"One Perfect Part at a Time"

Getting BC-C Loaded without C2H5OH

BobCAD LogoThe BobCAD-CAM (BC-C) package arrived at my home office on a Friday, just a few days after shipping by UPS from Clearwater Florida. It is version 24 which is the latest and I presume greatest.  It is a two disk set which is one disk of training videos and instruction manual and the second disk is the actual program install disk.

Unfortunately the instruction disk refused to load and run any of the instruction videos but the PDF manual could be opened and read. A NERO disk scan confirms the disk is bad. The salesperson and support desk at BobCAD-CAM are sending me a replacement disk. The same video training is also available from the BobCAD-CAM web site but of limited resolution, perhaps because it is directed from a YouTube server with JWPlayer. The quality usable but I am expecting the disk version to be of higher video quality. I will let you know.

Update: BobCAD actually send me both disks (new) because of the defective Disk 1. I ran all the training videos and they are exactly the same content as available on the web site but of superior quality. They wouldn’t go to full screen of my 24 inch monitor but were very sharp and easy to view. Nicely done.

So the new owner is not dead in the water on getting started with training. It is good the BobCAD-CAD web site provides a backup not only if the supplied training disk is damaged as is mine; it is also a great way to get a preview of the product before you make a purchase.

I have one other slight issue in getting started, and that was due to the packing invoice not included in the box, a shipping clerk oversight. The invoice contains the serial numbers or codes required to register the product. No problem as the software can be installed fully functional with every (function) turned on without the unlock codes for the first five days. Even the stuff you didn’t purchase. This is a good way to see what future functions you might like to add to your system’s abilities.

After the five days (without registration) the software will drop into the demo mode. At this point the user will be able to save practice work but not output functional G code. Also anything saved in demo mode will not run later in the registered version, so don’t design anything serious while in Demo. The first five days are the same as registered so no problems later using what was created and saved in that period. I like the way that works, seems fair to me.

There are three ways to register with the easiest being accomplished if your computer is directly connected to the internet. The second method is by phone during working hours in Florida, and the last is via email. So if your working machine is not internet connected, there is still a way to get it properly registered.

By the way, the EULA (End User License Agreement) talks about a USB Key or what I call a security dongle. (Yes, I actually read through the EULA, this is a report, right?)  The dongle is a physical device that must be plugged into the computer running the software. The intent is preventing more than one user (per dongle) from using the software. I talked to BobCAD-CAM and that device is NOT required or even available for version 24 BobCAD-CAM.

So if you do read the EULA, don’t get excited about not getting a dongle. That’s good in my opinion as I don’t lose the use of another USB port. I already have a software product that requires a dongle, so I like not having to fool with two of them.

The EULA also permits making a backup copy of the software. You are not considered a criminal for making one. Since the disks are burned, not pressed, I recommend a backup on an archival grade disk. Do a web search if you don’t know what that means.

I quickly received the registration codes via email. Let me tell you this little bit of support I’ve received so far has been outstanding. It would be great if no support were needed, but I am glad to see it is working so well. In about 120 seconds after starting up BobCAD-CAM I was fully registered on-line with no human contact required. Too bad the access to all the “not purchased” accessory software goes away. Ha! It is definitely apparent everything is installed on my computer and only requires a few numbers to unlock.

I am running a 64 bit Windows 7 machine with a 3.2GHz speed, quad (four core) processor and 8 Gigs of RAM. I also have a high quality video card. This is way overkill to what is required. The first chapter in the getting started is to make sure my computer was up to date on all system drivers. Yes, I was and I always am so no issue there. BobCAD-CAM is serious high performance software and to install it on an outdated system is not a good beginning.

BobCAD-CAM V24 is open and running. It looks like a very clean and professional user interface, but contains almost an overwhelming array of controls and options. All this type of software is like that. This is the very nature of the CAD/CAM/CNC beast. I am going to run through the tutorials to get a feel for the interface. Just because I can run other CAD/CAM software doesn’t make me an ACE here.

More to come…

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