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Cadlink wants $800 so I can use Windows 7

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by David Wright, Jun 24, 2010.

  1. David Wright

    David Wright Very Active Member

    Nov 25, 2003
    Wyandotte, Mi
    I just upgraded one of the computers to a quad core
    Dell and Windows 7. Couldn't get the program to recognize the lpt port where my dongle is.
    Finally contacted Cadlink and they inform me only version 8 of Signlab works with Windows 7. $750 to upgrade from 7.0 and another $50 for a usb dongle.

    They can't just make drivers that will work with newer OS versions coming out? When open type fonts came out we were required to pay another upgrade price just to view them. Now this?

    My Corel 12 installed fine along with Photoshop cs3 and older drivers for equipment also, but Signlab requires a major upgrade and dollars just to be compatible. Enough.
  2. Gene@mpls

    Gene@mpls Very Active Member

    Jun 17, 2003
    Blaine, Mn
    And you didn't see that coming?
  3. heyskull

    heyskull Very Active Member

    Sep 2, 2007
    We have just upgraded all our computers to dual core machines and we specified XP as one of them is still on a parallel port dongle.
    Signlabs basic programme hasn't changed since Signlab 5!
    Believe me as I have had the programme in pieces.
    I have checked and Cadlink should be able to issue USB dongles for this programme, they are just being stuborn..
    I guess they could do with the extra money for a new copy!

    I am now going to upset you !!!
    This is taken from cadlinks forum....

    "SignLab does not support multi-core CPUs. Whether you have wasted your money or not is subjective. If you want a newer and faster computer now-a-days, you have no choice but to invest in a multi-core CPU. SignLab will (generally speaking) always run faster on these machines just by the nature of these machines being faster than the older computers, even when operating only one core. SignLab 8 offers features which are not present in version 7.1. You can review these here...
    http://www.cadlink.com/products/signLab/sl_8_vpm.php "

    I have run Signlab against our 2.66ghz dual cores with 5gig of RAM and an old Pentium IV 2.4ghz with 1 Gig of RAM with a fresh install of windows and the Pentium is faster!!!!

    Also I have added all the add ons on Signlab 8 onto our 7.1 extracting it from the downloadable demo version of Signlab 8.
    You couldn't tell them apart.
    The only thing I can't change is the RIP/print and cut manager.
    But I won't use Signlab for printing anyway

    Corel 12 and CS3 with run multi core processors and are loads faster.

    It seems like Cadlink are just sitting back and using old technology and adding a few bells and whistles to make it look new!

    Personally I would downgrade the operating system back to XP (this being the cheaper option) and tell Cadlink where they can shove theit $800...lol

  4. Steve C.

    Steve C. Very Active Member

    May 22, 2003
    We just bought two new Dell's with W7 also. I don't use the full version of
    Signlab, we have the ES2 cut from corel version. We have been told we will
    need to update, costign $250 for the program and $50 for the dongel. I'll just
    install it on one of our older PC's with XP. I am really liking W7 thou. Also
    found that our 2003 Quickbooks will need upgraded. All the damn upgrades
    are costing more than the computer!
  5. David Wright

    David Wright Very Active Member

    Nov 25, 2003
    Wyandotte, Mi
    Well I still have the other XP machine and will just run it when I have to from there. I am looking at either Cocut to run with Corel or even Vinylmaster Pro and migrate over to all new jobs being generated from there.

    Speed is not an issue with signlab. Mostly vinyl anyways but I did inherit a used Gerber edge machine and I still have the Thermal module from the old days when I first had an Edge.

