Sunday, 10 October 2010

My long lost son....

10 years ago, AutoCAD released AutoCAD 2000. Like many offices back then, we were happy using AutoCAD 14. AutoCAD 14 was and in some peoples view, still is, the best release of AutoCAD. We had no intentions of changing unless we absolutely had to.

This left us with one problem, AutoCAD 2000 dwg files were not compatible with AutoCAD 14.... Bah!!! To make matters worse, there was no stand alone converter to save an AutoCAD 2000 file as an AutoCAD 14 file.

I put my thinking cap on. I knew that the OpenDWG Alliance had a DWG Library that was available for free for non commercial use, but I could not program to save my life. I figured I would put a post on the OpenDWG forum, explaining my predicament and my idea. I got one reply from a guy in Holland called Edwin Giezeman.

Over a few weeks, I designed the look and feel of the application and what features I needed in it. It obviously had to convert between AutoCAD 2000 dwg files back to AutoCAD 14 dwg and because AutoCAD 14 did not handle True Type Fonts all that well, I needed it to convert any TTF to SHX.

dwgconverterDWG Converter

Edwin did his part and did it brilliantly. Around about October 2000 I started hosting the application on my now defunct site The Drafting Shop. I have no idea to this day just how many downloads DWG Converter there were, I never kept track. I do know that one large CAD developer got in contact with me looking for permission to include the software with their CAD package as their software was not DWG 2000 compatible. Whether they ever did, I don't know.

Over the years, a few people have tried to lay claim to being the developers of this software. I don't mind anyone hosting the software, after all, the idea was to get it out there to as many people as possible for free, but I did mind someone else taking credit for our work. A quick email exchange always sorted out the issue... Thankfully the release of the software was briefly mentioned in the renowned Upfront Ezine in issue 221.

Somewhere through the years and whilst upgrading PCs, I managed to loose the package. Earlier today though, courtesy of Google, I found a copy of it on activedwg.com, so I finally have my long lost son safely back with me after 10 years.

*** Somewhere in the last 10 years, I lost contact with Edwin. If you ever manage to read this, thanks for all your help!***

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