A.Craig Savage responds: Your question is a good one because it is important to correctly define what you want to do with the CAD software before choosing the package. By my definition, "low-tech" means simple 2-D drafting, not 3-D perspectives, not color rendering, and certainly not generation of materials lists and project schedules. Of course, you can get these things in many CAD programs, but there is a cost — and it’s not just in money. It’s the time and effort needed to master a complex program.

Having said that, both Macintosh and IBM-compatible machines running Windows or OS/2 have a large assortment of 2-D CAD programs that are easy to learn and use. I started on the Mac, so I am partial to MacDraft by Innovative Data Design (about $400). It’s now available for Windows machines, as well, and is very capable of turning out everything...

or Register to read the full article.