PLease Help - Need Canvas 9.0.4 alternative

Started Mar 21, 2013 | Discussions
Nephew
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PLease Help - Need Canvas 9.0.4 alternative
Mar 21, 2013

My uncle is elderly & has been using Deneba Canvas for Years (Since v 3) and is very familiar with it. A recent MAC OS upgrade has rendered this program (v 9.0.4) NON-functional on his system. He is desperately looking for an alternative - which is the most similar. He is over 80 YO and the smoothest transition will be the best solution.

Can any one help with any recommendations of similar (look and functions) MAC programs to the now ACD canvas (windows only). He will not change OS to windoze.

Please help - Need Canvas - MAC alternative

Thank You

noirdesir
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Re: PLease Help - Need Canvas 9.0.4 alternative
In reply to Nephew, Mar 21, 2013

Nephew wrote:

My uncle is elderly & has been using Deneba Canvas for Years (Since v 3) and is very familiar with it. A recent MAC OS upgrade has rendered this program (v 9.0.4) NON-functional on his system. He is desperately looking for an alternative - which is the most similar. He is over 80 YO and the smoothest transition will be the best solution.

Can any one help with any recommendations of similar (look and functions) MAC programs to the now ACD canvas (windows only). He will not change OS to windoze.

Please help - Need Canvas - MAC alternative

Have you tried the last Mac version of Canvas, X.0.2?

Otherwise, if the computer has enough RAM, you could run an older version of OS X in a virtual machine (VMware Fusion, Parallels) and then run Canvas in it. The integration has really become quite good. Though, I don't know what versions of OS X can be installed in a virtual machine, it might only be Lion and Mountain Lion and Snow Leopard server. And if these OS X versions are old enough to run Canvas, I don't know.

In terms of alternatives, it depends a bit what he was doing with Canvas. For layout stuff, InDesign would be my favourite but it is naturally quite a different program with probably more complexity than Canvas. Illustrator can be used for both layout stuff and vector graphics but for layout, InDesign is easier to use. The simplest alternative for layout might be Pages (or maybe also Keynote). For vector graphics, I consider Omnigraffle the best application (much less complex than Illustrator but also more limited).

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Nephew
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Re: PLease Help - Need Canvas 9.0.4 alternative
In reply to noirdesir, Mar 21, 2013

He stated the Canvas X version was too technical - Are there 2 versions of X ? a Standard/Pro version & a GIS version?  or only one?

Thank you -

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en792
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Re: PLease Help - Need Canvas 9.0.4 alternative
In reply to Nephew, Mar 22, 2013

Having used Canvas since v.3, I have mourned the loss, but not moved on. I haven't really found anything that replaces all of the functions I used. As to the "latest" version, see below. PPC processor and 10.2. Who has that?

  • PowerPC processor (G3 or better)
  • Mac OS X only (10.2.6+ and Panther)
  • 128 MB RAM (256 MB recommended)
  • 100 MB of free hard disk space
  • 16-bit color support or better (True color recommended)
  • XGA screen resolution or better (1024 x 768 or higher screen resolution recommended)
  • Input Device: Mouse and keyboard. Scanner optional for importing and editing graphics.
  • Output Device: Host of industry standard devices supported
  • Other: CD-ROM drive. DVD drive or Internet connection to access Clipart library.**
    **The CD-ROM and DVD drive are necessary for the Retail version.s 
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Doug R
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Re: PLease Help - Need Canvas 9.0.4 alternative
In reply to Nephew, Mar 22, 2013

Nephew wrote:

My uncle is elderly & has been using Deneba Canvas for Years (Since v 3) and is very familiar with it. A recent MAC OS upgrade has rendered this program (v 9.0.4) NON-functional on his system. He is desperately looking for an alternative - which is the most similar. He is over 80 YO and the smoothest transition will be the best solution.

Can any one help with any recommendations of similar (look and functions) MAC programs to the now ACD canvas (windows only). He will not change OS to windoze.

Please help - Need Canvas - MAC alternative

Thank You

Your spell checker seem to be broken it's "Windows" unless your a insecure immature adolescent.

Put the old OS and Deneba on a external drive and boot to that when he wants to use Deneba.

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Tom_N
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Re: PLease Help - Need Canvas 9.0.4 alternative
In reply to noirdesir, Mar 22, 2013

noirdesir wrote:

And if these OS X versions are old enough to run Canvas, I don't know.

