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what does everybody else think about signlab v6?

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coolinshot

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Post Thu Feb 27, 2003 10:34 am

what does everybody else think about signlab v6?

Just thought I'd say hello to all you sign-aracks:-
Is it just me or does anybody else agree that SIGNLAB 6 is VERY annoying? - I liked the bells and whistles that were demonstrated to me only to find that I didn't get them with my particular package - So it's back to using Illustrator and Photoshop and exporting to signlab for cutting (it's an expensive plotter plug-in at the moment) - I yearn for the old days of Signlab 4.95 - If it ain't broke - don't fix it!
(I actually still use Signlab 5 - because I don't have the time to re-learn the damn thing).
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Robert Lambie

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Post Thu Feb 27, 2003 11:39 am

welcome to the uksb mate... your very welcome..
feel free to get stuck in or kick back and read... anything i can do feel free to ask.
if you have a picture. please send to me to load or feel free to do it yourself. :P

as far as signlab is concerned... 4.95 is always what i call the ultimate vinyl cutting package.. other than a few new functions in v5 it has everything.
"the vinyl sign makers pencil case"
after v5 i think they are struggling to come up with new functions so have to go down the web design, email, printing route to keep the software upto date.. still a great package though, but dont know enough about it to start elaborating.

thansk for the post mate. :wink:
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richard clark

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Post Thu Feb 27, 2003 9:52 pm

Hi guys,

As I work in a trade bureau service, we have to deal with all types of artwork which is supplied to us. Having used signlab for the last 8 years (at least), it is good for only one thing, and that is cutting vinyl.

For manipulating full colour images, use Photoshop.

For designing vector based artwork, and importing full colour images, use illustrator.

When the artwork has been approved, export the vector images to signlab for cutting, and send the full colour images for print.

If you want a low cost solution to the above, use Coreldraw.

If you have any artwork problems, please email me and I will try my best to help. We spend a good part of our day at Raccoon solving artwork issues and are more than happy to help!
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John Singh

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Post Fri Feb 28, 2003 3:59 am

Judging by the comments on Signlab 6 I think I'll stay with Vers.5
Doesn't seem like I'm missing much

As for illustrator, I just found it not very user friendly
Corel Draw seemed more user friendly

Horses for courses, I think a lot has to do with preference although I don't work with digital images directly

John
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steve

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Post Fri Feb 28, 2003 3:44 pm

Wang the lot and get Flexisign 6.5 ...and a Mac!!
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signscript

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Post Fri Feb 28, 2003 8:26 pm

hip hip hooray for flexisign !!! .... i think ill stick to my PC though !!
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Robert Lambie

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Post Fri Feb 28, 2003 9:54 pm

I have to say I’ve tried a few software packs. But the sign package that road out from the rest while things where still be pondered over by others was signlab. I know many sign packages were around back then. Wissen, flexi, etc even Corel with plug ins like cutboy! Signlab seemed to have got it all together first and in turn made things easy for the non-experienced sign maker. At that time this was I!
Not only was I learning how to operate signlab software. I was also learning how to switch on a computer.
I mean that. I remember the guy coming in to show us signlab and the screen saver came on.. It was the travelling windows one… I said wow check that… “Sad I know, but we have to start some place”
Anyway, being so new I thought this will be tough… 2 weeks later I was thinking about creating my own font! Never did get round to that now I think on it… what I mean is, I picked it up so quick! The main reason was obviously I wanted to learn.. But the best help was the software. Very user friendly, easy to understand.
I know many software’s are out nowadays, cheaper and do the same thing. I think this is great… really I do.
But lots think on the expenses and little else in the beginning. I know we did…
The cheaper ones on the market… well, Im still under the impression it is easier, cheaper to copy. Than it is to come up with an original… signlab I feel did that first! Many followed.
I don’t know much about e6 so I won’t comment. I still think 4.95 was the best & 5 is well worth having.
Maybe bob Gilliland can elaborate on any signlab e6 questions you may have… Im sure if anyone knows the package it will be bob…
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Phill Fenton

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Post Sat Mar 01, 2003 2:03 am

Actualy I still prefer Casmate Pro - it can do a lot of things that Signlab can't - However, equaly Signlab can do many things that Casmate can't. Corel draw I find is good for importing files and exporting under different formats.

However I'm intrigued to hear that Adobe illustrator is the software to use. All my dealings with professional designers and printers suggest to me that Adobe is the software of choice. They can't all be wrong so maybe signmakers should seriously think about buying Adobe illustrator, learn to use it properly, and import ai. or eps. files into programs such as Casmate or signlab for cutting or printing designs produced with this software.

