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  • Home Design
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    $209.99 $179.99 list()
    1. Punch! Home Design Architectural
    $169.99 $144.99 list($199.99)
    2. Punch! Home Design Architectural
    $109.99 list($129.99)
    3. Punch! Home Design Architectural
    $66.99 $66.88 list($79.99)
    4. Punch! Master Landscape Professional
    $54.99 $54.86 list($59.99)
    5. Better Homes and Gardens Landscaping
    $94.99 list($99.99)
    6. Better Homes and Gardens Home
    $446.99 list($495.99)
    7. Better Homes and Gardens Home
    $24.99 $23.95 list($29.00)
    8. Punch! Ultimate Deck and Landscape
    $44.99 list($59.99)
    9. Better Homes and Gardens Home
    $69.99 $69.97 list($79.99)
    10. Better Homes and Gardens Landscaping
    $30.99 $29.89 list($49.99)
    11. 40 Years Of The Amazing Spider-Man
    $49.90 list($69.99)
    12. 3D Home Architect Home Design
    $69.95 $69.93
    13. Cadpro Platinum Bundle
    $99.99 $88.95
    14. Punch! Professional Home Design
    $119.99 $111.58
    15. Better Homes and Gardens Home
    $72.99 list($99.99)
    16. 3D Home Architect Design Suite
    $19.99 $14.88
    17. Your Complete Landscape and Garden
    $73.99 $53.93
    18. Craftsman 2005 CD Estimator -
    $87.99 $80.00 list($99.95)
    19. MicroSpot Interiors (Mac)
    $29.95 list($39.99)
    20. 3D Home Architect Landscape Design

    1. Punch! Home Design Architectural Series 4000

    our price: $209.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0002Z44YG
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Punch! Software
    Sales Rank: 1195
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Features

    • Home designing software with easy-to-use interface
    • Single integrated application with 400 applications and 32 programs
    • Built-in video tutorials for beginners; complex features for the pros
    • Drag-and-drop over 30,000 design combinations with just a click
    • Fully integrated with landscape software title, Master Landscape Pro

    2. Punch! Home Design Architectural Series 3000
    list price: $199.99
    our price: $169.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0000CFY84
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Punch! Software
    Sales Rank: 2951
    Average Customer Review: 1.62 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Features

    • Combines 22 integrated home design software programs into one easy-to-use interface
    • Improvements include more robust editing interface, precise dimensions, better display options
    • Get professional results regardless of expertise
    • Video ToolTips tutorials teach you as you draw
    • Drag and drop windows, doors, furniture, texture, color, and landscaping

    Reviews (8)

    1-0 out of 5 stars Wish I'd Read The Reviews First!
    Like a fool I purchased this software based on the cool pictures on the box and the long list of features. Unfortunately, the pictures turn out to be not actual screenshots, and the features are, as Bart pointed out, little more than limited templates. A couple cases in point -- there is apparently NO WAY to create dormers, although they're featured prominently on the cover. The palette of textures is nowhere near as extensive or impressive as those shown on the cover. The lighting effects displayed on the box are not possible with the basic software. To me this is deceptive advertising!

    The MOST ANNOYING feature is the 3D fly-through. You have two choices: buzz around in dizzying circles like a drunken bee, unable to stop or slow down. Or zoom into the geographic center of your drawing, always ending up one inch off the floor. After hours and hours of tedious construction and experimentation, I never did figure out how to view the second floor interior....

    In short what you get is about $15 worth of cartoonish rendering, and a really cool $100 box. My advice would be to AVOID all the Punch products (of which there are about six variants of the same product).

    1-0 out of 5 stars Lies, Lies, Lies!
    If someone can figure out how to reproduce the screenshots they show on the box, they are better than me, and I am pretty competent with this kind of software. This thing is worth about $15 on a good day. I will definitely take my business elsewhere.

    1-0 out of 5 stars This program is worth about $20 Take your money elsewhere
    This program is a waste of money. If you are seriously thinking about building a house and want some nice software I would recommend paying a bit more and going with the Better Homes and Gardens Pro software. On the front pages of the Punch software it shows nice looking floor plans, to generate these it would take you a VERY long time. All the examples they give you on the CD are terrible, nothing like whats shown on the cover pages.

    Too bad they don't have a return policy, they would have a lot of returns if they did.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Totally Useless
    This product uses none of the thousands of user friendly improvements now available -- few right-click menus, few keyboard shortcuts. With a 2.4 ghz machine the 3D viewing is uncontrollable! The existence of the totally intuitive useability of the inexpensive 2D program DeltaCad or the expensive Photoshop demonstrates that programs can be much more user-friendly than this ridiculus contraption.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Bart is right... this software is pure crap
    I don't need to repeat all that has been said... just this... DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY ON THIS SOFTWARE.

    Oh yeh... that one positive review? A shill for PUNCH...ignore it. ... Read more


    3. Punch! Home Design Architectural Series 18
    list price: $129.99
    our price: $109.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00006SIJQ
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Punch! Software
    Sales Rank: 2709
    Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Amazon.com Product Description

    From layout to landscaping, Home Design Architectural Series 18 from Punch! Software delivers a complete home-design solution. Flexible and easy to use, this software integrates 18 programs and adds more than 60 new features and enhancements. Explore easy-to-use wall tools, robust text and dimension tools, additional 2-D geometric creation tools, photo-realistic lighting, enhanced framing and estimating, and much more. Help text and video clips explain and demonstrate how each tool is used. Plus, you can join the Punch! Developers Network, download the free developer's kit, and get started customizing your own PowerTools plug-ins. ... Read more

    Reviews (29)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Home Design Software & Value
    I was looking for an inexpensive and powerful Architectual program and now I found it. My profession is a Senior Mechanical Engineer and I have used 2D & 3D mechanical CAD programs for the last 15 years. I was truely amazed when a friend showed me a house he designed using this product. I saw a product like this 15 years ago running on a main frame computer and hoped that one day I could run a program like that on a PC. Well that day is here. I started drawing a simple rectangular house with three floors and a hip roof in five minutes. I then drew up my complicated house with a full kitchen addition including cabinets, furniture and landscaping in less then 40 hours. You do not need to be a CAD Professional to take advantage of this full featured program. Just take your time and have fun with it.

    2-0 out of 5 stars slow program and 3d bugs make it practically unusable
    This is a very frustrating product - it is good in that it has a lot of features, however the major features seem to have bugs that make them almost unusable. Doors and walls disappear in the 3D view unless you "nudge" them around so that the program redraws, and even then it doesn't always do it correctly. I have spent more time on this program trying to get it to do what I want it to do, and it is extremely aggravating.

    I am using Windows XP with a 1.5Mhz Pentium IV processor and 512MB of RAM, so I don't think the speed problem is due to my computer, but just a problem inherent in the product. Viewing Punch's website support forum reveals frustrated users continually running against the limitations or outright flaws of the software.

    I don't know what other home design software to recommend, but not this one - there's just too many flaws for it to be worth the purchase price.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An exceptional product!
    I will make it short and sweet! Punch has developed many different programs and Architectural series 18 tops them all! I have been using PUNCH software from the beginning in 2000! I have been very satisfied with their programs.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Built a VR model of my new home
    I found the Punch 18 interface easy to use. First, I scanned my first, second, and elevation blue prints into a picture image as a file. Next, I imported the both the first and second floor designs into punch; using the ruler, I redimension the floor plan designs to scale; next I added exterior walls, interior walls, doors, windows, tiolets, tubs, sinks, and mirrors; punch allows you to switch between floors and see only the working floor or all floors; using the custom wizard, I added furniture, entertainment centers, tables, and appliances - additionally, the custom wizard allow you to create user defined objects; next, I used the cabinet wizard to design the kitchen cabinets full, bottom, and top to dimension. Punch allowed me to add staircases, porches, and landscapes. Textures for the exterior such as siding, rock, and stucco were also available from a drag and drop capability. I was also able to add different types of roofs and control their elevation and the exterior walls were pitched up to match the roof angles. However, I did not find a turret type roof which I needed.

    Features I found difficult, the 2D navigation control was ok. You have a dot and arrow to control movement of the 3D tour, it requires two clicks, one to move, and one to orientate. If you have a computer graphics accelerator card, the running man mouse navigation is two fast even at the slowest setting.

    I have a VR home exportable to VRML for the internet. I've seen my home before it was built. The control of size and portion was very helpful. By adding color and texture, lighting, and landscapes the complete picture of your home is possible. You can import photo images into the model increasing realism. A good buy for the money.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Fine for the consumer, but not for constuction documents
    Punch! AS 18 gets a C+ grade at best. It's fine for drawing up a house to "walk though" to get a feel for what it will look like, but it falls frustratingly a bit short of providing the tools needed to design real construction drawings that you could give to a contractor or submit for permits.

