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NoCoPilot

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PostSubject: Shit Software Design   Tue Oct 18, 2016 3:43 pm

So I downloaded a new drawing program (AutoDesk Sketchbook), have to do a quick site plan of my new house for the engineer.

It's massively powerful, has all sorts of features I'd love to use.  But design?  Ugh.  Idiots in the wheelhouse.

I need a portrait orientation instead of landscape.  There's an option for this.  It does nothing.

I need to draw straight lines.  There might be an option for this somewhere, but it is not apparent and Help comes back with nothing found.

I somehow managed to make all the menu items disappear.  Closing and reopening did not make them reappear.  Without a single option referring to the basic menuing, I have no idea how to get them back.  I can do thirty types of pens, paintbrushes, markers in any color in the universe, but I cannot open or close a file.

And every option you choose leads to an "in-app purchase."  The software's sole purpose appears to be bait-and-switch.

Others I have looked are "free two week trials" which have limited functionality, and do not allow you to save anything you create. Costs range from $100 to $250. No thank you.

Not idiot-proofed, obviously.  It'll take me several hours just to figure out how to draw straight lines on a blank piece of paper.  Shit shit shit design.


Last edited by NoCoPilot on Tue Oct 18, 2016 4:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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_Howard
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PostSubject: Re: Shit Software Design   Tue Oct 18, 2016 4:10 pm

You are right about shitty software. There's a hell of a lot of it around. And no one seems to put any effort into help files anymore.

Try this web site. Might help.

https://help.sketchbook.com/desktop/basics/

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PostSubject: Re: Shit Software Design   Tue Oct 18, 2016 4:17 pm

Yeah, everything on that page is dead obvious, and I already figured it out.

  • how do I change to portrait orientation?
  • how do I draw straight lines?
  • how do I create a new file?
  • how do I open and close files?

These are not advanced questions.  Search for "straight line" if you don't believe me.  "Portrait orientation"?
Quote :
Sorry, but nothing matched your search terms. Please try again with some different keywords.
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PostSubject: Re: Shit Software Design   Tue Oct 18, 2016 4:33 pm

Paint X Lite allows you to create pictures in four sizes:

  • 640 x 480 pixels
  • 800 x 600 pixels
  • 1024 x 768 pixels
  • 1280 x 1024 pixels

You can change the size using pixel count, or percentage.

There is no option for inches, or millimeters, or centimeters.  There is no option for a portrait orientation.
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PostSubject: Re: Shit Software Design   Tue Oct 18, 2016 4:48 pm

I don't believe I have ever used a drawing program that didn't allow me to define the size of the drawing. There was never an option of landscape or portrait, just the size definition which, of course, also defines the ratio of the layout.

Have you got the free or "Pro" version of SketchBook?
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PostSubject: Re: Shit Software Design   Tue Oct 18, 2016 5:31 pm

Straight line:

Select the ruler.
Swivel the ruler to the angle you want.
Make sure you have a color selected.
The pencil or brush will draw straight along the ruler line.

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PostSubject: Re: Shit Software Design   Tue Oct 18, 2016 5:33 pm

_Howard wrote:
Have you got the free or "Pro" version of SketchBook?
I was trying out the free version. It is now in my trash bucket.

I've explored Paint X Lite a little more, and it:
  • allows me to create new drawings
  • allows me to draw straight lines
  • allows me to type text
  • allows me to rotate the text
  • allows me to create curved lines
All this is good. But the program has a fairly goofy limitation which is a tad difficult to get used to: when you're working with an object (a line, a shape, a piece of text) it has handles around it and can be moved anywhere, or rotated. Once you click off the item however, it is no longer a selectable "item." It becomes part of the canvas.

You can use the selector tool to draw a box around it, and then move, rotate or delete everything within that box -- but that means EVERYTHING. There is no layering.

This is particularly troublesome because I need to draw a curved road. Drew one side of it, thought I'd just select that line and duplicate it for the other side. NOTHING DOING. Because it's curved I cannot select just that line.

Shit shit shit design.
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PostSubject: Re: Shit Software Design   Tue Oct 18, 2016 5:46 pm

NoCoPilot wrote:
I somehow managed to make all the menu items disappear
how do I change to portrait orientation?
how do I draw straight lines?
how do I create a new file?
how do I open and close files?

I was able to get all these figured out and working, although it takes a few minutes of effort and googling (and fucking around with the program).

You're right: SketchBook is a piece of shit, at least as far as the documentation goes.

Have you tried Gimp? It's a free alternative to Photoshop.
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PostSubject: Re: Shit Software Design   Tue Oct 18, 2016 6:24 pm

Got the drawing done, in the largest size available (1280 x 1024 pixels).

When printed out it is a whopping 3-1/2" x 4-1/2".

There is no option to enlarge it, nor to print it larger.