    No, hell no, not on $800. My first thought was when I contacted them that I would have to suck it up and pay $50 for a new dongle. Then I thought if they would give me a customer loyalty discount on upgrade of around $300 I might bite. Been with them for at least 16 years and no more on pricey upgrades to do what I have been doing.
  6. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

    Oct 19, 2009
    I started using SignLab in 1992. I do not plan on upgrading again. $700-$800 every time is getting old, and there never seems to be that much difference in the versions. USB dongles do make it easier to operate on serval computers (I design stuff on or farm comp at night sometimes).
  7. OldPaint

    OldPaint Major Contributor

    in my 15 or so years of working a plotter and cutting vinyl, i have had the opportunity to work most of the so called "sign specific" programs. to be honest, i got COREL 3 with my 386DX40 4 meg ram computer. so this is what i started to learn in.
    i purchased a used ROLAND PNC-1000, and the guy i bought it from had bought the whole sign computer package and had LETTER ART 6.0 with dongel. he wanted me to pay addional money for the program, and i told him i used corel and didnt need it. while loading up plotter and vinyl he had, he said here, i got no use for the program. i said thanks.
    dont know if any ever used LETTER ART, but it was a DOS based CAD for signs. it was great for big signs...........but still not as good as COREL))))))
    and i could cut direct from COREL to plotter, AND had use of all windows fonts. the LART
    had 8 or 10 fonts, like GOOBER, PROGRAM SPECIFIC. and more fonts was EXPENSIVE.
    so corel 3 got my work done. moved to 4, then when 7 came out, with the 150 ft x 150ft work space.............the rest just seemed OVERPRICED.
    ive used SIGNLAB, FLEXI, SIGN WIZARD, VMPRO, PRO-CUT(pre cursor of CO-CUT),CASMATE & INSPIRE. out of those the 2 best casmate/inspire, was discontinued.
    now for GOOBER......of all the programs, GERBER GA6 was the worst.......AFTER being used to COREL.
    corel X series, does so much more then when i started usein it. still do all my vinyl with corel.......and nothing else.
    if you do a lot of node editing......SIGNLAB HANDS DOWN. but the X CORELS have vastly improved to be almost as good.
    the days of being tied to a program manafacture............are gone.
  8. Pro Signs & Graphix

    Pro Signs & Graphix Very Active Member

    Apr 18, 2006
    David - Where are you getting your information from? Whoever told you that SL7 does not run on Win7 is wrong. As a matter of fact it will run on Vista64, which means that in will also go to Win7.

    What has changed with many program vendors is the dongle. LPT dongles started getting phased out approximately 4 years ago. Not because the software people wanted to but because LPT ports were being phased out of the OS's and thus the hardware. There was no point in continuing the manufacture and distribution of LPT dongles. I hated it also but what can you do? It is just a fact that must be dealt with - LPT's are out.

    I also know, and this is why I am confused, that Cadlink WILL upgrade your LPT dongle to a USB dongle for a nominal fee (I believe $100). To do this you must contact a vendor with your dongle number and they will order it for you. When the dealer receives it - it is only a matter of exchange. When you get back to you office plug it in and verify the correct permissions (modules) are enabled (Keep your receipt - I have seen mistakes).

    Heyskull - The most major advancements to SignLab have been in the RIP. The cutting side has had advancements but other than the addition of GIMP they have been more of a "cool factor" and some convenience for designing than a need - not cutting. For most that do "basic cutting" it is most likely that the differences would not be noticed or required.

    We have zero complaints about Cadlink's VPM (RIP). It works well, and very well for us. I am not going to get into a pissing match over which RIP is better BUT there is nothing wrong with the VPM. We have tried SAI's Flexi and Onyx and we like the ease of the VPM. If VPM was not available we would turn to Onyx, but that is still overkill for a low production custom shop (IMHO).

    Everyone must remember this. Cadlink does not offer or sell updates every 90 to 180 days. Although not perfect, Cadlink still field tests/beta for at least 18 mos between versions. Other software vendors want to whack us on a regular basis.
  9. OldPaint

    OldPaint Major Contributor

    that is why..........when i built this new 2,8 gig quad core.........i have a GIGIBYTE GA-MA74GM motherboard.............WITH LPT PORT. i also have a PCI-LPT add on card for LPT-2.
    this m/b will work with any AM2+ processors, and some of the newer AMD3.
    so i dont have to worry about anything not working my......older equipment.
  10. David Wright

    David Wright Very Active Member

    Nov 25, 2003
    Wyandotte, Mi
    Here is the email I got from tech:
    Hello David

    The issue is that your Signlab 7.0 software and dongle are not compatible on Windows 7. You will need to upgrade to Signlab 8.0 to be able to use that version of Windows.
    Your upgrade is to Signlab 8.0 Print & Cut w/ Thermal Print Features for $750 US, plus $50 to exchange your old dongle for a new USB dongle. Plus shipping.