    I'm designing a two bedroom apartment over a garage, and I need to submit drawings to my city for permits. The last design I submitted to the city for permits was a garage that I designed using pencil and paper four years ago. I'm an engineer and I'm used to drafting in this fashion. However, it was painful when I had to make a change to a window or a door, erasing and re-drawing all the wall studs and everything. So, being the 21st Century, I figured that there has got to be some architectural software design program out there that a design/builder could use to draft up drawings to submit to the city for permits without having to manually draw wall studs (like AutoCAD and other general CAD programs).

    I searched high and low and found that you could spend $1,000 or more for a true architectural design program like Chief Architect or ArchiCAD, and everything cheaper seemed to fall into the consumer floor plan design category of not being able to produce real construction drawings. Since I draw up buildings for permits about once every four or five years, I didn't want to spend $1,000 for a program. I thought Punch! AS 18 would be just the ticket. It has a framing utility for automatically framing walls, floors and roofs, and it has an elevation editor.

    The frustrating part of this software is that on the surface it appears to provide the features needed to design construction documents. It's only when you put the software to work that you realize its deficiencies. For instance, the software has a framing tool for adding wall, floor and roof framing. It provides very "pretty" 3D views of the framing. But, when you decide to print a framing section, you find that you cannot print the section to scale. It also doesn't insert any dimensions or allow you to manually insert dimensions or text. Your typical contractor isn't going to pull out a scale to find that your header is 2 @ 2 x 12, and the city wants to see this information. So, you can sort-of work around this deficiency by saving the "image" as a BMP file, editing it in an image editing program like PaintShop Pro to print at the correct scale and add the required text. The question that begs itself is why Punch! didn't program the software to automatically display dimensions and text in the framing editor? It already has all the information in the design for header sizes, height, width etc. It also doesn't allow for edits to the rafters or studs. One of the rafters was displayed with a large spacing of about 25" on my design, while all the other rafters were spaced at 16" o.c. It doesn't allow you to edit this at all, and again, you have to edit the BMP file in a drawing program to try to get it right.

    This is only one of the deficiencies. The DXF export utility will export every floor on top of itself. So, when you open the file in a CAD program, you see a huge mish-mash of dimensions and floors on top of itself. The program really didn't want to draw a basement, and I had to do all sorts of work arounds to show one. At one point I had a 3' deep foundation showing up at 6' high in the air, and it took me hours of editing to get the foundation to display correctly. As with other reviewers, I had the problem of objects protruding through walls, and I had to constantly view the design in 3D to be sure everything was aligned and not penetrating another solid body.

    If all you want to do is see what your house design will look like after it's built by using the 3D walk through and fly around features, this product should work fine for you. However, it seems like there are plenty of lower priced competitors (3D Home Architect, FloorPlan 3D, etc.) that will do the same thing. If you want to draw construction documents, look elsewhere or draw it up by hand. While you may be able to monkey around with this program to get what you need eventually, either by editing in another program or editing with a pencil after printing, it's a frustrating experience when you know that other software out there will do what you need. ... Read more


    4. Punch! Master Landscape Professional and Home Design
    list price: $79.99
    our price: $66.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0001ARFHU
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Punch! Software
    Sales Rank: 1072
    Average Customer Review: 2.2 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Features

    • Design a dream landscape with survey, deck, and plant wizards
    • New state-of-the-art animation and outdoor lighting
    • Create property lines with surveyor tool; customizable plant editor
    • Simple, complex, and multi-level deck templates
    • PhotoView editor; file import/export options; dynamic user interface

    Reviews (5)

    1-0 out of 5 stars Big Disappointment
    I bought this package with the intent of designing a large patio for my backyard. The tools are very clumsy to use and attempting to draw free-form curve lines is almost impossible. Drawing a rectangular patio would be fairly easy, but who needs a software package to do that?

    I should have saved my money and bought some graph paper to sketch things out by hand.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Powerful tools, takes time to learn
    This program can do a lot, you just have to take the time to find out how to do it. We scanned our floor plan, and using the Floor Plan Trace tool, we had an exact copy of our house modeled within two hours. The lot topography was more difficult to duplicate; the tools allow slopes and excavated areas, but contours are hard to get right. Some room for improvement there. We built terraced stone retaining walls, various plants beds, and reserved an area for a future pool. The database didn't have all or even most of the specific plants that we wanted, but we could find suitable equivalents. The program doesn't offer a huge assortment of pre-made objects, but the tools allow you to construct just about any 3D object you want - it does take time. As a previous review stated, for some smaller projects it might be quicker to do a paper sketch. But if you want to model your existing house and landscape in order to do a "what if" analysis of what a blue spruce would look like next to the garage, or where to route a new garden path (and be able to examine it from all angles), this is a good planning aid.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Easy to visualize
    It made my backyard & deck design easier to visualize. I put a picture of our house in the program then drew a new deck. I also added plants and other landscaping ideas to see how they looked. I hadn't used the computer to do stuff like this before and I didn't have much trouble figuring it out.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Not worth it even if it were FREE!
    Absolutely AWFUL for doing any type of landscaping. It was $70.00 wasted in buying this program. It is NOT intuitive, has VERY limited capabilities other than a few of the basics for landscaping. I wanted to design a brick walkway, a round brick sitting area and a Koi pond with some plants around it. Not too demanding of a project. The results were totally unacceptable, and the touted features virtually worthless. Perhaps if you want to design a basic deck... square with a railing, you can do. Maybe even a bit more than that. But if you want to do anything OTHER than a wooden deck, better get out a pencil and sketch pad -- it'll be a lot easier and look better.

    My advise? Don't waste your money or effort with this program.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Great for homes but landscaping NO WAY
    I have just bought this software and although this is good for homes (not alot of selection like chimneys) this is not the way to go for landscaping. There are not enough plants to be happy with and the plants that are there you can not change the height or how wide they get. The plant editor is lousy as well, the plants all look like pices of cardboard cutouts. I would not recommand this software. ... Read more


    5. Better Homes and Gardens Landscaping and Deck Designer
    list price: $59.99
    our price: $54.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007Z72OK
    Catlog: Software
    Manufacturer: Chief Architect
    Sales Rank: 37
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Amazon.com Product Review

    Your yard has always been good to you, giving you space to play with your kids, barbecue, and even sun-bathe on those lazy summer days. But now you're ready to bring some creative elegance and flair to your outdoor living. And you don't want to spend a mint just to have a landscape designer or consultant tell you what you want. If you know what you want, but you just need a little help turning that vision into reality, the Better Homes and Gardens Landscaping and Deck Designer software package is just for you.

    Better Homes and Gardens, the number one home and garden publisher, has partnered with leading software designer Chief Architect to bring you the Landscaping and Deck Designer. This program can help you transform your yard space into the landscape of your dreams, at a fraction of the cost of what a professional would charge. Using the software's fun, intuitive, and easy-to-use tools, you'll quickly be on the way toward becoming the envy of your neighborhood as your backyard barbecues in the sun turn into elegant moon-lit affairs on your new deck.

    With the Landscaping and Deck Designer, you don't need any design experience to plan your new landscaping, deck or patio areas. In a few easy steps, you'll be able to take care of site planning and cost estimating. The software will give you everything you need, from conception to planning to pricing.

    With a huge library of over 1,200 plants at your disposal, you won't have to be stuck with the same old options the local home and garden shop offers. You can create beautiful landscaping with trees, shrubs, water features, and flowers of your own choosing. You can even import your digital photos and add your own custom landscaping features to your plans. To keep those plants thriving, you'll want to install a sprinkler system. The "sprinkler designer" feature can help you lay out sprinkler zones for optimal watering. A "furniture" feature allows you to project a wide variety of backdrops, objects, images, and textures onto your designs. It's never been easier to select the right patio furniture for your new deck or out by the swimming pool.

    As you plan your new outdoor living area, the software can project 3D models of your plot and perimeter designs, giving you realistic images of what your designs will look like. A "terrain" feature can help you build fences and driveways, and the software will help you choose the best materials for the pathways you design through your gardens. You'll even have a special "fence tool" at your fingertips that will help you to choose from several different custom fence and gate styles.

    In short, with the Landscaping and Deck Designer software at your fingertips, you can say good-bye to all those cookie-cutter yards that populate new developments. You can finally say hello to an outdoor living area that not only reflects your dreams and visions, but that also reflects how your outdoor area should be experienced, day in and day out, for years to come.

