Volume: 23 Issue: 12 (December 2000)
Selective Specialization Victim
Fortunately, in the aircraft industry Catia is currently the system of choice. But this could change in an instant at the whim of an executive vice president, and effectively put a great number of designers out on the street. Companies are generally reluctant to outlay the finances required to re-train consultants and direct employees on new CAD systems.
In 1982 IBM introduced to the world an open-architecture marvel called the PC. The beauty of this little machine was not its price (it was expensive), but in how everyone and his dog could design circuit boards that would plug into the PC and enhance its features. As we all know, the PC caught the world by storm and blew away the competition.
Perhaps one day, someone will come along with an open-architecture database attached to a generic CAD system at a reasonable price. Then the big boys can sit on their closed databases.
Someone asked me recently about the best schools for computer animation, and whether a community college, for example, has a curriculum that would satisfy an ad agency for which an artist might wish to work.
Schools are near useless for this purpose (though attending college might indicate whether you can sit and knuckle down to a task day after day). Few academics have experience in business or the trades, and most colleges are swamped by propaganda from technology sources (such as software vendors), little of which relates to what clients want: a better bang for their budgets.
A good yardstick is to read an industry standard magazine (such as this one) to find out what kinds of projects prepared the current decision makers for their careers.
The response to the letter "Why Not AMD?" on pg. 6 of your July issue stated that the Athlon/AMD processor does not have an AGP license. I have just bought an Athlon 800 with a Matrox Millennium Max 4X AGP graphics card. What does this mean for the performance of my system? And if this is a problem, will it be correctable?
It depends on the AMD chipset inside your new machine. The 750/751-based AMD chipsets do not support AGP 4X, but the VIA-based AMD boards do. In addition to VIA, SiS and ALi have also promised to build chipsets for the Athlon.
The image "Nude (Study in Perception)" that appeared on pg. 34 of the October 2000 issue in "Graphics on the Internet Part 1" should have been credited to Kenneth Knowlton and Leon Harmon.
We welcome any insights you have to offer that would further our readers' understanding of topics discussed in this issue, or that concern the computer graphics industry in general. We may edit your comments to conform to our style and space requirements.
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