    If you have any other questions, please let me know.
    Contact your Cadlink / Signlab Dealer or myself if you wish to upgrade.


    David McCrossan
    Cadlink Technology Corp.
  11. Bradster941

    Bradster941 Very Active Member

    Sep 5, 2005
  12. OADesign

    OADesign Active Member

    Jan 27, 2006
  13. sjm

    sjm Member

    Feb 20, 2010
    meh, you wanna play you gotta pay. Unless you give stuff away for free.
  14. David Wright

    David Wright Very Active Member

    Nov 25, 2003
    Wyandotte, Mi
    How many times, are you serious?
    Corel, Adobe and numerous others keep making the migration just fine without asking for more bucks to be only compatible. New features with which I may or may not want is a different story.

    (Please don't use 'meh', sounds like an internet chat board from 10 years ago.)
  15. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

    Jun 24, 2003
    I see no need for any one to goto win 7 if there is a good running machine in the house.
  16. Pro Signs & Graphix

    Pro Signs & Graphix Very Active Member

    Apr 18, 2006
    They are all the same and they all keep making changes.

    Call your local Cadlink dealer NOT tech support. You need a new dongle. The LPT dongle should have been traded years ago.

    If you do not have anyone local, call Accugraphics (Florida) 800-268-3672. Ask for Gary or Heather and explain your situation. The only catch if you do not have anyone local is you must be prepared to pay the overnight fees back & forth (Cadlink will only send the dongle to the dealer.)

    Just FYI, if you do any printing you will want to upgrade the PCM to the VPM. There is a difference in how they work.
  17. BobM

    BobM Very Active Member

    May 31, 2008
    Cape Cod
    I just upgraded to Windows 7 and still use SignLab 7.1. I did upgrade to the USB dongle. Drivers for my GX24 were not avaliable but I am able to use my Roland Camm One and PC 60. I also have Windows XP Mode avaliable for the GX 24.
  18. Pro Signs & Graphix

    Pro Signs & Graphix Very Active Member

    Apr 18, 2006
    Bob - You should be able to use one of the other Roland drivers. There are actually only a few drivers, regardless of the model name. Unfortunately it is a trial and error but essentially start with the PNC drivers.
  19. David Wright

    David Wright Very Active Member

    Nov 25, 2003
    Wyandotte, Mi
    The latest email from Cadlink:

    You need the upgrade to Signlab 8.0
    Signlab 7.1 will run on some versions of Windows 7- but your Signlab 7.0 will not - it is older software.

  20. chopper

    chopper Very Active Member

    Mar 18, 2006
    Big Lake MN
    I am running windows 7 pro with 6 gig of memory and raptor drives, azus mother board, I7 920 2.67 and Invidia, video card, this thing is lightning fast, loading sign lab, using sign lab, printing from sign lab...basically doing anything in sign lab, if your Pentium is faster there is something wrong with your windows 7 machine, the one I am running now blows my other machine out of the water and that one was smoking fast,

    I do not think it is legal to pirate cadlinks software, but hey what do I know...
    you bastardize the soft ware and then complain that it runs slow?
    maybe you caused your problems?

    with the above pointed out, Dave I would say that going to version 8 was the best money I ever spent, it has been more stable that 7.1 and other than a few small issues that I have worked out with win-7 it has been trouble free, it is hands down the best sign program that I have ever used, and with gimp, and the alien ware plug-ins, print fills etc.. you can eliminate using photo shop at least what I would use it for anyway, you can also enlarge photos, the node editing is superior, it is just hard to beat, if I have to spend 800.00 every 3-6 years it is the cheapest investment I have made into my business, ( it is not worth being cheap here using corel, and the like) and it is worth the upgrade to get it onto that windows 7 machine...
    this is just my opinion...
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2010

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