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Hi, my name's Irné Barnard. I'm an interested user of OOo and other Open Source programs. I have a Computer Science degree, but work in the Architectural (Building Construction - not to be confused with Software Architecture) industry. My experience is mainly in Graphic Design applications (in particular CAD). I consider myself highly advanced in most programs & like playing around with all to find new and useful functionality.

I'm mainly based on a Windows XP / Vista system, but am trying to move towards Linux. Unfortunately due to unavailability of CAD (in particular) on Linux, I'm still stuck with MS operating systems.

Programs used

My main area of interest is graphics design in the construction industry, mainly using CAD (Computer Aided Design). However, I use nearly the whole set of OOo applications as well: Technical specifications are mainly written using Writer; Schedules and quantity take-offs are created using Calc / Base; Presentations are combined using Impress; Draw is not used that much since the function list is too simplistic for much of my workload. A lot of the time I also use Draw to generate images for inclusion in the above documents, especially when company logos need to be incorporated in the document. For including graphics directly from the CAD packages I've found the easiest way is to convert to WMF / EMF and then import that into OOo.

A lot of the time I find myself going back to M$ products since many in my company (and nearly everyone in the industry) is still fixed for the M$ programs, and the interoperability to OOo is less than required (especially with the new 2007 M$ files).

The following is a list of programs I've used in the past or am using at present.

Graphics Programs

Program Level of expertise Comments
AutoCAD 20 years 2D & 3D drafting, including customizing using AutoLISP & VBA This is the program I spend almost all my time in, I know it nearly back-to-front.
Revit 5 years 3D Drafting, Rendering & BIM. Intermediate to advanced usage only. No VBA / Lisp available ... new version comes with VSTA & .NET extensions. I'm trying to use this for technical documentation instead of AutoCAD, but thus far have not found the time to generate the needed building blocks.
3ds Max 2 years 3D Rendering, intermediate usage only. I only use this for final presentation rendering, I don't use this to generate the 3d model.
PhotoShop Touching up rendered images & coloring of 2d presentations.
Corel Draw Similar as per use with PhotoShop, but only used if vector based presentation is required. This is a lot more difficult to use than PhotoShop, but when I need to have vector based graphics this is the best I've found. I do try and use OOo Draw instead, but find it still lacking in functionality.
OOo Draw Have used it to generate graphics for inclusion in documents as well as creating Data Flow / ER diagrams. It's a reasonable general graphics program, not something you'd use when doing serious DTP or Presentations.
Inkscape Creating logos & web page images Inkscape uses a much more comprehensive SVG subset than most viewers can display, so the user needs to convert certain elements to more simplistic forms. This happens a lot with formatted text. Unfortunately interoperability between Inkscape and OOo Draw is a lot less than perfect, even more so than between Inkscape and FireFox.
Scribus Used mainly when creating brochures, although Corel Draw is also sometimes used for this purpose.
Gimp More and more I find myself liking Gimp instead of PhotoShop, although I don't see myself as even an intermediate user of Gimp Some functionality in Gimp seems easier than in PhotoShop and visa-versa.

Word processing

Program Level of expertise Comments
M$ Word
Word Perfect
OOo Writer
Ability The 1st Office Suite I've worked on. DOS based in the mid 80's to early 90's.

PFS Write


Program Level of expertise Comments
M$ Excel
Quattro Pro
OOo Calc
Lotus 123

Database Front-ends

Program Level of expertise Comments
M$ Access
OOo Base

Database Back-ends

Program Level of expertise Comments
M$ SQL Server

Programming IDE's and Languages

Program Level of expertise Comments
Delphi On-and-Off over 10 years I've used it while it was still under the Borland name. I prefer this to VB or MS's Visual Studio.
Lazarus Basically an Open Source clone of Delphi / Kylix
M$ Visual Studio C++
VBA Used mainly for extending M$ programs such as Access, Excel and Outlook. Although I have used previously for extending AutoCAD when linking data to Excel / Access. These days VBA seems to have disappeared (at least in AutoCAD), seems to be replaced with the new VSTA.
AutoLisp Advanced The original (and still used) extension language for AutoCAD
ObjectPAL The extension language built into Paradox
HTML Usually using NVU with CSS & JavaScript

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