Posted on Leave a comment

Selecting CPU Power for OCAD

Comparing PC processors for OCAD

The recent post Choosing a PC to Run OCAD pointed to processor power as probably the most critical factor for good OCAD performance on large maps. But how do you compare Intel vs AMD CPUs for instance?

When I found this nifty table, I realised Intel vs AMD is only part of the story. I learnt;

  • that Intel i7 CPUs come in a wide range of power
  • that the raw rated power is an indication but not the final word. e.g. i7 990X 3.47GHz rates higher than i7 995X 3.6Ghz
  • that some i5 CPUs are faster than some i7 CPUs
  • that affordability places most of us a fair way down the list.

OCAD caveats

Bear in mind that OCAD uses only a single processor in a CPU whereas these benchmarks are using all processors on the CPU. And OCAD is 32-bit whereas many of these CPUs are 64-bit and furthermore are increasingly likely to be benchmarked using 64-bit software.

In the absence of tests of single processor power,  I assume the rated power (e.g. 3.6GHz) is an indicator of single processor performance. But ranking per the table may be important to you if you need multi-processor power for other reasons or want to prepare for the possibility that OCAD will go 64 bit within the life of your PC.

Select [Graph Notes] at the bottom of the benchmark page to read useful benchmark notes that could relate to OCAD.

Comments and corrections from PC techos will be welcome.


Posted on Leave a comment

Choosing a PC to Run OCAD

Mark's Maps logo

Mark’s maps demand more grunt

 Almost any PC that you buy today (maybe not a $399 netbook) will have the processor power, screen size, disk space and memory to handle most orienteering maps in OCAD. However any large map takes a second or two to redraw when you zoom out, and it’s time to go and make a cup of tea when you try any of these:
  • Load very large background maps downloaded from NearMap.NearMap logo
  • Merge thousands of chopped up contours from a GIS import.
  • Do anything with very large GIS imports e.g. 5m contours, creeks and cadastre for the entire Sunshine Coast (been there, done that).
Posted on Leave a comment

Productivity Hints from Mark

Mark's Maps logo

Actions while drawing

When drawing a line or an area object in OCAD, it seems like you are “trapped” in drawing mode and have to stop drawing before you can fix something or continue.

In fact there are a heap of really useful things you can do and then continue drawing. Naturally they only work if they are on a keyboard shortcut. You can set keyboard shortcuts for most menu operations under Options | Shortcuts. Here I list the standard ones:

  •  Backspace deletes the last point you drew in curve mode. Really handy!
  •  Also great when following a line or area boundary [Ken]
  •  In Curve mode you can modify the object you are drawing by moving (left-click and drag) the “handles”.
  •  Tab will change the drawing tool, rotating between each of the available tools. This is not much use as there are so many.
  •  Pan (F6) or hold down the space bar [great when drawing goes off the screen but needs a little practice – see below]
  •  Pan up or down using the mouse wheel
  • Pan left or right using Shift-mouse wheel <8Apr13>
  •  Change zoom (Shift-F6/7/8/9/10/11)
  •  Zoom in and out using Ctrl-mouse wheel – see also Pan Quickly by Zooming <8Apr13>
  •  Redisplay (F5)
  •  Hide background maps (F10)

Panning using F6 or space barpan image

Panning (moving to a different area of the map) is a very useful thing to do while drawing a long line. It means you can zoom in as far as you wish and yet draw as long a line as you wish. You can initiate panning by hitting F6 or by holding down the space bar.

The cursor changes to the pan icon then changes back and you can continue to draw seamlessly. It takes a little practice to get right. Pan after taking your finger off the mouse button otherwise odd things can happen.

Avoid using the space bar to pan while creating/editing text objects.  <8Apr13.

Panning by mode

In curve mode (illustrating space bar usage), click-drag-release to draw a tangent; [space bar down, click-drag-release, space bar up] to pan; click-drag-release to draw the next tangent.

In freehand mode (illustrating F6 usage), click-draw; [keep mouse still, F6, click-drag-release] to pan; keep drawing.

In straight line mode, click-drag-release to draw;  [keep mouse still, F6, click-drag-release] to pan; click-drag-release to draw.

Posted on Leave a comment

Trimming Contours and other Lines

A Mark Roberts handy hint

Trimming contours at the edge of your map is a common and painful requirement but here’s a hint to reduce the hard work.

[This works just as excellently for trimming northing lines – Ken]

 The old way

First, here is the way I’ve always done it.

I have Preferences|Context Menu off and I have a keyboard shortcut (Ctrl-1) for Object|Cut Object|Cut Line.

Starting with the first contour selected and the cutting tool selected:

 Left click on contour to cut it

Right click twice to unselect contour and revert to selection tool

Left click on the next contour to select it

Ctrl-1 to select cutting tool …

 The easy method

Select th ecutting tool:

 Left click on contour to cut it

Alt-Left click on the next contour to select it

Left click on contour to cut it …

 Alt forces a different object to be selected and you still have the cutting tool! This method cuts contours with two clicks instead of four clicks and a keypress.

Thanks to Hubert Klauser at OCAD AG for this hint.

 Other methods

Map|Export Part of Map or Object|Crop Objects will also trim contours for you. But if you are trimming at a boundary line feature like a fence or a road, that gets trashed in the process.