Occasionally Relevant Insights from a Software Builder


DWF Viewer for OS X

AutoCAD users can easily share their drawings by exporting them to a DWF format. The Digital Web Format was developed by Autodesk for designers to share their to share their documents for people who would like to view or print them. A DWF is sort of like a PDF for AutoCAD drawings. It’s also easy to print because you don’t have to specify the many settings that is required to print a DWG file.

The only problem is that most DWF viewers are available only for machines running Windows. Mac users can now view DWF with Austin Silver Software’s McDwiff application.

McDwiff can be used viewing, converting, or printing DWF’s. You can be ensured of good accuracy because it uses the Autodesk online DWF translator. While the information transmitted there is private, you shouldn’t use this software if security is a concern for your organization.

The software is easy to install and easy to use. You can open 2D and 3D drawings, but rotation in 3D is still being worked on. Zooming and panning work very well. Printing may be an issue because your processing a Windows document on a Mac. A variety of problems occur when printing a Windows PDF on a Mac (i.e. font dropout) so I would imagine that similar things would occur with a DWF file.

If you want to use the DWF file in other applications, you have the option of exporting it to TIF, GIF, JPG, PNG, BMP, or PDF.

As with many newer OS X applications, it requires a minimum version of 10.4 and it will run on both PowerPC and Intel Macs.

You can download McDwiff at


Uninstalling Norton Antivirus

I prefer using Norton Antivirus for my virus scanner but there are instances where the installation fails or the software becomes damaged later on. You’ll then need to uninstall it before you can re-install it. Another reason to remove Norton could be the subscription for it expired and you don’t want to buy the latest version for another year of virus definition updates.

The problem here is that if you try uninstalling Norton, not everything gets removed. I’ve seen services that are left behind that communicate with the Symantec web site. There have been many complaints from former software users about their failed attempts to remove the virus scanner.

A guaranteed way to remove Norton is to reinstall your operating system, but this is a job which could easily take a day to install Windows and all of your applications.

nortonDave Taylor posted How can I fully remove Norton Antivirus from my system? on his blog. While this is an effective solution, its not meant for inexperienced computer users. The first part of the solution is simple: Norton is uninstalled through Add/Remove Programs in the Control Panel. The second part involved is making changes in the registry with Regedit. This is where novices will become confused.

An easier solution is to use the Norton Removal Tool from Symantec. This will remove all Norton products from the 2003 to 2007 versions. If the removal tool doesn’t succeed, you’ll have to use Dave Taylor’s solution to uninstall Norton Antivirus.

The complex process involved in uninstalling Norton Antivirus shouldn’t be necessary. Symantec should include the software to completely remove the antivirus software and all of the services that get installed with it. What they have succeeded in doing is frustrating and alienating many users who probably won’t use other Symantec products after this.

Applications should be easy to install, use, and uninstall. The time spent in producing quality software will retain your customers who will also refer it to their colleagues. Symantec has good products but they need to put their customers first when developing software for them.