Civil engineering and free software

I’ve recently looked for free software related to civil engineering. To my surprise there is probably not any. There are several projects that could potentially be used in civil engineering but none of them is directly usable for that purpose. For example 2D drawing tools may be good enough for electrical or mechanical engineering but do not provide means required for drawing construction plans.

Perhaps most people working in the area of civil engineering have some access to professional tools and that is all they need. If your needs are different and you miss civil engineering free software, let me know.

So they crippled another webshop

I don’t understand why webshops put so much effort into making buying goods in them more difficult. My favorite hardware shop used to be ALFA COMPUTER, one of the reasons I liked them being their simple and well arranged web pages. That’s gone now. They’ve recently introduced new web pages. The worst thing in them is heavy use of tables and pixel based dimensions. This results in a garbled screen unless a user uses particular screen resolution or is willing to destroy his eyes by reading 7-10 pixel characters on a 1280×1024 monitor.

I complained to the webmaster and he kindly explained me that using pixel based sizes is necessary to get the look “right” and that I can use a magnifier web browser function if I can’t read the small font. As most users like the new pages, I gave up. Although I usually buy hardware in real shops, I actually choose it in the corresponding webshops first. As this is no longer easily possible for me with ALFA COMPUTER, they’ve lost a customer.

Looking over other hardware web shops here I can see such a stupid approach to making web pages is no way unique. And this is not the first time I switched to another hardware seller because of broken web pages. It must be some crowd effect that motivates webshops to make slow, unreadable and confused web pages that take customers away. BTW, any good hardware seller recommended?