Does Adobe use a dongle? - The use of dongles on sign software is a major drawbackl especially when like me you find yourself using software (Casmate) that is no longer supported. What happens if your dongle is stolen or corrupted and all your work in progress is in this file format?
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John Singh

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Post Sat Mar 01, 2003 2:16 am

The thought of losing my dongle is quite frightening!! :( :cry: :cry:

I have often thought what's the point of making a back up of your software if something was to happen to your dongle

You've mentioned theft and/or corruption, what about fire??? (hot) (hot)

Do you go to your supplier and tell him you been gutted by fire but you managed to back up your discs....... 'Please let me have a dongle'

Has anyone been in this situation(?) (?)

So! .... You do have a strong case in this regard, Phill

We do seem to be controlled by that factor

John
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Kevin.Beck

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Post Sat Mar 01, 2003 9:27 am

I have been following a thread similar to this on another forum.

The chap in question, is using a very old version of signlab, his dongles broke, so he can`t open his program.

He`s having no luck from cadlink at all, they don`t support that vesion any more. So the thread goes, they want money just to talk to the guy!!!

The guys got no other option than upgrade.

Then the thread went into the world of "cracked" programs. A whole new can of worms altogether.


becky.
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Robert Lambie

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Post Sat Mar 01, 2003 10:30 am

im no expert on dongles but...

i know it is basicaly another way of protecting software piracy.. i do think its a good idea in a way. but there is other ways to stop piracy of a program. "well if not stop, greatly reduce"

loosing a dongle is a nightmare! we did it... between cadlink and the rep that sold us signlab, i was cracking up with both, but at the same time and when i cooled down i did understand their situation.

cadlink after about a week of arguing said. ok we will offer you a replacement dongle for £200. to me, this was not acceptable. our company owns 5 fully registered signlabs complete with dongle. £10000 spent on software and they want £200 to replace one dongle thats lost...
to begin with the rep basically said.. well, i can do one for you for £1400. :o you can imagine my response.
it all came about when we exspanded into another unit next to us.. in the move we lost the dongle.. in fairness, cadlink did say if you send back the broke dongle we will replace for £20.. BUT i had lost it?
i think we ended up finding it in the end or the insurance paid it.. ... which then brings me to another reason why cadlink was in the right... if they sent me one for £20 and i then found my old one. then i just bought another full blown signlab for £20.
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Robert Lambie

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Post Sat Mar 01, 2003 11:21 am

i think the above just means that they as a company are protecting themself for loss rather than the other way round.. understandable, but not for the person that paid good money to begin with and can't afford to stump up again on the loss of a dongle.
i remember the girl at cadlink saying ot me.. look! if you bought a car and lost it.. do you think the dealer would give you another? NO! she said...
i said, "in that case i havent lost my car, ive lost the keys to my car. so yes! for a minimal charge i'de get new keys as they have me down as the registered owner."

i reckon you could go on and on argueing whos in the right.
but at the end of the day, they are the one with more to loose!
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Fat Bob

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Post Sat Mar 01, 2003 7:08 pm

Hi Guys

Adobe Illustrator Dont make me laugh one of the most unfriendly expensive programs that most designers like to buy to show thier designers. Most of them never heard of vecter graphics in thier lives
it is only the industry standard along with Quark because years ago thier was nothing else like wise macs.

How many times have you been given a piece of ready to cut Art work
that needs nothing doing to it old chap just cut it :lol: :lol:

Yes I Know it is easily done if you know how but if youve had the same number of conversations ive had then thier must be thosands of pepole who buy these programs just because it THE thing to do cause they cant drive them very well. and how someone can spend hours on a job that takes minutes on the right software to produced something that takes hours on the wrong one beats me.

So Which program is the best.... Well the one you know how to drive of course. Forget how much it costs. Can you get it to do what you want.
Have you spent a vast amount of man hours learning how it works or to achive this i need to do this and that and weld it ..... Bingo

Thats the program thats best for you dont worry cause the blokes down the road makes him a cup of tea and tells him that he has now been working for 3 hours 4 minutes and 22 seconds.

Cause bye the time hes having his cup of tea you will have made your customers sign and be sitting in a pub having a nice beer or two.