I'm pretty sure that part of the problem is that there hasn't been a new Mac version of Canvas for a LONG time.  So the latest Mac version is almost certainly PowerPC-only (in which case, neither Lion nor Mountain Lion will run it – except by some 'Snow Leopard Server in virtualization' hack).

If the version of Canvas in question is old enough that it is for classic Mac OS, even Snow Leopard is not going to help.  Classic support only exists in PowerPC versions of Mac OS X.

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Hen3ry
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Re: PLease Help - Need Canvas 9.0.4 alternative
In reply to Doug R, Mar 22, 2013

Doug R wrote:

Nephew wrote:

 He will not change OS to windoze.

Please help - Need Canvas - MAC alternative

Thank You

Your spell checker seem to be broken it's "Windows" unless your a insecure immature adolescent.

And you might apply a bit of maturity to yourself, Doug R. Good grief, can’t people have a joke? Did you have a sense-of-humor-ectomy?

Cheers, geoff

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Hen3ry
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The answer to your uncle's prayers -- I hope
In reply to Nephew, Mar 22, 2013

Hello Nephew

I take it your uncle has incautiously bought a new Mac with the latest OS. Bad luck! As a very long time (and happily continuing) user of Canvas, I know how he feels!

All versions of Canvas require Rosetta which that great and caring (for his own fortune and the other shareholders) leader, Steve Jobs, made an arbitrary decision to cut out after X.6.8. According to reports, the engineers had actually begun work on it but …

Anyway -- long and short is -- your uncle needs to run OS X.6.8 on a Virtual Machine. Jobs further made life hard for me and your uncle by not allowing the ordinary OS X.6.8 to run on the VM. You must buy the X.6.x Server. It was quite expensive!

The good news is that the price of the X.6.x server has come down to about $20 or something, I am told, and it is very, very simple to set up current VM with the current Masc OS as the host machine.

I recommend you and your uncle have a look at the private forum for battle scarred Canvas users at http://www.wizaerd.com/forum/index.php?pAction=Show&Start=0

he will be as welcome as the flowers in spring and there has been a recent thread where all this was discussed in some detail.

Pity he didn’t go to Canvas X.0.2 -- sure, like every other Canvas, it can do great technical stuff but like every other Canvas, you can just wing it too.

I'm still sitting on OS X.6.8 and work in Canvas X every day producing advertisements, brochures, websites, and books. Whoa!!! What a program!

Like your uncle, the only way I will migrate to another program -- no a whole bunch of other programs because Canvas covers so much -- is if I am dragged there kicking and screaming. Canvas X  hasn’t been supported now for 7 years -- but there is still no program that comes near to it for sheer utility and productivity.

Cheers, geoff

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Doug R
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Re: The answer to your uncle's prayers -- I hope
In reply to Hen3ry, Mar 22, 2013

Hen3ry wrote:

Hello Nephew

I take it your uncle has incautiously bought a new Mac with the latest OS.

Cheers, geoff

OP said OS upgrade said nothing about new hardware a new Imac was an assumption of yours.

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PowderMaggot
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Re: PLease Help - Need Canvas 9.0.4 alternative
In reply to Nephew, Mar 23, 2013

It seems to me that the easiest option is to downgrade back to where he came from and keep going. As others have said, there is no equivalent program, even 10 years later.

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Hen3ry
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Re: The answer to your uncle's prayers -- I hope
In reply to Doug R, Mar 23, 2013

Goodness Doug. you’re right on the ball, aren't you? And when I said "new Mac", I didn’t say "new Imac" -- that was an assumption of yours.

Get with the program, mate, you’re not being helpful.

Cheers, geoff

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Doug R
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Re: The answer to your uncle's prayers -- I hope
In reply to Hen3ry, Mar 23, 2013

Please for give this humorless human I added a I thus made a error not a assumption. Get it right.

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Tom_N
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Re: The answer to your uncle's prayers -- I hope
In reply to Hen3ry, Mar 23, 2013

Hen3ry wrote:

All versions of Canvas require Rosetta which that great and caring (for his own fortune and the other shareholders) leader, Steve Jobs, made an arbitrary decision to cut out after X.6.8. According to reports, the engineers had actually begun work on it but …

I do not think that Apple ever intended for Rosetta to be anything more than a temporary transition tool.  There have been several of those, for the PowerPC, Mac OS X, and Intel transitions.  The 68K emulator lasted "forever", but for part of that time, Mac OS used the emulator to run parts of itself!

