Cloud for CAD or Frankenstein Redux

Watching the various posts about Cad on the Cloud lately and  the Autodesk entry into the never never land of reality deniers promoting this as the end all be all future for us. As I pondered this I decided that the correct monster to be applied at this time was no longer the vampire but instead one that was cobbled together from bits and pieces, add in electricity, a mad scientist and voila, a crude ugly thing rejected by the masses and ending in failure after a short and troublesome existance. I especially like what happens to the corporate castle at the end.  ALL the parallels are there and we just wait for time to pass now to see this unfold before our very eyes.

One of the most interesting things about the whole cloud for cad saga is how Dassault and now Autodesk promote this mess as being capable of putting more power, cost savings, capabilities and productivity in our hands by taking things out of our hands.

The preceeding links take you to Nvidia stories where some pretty incredible computing power is being unleashed with GPU and CPU utilization. You can actually put a mini super computer on your desk now for under $10,000.00, power that would exceed the needs of I would guess 95% of us.

I bought three new workstations recently with ssd drives for the primaries and compared to my three and four year old units the speed and capabilities are jaw dropping and the most expensive was just under $1,800.00.

Next up is a new example of a real working prototype of an upcoming generation of Intel processors. It is mind boggling the power that will be capable of sitting on our desktops very soon.

This brings us full circle to where the real bottleneck is in the cad world and it is not the hardware anymore but instead the producers of software. Yes the very same ones that want us to buy into the cloud. There has not been ONE proven example of anyone being able to sit down in front of a simple dumb terminal in a typical customer setting and reliably creating meaningfull and complex cad design across the internet from a cloud server farm. After all what can the cloud people actually do for you when we have the single thread limitation still applying to cad. And if it does not apply to cad anymore why aren’t they offering it to us? Works on a cloud server it will work on my six core cpu to I should think,eh?

The very few examples touted by reality deniers like rendering and FEA are being addressed by Nvidia and Intel as we speak where this solution will reside on our desktops and not be subject to the plethora of infrastructure and security risks ANY web transmittals bring.

One of the biggest benefits to the cloud publicity that I have seen recently is the act of users and bloggers shining a big spotlight into the dark recesses of the corporate cloud for all strategy as it reveals some things that companies like Dassault and Autodesk willfully try to hide. Little details like what they are promising can’t be made to work like they promise so A, they will make EULAS that will absolve them of any responsibility and B, we will never answer these requests for facts and proofs of concept.

I issue a challenge to any cad company pushing this stuff. Put your money where your mouth is just once. Security, true cost of use, capabilities over uncontrolled internet infrastructure, what version is the customer forced to use and are rollouts on our time frames or just there like magic whenever, data ownership, autonomy to use this as a full blown program with full capabilities offline and this guaranteed for a specific period of time or forever like now, will permanent seats still be available, how will translations and addons work and on and on the list of deliberately ignored questions go.

So what are we really looking at here? I believe there is a tremendous amount of willfull deception about the cloud by these companies and the kindest thing that can be said is they are liars purveying products they refuse to stand behind. Silly verbal attacks on those who do not buy into this does nothing to bolster trust. Refusal to answer anything significant about all the questions being raised does not bolster trust.  It is ethical bankruptcy in the board rooms and somehow they think CAD users should just blindly write checks for an unproven product that has great potential to destroy any business that adopts it.

Technically there is no reason to go there anymore for computing power, as if there ever was one anyway. Legally we can’t go there because those niggling little confidentiality agreements we all have to sign with our customers won’t be signed by software vendors on our behalf to indemnify us with the inevitable problems.

It is a method whereby CAD software companies can lock you down and in for forced cashflow from customers and an effort to stop piracy. It is all about lining their pockets and how can they fool sufficient numbers of buyers to make it work. It is the product of reality deniers who do not care enough for customers to offer a product they are willing to legally guarantee.

It is the body of Frankenstein constructed of parts that do not work together by people who do not mean us well.

The preceeding is by Denier Dave the Neanderthal who is stupid and backwards looking and is not an employee of Dassault or Autodesk and probably has dirt behind his ears anyway on top of all the rest so just ignore him.

3 responses to “Cloud for CAD or Frankenstein Redux

  1. R. Paul Waddington

    Dave, having been through the “hoops” I have in relation to licencing it is just soooo interesting watching the “cloud” fans publish naive crap and the arguments of those who “appear’ to be of an opposing view.

    Needless to say I understand your grievances and I think your caution is truly a genuine concern and none of your points should be ignored. I have clearly exposed why particular CAD companies management cannot be trusted and it is a shame it has taken so many years for others to realized the significance, for the future, the changes to software licencing I highlighted were pointing towards – “water under the bridge.”

    But there is a real piece of irony you touch on. The promotion of the cloud by guys like Bass the boss is always done whilst they are in their “protective cocoons’. None of these guys are game enough to engaged in public debate and – as you indicate – back their comments with facts and commitment. The irony is that the “cloud”, as it exists, gives CAD management the perfect opportunity to engage openly, and very easily, with their customers. Like no other time in history could a person like Bass and Co. communicate with their customers and yet they have not even used what exists with any effectiveness –why?

    The answer: the management individuals involved don’t have the guts to do so! That is the most important characteristic I exposed. Individuals who raise “thorny” issues are to be ignored! Autodesk, as an example, have had every opportunity to talk with me about the licence issues, they have actively chosen to avoid ALL opportunities presented – and continue to do so. Two successive CEOs – at Autodesk –with all the technology available to them, could/would or chose not to talk with a single individual to determine a very simple solution. They hide behind a shield of “wigged legals” who, when they did, talked rubbish. Now because of the complacency of a majority of users we all are now going to have to wear the consequences.

    • Paul,
      I think the thing that astounds me the most out of this whole cloud problem is the lacadaisical attitude cad users have towards their own future. I think one should fight against bad things and those who are willing to accept just anything shoved their way have thought processes I just can’t fathom. It’s their future work tools compromised and indeed could well be the destruction of many of their employers and they don’t give a flip??? I was very pleased to see Steve Johnson step up to the bat and note that he has recieved the same lame evasionary psycho-babble answers we have become acustomed to. Why do people even give the time of day to corporations they have to know are lying to them? Unless this is not being reported I don’t understand why Autodesk users are not up in arms and demanding answers to questions at this convention. It kind of reminds me of the few lone voices when Dassault started this nonsense. Hats off to you Matt for your public service and may the pen of truth from Steve never run out of ink.

  2. R. Paul Waddington

    “I think the thing that astounds me the most out of this whole cloud problem is the lacadaisical attitude cad users have towards their own future.”
    Nail on the head: I had no compuntion about speaking out about the licening problem when I uncovered them and, never asked for any support. But I did get a couple, literally, emails of support but I guess, deep down, I did think more would react and change could have been effected; but your right CAD users just sat on their hands and chose to try and kill the messenger.
    I guess I may live long enough to see what eventuates but in the mean time I will just keep being a thorn in Autodesk’s CEO side 😉

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