And if any person From cadlink or any of the other software houses are browsing just take a moment to ponder....... Get back to basics stop stickiing all these stupid and mostly usless toys and please try improving the basic programe to do things better or fix the odd bug that youve always left till the next time improve the import/export filters make them at least compatible with other programs that we use not the ones we have never heard of never mind use. And stop the programs from going on line every 5 minutes to use a facility that is only x amount a year xtra cause we dont want them. concentrate on things being done in easier ways instead of bringing out a program that will kiss your customers donkey
and give him a cup of tea if only I Knew where you have move the bl00dy
control to turn it on it was always under edit before...... :wink: :wink:

Ring Any Bells...........FB
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John Singh

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Post Sun Mar 02, 2003 12:09 am

Could not Cadlink make dongles micro chip key operated??
Apparently my VW passat can only be opened and the ignition turned by a micro chip key with its unique code

If I lose the key I have a barcode tab for the distributor to make a replacement

It would mean that if someone did arf'inch your dongle it would be useless since he would need a micro chip coded key (hot)

What I mean is this;
The possibility of losing/corrupting/breaking or fire damage to your dongle is VERY REAL.......... (Cadlink it DOES and CAN happen!!)
But if you can convince the distributor that you still hold the key!!!

Of course this would be a darn nuisance using a key all the time (hot)
Then what happens if you lose the key :oops: - but you still have your dongle??? :(

Then again, there might be another way of following this drift

I'm going to stop now because I'm boring myself to death :o :o :o

John
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Martin Pearson

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Post Sun Mar 02, 2003 5:04 am

Phil, none of the adobe software uses dongles, as Bob says illustrator is quite difficult to learn and it is expensive as is most adobe software, mind you like most things you get what you pay for and if you have the time to sit and learn how to use the software it is very good. Another program designers use is freehand from macromedia. I have a copy of version 8 which I got on the cover of a computer magazine a while ago. Like illustrator it takes time to learn how to use so I rarely use it.
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Kevin.Beck

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Post Sun Mar 02, 2003 9:14 am

On the subject of dongles. I do understand why the manufactures use them. They have to protect thier investment.

But sometimes they can cause other problems.
We have 2 computers in the shop. 1 in the offie/showroom and another in the workshop where all the cutting takes place.

On the showroom computer we have the embroidery software, which has a dongle too.
What we found, is when a customer comes in for some larger graphics for his van, he doesn`t mind waiting a day or 2 before you can "knock" him a visual up. But the customer who justs want a couple of lines of text, to stick on his van himself, wants to see how it looks straight away. So we were for ever swopping over dongles, which was 1 pain in the bum. We don`t allow customers into the workshop.

To over come this, we bought VMP, which doesn`t have a dongle, it uses a code.

So why don`t other sofware manufacturers use codes instead of dongles. Is it perhaps they are easier to " decode"
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signscript

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Post Sun Mar 02, 2003 9:40 am

Im not a big fan of dongles, i spent a fortune on Flexisign Pro, yet now im in bigger offices its no better than a cutting addon.. when i was in my small unit (400 sq ft) my pc, plotter used to be next to each other so when i bought flexi i started to learn it, but still used corel when i was in a rush as i knew corel inside and out.

Now im in 2000 sq ft with a 300 sq ft office upstairs i do all the designs upstairs and all the production downstairs.

so i had the decision do i spend another fortune on another copy of flexi for the pc upstairs, or do i buy Corel 7 for £10 and the upgrade to 11 for about £100.... not a dificult decision.

i would have been willing to pay a bit more to flexi if i could swap my single user dongle for a network dongle which would let you use flexi on more than one pc on a LAN, i know other dongled software can do this so why cant cadlink or Scanvec.... they probably think they are making more money but there not as they have lost my business, if and when my business gets bigger i will be buying COREL DRAW, and if i invest in another plotter or wide format printer i'll buy an cutting addon, as there isnt much that COREL 11 cant do that flexi can.

oohhh it is good to have a good winge.....
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signscript

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Post Sun Mar 02, 2003 9:50 am

just another thought, there is some software that we use for the management of the flying club than im a member at and we have a USB keyring dongle, you come in turn the pc on, insert the usb dongle into the front usb port load the software and then take it out again, no problems of loosing your dongle ... unless you loose your keys that is.. and as far as developers are concerned there happy, you cant use the software on another pc as they provide you with a digital signature for you pc and the dongle/software will only work with that signature. and if loose the dongle they will provide one for the same digital signature for £15 or if your pc gets nicked or dies, then they will take your old dongle rechip it and give it back with a new digital signature for £20.... do we think this is the way to go???
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Robert Lambie

