I want to use Blender 2.63 for precision CAD. So I've been trying to follow Robert Burke's guide, Precision Modeling, version 6, which was written for 2.49. I'm using 2.63 because I want to be able to generate some organic forms and use Boolean operations. Silly me.
I was doing fine until I got to page 23 where it says, "To rotate the vertex press R and drag the vertex until it is over the line defining the inner portion of the bearing race. Click the LMB to accept the rotation." Not any more it doesn't. If you select a single vertex and press R, it produces some kind of rotation symbology display that tries to rotate a point about itself, rather than the cursor. And nothing drags anything. I got around it by using "spin" with one step.
Then at the bottoms of pages 23 and 24, it gives instructions apparently meant to use the S key to align, or "scale" vertices to the cursor. Having some actual alignment tools would be nice. It seemed to work for page 23, sort of, but for page 24, using S-Y produce that same useless rotation symbol, and pressing number 0 had no effect whatsoever. I got around it by knowing where the point was supposed to go and extruding to that location.
Trying to figure out what to do from your Wiki manual is almost no use to me at all. The "search" box throws up too many pages to find the right information, and you don't have a decent index. I know from teaching a class or two that merely saying how you did something isn't good enough. You have to consider what the student doesn't know and will find confusing. And for a huge program that has more than some people will ever use, you have to write easy-too-find, stand-alone lessons for people who need to know just that one skill to solve their problem.
I will get this eventually, but not without a lot more cursing. In the meantime, someone please, please write a decent index. Or help revise Burke's work so that it makes sense for 2.63. Burke did some decent educational work for a particular segment of users, which seems to have been badly trashed by subsequent changes in Blender.
And it would really help to put some sliders in the views, and make a box zoom tool, like in PhotoShop. Using the middle mouse button and shift key to get around is a real pain.