Shit shit shit design.
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PostSubject: Re: Shit Software Design   Tue Oct 18, 2016 6:28 pm

_Howard wrote:
Have you tried Gimp? It's a free alternative to Photoshop.
I have not.  PhotoShop is about 10,000 times more power than I need for a simple site plan, with the concurrent learning curve.  Unless Gimp is 10,000x simpler than PS it wouldn't be worth my time.
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PostSubject: Re: Shit Software Design   Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:14 pm

Sometimes I fucking hate computers.

I thought I'd be clever, saved my drawing as a bitmap.  Opened up the bitmap and hit the print option.  Bitmap printing allows you to scale the output, so I enlarged it to fill an 8-1/2 x 11 page.  It prints out a tad fuzzy (because it's enlarged) but it's certainly readable.

Great, I thought, and I put the printout in my scanner.  Scanned it full-size and went to save the enlarged version as a PDF, so I could send the enlarged version via email.

"Save" is greyed out.

Why why why.  No fucking clue.  Nothing I do makes it savable as a full-size image.
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PostSubject: Re: Shit Software Design   Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:55 pm

Ha! My scanner software would not save it as a PDF but opening the bitmap in Preview allowed me to export it as a PDF.

Take THAT, you idiot computer!
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PostSubject: Re: Shit Software Design   Wed Oct 19, 2016 12:09 pm

Yesterday I downloaded the SketchBook program to see if I could find solutions to the issues you were having. As I noted, several of them are fixable (I think you may have had the program stuck in full-screen mode, which hides the tools menu for such things as file handling). But today I started playing with the program to see if I should keep it or remove it. I soon found that you can hold the shift key and draw a straight line, as well as select resizable shapes - IF you buy the Pro version. The free version won't do these things, which makes it pretty much worthless as far as I'm concerned.

And having the help files only on the net is one thing which is a deal breaker for me, no matter what the program. If a company can't provide me with local help files, then I go somewhere else for software. Fuck 'em.
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PostSubject: Re: Shit Software Design   Wed Oct 19, 2016 12:15 pm

Already fucked them off.

Paint X Lite has some serious limitations, and is a little goofy what with no layering, but for a free program I guess it's okay.  I got my drawing done, it looked pretty good, and the contractor said it'll do for what he needs to submit for permitting.

So it'll stay on my HDD.
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PostSubject: Re: Shit Software Design   Wed Oct 19, 2016 12:33 pm

Paint X looks lot like MS Paint. Not for photo work, but more than adequate for simple drawing tasks.
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PostSubject: Re: Shit Software Design   Wed Oct 19, 2016 12:38 pm

Exactly right.

I'd like to learn Photoshop some day, probably require a semester at the local community college, but at present I have no real reason to.

I used to use a fabulous free program on Windows called MS Draw (or something like that), very powerful, allowed shaded fills, lettering that varied color, overlays with variable opacity, total control over rotation and scaling even aspect ratios.

Never found a Mac equivalent.
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PostSubject: Re: Shit Software Design   Wed Oct 19, 2016 1:00 pm

You might take a look at Photoshop Elements. It's a subset of Photoshop, but does everything I've ever needed. I've got version 2.0, which came with my scanner. They now have version 15.
Might save yourself a semester.
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PostSubject: Re: Shit Software Design   Wed Oct 19, 2016 1:02 pm

Huh yeah, a friend of mine sent me Elements on CD-R a few years back, but it wouldn't install from his bootleg discs. H swears by it.
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PostSubject: Re: Shit Software Design   Wed Oct 19, 2016 1:10 pm

It's only a hundred bucks.
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PostSubject: Re: Shit Software Design   Sat Oct 22, 2016 11:13 am

Finally figured out why my scanner's "save" option is greyed out.

Poking around on HP's website, which is usually fabulous, and somebody else had written in that since upgrading to Sierra his scanner had stopped saving. HP's response was "everything should work fine without you needing to do anything... but you MAY need to change what software you use to scan."

Very sneaky.

Yes, the scanning app that came with the scanner and I've used for lo these many years says, on HP's website, that it "works with OS 10.11 and earlier."

Sierra is 10.12.

There's another app, different name, looks and operates identically and says it "works with OS 10.9 and above."

That one works. Why can't they just say you need to update the free app?
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PostSubject: Re: Shit Software Design   Sat Oct 22, 2016 4:13 pm

You mean HP charges you for driver updates? I thought they got rid of Fiorina.
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PostSubject: Re: Shit Software Design   Sun Oct 23, 2016 1:33 am

What part of "free app" is confusing you?
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PostSubject: Re: Shit Software Design   Sun Oct 23, 2016 9:10 am

I must have been distracted; the pseudo-word "app" always makes me throw up a little.
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PostSubject: Re: Shit Software Design   Sun Oct 23, 2016 9:40 am

It's short for "application." Just like "SoDo" is short for "South of Downtown."
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PostSubject: Re: Shit Software Design   Sun Oct 23, 2016 9:43 am

I know what it's short for. I find it very irritating. And often misused.

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