    Features:

    • Landscaping templates designed by Better Homes and Gardens help you to quickly place your landscaping beds
    • Use the Better Homes and Gardens Design Planning Center to guide your designs with tips and advice
    • Choose from a library of more than 4,000 items for your designs, including over 1,200 plants
    • Plant Hardiness Zone reference maps helps you choose the most appropriate plants, and a Plant Chooser feature helps you search for plants based on climate, drought tolerance, deer resistance, and much more
    • Layout sprinkler zones quickly and efficiently
    • Design single or multi-level decks with Deck Designer
    • Assign the materials you want for your new patio design
    • Quickly lay out your deck, add stairs, then place and arrange furniture
    • Deck foundations automatically generate to match sloped lots
    • Design and visualize your areas in 3D
    • Import your own photos of houses, plants, people, and more
    • Produce realistic images of your outdoor projects
    • Easily create hills and valleys for custom landscapes
    • Automatically generate materials list to estimate costs
    • Includes free How-To Tutorial CD
    What's in the Box Landscaping and Deck Designer software on CD and instructional CD. ... Read more

    Reviews (3)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Fence angles on odd shaped lots will be a problem.
    From the online reviews I decided to purchase Landscaping and Deck Designer ver. 7.01. I have to warn you that if you have an odd shaped lot you'll run into a problem with the software. If you have to make fence angles that aren't at 90 degrees perpendicular to each other you may not be able to draw a fence that is exactly shaped like yours. I have an odd shaped lot and when I tried to make the fence angles the same as mine the drawn fences only rotate in 7 1/2 degree increments. This means you either have to make a lot size bigger or smaller than what your actual lot size is. The work around is to draw a lot size bigger than yours then manually draw your actual fence lines. I confirmed with their tech support that the software works that way.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is best consumer level landscaping software out there
    After extensive research, I eventually concluded that nothing really good existed in the low end consumer world of Landscape Design software, but I held out great hope that Better Homes and Gardens Landscaping and Deck Designer would be different.

    So I took a chance and bought it from Amazon in April.and After some initial delays in actually getting the product, it was worth the wait!This software has blown me away after using it just two days now!!

    This is the newest 7.x version of the landscaping modules first introduced in the BH&G 6.x home designed suite.The new version, just recently released in Mar/Apr 2005 by Chief Architect for BH&G is now standalond landscaping and deck design product.I suspect a 7.x home designer suite will eventually follow.

    It is clear that this software has inherited many good things from its more professional rooted product line at Chief Architect.

    This latest Landscape and Deck designer is really easy to use.It comes with a program CD and tutorial CD.After a quick and easy installation process ... I found myself able to use this software quite quickly.

    This worked for me, since I despise reading confusing manuals and going through endless tutorials ... this software was easy enought to "figure out", with a little help from the tutorial videos and the help subsystem.

    Each video clip on the tutorial CD is only 2-4 minutes in duration and shows how to do several useful things at a time.This "show and tell" approach to learning really worked for me.I watch a quick video -- then I go do it myself.

    Unlike other tutorials, this one is quick and to the point.You won't spend more than 30-45 minutes to watch all of the videos included.I reccomend watching the first 1-3 videos, then go try the program yourself, then come back to the tutorial videos a finish them off after you have an initial grasp of the program.

    There is also a more comprehensive help utility where you can look up individual topics by topic or search for things within the help system ... very good overall.

    This program is easy to use and the 3D capabilities are very impressive.I had my new home' irregular shapes lot laid out and my new home located on that lot to within half foot precision in the first night of use.You almost fool yourself into thinking this program is more than just landscaping, but there are certainly limits, but reasonable ones.

    I was zooming around my lot and house in 3D on the first night of use.The house roof wasn't exactly correct, but very close ... and thats where the landscaping program meets its limits ... you can't really make the house architechturally correct from top to bottom, but very accurate dimensionally and certainly good for planning your landscape and/or deck.

    You can even take an actual picture and mask out the surrounding and paste that picture onto your 3D model of the house.That really makes the product yield realistic looking models.And I did that one side of the house on my first night of using it.

    You can save pictures of your 3D drawing to files, you can even make a motion video tour of your landscape ideas.I was blown away by the capabilities.I can't wait to get home and see what else I can do.

    I didn't get into the landscaping till day 2.By the end of Day 2, I had an initial landscape layout 80% completed.This program is very usable and probably could be used by a pro if they didn't have the budget for the $1000+ software out there.

    I can't say enough good things about this software.It should be a top seller within 1 year, if others feel the same as I do.My hats off to BH&G and Chief Architect -- "home run" guys.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Professional Calibre Software But Easy to Use
    As a designer and general contractor who has for many years relied on Chief Architect professional level CAD software, I nevertheless decided, when it came time for me to research consumer-level home design and landscaping products (as I am frequently asked to recommend these products), that I would evaluate those by other companies, as well.

    I'm happy to report that the BH&G products won out.I was amazed to see how much Chief Architect capability has been incorporated into its consumer level products, marketed under the illustrious Better Homes & Gardens name.I am thoroughly impressed with how useable these programs are and how quickly non-professionals are able to learn them.The quality of the output is stunning and, as far as I'm concerned, the Chief Architect based products far surpass the competition in terms of integration and useability.

    The unexpected outcome of my evaluation is that I deem these products, despite being consumer oriented software, to be of sufficiently high quality that I can use them in the office as ancillary products for interns and short-term employees to use.The output from Home Designer Pro can then even be opened in Chief Architect for further work by professionals.The Home Designer series is a boon for the consumer and the professional alike.In this day and age it's nice to see software developers who take their craft seriously and who are responsive to their customers, and to acknowledge that rare quality I've taken the time to write this review.

    Jay Palmer
    New York, NY
    ... Read more


    6. Better Homes and Gardens Home Designer Suite 6
    list price: $99.99
    our price: $94.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0000DIEKZ
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Chief Architect
    Sales Rank: 68
    Average Customer Review: 3.33 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Features

    • Inspire your designs with the Design Planning Center
    • Create a virtual walk-through of your house
    • Design and visualize in 3D
    • Choose from a library of more than 4,300 items for your designs
    • Generate automatic material lists for project cost estimating

    Reviews (21)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very solid product
    I was looking for a software that would let me create a good design of my new house. I am not an architect and I am not interested in details such as plumbing, electrical, framing etc. I just wanted to create the walls, add the doors windows, furniture, stairs, roof, etc.

    This software can do all of these easily, no bugs, no frustration, everything fits or can be rezized. So far I am 80% done with my house. I have had no crashes when I use it with my desktop (2.6 GHZ P4, 256 RAM, GeForce FX5200). But it crashes when I use it with my Laptop (P4 1.8 GHZ, 512RAM but a mobility ATI radeon). The error message says it crashed because of my video card and it happens when switching to 3d view.

    To see the good about this software read the marketing review, I strongly agree in all of them. I'll list only my complains:
    - Not 100% of the objects can be copy/paste from one plan to the other.
    - When you start a design make sure you carefully select the template plan. The template plan gives properties to the objects (cabinets, tables, walls, etc). Because when you are half way in your design and realize that you want some object (ie fancy railings) that is not available in your template but it is in another, you also realize that you cannot change the template of the plan you are currently using. You can open a new plan with the correct template, add the object and do a copy and paste, but not all objects can be copy and pasted (ie. Railings).
    - When you switch to 3d view it recalculates everything. This gets annoying and slow when your project is almost finished.
    - So far i do not see a solution to adding new objects. For example a new door style, a new sofa style. The publisher does not have an online database where they can add new styles for users to keep their design updated.

    The software is pricy but it is the best I have used. Granted that I have not used the punch software. I have wasted 15/20$ at a time buying low cost software on the software bins

    5-0 out of 5 stars We love this software!
    We bought this software after researching alot of others to find the best product for the price we wanted to spend. We are very happy that we chose Home Designer! Our project is adding 1500 square feet, part of which is a second story, to our existing home as owner/builders (pretty ambitious, huh?). We have been able to design and redesign with this software while working out alot of the problems we have with our lot constrictions. We read about other programs only having preprogrammed lot dimensions that weren't editable, but we drew our weird lot dimensions and started right in! It's nice to see that things we thought would work in our heads aren't really that practical when you put them "on paper". We now have the luxury of seeing everything in the new space that we dreamed about for years! The decorating aspect of Home Designer is great too with lots of options and textures. We've been able to see the space and plan it better with the AWESOME 3D views, Doll House view and Glass House view. AND it takes hardly any time, is easy to use (love the drag and drop) and we had a "do-able" plan within 3-4 hours. We still have the roof to work out but that's it. We haven't had any problems with crashing or drawing speed. It all works seamlessly and really quite fast. Our computer runs Windows XP with 512mb RAM and a 64mb GeForce4 MX graphics card. We highly recommend this software for home building or remodeling!

    1-0 out of 5 stars They just want you to buy the upgrade
    It's as if they stripped out most of the functions on purpose...I guess they want customers to be frustrated with this software so you'll buy their expensive upgrade.

    I hope they take my return instead.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Almost worthless for anything but a box with a roof
    I bought this software to help design an addition to my house, but Home Designer Suite 6 is not even able to let me draw my existing house, a 1400 square foot house with an attached garage.

    The problem is more than one style of roof, and a mud room attached to the front of the house. Home Designer cannot accept more than 1 roof style, and does not allow me to add a roof to the mud room without automagically changing the roof on the main part of the house.

    I feel really stupid for spending $80 on this product, and will probably go back to paper and pencil.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Software - Very Powerful
    This is great software. I have the Home Architect Deluxe 3.0, so I already had some experience with how the program would work. From that, this version let's you do amazing things if you take the time and put in a little effort. Photo quality renderings that no architect could ever give you.

