5 Signs You are a MicroStation Dinosaur

As I was introducing myself last week I said that I have been using MicroStation and InRoads since 1992. Then I paused and thought to myself that is 20 years. I am a dinosaur using this software!


Here are 5 signs that this could also be you.


1. You refer to MicroStation as PseudoStation and you know the origin of the name.


2. You talk about the ‘good ole days’ using the Intergraph Vax systems and Clix boxes.


3. You hold your coffee cup in your left hand and do everything with the mouse.



4.You think AccuDraw is EVIL >:(


5. When you get together with all your cronies at BE Together and all you do reminisce about the old IGUG conferences (they were awesome weren’t they?).


Please share some of your dinosaur comments below.  We would love to see your old pictures of the hardware you used, software screen captures, and old conference photos if you have them.

People also read – Top 10 MicroStation Variables to Define Standards

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Bob Mecham

Bob is a partner at EnvisionCAD and is an industry expert in the implementation, configuration, instruction, development, and customization of both MicroStation and InRoads.

38 comments on “5 Signs You are a MicroStation Dinosaur

  1. Rod Wing Reply

    When you see the abbreviation WTF you immediately translate that to “Words To Follow”

  2. Rod Wing Reply

    Yes Mark, Real CAD people detested the WIMP interface:
    W – Windows
    I – Icons
    M – Mice
    P – Pop-up menus

  3. Rod Wing Reply

    ED stands for Enter Data field/character. It’s not something you treat with viagra.

  4. Dan Bruno Reply

    I still use a digitizer tablet. It makes a great keyboard rest and I put my important notes, etc. under the crear plastic cover. It’s just the right angle for me to use as an arm rest. I think I still have a puck somewhere around here LOL.

  5. Ron Brys Reply

    Dinosaur? Vax… that was transformational!
    Try these on for size.

    1. Drafting boards
    2. T-squares
    3. Leroy Guides
    4. Koh-I-Nor Rapidograph ink pens
    5. Ames lettering guides
    6. Hand drafting on vellum & bumwad
    7. When electric erasers rocked!

    Please tell me someone else remembers these times!

  6. Shawn Reply

    You may be a dinosaur…

    If you what APDP is
    If you ever injected ink into a pen plotter as it was plotting
    If you ever hurt your back by putting RAM into a plotter
    If you still hang onto your blue Sidebar menu
    If you don’t understand why your keyboard doesn’t have huge function keys and matrix menus
    If you still have your MicroStation 3D glasses
    If you pulled a muscle moving your Interact 20″ CRT
    If you followed the footsteps from the MicroStation Mall at IGUG to the Bentley party
    If you know what SE in MicroStation SE stood for
    If you still have you MicroStation SE Bonus Material CD
    If you know what TriForma actually meant
    If you still have all your copies of MicroStation Manager Magazine

  7. Karsten Reply

    I remember evaluating the latest and greatest Microstation 3 on clix for ABB just after ABB was formed in ’89.
    Didn’t like it as it was slower that the Inhouse cad based on Computervision CADDS 3.
    IT dept.s in ABB were sent a memo and told to evaluate Intergraph as it was free, but warned that any trial must be terminated and no sales contracts should be signed.
    Funnily enough I started working at I/UK in Dec. and remember Easter ’90.
    That was when when the no. 1 sales man found his office locked and he was fired/kicked out by Dick Fox.
    The sales dept had just come back from a free trip to Barbados with lots of ABB bosses.
    The free trip had been awarded due to the massive sales to ABB.
    Dick blew a fuse when ALL the sales made to ABB started coming back.

    here are some other things I remember..
    I/NFM 🙁

    Intergraph :Brics => Bentley :Triforma
    Brics was bought by Intergraph to squash it as it was a rival to Modeldraft.

    ASID = another UD format like DMRS used by Intergraph’s EE suite.

    Another thing I remember is Intergraph using surface mounted and glued IC boards.
    One IP2750 kept crashing, PANIC’ing after being used a bit.
    The Intergraph engineer found the fault.. bacteria in the anti static fluid sprayed around the office every now and then had eaten the glue and the gfx card was hanging loose.
    He fixed it with lots of sellotape!! And ordered a replacement machine.
    The machine worked fine with the sellotape for another 3 weeks when it was swapped with a new unit.

    I remember people laughing when I ordered the first MDL manual from Bentley (’90) and I’d said I thought PCs and MDL Microstation would be the next big thing.

    Did anyone else ever try to fix the white dot on the second screen on Intergraph TD1’s with 2 S928 graphic cards?
    I spent couple of hours using EDG searching for a white dot in a file.
    Then I noticed that every dual screen TD1 has the same white dot on the second screen.
    Memory Bug with the S928 graphics card.

  8. Gary Mansager Reply

    On running 2.5. Getting into a friendly disagreement just to have Keith Bentley settle it by stating: Actually, yes, version 2.5 was the released for the PC!

  9. Debbie Wilson Reply

    Ditto all of the above. I’m a proud veteran beginning with IGDS in 1982.

