Is That CAD Or CAD?

These days when I see the letters CAD I think, Chicago Assyrian Dictionary. Doesn’t everyone?
So when I got an email whose subject read, “CAD Software Plugins,” I was baffled for a few moments. WOW, CAD software plugins! Wow, CAD software plugins? And then I remembered who I was, or at least who I had been.
For about thirty years, I only thought of the Chicago Assyrian Dictionary once or twice a month if that often. I did think of it. I even consulted it a few times over those years but it wasn’t really a part of my life the way it is today.
But during those 30 years or so, I did think of Computer Aided Design several of times a week. There was a period when I actually used this kind of CAD. At one of the companies I worked for, it was the tool market product requirements entered the design system; it was the place I could monitor the progress of a design; and it was the source of the first draft of customer documentation. On a dare, I actually once designed a simple integrated circuit. After the real engineers cleaned up my design, we sold a few thousand devices. It always impressed the engineers that a marketing puke could design anything. From time to time, it frightened them. No matter the actual agenda, there was hardly ever a meeting with engineers that CAD didn’t come up in one way or another. For some of them it was an obsession. For others it was a tool set but it was their tool set.
For me now, CAD is the Chicago Assyrian Dictionary. But a few software plugins might be nice.

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