    Anyone who is giving this a low rating isn't spending enough time with it. And that's not to say you need to take a course on it.... I spent about 3-4 hours and got the results I wanted, which was a 3D rendering of our planned house, which has a complex roofline. Powerful software can overwhelm people, or they just don't want to give it the time to learn. Like Microsoft Excel, you can't expect to become an ace with spreadsheets just because you buy the software. You have to put in a little time to learn.

    The results you can get from this software can't be produced any other way. Buy it and spend some time with it and you will love it. ... Read more


    7. Better Homes and Gardens Home Designer Pro 6
    list price: $495.99
    our price: $446.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0000TSUYY
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Chief Architect
    Sales Rank: 676
    Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Features

    • High-quality software for home design, remodeling, and landscaping
    • Inspire your designs with Better Homes and Gardens design planning center
    • Create a virtual walk-through; design and visualize in 3D
    • Automatic material list for project-cost estimating
    • Library of more than 4,300 items; 70+ training tutorial videos included

    Reviews (5)

    1-0 out of 5 stars Frustrating and not worth the money
    The number of bugs in this program is unbelievable. After using it for 6 months, I have spent hundreds of hours fixing problems due to software bugs or restarting the program after it crashes. I'm running it on a new computer with XP, a faster processor and far more memory than the minimum that the vendor requires.

    The print functions do not all work. For example, one function allows you to print a cut-out of your design, which you can then cut with scissors, fold, and tape together. That would be great...however only 3 of 4 walls will ever print. I have never therefore been able to use this function. Even more frustrating is the bug that does not actually save your work even if you have saved prior to shutdown. I have re-drawn the same features 4 times in one plan, simply because the program will not save the changes, or it will only save some of the changes.

    Also, the hardware key (dongle) takes up one of my USB ports and only works if I reboot my computer after inserting it. Even then, sometimes I have to remove and replace it multiple times.

    I wish I could recommend an alternative.

    5-0 out of 5 stars DIY Home Remodel
    I am not an architect or builder. But I consider myself handy and cheap. My motto is give me a book (or program) and tools and I'll do anything. My remodel consists of adding a garage and increasing the size of a single story home. Me and my conscripted nephews plan on doing most of the work ourselves. I originally bought the Punch software and was very satisfied with the intuitive ease of use and the 3D design renderings. But when the rubber meets the road and permit requirements become reality, this software was the most affordable one I could find to bypass the professional services usually required for that process. While not easy, meeting the goal of saving that considerable expense has made it worthwhile. Now if I can just figure out a way to build things square...

    5-0 out of 5 stars very stable and is fast to work with
    I tested the cheap old version - 3D Home Architect deluxe 3.0 just for getting a feeling of this kind of software.
    I then spent quite some time looking around at the Internet at e.g. Punch, IMSI floorplan and finally chose to buy Better Homes and Gardens Home Designer Pro 6.
    I chose the product because it is the actual upgrade to Home Architect and it is made by a company that also makes professional products - which in my mind makes them able to use theirs skills while making a stripped version from the professional product.

    After getting the product my I could confirm that this is a professional home design product with very good documentation. And the program is easy to use and it very fast to draw a sketch of the house and later easy to adjust if needed.

    No crashes and the 3D workes fine.

    I have only tested the software om my new PC with 1GB RAM, Pentium 4 -3GHzHT and ATIRAdeon 128MB graphics - so I do not know yet whether it has good performance on my old PC.

    I chose the Pro version (5 times more expensive) instead of the suite because I needed conversion from DXF and some of the other things that are extra in the Pro version - see the comparison matrix at the manufacturers site.

    I think that if you don't need the extras - which I guess most people won't - then the suite is the right product for you!

    /Jan

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Pro-sumer product out there!
    I've used a couple of the consumer products in the past; most notably, 3D Home Architect (v4 & prior) by ART and Architectural Series 18 by Punch. Both these products were probably the best in the <$100 market for the home user. 3DHA was sold to Broderbund and they messed up v5 so bad that I've never seen so many unanimous negative reviews for a piece of software. AS18 v6 is showing its age, although they have a newer AS3000 which I have not seen.
    Fortunately, ART stayed together and started creating professional products (Chief Architect line)and now has home and semi-pro products marketed under the BHG label. The home user product is Home Designer Suite 6 and the semi-pro product is HD Pro 6 - which I am now using. ...
    I went with HDP6 and absolutely love it! It blows away all the home user products. It's fast, stable, has a ton of features and is very configurable. Everything I wished I could do in AS18 is easily done in HDP6. I'll just give one example to illustrate: Exterior walls can be configured to have up to 10 layers. Starting form the inside you can define sheetrock, studs, sheathing, Tyvek and then siding. That's only 5 layers. Each layer can then be described more fully by width, material type, color, etc. This is typical of the rest of the program.
    I know the Pro version is 3-4X the cost of the typical home user product but it can handle custom homes with ease. If cost is an issue, try HDS6. I would expect the core designing tasks to be identical, minus some options. They have a 30 day, no-questions asked, money back policy which got me to try it. Needless to say I'm not returning it and I doubt anyone else would if they try it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is the best product I have ever seen!
    I was on the beta test for this program. This product blows away every other consumer product I have ever seen. Don't even bother with any of those other cheaper products, it's just not worth the trouble. It's like comparing a Geo to a Hummer. There is no comparison! ... Read more


    8. Punch! Ultimate Deck and Landscape
    list price: $29.00
    our price: $24.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00004OCHJ
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Punch! Software
    Sales Rank: 1012
    Average Customer Review: 2.14 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Amazon.com Product Description

    Ultimate Deck & Landscape integrates landscaping, deck design, and exterior home design. Estimator and deck wizards aid in creating your ideal outdoor living space. Get 3-D photorealistic fly-throughs, drag-and-drop textures, and landscaping--all with a single interface.

    Use the software to see how your home exterior will integrate with your deck and landscape design. Add stone, siding, or paint color to match your current home, or view changes as a remodeling part of your project. When you're ready to landscape your home design, just add your plantings to your existing file. The software lets you landscape without redrawing your house plan. Your results are rendered in high-resolution 3-D, complete with shadows just like a photograph.

    Design the perfect deck for your home plan with Ultimate Deck. Multilevel or multistory decks with 3-D photorealistic textures, stairs, railings, object placement, and color capabilities give you the ability to design exactly the deck you want. Deck Wizards walk you through railings, baluster options, and more. The Deck & Landscape Estimator compiles building material and landscape planting information in a custom spreadsheet report as you draw. The editable and exportable spreadsheet is available right from the program. Just add in costs and you'll have an accurate report of your expenses. ... Read more

    Reviews (14)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Not Bad for the Money
    This is an inexpensive CAD program for home exterior, landscape, and deck design. I found it fun and relatively easy to use. In just a few hours I had a reasonable model of my home and it's decks entered. The walk-through feature works well and is great for viewing the plan in 3D easily from any angle. The instant 3D view as you change items on the plan is very nice for getting things like roof lines, railings, and windows set up and placed correctly. Landscape design options are pretty limited, like the small number of plant and fence options, but adequate to get a rough view of how something might look.

    Overall, it does what one would expect from a $30 program and is useful if you aren't too picky about getting the result to look exactly like the finished product. Punch seems to have a whole range of products, and given that this one works pretty well for what it is, I am planning to upgrade to something from Punch with a bit more flexibility, assuming that it can input what I have created so far.

    The program installed easily but does exhibit some kind of bug in that plants are not visible unless the walk-through is in motion. I e-mailed Punch about it and got a very rapid response on some things to try in adjusting my graphics card parameters. I'm impressed with the responsiveness of their support people.

    Overall, I would recommend this program for someone who wants to try out the concept of computerized landscape design and needs only basic capability. If you are trying to do a detailed, complex project I would recommend going with a more fully featured product.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Far better ways to spend your money and your time
    I had low expectations to begin with but they were still too high. This program is just not up to the task - plain and simple. I spent several nights trying to get a two-tierred deck designed and have wasted my time struggling with this terrible product. If I hadn't borrowed this CD from a friend who also couldn't do any constructive work with it, I'd have demanded my money back. I beg someone to write a review who's HAS designed and built a deck with this toy; add a link so we can see what you actually accomplished. Its time to use something useful like AutoCad...

    4-0 out of 5 stars Thought it was easy.
    I worked with it without reading any directions, so for this I give it a thumbs up. I do however wish I could have drawn a little more accurate with it (I am an autocad design/drafter) so if it would have been more autocad friendly that would have been nice. The only thing else I wish I could have done with the program, that I was unable to do, was design a screened in porch. The system allowed me to design a deck and an all weather room, but I could not get the look of a screened area. Overall I felt it was easy to use, teach and quick to design/redesign. The files take up very little space. I give it 4 out of 5 stars but have no other deck design program to compare it to, it is the only one I have ever tried.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your money
    I just bought Punch deck design. You would expect that it would be taylored to designing decks. Guess again. It is nothing more than a simple cad program with a few deck related overlays. You must build multiple decks to create a single mult-tiered deck. It does nothing with deck supports or even patterns of wook on the deck. Stairs beyond a simple straight stair case forget it. DO NOT BUY this product. Get a piece of paper and ruler and you will be better off.

