) hardware lock on
>our server before. What needs to be setup for SE to search via TCPIP?
>
>Thanks in advance
>
>> We have used Soft Engine for a good number of years. In the DOS days,
with
>> AutoCAD R11 and R12, Soft Engine was unsurpassed for speed, feautures,
and
>> for bringing Windows-like toolbars, icons and utilities. In the Windows
>> environment, Soft Engine is perhaps less compelling to own, but still
highly
>> recommended. On the downside, the software is hardware lock protected,
>> although I'm told they're finally working on a software-based scheme of
>> software protection.
>>
>> We run a 58-user network version, with a single hardware lock loaded on a
>> low-end pentium 90MHz station running Windows 95 as a node on a Novell
>> Network. Clients talk to the "server" via TCP/IP. The setup is very
simple.
>> Soft Engine delivers the following great benefits:
*Miller, Steve
Message 6 of 6 (310 Views)

Re:

12-18-1998 08:48 AM in reply to: *JPRINCE13
In article <75c10l$iv921@adesknews2.autodesk.com>, mmcdonough@sasaki.com
says...

Thanks so much for the info Mark -- I'll be given it. Really appreciate
you taken the time to put this down for me. :-)

> Perhaps I didn't mention, but our AutoCAD is also being run from a ADLM
> server (separate from the Soft Engine one). As documented in the Softengine
> tech docs, the server portion was written for NT. When I tried installing
> on a Windows 95 "server" (just a node on our Novell 4.11 network), I just
> couldn't get the clients to connect. Here is how its supposed to work:
>
> 1. only once, you run a hasp-install routine, it places a couple files in
> the Windows system directories.
> 2. Then you run a small "Nethasp License Manager" executable. You can
> enable it with various protocols, IPX, TCP/IP, & NetBios (we use TCP/IP).
> 3. There is a Nethasp.ini file that can be customized with pertinent info.
> 4. On the client side, while in AutoCAD with SoftEngine, you enter the
> SECFG command, Optimization Tab, and select "Enable Nethasp", and in the
> fields allowed enter the SE severname and name of the configuration file
> used.
>
> We couldn't get this last part to work, Via tech support, the solution was
> to eliminate the server's Nethasp.ini config file entirely, don't enter the
> SE Security fields (leave them blank), and to only select the "Enable
> Nethasp" option. Doing that, the SoftEngine client finds the server
> hardware lock via TCP/IP broadcast, and we've had no problems since.
>
> So after mucking about with every Nethasp.ini option under the sun, the
> solution was to not use it at all and just let the TCP/IP broadcast work.
> I've asked for a clarification of how the network hasp works on 95, but they
> haven't given me an answer yet!
>
> Mark McDonough
> mmcdonough@sasaki.com
>
>
> Steve Miller wrote in message ...
> >In article <74kbjj$5hh4@adesknews2.autodesk.com>, mmcdonough@sasaki.com
> >says...
> >
> >
> >Mark - Whats that "simple" setup procedure entail? Our AutoCAD seats are
> >network based also but I haven't heard of utilizing (1) hardware lock on
> >our server before. What needs to be setup for SE to search via TCPIP?
> >
> >Thanks in advance
> >
> >> We have used Soft Engine for a good number of years. In the DOS days,
> with
> >> AutoCAD R11 and R12, Soft Engine was unsurpassed for speed, feautures,
> and
> >> for bringing Windows-like toolbars, icons and utilities. In the Windows
> >> environment, Soft Engine is perhaps less compelling to own, but still
> highly
> >> recommended. On the downside, the software is hardware lock protected,

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