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Post Sun Mar 02, 2003 10:06 am

our company created there own software about 2 years ago. we use it for our own customers "top secret :lol: " but it will be going on the open market as soon as we get time to finish version 1b and 1c, not neccessary but we want it that way before launching anything.. anyway.. :lol:

the way we have overcome it, well reduced to a minimum for piracy that is.
each disk is encrypted to the person buying it from us throught the whole disk. it also comes in two parts.. disk a & b. your customers get "b" with zilch on it! and you keep the master. both the slave disk and the master work together and only for your company. so just say Kev, you copy the master and give one to mike... mikes customer sees kev at signscipts logo in the corner and when the program starts up in and lots of other areas of the program, like when you print somthing off.. it has signscript in the corner.. when the customer clicks email this, it goes to kev not mike.. now the disk isnt called signscript but its sold to signscript as a software. so its tailored to his needs only.
it doesnt take long to embed the logos or the e-maile etc can be done in a few hours.. then disk is burned...
if its pirated we know who is to blame.. kev!! :lol:
if somone buys it from him then they have all his details and it is useless to them... that and the fact it is two part and updates yearly. makes piracy a bit of a headache and not really worth the bother.

if signlab did somthing like this life would be easier.. i think on them, dongles can be cracked, my solution can probably be cracked also.. but what one is harder or most convenient for the person doing it..
maybe both, im no expert. but i would like to think our method is a good one... :-? heres hoping anyway! :wink:
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steve

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Post Sun Mar 02, 2003 10:27 am

Rob hows about inviting a representative of all the software manufacturers on to the site to answer all the above questions and anomolies that their products present to us in everyday pressurised use they must see it as an opportunity to put their products forward as a viable alternative to each others perhaps an e mail to their HQ's informing them of our existance this could include Amiable technologies (Flexisign)
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Robert Lambie

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Post Sun Mar 02, 2003 5:12 pm

yep your right steve.. it would be good for both parties i think.. this is how some other suppliers have actualy come to the site. impact for one started out posting here due to some questions on their software.. i asked them to have a look and see if they wanted to add to what had been said.. they did & i think we appreciated it in the end. i for one learned a few things.
again its good to talk and learn a bit at the same time for us all. helps understand how both parties suffer or why they make the decisions they do..

amiable do look in on the site as far as i know. they have contacted me several times about testing some of there software and posting my finds on the site..

i may just try and contact a few tonight or tommorrow... :roll:
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steve

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Post Sun Mar 02, 2003 6:48 pm

great stuff Rob ill watch this one with great interest
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coolinshot

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Post Mon Mar 03, 2003 4:11 pm

Signlab e6

The point about signlab (e6) is that unless you buy the full blown software package, the additions or changes to the interface create more problems than they solve. If you need to work in full colour - as most of todays clients want you to - then you have to switch to Photoshop for manipulation of photographic images then Illustrator to add your text or any graduated tints / transparencies or clipping masks.
A software that costs as much as Signlab e6 should, at least, offer the ability to switch from RGB to CMYK and provide some level of graduated fills.
The good points about Signlab have been there all along - it's very user friendly (except when paying for it) - the welds are extremely useful and the node editing is probably the easiest of all the packages to use - but it is far too expensive.
(I know you can use the metamorphosis option to create a fountain fill but come on!....)
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Neil Kelly

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Post Mon Mar 03, 2003 9:11 pm

Hi Colin I use signlab 5 colourmaster and have a gradient fills tool

last icon down the left 2 nd one in after the pen nib it looks like a chemistry vesel with red liquid that turns to yellow when poored out.
sounds bizare but thats what it looks like. maybe its not in e6 if not im sticking with 5 as it is a valuble tool since we went into print and cut
let me know if you find it

Regards Neil......
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fluidedge

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Post Thu Mar 06, 2003 2:11 am

Software

At the end of the day, use whatever software helps you to get the job done easiest.

Here's our tips, for what they're worth...

Signmaking - FlexiSign Pro

Design & Illustration - Adobe Illustrator (me), Freehand (steve)

Print - Quark Xpress

Photographic & Special Effects - Adobe Photoshop

Greetings cards, party invites, kids homework projects, other misc. non-profit making but fun exercises - Corel Draw


On the hardware side we have a mixed network of Mac G4's and Pentium PC's. Steve's a bit fussy and claims he will only ever use Mac but for me there's nothing better than designing a nice sign and having Championship Manager running in the background.

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