    1-0 out of 5 stars junk
    i purchaed this program to design my deck.All it does is create a picture.I used to have a program that designed a deck and also gave me a break down of materials to build it and accurate dimensions in which to cut my lumber and also a walk through the construction.This program [punch]does nothing like that at all.If anyone wants to build a deck using this program they are wating there money. ... Read more


    9. Better Homes and Gardens Home Designer
    list price: $59.99
    our price: $44.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0006AAOLE
    Catlog: Software
    Manufacturer: Chief Architect
    Sales Rank: 186
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Features

    • Getting Started tutorial; 30+ videos for step-by-step instructions
    • Software for home remodeling, design, landscaping, and decking projects
    • 500 sample home plans; House Wizard for a customized design
    • Library of over 3,000 items to create a 3D Model in minutes
    • Automatically generate a materials list for project-cost estimating

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Finally!
    I've tried many home design programs over the last couple of years and have always been disappointed.I've downloaded many free trial versions and purchased a couple.My latest, Punch Super Home Suite, was OK for 2D stuff but the 3D was impossible and frustrating.I took advantage of their money back guarantee!

    I just purchased Better Homes and Gardens Home Designer for $39.00 from a local retailer last week.While I still have lots to learn I love it!I'm amazed at the sophistication for the price.I was VERY leery of buying this based on only one 5 star rating but I did.Well now there are two 5 star ratings so hopefully this will help others.

    There are still some things that are "tricky" to construct but I haven't found anything I couldn't create yet and I discover more useful features every time I use it.The training videos are a great way to learn the software quickly and it comes with a hard copy manual, which is getting less common these days.If you are looking for an inexpensive but powerful design program definitely try this one!

    5-0 out of 5 stars AWESOME! FANTASTICPROGRAM.......
    Chief Architect tops them all! This program is great. It has a easy userface like 3D Home Architect version 4.0! This program is definitely worth the $ 59.00 I paid for it. Eventually I will upgrade to the next version. This version also offers designing tutorials. And the backdrops are really nice. BUY IT!!!! I have tried soooo many Home design programs and this is the BEST!!! I WOULD GIVE IT 10 STARS BUT THEY ONLY ALLOW UP TO 5!!! ... Read more


    10. Better Homes and Gardens Landscaping and Deck Designer Bundle
    list price: $79.99
    our price: $69.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007ZF3FA
    Catlog: Software
    Manufacturer: Chief Architect
    Sales Rank: 675
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Amazon.com Product Review

    Your yard has always been good to you, giving you space to play with your kids, barbecue, and even sun-bathe on those lazy summer days. But now you're ready to bring some creative elegance and flair to your outdoor living. And you don't want to spend a mint just to have a landscape designer or consultant tell you what you want. If you know what you want, but you just need a little help turning that vision into reality, the Better Homes and Gardens Landscaping and Deck Designer Bundle is just for you.

    Better Homes and Gardens, the number one home and garden publisher, has partnered with leading software designer Chief Architect to bring you the Landscaping and Deck Designer Bundle. This program can help you transform your yard space into the landscape of your dreams, at a fraction of the cost of what a professional would charge. Using the software's fun, intuitive, and easy-to-use tools, you'll quickly be on the way toward becoming the envy of your neighborhood as your backyard barbecues in the sun turn into elegant moon-lit affairs on your new deck.

    With the Landscaping and Deck Designer Bundle, you don't need any design experience to plan your new landscaping, deck or patio areas. In a few easy steps, you'll be able to take care of site planning and cost estimating. The software will give you everything you need, from conception to planning to pricing.

    With a huge library of over 1,200 plants at your disposal, you won't have to be stuck with the same old options the local home and garden shop offers. You can create beautiful landscaping with trees, shrubs, water features, and flowers of your own choosing. You can even import your digital photos and add your own custom landscaping features to your plans. To keep those plants thriving, you'll want to install a sprinkler system. The "sprinkler designer" feature can help you lay out sprinkler zones for optimal watering. A "furniture" feature allows you to project a wide variety of backdrops, objects, images, and textures onto your designs. It's never been easier to select the right patio furniture for your new deck or out by the swimming pool.

    As you plan your new outdoor living area, the software can project 3D models of your plot and perimeter designs, giving you realistic images of what your designs will look like. A "terrain" feature can help you build fences and driveways, and the software will help you choose the best materials for the pathways you design through your gardens. You'll even have a special "fence tool" at your fingertips that will help you to choose from several different custom fence and gate styles.

    In addition to the software, you also get the latest edition of The Better Homes and Gardens New Garden book -- a wonderful way to inspire and provide ideas for your outdoor living spaces. With over 600 pages of great ideas and glorious color photos of more plants and landscaping arrangements than you could ever need, this book will provide you with an endless fountain of inspiration.

    In short, with the Landscaping and Deck Designer software at your fingertips, you can say good-bye to all those cookie-cutter yards that populate new developments. You can finally say hello to an outdoor living area that not only reflects your dreams and visions, but that also reflects how your outdoor area should be experienced, day in and day out, for years to come.

    Features:

    • Get invaluable design ideas from The Better Homes and Gardens New Garden book
    • Landscaping templates designed by Better Homes and Gardens help you to quickly place your landscaping beds
    • Use the Better Homes and Gardens Design Planning Center to guide your designs with tips and advice
    • Choose from a library of more than 4,000 items for your designs, including over 1,200 plants
    • Plant Hardiness Zone reference maps helps you choose the most appropriate plants, and a Plant Chooser feature helps you search for plants based on climate, drought tolerance, deer resistance, and much more
    • Layout sprinkler zones quickly and efficiently
    • Design single or multi-level decks with Deck Designer
    • Assign the materials you want for your new patio design
    • Quickly lay out your deck, add stairs, then place and arrange furniture
    • Deck foundations automatically generate to match sloped lots
    • Design and visualize your areas in 3D
    • Import your own photos of houses, plants, people, and more
    • Produce realistic images of your outdoor projects
    • Easily create hills and valleys for custom landscapes
    • Automatically generate materials list to estimate costs
    • Includes free How-To Tutorial CD
    What's in the Box Landscaping and Deck Designer software on CD, instructional CD, and The Better Homes and Gardens New Garden book. ... Read more

    11. 40 Years Of The Amazing Spider-Man Win/Mac
    list price: $49.99
    our price: $30.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0006Q7FEM
    Catlog: Software
    Manufacturer: Topics Entertainment
    Sales Rank: 112
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Product Description

    Topics Entertainment (CS-531s) Marvel 40 Yrs of Spiderman ... Read more

    Features

    • 11-disc CD-ROM collection of 500+ Spider-Man comic books
    • Covers 40+ years of all Amazing Spider-Man comic books printed
    • Mind-blowing 10 Milestones of Amazing Spider-Man
    • Spider-Man's debut issue: The Amazing Fantasy #15
    • All articles and vintage ads, Spider's-Web column, and Bullpen Bulletins

    Reviews (10)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Tim Robertson MyMac.com Review
    40 Years of the Amazing Spider-Man CD-ROM
    Company: TOPICS Entertainment
    Price: $49.99
    http://www.topics-ent.com/

    As a comic book reader, I was very interested in this product when I first started seeing advertisements for it six months ago. As the title suggests, 40 Years of the Amazing Spider-Man CD-ROM is just that, all the issues of the Amazing Spider-Man comic on eleven CD-ROMs. Actually, the series also includes the original 1962 Amazing Fantasy #15, which is the first appearance of Spider-Man. From then on, however, it's all Amazing Spider-Man.

    Each issue on the CD-ROM is an Adobe PDF file. You do need Adobe Acrobat 6.0 or later to view the files, which is included on the disc #1 in both Mac and Windows versions. If you try using another PDF viewing application, such as Apple's own Preview, you get to see the watermark Topics Entertainment placed on every page of every issue. I don't know why they bothered to put the watermark in the files, as that constitutes the level of anti-piracy they employ. Otherwise, these are simple PDF files.

    The forty years include every issue from the above mention first appearance all the way up to issue #500 (December 2003). A curious omission, however, is the yearly annuals.

    One of the problems, if you can call it that, is issues that crossover to other comics, be it another Marvel comic such as X-Men or Fantastic Four, or another Spider-Man title, such as Spectacular Spider-Man or Web of Spider-Man. This happened quite often in the late 1980's, and throughout all the 1990's. So sadly, while all the Amazing issues are present, not all the stories that go with those issues are.

    Quality-wise, the stories are what they are. Some issues are fantastic, some not so much. I won't try and review every issue, that would be crazy. But there is a quality issue I'm a little disappointed with, and that is the picture quality of the PDF's themselves. But more on that in a moment.

