A fellow I know was ridding himself of old textbooks. As instructor at a technical college, he had three stacks of computer books next to his office divider, stacked four feet high.
I like getting old books, because they contain snippets of history. They're also interesting, because they are written from a point of view that seemed valid at the time. (Try this for an exercise: read Newsweek magazine from during the second world war.)
This stack of books has titles like "Learning AutoCAD Release 9" and "Programming VBA 2005." The one I picked out was a hardcover text titled, "Foundations of Computer-Aided Design" by Chinyere Onwubiko of Ohio State University. Copywritten in 1989, it was probably written in the 1987-988 time frame.
This book is not about learning how to use CAD commands. It's how to write your own CAD program. It contains programming code for manipulating and sorting vector entities -- all written in BASIC. These are some of the subjects it covers:
- geometric transformations
- parametric curves
- multivariable optimization
- finite element methods
- solid modeling systems
The book begins with the then-mandatory introduction to CAD hardware systems, including technical explanations of several kinds of CRT (cathode ray tube monitor) systems. Most of the photos are credited to Computervision. The text mentions several PC-CAD systems, including AutoCAD and one I hadn't heard of before: SuperCAD.
The author makes this prediction: "It is projected that in the future, 90% of CAD activities will be accomplished on the PC-CAD systems" (p. 32).