    OK, entering the Wayback Machine…
    Remember ‘Design File Limits Exceeded’?
    Our first PCs running MicroStation 3.something on DOS used Decnet to connect to the Vax. It was revolutionary!
    IGUG conferences were a blast, particularly the ones in New Orleans. But also loved the parties at the Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville. Nothing like riding the Space Shot after you’ve had a few. 🙂

  10. Leroy Toledo Reply

    How about this one;

    You’re a next generation CAD person when you see a drawing done by hand drafting from way back WHICH LOOKS ALOT BETTER than the ones you are producing today with either Autocad & MicroStation.

  11. Marion B. Reply

    Sadly (because it dates me to be one of the oldest of these dinosaur types) I remember all those Microstation versions dating back to V3. Still have my digitizing pad I guess to use as a large paperweight? How about, does anyone remember when you could call integraph or Bentley for help and they used to actually talk to you and provide it? Last time for me was in early 2000’s when I called at night and reached tech support from Austrailia. Thanks mate.

  12. Len Reply

    Anyone remember the BVRC that used to take care of the stroking (BAPP01) and plotting (VEND01) of IDGS files on the old PDP 11/70’s? How about the old Tektronix 4014’s with the x and y thumbwheels instead of a cursor and digitizing tablet before Intergraph started branding their own terminals? I can still remember the old RSX-11M+ and VMS operating systems…almost seems like yesterday.

  13. Carl A. Broyles Reply

    -Interactive Graphics Design System D’oh :>)
    -Still have the FAT_DGN files E.G. Bar1.dgn and Bar2.dgn and have used them.
    -Know what PLine means and can decipher “T,co=green;P,pcirr;2;”
    -Still want to have EDG back on a monthly basis.


  14. Gazza Reply

    -286-10 with a 287 co-processor, 256Kb DIM, 5Mb full height, 14″ EGA, 3 button Genius.
    -John Leavy’s MicroStation Reference Guide.
    -Go Figure
    -Brain Fault

  15. Lis Reply

    If you still have the original Big Mac design file and can build a Matrix Menu on IGDS (1984)

    And nearly a decade later, you know EaglePoint was ORIGINALLY only on AutoCAD…they came over to Mstn and MDL in 1992 on MstnV4.

  16. Michael Kolster Reply

    When you know what it means “allocate blocks” and what happens when you don’t guess correctly…your green screen updates and you are missing half of your drawing.

    Oh, remember swap? A video card that allows you to have a virtual monitor?

    Having to buy a co-processor.

  17. Peter M Reply

    I must be about the same vintage as Len – I worked on the first “Intergraph” software version, when they had just changed their name from “M & S Computing”, on the old storage tube Tectronix “Skyhook”, with one large and one small screen, I frequently had to take my turn setting the 16 bit switches and rebooting the 11/70, hanging 9-track (and sometimes 7-track) tapes to load older drawings, changing out the disc pack, cleaning the BVRC every Monday morning, etc…

  18. Rande Reply

    All of them fit except the coffee one…I’m versatile and can drink coffee with either hand.

  19. Ken Turner Reply

    I remember uploading the os on the clix workstations 20 + floppy’s then the applications we’re 20+ more

  20. Bill C. Reply

    I was there when the first PDP came through the door, so I’m kinda primordial soup in the Intergraph evolution.

    1) If you think “High-speed Data Concentrator” (VAX era) was a term that would age well.
    2) If you think VAX/VMS was a gift from God
    3) If you remember the Innovator that had no backup device besides floppy disk.
    4) If you thought disks resembled washing machines.

  21. Bill S Reply

    1) Your Documentation still said: M&S Computing’s IGDS and DMRS.
    2) When you called support you got Winette, who said: “Intergaph. May I help You?” with the nicest accent.
    3) You know the type 9 element like the back of your hand.
    4) You recall getting patches as letters in the mail with instructions to use ZAP to patch at the addresses printed in the letter.
    5) You had a routine to backup the disk, initialize it, format it, and write the backup back to it to create two large blocks of contiguous space.

  22. Ken Drury Reply

    A 10 meg Hard Drive for the VAX was the size of a mini fridge. The interact terminals with state of the art duel screens. The most horrid error message on the planet was End Of File Missing and the default question of Attempt Repair? Always yielded undesired results. The answer was always no, until you made a back up copy

  23. George Weller Reply

    You wanna talk old? I was at Union Pacific, took delivery on the first system with a 32 bit database. We converted from 16 bit and booted up our brand new PDP-11-70. Molasses. I remember software VP Jim Taylor on the phone with Jim Meadlock saying, “No, I’m not saying it’s slow, I’m saying it doesn’t work!”. An extended period of “all hands on deck” ensued. Anyone remember contiguous files, and the incredible disk scanner? Working window?
    This was around 1979.

  24. David V. Corbin Reply

    Dinosaur – having 30 years experience when you started 🙂 🙂 🙂

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