By: Dr. Joel Orr
By the time I met Dave Weisberg, in the mid-seventies, he was already a computer graphics veteran and a CAD pioneer. So his stories and remarks are those of an observer and participant, not a researcher from a subsequent generation. He was there as the discoveries and inventions that led to the computer-aided design we have today were being made, and he had an impact on them, as you will read herein.
The field of CAD has been blessed with numerous great innovators and a few good business people—but almost no chroniclers. It is something of a “cowboy culture,” in which the heroes just keep on keepin’ on until they’re through; they don’t retire and write their memoirs.
But happily for us, Dave decided to become a journalist, and to observe and write about the CAD industry professionally. This chronicle reflects that professional shift. An engineer does not stop being an engineer just because of a shift in professional focus. It is with an engineer’s eye that Dave’s observations were made, and from an engineering point of view they were recorded and analyzed. This fact makes this book more than just an eyewitness account of events.
It took the viewpoint of a working engineer to note the effects of technology on the very practices of engineering. Not only are engineers now able to do what they did before much faster and more accurately—the way they approach design has changed as a result of the absorption and integration of new technologies.
Dave’s book is at once a personal history, replete with vignettes that are the stuff of life; a history of the birth, infancy, adolescence, and maturity of a family of technologies; and a record of the sea changes that have happened in engineering as a result of those technologies. In short—a feast for CAD old-timers, engineering educators, and young engineers alike.
Dr. Joel Orr
VP & Chief Visionary
Cyon Research Corporation
Mountain View, CA