    I enjoy that each issue is complete from cover to cover, including the original ads on each page. Nothing like looking back at the older "Prizes for Cash" ads from the 1980's. I also like the fact that the covers are not only included, but the back cover as well. 99% of the time, the back cover is an advertisement, but occasionally, especially when you get into the special anniversary issues, a cover would be a wrap-around, so had they omitted the back cover, there was a chance that half the artwork would have been missing.

    The problem is that while supplying these back issues of Amazing Spider-Man is a great concept, it's obvious that Topics Entertainment didn't work with Marvel Comics to acquire the best electronic format or physical copies of these issues. Rather, they simply used a flatbed scanner to scan each issue, page by page, to build the PDF files. They also did not use very high quality issues, as many of the copies are yellowed and flawed. More, there are some issues cocked at a slight angle, rather than laying them completely horizontal and true. This can be annoying to read. Even worse, there was not much care given to cleaning up the pages within Photoshop. I ran one page through Adobe Photoshop and applied the Auto-Color correction to the page and got fantastic results, at least three times better picture than the supplied PDF file.

    Still, to have forty years of Amazing Spider-Man in electronic format on my computer (I copied all the CD-ROMs to an external FireWire Hard Drive for easier access) is a treat. As a long time comic book reader, it feels strange to read these comics on a computer screen. I have many of the physical issues myself, most of which are in better condition than the copies Topics Entertainment used when scanning. But to be able to quickly pull up an issue for reference is fun.

    All in all, for $49.99 US (you can find it MUCH cheaper online, such as Amazon.com where the current price is $32.99) you can have a piece of comic book history that never goes out of style.

    MyMac.com Rating: 3 out of 5. Good concept, nice format. I would prefer that more care be given to these comics, such as running batch color correction on each issue. I do like the index PDF for each year as well, but all it shows is a miniature version of the cover, not too handy.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Excellent idea, poor execution
    I've been reading Spider-Man for over 30 years now, and when I saw this Advertised I thought it was an excellent idea. The actual product has some significant flaws, however. First and foremost is the quality of the books they scanned. Many of the issues, especially from 1962-65, are so tattered and banged up that they'dbe graded 5.0 (out of 10) at best. The omission of the annuals and giant-size issues from the compilation is a curious oversight. And although I understand their desire to not have people printing up copies of their work willy-nilly, stamping "MARVEL" across every single page is distracting and disruptive.

    You'd be hard pressed to find a bigger Spidey fan than me, but I can't recommend this software. If you want to read these issues you'd be better off buying physical reprints, which are plentiful and inexpensive.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Performs exactly as described...
    I almost gave this one 3 stars because it fell kinda short of my expectations.After I counted to 10 and took a deep breath I realized that this set contains exactly what the box claims it does...nothing more, nothing less.
    What you get is "40 Years of The Amazing Spider Man".As others have pointed out, that encompasses only the "Amazing Spider-Man" title.Not "The Web of Spider-Man" or "Peter Parker the Spectacular Spider-Man" or other Spin-Off titles (some of which had storylines which were tied into ASM).
    The really big let down for me was that I had gotten used to the Broderbund Series of magazine/ comic reproductions (National Geographic, MAD Magazine, et al), and Broderbund runs a software program which features such bonus as a search engine.

    Had Broderbund done this title, a user would have been able to do a search such as 'all issues in which The Lizard appears' and the user would be provided that information whether or not those issues existed on the particular Disk the user was view at the time.But alas this title is in Adobe Acrobat so such is not the case.

    Nevertheless it is a good collection and I don't regret the purchase at all. That the collection could have been packaged and presented better is besides the point because what the box says you get is, well- what you get

    4-0 out of 5 stars 501 issues of Spider-Man on CD-Rom is an Amazing deal
    It should be very easy for you to decide if you are going to like "40 Years of the Amazing Spider-Man" because here are the two things that you might consider major shortcomings.First, what you are getting here are digital scans of each two-page spread from copies of the original comic books.So these are not the originals or whatever Marvel uses when they reproduce early Spider-Man comics for their Masterworks or Essential series of reprints.The copies are pretty good, even the really old ones, but they are not perfect and they are not always lined up straight.Basically, then, you are looking at photographs of somebody else's collection of "The Amazing Spider-Man" comic books.

    Second, you have to view these comic books through the Adobe Reader, the 6.0 version of which you can install from the first disc (this is important because otherwise the "Marvel" that pops up as a sort of watermark when you try to print these pages pops up when you start reading each page.Unless you have a really big monitor (I thought I did before this) you have to choose between seeing the pages real size, where you cannot see an entire two-page spread at the same time, or you can reduce them in size to where you can see the entire two-page spread in which case the question is whether your eye sight is good enough to still read the print (I appear to be older than I thought).Beyond this it is a question of how powerful your computer is for being able to move from one spread to the next at a decent rate.Some people will find this maddening, and if that is the case you will not enjoy what this CD-Rom has to offer.

    There are minor problems in that what you get is each CD-Rom in its own envelope, which means you can undoubtedly find some better way of keeping them around, and each disc only indicates what years are covered (e.g., 1962-1966), so you need to come up with your own way of remember what issues are on each disc (you can jot the numbers down on the envelope).The top choice on my list of Spider-Man comics I wanted to read again was #257, the one where Mary Jane finally told Peter Parker she knew he was Spider-Man.After I checked out the first disc I made a calculated guess as to which one it was on and I was right, but including the range of issues on each disc or at least on the box (to go along with the "mind-blowing 10 Milestones") should have been a no-brainer.Still, all of these "problems" are easily fixable.I am surprised that the annuals are not included, but expecting to have the crossovers (as some of the "Essentials" volumes do, e.g., "Tomb of Dracula) is rather unrealistic, so I would not count it as a major or minor problem.

    Yes, it would be nice to sit in a chair that was not in front of a computer and read "The Amazing Spider-Man" from nicely bound books.But the "Marvel Masterworks" series is a rather expensive way of getting these comic books, the "Marvel Essentials" series is reprinted in black & white, and combined those two have not reprinted half of what is collected on these 11 CD-Roms.Even if you have the comic books, taking them out of their bags and backing boards seems like heresy, especially with the old ones.However, I do not have that problem because many years ago when my brother and I split up who was going to collect which Marvel comic books, he got the Spider-Man titles (we had from #28 on in the original comics, with everything prior to that being the original reprints in "Marvel Tales").All I have are the six "Essential" collections and the four "Masterworks" trade paperbacks, which means I only have about a quarter of what is here in book form.When it comes to being economical, you are not going to be able to beat what this collection has to offer, and that is the key factor for putting its shortcomings in perspective.

    "40 Years of The Amazing Spider-Man" begins with "Amazing Fantasy" #15 and ends with what became "The Amazing Spider-Man" #500 when "Volume 2" took advantage of the "Volume 1" numbering to mark a significant milestone in the history of the web-slinger.The touching coda in that last issue, drawn by John Romita, Sr. (who was Spider-Man's artist when I bought my first "Spider-Man" comic book, #62), makes for a fitting place to end this collection.I suppose a disc 12 could be out in 2007, but I do not have the same qualms about taking the latest issues out to read again that I do about the original Stan Lee and Steve Ditko issues.I am not overly excited about having the "complete" comic books, with all of those ads we remember from out childhood and the letters to the editor, but I do like seeing the covers of the other titles Marvel was putting out in the Sixties.

    I gave up on Spider-Man when the whole clone thing was getting way out of hand.The alien costume bit was okay, but the clone bit was just too much for me.I started reading the comic books again (we live in the age of multiple titles for any successful comic book character) when I started teaching an Introduction to Popular Culture class in which I use "The Essential Spider-Man, Volume 1."The class also looks at a recent issue of one of the main Spider-Man titles, so I started reading "The Amazing Spider-Man" again with #482 (nee #42), almost a year after J. Michael Stracynski started scripting the book.I have gone back and gotten all of "Volume 2" of the book, and these CD-Roms allow me to fill in the gaps.It is just going to take a while to get through all of these and I feel like I should write some sort of academic treatise on it all.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellant Amazing Spider-man collection on CD-Rom.
    -I've been collecting the Amazing Spider-Man comics for awhile, and this collection on CD-Rom is great!! It's authentic scans of real issues.Unlike the reprinted and released hard backs. With this CD-Rom collection you get to view first printings of the issues ( I can almost smell the pages)!!!You can seriously enlarge the scans, and no matter how large you go the images stay crisp and clear!It appears not a page of any issue is missing.All adds, covers, and story pages are there.It's a Marvel released collection, not some boot-leg or pirated item. This CD-Rom collection will bring my little spidey fan son and I, years and years of enjoyment. ... Read more


    12. 3D Home Architect Home Design Deluxe 6
    list price: $69.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0001GU7K6
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: The Learning Company
    Sales Rank: 312
    Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Features

    • Convenient wizards and tutorials help create basic plans fast
    • Professional-grade drafting tools in an easy, intuitive interface
    • New stylish name-brand materials and rendering capabilities
    • Easy to use; powerfully generates buildable blueprint-style plans
    • Unlimited customization guarantees a flawless finished project

    Reviews (6)

    2-0 out of 5 stars Extremely slow rendering and a reminder of....
    a software program called Floorplan. I like version 4.0 a heck of alot better. Im glad I only tried the trial version. Im very disappointed with 6.0. the rendering takes forever and the graphics are'nt as good as version 4.0 or as good as Punch architectural series 18. Don't waste your money on the version.

