I need to re-setup autocad 2000 for a company with currently two and growing to three users because their current setup is not working for them.
Currently they have a peer to peer windows 2000 and a licensed copy of Autocad 2000 on each. They each have acad files in their documents folder on their desktop. They need to work on the files simultaneously.
I have set up mapped drives to each other. They are also having problems with "xrefs" (not sure what they are).
They also would like to accelerate their printer/plotter. (Currently using hp design jet with jet direct box.)
What would be the best way to offset the printing? Should we install a server, or is that overkill. Or maybe just get another desktop to house the files. We are kind of cost consious.
Also simplify the problems of simultaneous using of files.
They are also sharing the printer and DSL connection with a seperate company which needs to maintain access only to internet and printing.
For your purposes, xrefs are much like linked OLE
files. For a CAD file to open, it's going to need to know paths
to several other files, or it won't work right. Autocad has
provisions for calling out which directories should be searched for the
externally referenced files.
Having the files that both operators are working on
residing on either workstation will cause nothing but problems. Here's a
budget setup that I've seen work: Grab a computer from somewhere to use as
a file server; it doesn't have to be fast or brand new, but it should
be beefy enough to run NT or XP Pro. Reformat the main hard
drive and install the OS. Stick a new, fast second hard drive in it for
data. You could simply get one big drive and partition it, but it's
nice to have OS and data on two separate drives. If anything
goes wrong, it's easier to fix. Install a good CD burner so
on-the-spot backups can be run. Get a dedicated router for the setup,
and hook it all up. If the printer is going to see a lot of traffic, you
might consider a second router for the printer, DSL
connection and the lines to the other company and the rest of the
network. That way CAD dept traffic won't get gnarled up in the outside
busy-ness. I'm not a guru with the network stuff, so someone will
doubtless correct me if I'm off-base there, but I've seen this type of setup
work well a couple of times. Depending on
how (dis)organized the CAD files are on the two machines, collecting and
organizing them, and getting them moved to the new data directories, and then
getting the workstations mapped (and the operators trained) to the new
system might be the hardest part of the whole thing.
Assuming you have a computer hanging around you can
press into service, all this can be implemented for just a few hundred
By the way, while all this is going on is a great
time to tear down the CAD workstations themselves, blow out the dust-bunnies,
reformat the hard drives and reinstall everything. I've found that needs
doing every once in a while. Just make sure all the data's off of them