A Very Interesting Reader

The readership of this blog consists of people all shapes and sizes ranging from school kids to CEO’s of corporations. Some publicly comment while others communicate with me offline via email or phone. In fact, some time ago, I was utterly amazed to receive a hand written letter in the mail written using a fountain pen. Every once in a while I get an email from someone that make me sit upright and notice. Yesterday I received this email:

I have enjoyed reading your reviews etc. very much. I am an 80 year old retired mechanical engineer that recently bought at Office Max a copy of ViaCAD 2d/3d for 99 bucks. I have used it to good advantage to make a few bucks of support money doing mech. eng. design jobs on small machines. This software is a product of Punchsoftware.com. Now I’m considering an upward move to to a higher end product offered by Punch called Shark Lite, Shark or Shark FX. The cost of these packages is $500, $1200 and $1700 respectively with no needed follow-on charges.

My question is: Have you ever offered your opinion or a review of these packages in the past and if so can you direct me to them. My experience with Via CAD 2d/3d 6.0 has been very positive for a non expert (old man).

I read this email to my wife and she said to me, “I hope you still have it in you when you get to that age.” I replied, “I will be glad just to get to that age.” The man is Bill Volna and he founded Volna Engineering in 1968, that’s seven years before I was even born.

I replied to Bill asking him if I could quote his email on this blog. I wanted to to let my readers know what at least one 80 year old retired mechanical engineer was doing with CAD. Bill agreed and wrote back to me, “After spending 40 years leaning over an 8 ft. drafting board now I have a board infinitely long.

Here is a screenshot of a telescope mount that Bill designed in ViaCAD, a product that has now definitely got my attention.