    1-0 out of 5 stars do it yourself_____ (fill in the blank)
    As an architect, I can't help but be insulted that one might think making a good building is so easy. I know we all live in houses, but that doesn't mean that 5-8 years of architecture school plus years of practice can be so easily overridden. Why not do-it-yourself medicine, or dentistry? How about law? All those things are just as easily picked up, right? We all have bodies, and teeth (hopefully)and know what's right and just-- don't we?!! There is a lot more to designing and building a good building than meets the eye.

    3-0 out of 5 stars OK for Simple Folk
    This is an adequate program with a few nice bells & whistles, but the lack of a migration path thru project upgrades (from a prior version) or file imports makes this a brand new program for old users. If I need to "re-key" all my data anyway, there are competitive packages offering significantly better features and multiple file handling options. But if you are familiar with prior versions and are newly creating simple plans, this is a good alternative.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Cautious Optimism
    The software is easy to use, easy to learn. Newer versions have gotten progressively better at providing "canned" components (i.e. footers, windows, doors, textures). This version is even more customizable than previous versions.

    The tabbed interface, and selectable toolbars make the interface a lot more functional. I definitely like version 6 better than 3, 4, and 5.

    HOWEVER, I would offer a SIGNIFICANT word of caution. Broderbund has a habit of leaving its established client base in the dust. I have been using the application for years, and therefore have a large library of floor plans developed (for my own home, future ideas, etc). In previous upgrades, Broderbund has changed file formats, thus making it impossible to bring previous work into newer products.

    I have written to them pleading for consistency, or at least import/export functionality. They have provided no satisfaction. My most recent email to tech support on version 6 yielded this response:

    "I understand that you are inquiring about importing a CAD file format into
    3D Home Design 6.

    This program has the ability to export as DXF, 3DS and WRL files, however
    is not capable of importing or opening DXF or other file formats.

    Sorry about the inconvenience."

    "...inconvenience..." Do they have any clue how much work it is to re-create multiple (dimensionally accurate) designs over AND over again?

    While it is nice that you can export to DXF format (great for transferring plans to construction engineers, architects, etc...), it is THE PITS that you CANNOT import from a standard file format (like DXF).

    If you are serious about your design and remodeling work, and plan to use this for more than just a room makeover, you may want to consider how important it is to you to take advantage of upgrade features while having to rebuild your designs in the future.

    BEFORE you have an established plan base, you may want to consider other products that can import standard formats (i.e. Better Homes and Gardens Home Designer Pro).

    Check out the reviews on Punch!Professional Home Design Suite Platinum for a better idea of what people think of Broderbund and its' products.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very cool 3-D and Easy to use
    This is a VERY cool program. It allowed me to trace over a scanned design, create project from basic house layout, or free style. Once I got the hang of how things worked I was building homes in no time. I especially nice feature is the ability to paint the texture of walls, floors, cabinets, furniture, etc from within the 3D view.
    Putting up walls can be a bit quirky, but in time you figure it out.
    I would recommend this to anyone who needs to get a real view of what their home will look like.
    Having experience playing The Sims doesn't hurt either ;-) ... Read more


    13. Cadpro Platinum Bundle
    list price: $69.95
    our price: $69.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000224MPK
    Catlog: Software
    Manufacturer: Delta Software International
    Sales Rank: 1726
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Product Description

    CAD Pro is the most cost-effective and easy to use CAD solution for Windows! Its a powerful drafting and design software designed with over 7,200 easy to use features that enables you to create virtually any type of drawing for print or the web. CADPro is developed for the beginner and advanced user so that anyone can quickly pick up on the latest features. Include are over 5,000 professionally drawn symbols and clip art, also included are quick reference cards, users manual and symbols/clipart manual in a PDF format. The CADPro Platinum Bundle is the perfect home improvement and drafting software, included; are ready to print professional plans (valued at over $10,000). Each project plan is included as a CADPro drawing, enabling you to modify any aspect to meet your specific application. Simply print these Do-It-Yourself Plans with the build of materials and have your local home improvement store give you a detailed cost, its that simple! CAD Pros compact, straightforward toolbox design gives you quick and easy access to all tools necessary to design anything the easy way. A full range of advanced drafting tools such as Join, Chamfer, Fillet, Extend, Trim, etc. save you time and effort while meeting the exacting standards of your design. Precise alignment is a snap, with just a simple mouse-click you can align and connect objects quickly and easily. The snap tools can constrain angles, draw tangent lines, align edges, and connect objects at any point. ... Read more

    Features

    • Superior Ease of Use
    • Intelligent Tools w/ Floating & Dockable Toolboxes
    • Over 5000 Professional Symbols & Clip Art
    • Import DXF R12, 13, 14, 2000, BMP, JPG & TIFF
    • Windows XP/2000/ME/98SE/NT

    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Simply Amazing
    My husband and I talked about putting up a barn next to our house for years, but the commitment of hiring a professional architect seemed intimidating - as well as expensive.

    CADPro is not just a listing of standard house plans that maybe you will like (or maybe not), it's a real blueprint design program. Yes, it does have some ready made plans, including a pretty cool tree house and outdoor kitchen - but this was not what I wanted.I started by installing the program - with so many buttons and features (over 8,000) I was not sure where to begin.Luckily, CADPro includes a separate training CD (with sound and video) in the box.I watched the individual video lessons while I had the CADPro program open on my computer so I could go back and forth to practice.This is not a program you will fully master overnight.

    I still have not used all the features, but I was able to quickly access the tools I needed to design my barn in detail.One of my favorite features is the pop-up photo.By dragging and dropping the camera icon from the toolbar onto the floor plan the program automatically opens My Pictures.Since I wanted a post and beam look on the inside I took a digital photo (taken while eating at my favorite restaurant) and saved it in My Pictures.I also scanned in some photos from a post & beam brochure and popped these in too - there is no limit to the number of photos you can include.The photos show up on the floor plan as little camera icons - by clicking once on the tiny camera the photos open.

    Although my intent was to just design my barn using CADPro, I found I could redesign my great room (or other rooms) by using the existing dimensions of my house and creating images of the furniture I already have (with their size to scale).I can now rearrange my furniture to see if it will fit - before I move my sofa 10 times.

    I am still waiting to see if the town will approve the building permit for my barn, but I feel better knowing I only invested 70 dollars, and I know exactly how it will look, and what the materials and estimated labor will cost, before they pour the foundation.I would highly recommended this program for anyone who wants to design their own renovation (or house) exactly the way they want, with blueprint results that a contractor can work from.
    ... Read more


    14. Punch! Professional Home Design
    list price: $99.99
    our price: $99.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0006N3EWW
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Punch Software
    Sales Rank: 3501
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Features

    • Sixteen powerful programs in one
    • Includes Roofing Wizard, Topo designer, advanced lighting capabilities, and Deck Wizard
    • Also includes Cabinet Wizard, Custom Texture Builder, and PlantFinder
    • Enhanced user interface with 3D cut-away viewing tools

    15. Better Homes and Gardens Home Designer Suite 6.0 Bundle
    list price: $119.99
    our price: $119.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00068JR9G
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Chief Architect
    Sales Rank: 1570
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Features

    • Inspire your designs with the Better Homes and Gardens Design Planning Center
    • Create a Virtual Walk-Through of your home design
    • Design and visualize in 3D
    • Choose from a Library of more than 4,300 items for your designs
    • Generate an Automatic Material List for project cost estimating

    16. 3D Home Architect Design Suite Deluxe 6
    list price: $99.99
    our price: $72.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0001GU88M
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Broderbund
    Sales Rank: 1546
    Average Customer Review: 2.4 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Features

    • Fully integrated home and landscape design tools
    • Ideal for new homes, remodeling projects, and landscape design
    • Create ready-to-build plans; unlimited custom design options
    • Visualize your project in bold 3D; new 2D designer's view
    • Convenient wizards and tutorials; user-friendly tabbed interface

    Reviews (10)

    4-0 out of 5 stars CAD that's fun? That's crazy!
    I'm adding a room to my home, and wanted to play around with some design ideas before contacting a professional. I've tried a few cheap CAD applications and finally bit the bullet and purchased 3D Home Architect 6. This software is by far the best I've used. It's helping to visualize exactly what I want, and teaching me a few things about architecture as well. On top of that - it's fun! (My wife is starting to think that she's a '3D Home widow' because it's such a pleasure drafting with 3D Home Architect...)

    This is a must for anyone serious about designing plans for their home.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Don't buy this unless you want to design a box with windows
    I upgraded to this program assuming that the new roof tools and better wall angles would allow me to design the simple modern concrete home with loft that I was interested in creating. NOT SO, especially in terms of the roof option. Try designing a simple A-frame like structure and the roof wizard continually creates a roof with 4 surfaces instead of two..And where did all the furniture and ability to create fences and patio's with a click go? They were in the earlier version. This one is actually stripped down for more money!

