Child’s Play? NOT Exactly!

When was the last time you felt like everything was going your way? You know, when it seems like everything you do is easy-as-pie… s-m-o-o-t-h sailing… child’s play… a piece of cake!

Well, that is NOT how I would ever have described 2012! For some reason, it seemed like NOTHING much came easy last year! Instead of a walk-in-the-park, we felt like were jumping HIGH hurdles… while wearing a BACKPACK! And as it turned out, December was certainly no exception to this rule!

Our new computer arrived early in the month and I know what you’re thinking… this should have sped us up and resolved some of most of our problems, right? Well maybe it would have if I my strong suit was computer technology, but unfortunately that is NOT the case.

  • First, there was the whole Windows 8 thing. Am I the only who has struggled with Windows 8?
  • Then it took me 3 solid afternoons of wrestling with the docking system before I could get it working properly.(Yeah, and it was so frustrating that I had to put it away for a week or so in between each frustrating session!) Did I mention that I’ll never qualify as a computer geek?
  • Then came the issues with the new software. Much of the reason I needed a new computer to begin with (other than the fact that it was as S-L-O-W as molasses), was that Windows XP was causing LOTS of software issues. When I’m writing pattern instructions I often have Windows Publisher, AutoCad and the full version of Adobe Photoshop (all memory hogs) open at one time but last Fall when I was writing instructions for the Uptown Saddlebag, it was hard telling which program was crashing more, Photoshop or AutoCad… and that’s IF I could get AutoCad to start up at ALL! I was honestly afraid the whole system would lock up and die before I could finish the pattern!

But as much as I was thrilled to get rid of that old computer and software, I was a little concerned about using all the new software. It’s bad enough getting used to ONE piece of new software, never mind THIS many, right? (Did I mention that computer stuff doesn’t come naturally to me?…. Oh, I’m sure I did!)

Anyway, Windows8 Publisher is WAY different. Not impossibly different, mind you. I had it pretty much figured out in an afternoon. But AutoCad…. was a beast! Keep in mind that my old AutoCad software was probably a pre-2000 version so it’s no wonder that AutoCad2013 pretty much  B-L-E-W  M-Y  M-I-N-D! There was almost NO resemblance to my old version. I spent 3 full afternoons trying to draw one picture and even with the instruction book I bought, I was totally LOST! And here’s the thing, I never managed to produce even one drawing! Now I despise giving up on anything, but I couldn’t get rid of AutoCad2013 fast enough! Restocking fee? Who cares! You’re Outta HERE!

So that of course meant switching to another totally new piece of software, and since CorelDRAW X6 is the obvious alternative to AutoCad I thought, why not? How could it possibly be any more confusing than AutoCad?

And the verdict was…. YAY! 
Because an hour after installation I had completed my first drawing. It wasn’t really a usable drawing, and yes, there was definitely a learning curve, (pun INTENDED!) but not a frustrating, “I-could-just-scream” learning curve. And you know what else? I already like it WAY better than I ever liked the old AutoCad. Not only do I think my drawings are going to (eventually at least) be better and more accurate, but I can already see where eventually the process is going to be much faster! Couple these results with the fact that CorelDRAW X6 is literally HALF the price of AutoCad and the choice becomes a no-brainer!

So what’s the moral of the story? I can think of a couple possibilities….maybe you can think of others

  • sometimes change is a GOOD thing,  or
  • all’s well that ends well, or
  • great discoveries are sometimes the result of intense frustration

But I kinda think this line from the “Lord of the Rings” best describes this whole computer transition in specific and much of 2012 in general… (did I mention I’m a “Lord of the Rings” nut? Oh, I m sure I did!)

         “But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. 
          A new day will come. And when the sun shines 
          it will shine out the clearer.”   (and that’s what I’m counting on!)

Please feel free to leave your comments in the space provided below 
and stay tuned for the next post in this new series 
when we’ll answer another of our commonly received questions!

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In the interest of full disclosure I’ll tell you that I have received a grand total of nothing from Corel6. I bought the software at full price, and have received nothing real or implied in exchange for this review.

13 Comments So Far, You're Next!

  1. I don’t think you’re the only one who has struggled with Windows 8 (seriously look up the video of someone trying to use it when drunk). I think it is also mistrusted/viewed with suspicion from many who are computer people, and not just enthusiasts – tech professionals like me. I’m sure we could learn it quick enough, but we don’t like software to mess with the way we do things.

  2. Yeah, Windows 8 sucks. My husband and I are computer people, and I have lots of computer people friends, and it’s unanimous from *everyone* that Windows 8 sucks. There *are* folks out there making a specialty of downgrading machines from Win8 to Win7.. 🙂 I have windows 7 and I haven’t had any trouble with it at all.

    Finding software you’re comfortable with is huge. AutoCad is really made for drawing buildings and machines, not really textiles. My impression of CorelDraw some years back was that it’s for drawing pictures more so than actual drafting. It has been a while, though.


  3. I feel your pain. I started out with AutoCAD when it was in DOS format. Yes, I am that old. I am glad you found this new software more to your liking. Here’s hoping that 2013 will be better, way better for you. Love, Phyllis

  4. Old saying: The demon you know is better than the demon you don’t know. I’ve never subscribed to this notion. I’m always up for a new adventure, for something different, for change. And, isn’t it nice when the unknown demon works out so well? So glad you found a new (to you) drafting software. As for windows 8, haven’t tried it yet. But from what I hear a touch screen makes it work a lot more smoothly than my standard monitor. Of course, not having a touch screen on any of the desktops doesn’t prevent me from trying to touch it. I forget that I’m not at work (all pretty much touchscreen), using the iPad or iPhone. We get spoiled with technology, don’t we?

  5. I have read review from total geeks on Windows 8 and the last one I read he stated that they all should be recalled. I just bought a new PC before 8 cam out so I have 7. I also have a coupon to upgrade to 8 for $15.99 No Way. I have heard so many bad things. I think I will wait and see how the new HP Google Chrome OS does. Sounds great!

    Good Luck and I really do feel fro anyone that in error got that bad bad system!

  6. Glad you’re happy with the drawing program! I have heard nothing, absolutely nothing good about Windows 8. And I’ve even read the newspaper articles written by geeks. It boggles my mind how a whole company could collaborate on such a mess. I’m sure that there must have been a few canaries/Cassandras at Microsoft, but they must have been ignored.
    I still have XP and fortunately no need for programs like you use, so I’m clinging to it as long as it works!

    • Thanks for writing Jan
      Well….. its very different than Windows XP that’s for sure, but now that I’m used to it, I actually rather like it! Call me weird I guess.

  7. Did you try adobe illustrator CS6? it’s GREAT!

    • Actually no, I haven’t tried that and it’s always good to know another option is out there for us, so thanks for letting me know! 🙂 Does it compare favorably with Corel Draw?

  8. got a new laptop recently and got windows 7 because I had heard nothing good about windows 8….but glad its working out for you

  9. When my sister had a printing business, we used Corel for the artwork and my nephew loved it. It was an easy program and produced good results. Glad you’re learning it. When I switched to Windows 7 from XP, it wasn’t so bad, but Windows Office is giving me fits:)

    • Thanks for writing Donna and YES- somewhere between windows XP and Windows 7 there was a massive change in the office software and I STILL haven’t totally figured it out.
      (It took me about a week of using it every day to just make peace with it!)
      And you know what? just about the time I do, they’ll change it AGAIN!