More than a little of the responsibility for the current situation belongs to the Canvas vendor(s).  Apple didn't announce Intel machines one day, ship them with Rosetta the next, and drop Rosetta on the third day.  Rosetta support was around for years.  For all of this time, it was crystal-clear to developers that the future was Intel chips.  Yet from the sounds of things, the developers never came out with an Intel or Universal version.

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Hen3ry
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Re: The answer to your uncle's prayers -- I hope
In reply to Tom_N, Mar 23, 2013

Tom_N wrote:

Hen3ry wrote:

All versions of Canvas require Rosetta which that great and caring (for his own fortune and the other shareholders) leader, Steve Jobs, made an arbitrary decision to cut out after X.6.8. According to reports, the engineers had actually begun work on it but …

I do not think that Apple ever intended for Rosetta to be anything more than a temporary transition tool. There have been several of those, for the PowerPC, Mac OS X, and Intel transitions. The 68K emulator lasted "forever", but for part of that time, Mac OS used the emulator to run parts of itself!

More than a little of the responsibility for the current situation belongs to the Canvas vendor(s). Apple didn't announce Intel machines one day, ship them with Rosetta the next, and drop Rosetta on the third day. Rosetta support was around for years. For all of this time, it was crystal-clear to developers that the future was Intel chips. Yet from the sounds of things, the developers never came out with an Intel or Universal version.

Deneba, the company which developed Canvas from way back in the very beginning of Mac days -- so far back that v.1 was a a vector drawing Desk Accessory when you couldn't run more than one app at a time, was always very small.

I think about v.5, when they went transitioned the program to PostScript, they also branched out and produced a Windows version. They developed the two in parallel to v.8. At v. 8 they they made a massive effort and transitioned the program to OS X. They got it up in OS X a year before Adobe managed the same feat with its programs! They didn’t go Cocoa for obvious reasons, just as Adobe did not.

I have a notion that this effort (it clearly was a huge effort, the Deneba team was very open with users and was talking with us all the time -- the upgrade from v.7 to v.8 took nearly 6 months longer for the OS9/OSX Mac version than it did for Windows) exhausted the company.

The Mac market was shrinking and was more and more difficult to service -- OS9 was at the end of its life and pretty flakey, OS X was at the beginning of its life and VERY flakey requiring constant work just to keep up with the changes Apple was constantly ringing, let alone develop the program itself (as you mention, the 68K emulator was being used by Mac OS to run itself in part illustrating what a bowl of blanc mange OS X was), and the Windows market had become increasingly important.

I think it was about the transition from v.8 to v.9, Deneba sold itself to ACD See, a windows-based company. The development from v.9 to v.X was slow. v.9 was pretty buggy, as was v.X. And v.X was it for Canvas for Mac, with a few sporadic bug fixes, and nothing since 2005.

BUT -- with the issue of X.6.x, reaching its apogee at X.6.8, all but about four clearly identifiable and easily managed bugs in Canvas X disappeared! Since X.6.x was the big clean up of OS X which had been piling up dead ends, detritus, and false starts since the original X, it was clear that the "Canvas bugs" were not  Canvas bugs at all but OS X bugs -- often the result of Apple not following its own rules.

Files were fully transportable across the two platforms.

ACD now has Canvas up to v.14 on Windows. One wonders what they are thinking and what they are doing with it -- they never promote it much and their Canvas forums have died, I think. At bottom, Canvas is a technical drawing program of amazing versatility (at v.8 Canvas made Illy 8 look pale and weak -- Illy has caught up a fair bit now). At one time, Boeing had 3000 seats, I understand, and geologists and other sciences use it for seismic stuff, mapping, and goodness knows what all.

For the general user, there is nothing like it which is why a bunch of us hang on to Canvas on Mac and quite a lot of Windows people use it. You have a DTP style UI and on the page you can do vector editing, raster editing (about PShop v.4-5 level), type, the lot. All right on the page. You can have a huge number of pages in sizes up to 2000 miles (I think is the figure -- I mainly work on A4 myself :)). You can import and export a huge number of formats and you can output direct to a printer or save to PDF or HTML, save off selections as separate files (e.g. you might edit a picture in situ on the page of your book, then save it off as a separate file for use in another publication or something). You can produce ads, posters, brochures, books (I've done books up to 256 pages), presentations, and websites, including animated GIFs. Canvas incorporates tools for all these things.