    About the only thing that is better is the ability to scan in a floor plan....but why do that when the program keeps adding the same boring roof line. There is also no way to design a round room, something I really wanted and I shudder to think what the program would do with the roof if you could.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Welcome to Frustration
    I have spent the better part of the day trying to download this program from Broderbund's site, only to have their server reset itself, twice. The second time, I had almost 25% downloaded before I was kicked off, and it only took nine hours! Gee, at that rate, I can only imagine how long it would take to actually use the software if I were able to download it! And this was for the "free" trial. Needless to say, I certainly won't be wasting any money towards the purchase, especially after reading all the other reviews. Trust me, I have been staring at the computer screen for hours, and have read every review of every software type for this sort of application. I am convinced that I would be better off spending less and buying an older version prior to 5, or trying the latest Chief Architect software, since it seems they designed the prior versions of 3DHA. Even some of the other programs, such as IMSI's Floor Plan 3D, or the Punch programs are looking better than this, which has been an aggravation, to say the least. What good is it to offer a free trial if it can't be downloaded and viewed? Had it worked, they may have gotten a sale. I guess I should be thankful that it did't; I believe their failure to deliver saved me money and even more irritation.

    5-0 out of 5 stars GREAT UPGRADE TO PREVIOUS VERSIONS
    I've seen some of the reviews on this forum. They range from very bad ones to excellent remarks. The last one from "A Software used from Seattle" is exagerated and obviously he did not take the time to read the manual. When you render a 3D image with the 3DTrueView option, the BMP file with this image is saved in the "Samples" Directory under "Program Files/3D Home Architect/Design Suite Deluxe6/Samples". Also, if all you want is a snapshot of the 3D image on the screen, you can press the Alt key, hold it and press "Print Screen" on your keyboard, then you simply "Edit-Paste" the image into Word, excel, etc.

    Now to the review part:

    RESULTING IMAGE
    I've used Punch AS3000 extensively, and while the rendering of shadows is much faster than with 3D Home Architect, AS3000 lacks the ray-tracing engine therefore cannot render surfaces that reflect such as mirrors, glossy marble, etc.
    The resulting images from 3DHA Design Suite are VERY, VERY close to a photograph. The ones from AS3000 tend to look Dull because of the lack of reflective surface support.

    Also, 3DHA allows for many different views, 2D with textures, 3D from top view, real-time editing in 3D of the location of objects, etc.

    FLEXIBILITY OF THE TOOLS
    First of all, Punch's software is VERY limited in the configuration of items such as Doors, Windows, Kitchen Cabinets, Fences, Stairs, and all pre-loaded objects in general.
    3DHA has all the dimensions and features of each object available for change.

    Punch AS3000 offers a built-in 3D object editor but cannot import popular industry-standard formats such as 3DS files, whereas 3DHA does, giving access to thousands of free objects available on the WEB.

    Textures are all pre-defined on Punch AS3000, meaning you cannot easily (without messing with file sizes, pixel counts, directories, etc.) add textures. On 3DHA you can add a texture from a BMP file with a few clicks and apply to object on the screen. Also, Objects have their surface groupings defined so you can for example, change the color of the wood of a Sofa without going leg-by-leg.

    3DHA can also export to DXF AND 3DS, allowing your design to be used / rendered on industrial / professional level software. Punch AS3000 can only export to VRLM in 3D and to DXF on 2D.

    I sincerily believe 3DHA is a more professional software (actually it is a down-sized version of a professional package from CADSOFT).

    This is to me the best VALUE for the $99 retail price.

    Marco.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Buyer Beware!
    This product is so bad, it's insulting.

    I'm not even going to mention how bad the user interface is (aggravatingly so), or how you can't simply rotate your 3D view (without getting it into some bizarre orientation), or how you can't attach objects (clocks, pictures) to a wall (they float around and change position when you change your view), or how you have to use the VERY unintuitive tools they give you (no semblance of any type of standard), or how many times the product crashes (I can't count that high).

    No, those are the least of this product's problems.

    What I am going to mention is how cheated I feel that "3D Home Architect Design Suite Deluxe 6" DOES NOT ALLOW YOU TO EXPORT YOUR 3D VIEW! This means you cannot include your 3D view in a Word document, or email it to someone. JPG, BMP, etc. formats are reserved for the 2D view only! All you can do is print it - not to a file, but only to the printer!

    Excuse, me? What good is that? The whole selling point is that it's 3D! Hello? Anybody home at Broderbund? Do these people even use their own product? Are you telling me I spent $100 only to be forced to print my images out on paper, just to scan them back in, and then email them, with each looking like a blurred copy of a copy of a copy? Tell me this is a joke product! I've looked all over the box, but can't find the fine print: "Sorry, sucker! We KNOW what you want to do with this product, but we've engineered it precisely SO YOU CAN'T DO IT! BWA HA HA!"

    C'mon, Amazon. Allow us to assign 0 stars.
    This is one time I'm getting my money back. ... Read more


    17. Your Complete Landscape and Garden Designer (DVD-Rom)
    list price: $19.99
    our price: $19.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007U9BTE
    Catlog: Software
    Manufacturer: Valusoft
    Sales Rank: 144
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    18. Craftsman 2005 CD Estimator - Complete Construction Estimator
    list price: $73.99
    our price: $73.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00076YWJW
    Catlog: Software
    Manufacturer: Victory Multimedia
    Sales Rank: 2184
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    19. MicroSpot Interiors (Mac)
    list price: $99.95
    our price: $87.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0006VC3VW
    Catlog: Software
    Manufacturer: MICROSPOT LTD
    Sales Rank: 2300
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Features

    • Create a complete room layout -Draw 3-D walls with proper thickness and height as easily as you can draw a single line
    • Place object simply, anywhere along your plan -- just drag it and drop it
    • Select from a huge assortment of doors, windows, furniture, and cabinets included in the object library
    • Use basic drag-and-drop actions to apply the right colors and textures to your new interior
    • Easy, intuitive interface for applying textures to objects

    20. 3D Home Architect Landscape Design Deluxe 6
    list price: $39.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0001GU7RE
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Broderbund
    Sales Rank: 738
    Average Customer Review: 1 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Features

    • Comprehensive layout program with easy-to-use tabbed interface
    • Photo realistic 3D renderings of landscape plans with 3DTrueView
    • Take a virtual tour of the yard with Walk Around view tool
    • Easily create structurally sound, fully framed deck plans
    • Powerful design capabilities and extensive reference resources

    Reviews (4)

    1-0 out of 5 stars So Much for Creating a Plant List for my Garden!!
    When I purchased this program, it had only one review from the cad fellow who said "skip it" because it was not user friendly. I disregarded his review because of the program's extensive plant encylcopedia --9500. Well, I had an old Sierra Garden Design program that turns out to have been MUCH MORE useful. The new program allowed me to search by plant and soil properties, but I couldn't figure out how to print the information it provided,never mind save it!! I wanted a print-out of plants and plant pictures to add to my water logged garden site. This program stinks. Then I tried to draw my garden, it was hopeless. This is truly one program to skip. Trust the reviewers. There are four of us now saying dump this one!!!!

    1-0 out of 5 stars Skip this one
    Wished I'd researched this turkey before purchase. If you need to use the terrsin/3D features - you're done for. If you need to design something in real life and you use this program - you're done for.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Time consuming and difficult to manipulate
    I struggled with this software for a couple of weeks then gave up. I'm no rookie-I am familiar with AutoCAD, Access, Excel, Word, Adobe Photoshop, Powerpoint, Project etc etc and this program just didnt seem to follow any of the rules. Realizing that a 3D image(incidentally there was no house template anything like mine) was going to take about as long as it took to landscape a garden, I tried 2D-hoping to superimpose walls and vegetation on a photo of my house...hours later i still couldnt easily construct the scene.
    If this were any other type of product, I would be retuning it for a refund-but with software you dont get to take it back.....so unless you want to spend many hours in front of your computer-rather than in the yard I suggest you pass on this.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Stunningly awful - NO "Stars"
    I've drawn all sorts of garden plans and elevations by hand for years, but I was in a hurry to kick out a piece of work this weekend. I purchased this program because I thought I'd be able to quickly draw simple features, plop in a few basic plants and render elevations. After all, version 3 of this program, although pretty clunky, was fairly basic and easy to use. The newest version MUST be much more intuitive.

    WRONG! The tools operate NOTHING like any human being I know actually draws. If anything, this program is LESS intuitive than earlier versions. Way too much emphasis on "catalogs" and automatic features and not nearly enough on ease-of-use. Amazing how software actually keeps getting worse instead of better.

    The folks who write these things really need to rethink from scratch how people create these types of drawings manually. At this point, pencil, ruler and quadrille paper are faster and easier (and cheaper)and yield better results. Don't waste your time and money on this. ... Read more


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