The huge benefit of the program is that the tight integration of the various elements which makes for amazing productivity. While raster editing is relatively basic (of course, you can still do huge stuff in it but you actually have to do the work instead of clicking on a new and shiny tool), some modern tools have been added (e.g. red eye fixing) and the capabilities for using e.g. photos are extended enormously by interaction with vector and type -- a couple of aspects in which Adobe has caught up with finally in the past two or three years, I believe, but which have been Canvas features for 10+ years.

ACD See has done very little to further develop Canvas on Windows, it seems to me, and no longer sells Canvas X for Mac, but the if you look at their Photo Editor v.6 you will see them trumpeting some type and vector features -- all of them Canvas attributes 10 years ago

There is no replacement for Canvas on any OS; in all cases, you need to use a bunch of unintegrated apps and sacrifice productivity -- and dare I say it? Simple fun! I use PhotoLine for some photo editing now, but Canvas is the mainstay or my business and is in action every day.

That's why people like Uncle and I stick like glue to it.

It's not my only legacy program -- others include Eudora for email (there's just nothing like it still), and Personal Organizer for contacts and calendar (there's nothing like that, still).

The real problem that killed Canvas is a business one, I believe. They never had enough resources to throw at it because they never asked enough money for it. It could do all it could do -- but the price of it was somewhat below Photoshop alone! As a marketer, I used to urge them to double the price and hire more help. They did jack up the price a bit for v.8, but it was too little, too late, really.

Sad.

Cheers, geoff

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Tom_N
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Re: The answer to your uncle's prayers -- I hope
In reply to Hen3ry, Mar 24, 2013

Hen3ry wrote:

OS X was at the beginning of its life and VERY flakey requiring constant work just to keep up with the changes Apple was constantly ringing, let alone develop the program itself (as you mention, the 68K emulator was being used by Mac OS to run itself in part illustrating what a bowl of blanc mange OS X was),

Non-sequitir.  Mac OS X doesn't use a 68K emulator to run itself.  It doesn't even have one (except in some PowerPC versions, as part of Mac OS 9 running in the Classic environment).

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Hen3ry
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ACD says it is working on reviving Canvas for Mac...
In reply to Nephew, Mar 26, 2013

…with release date within a year. Hope springs eternal.

Cheers, geoff

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Engine Man
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Re: ACD says it is working on reviving Canvas for Mac...
In reply to Hen3ry, May 5, 2013

Geoff,

Is Wizaerd's Realm gone for good? At first I thought there were server problems but everything's been silent for a while now.

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Peter Berglund
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Re: PLease Help - Need Canvas 9.0.4 alternative
In reply to PowderMaggot, May 6, 2013

I totally feel for your uncle! Canvas 9,0,4 was the last version I used myself and I still miss it. From X and up it became almost another app. Yes, I used it but probably didn't have time to really learn it and then of course it stopped being developed anyway. Today, I use OmniGraffle and even PowerPoint and Keynote for making my small illustrations, substantially less powerful of course.

The post didn't nearly provide the info required to make suggestions but I'll try. I would recommend spending $50-100 on a used Mac! You can get for example an iMac G4 which is plenty of CPU for Canvas 9.

If your uncle has separate keyboard and display a Mac mini G4 or a G4 cube will be sufficient and can be found for very few dollars.

Good luck!

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Hen3ry
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Wizaerd's Realm has gone but there are replacements
In reply to Engine Man, May 6, 2013

Engine Man wrote:

Geoff,

Is Wizaerd's Realm gone for good? At first I thought there were server problems but everything's been silent for a while now.

Hiya Engine

Yes, overtaken by Internet entropy!    A bit of a shock, wasn't it? I used to check it every morning, then one day I clocked on m bookmark and got nuffin'. Aargh! Ruined my day!

Two new sites are up and running, though, and gradually gathering the flock.

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/wizaerds/

https://getsatisfaction.com/canvasusers

Just joined up myself the other day, actually.

Look forward to seeing you there!

Cheers, geoff

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Engine Man
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Re: Wizaerd's Realm has gone but there are replacements
In reply to Hen3ry, May 6, 2013

Thanks for the links Geoff. I'll sign up when I get a moment. I wasn't a regular but liked to drop by from to time. See you there.

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