To all,

My experience with Protel urged me to seek out this tool when I had the
resources to buy it. We are/were an Accel house that daily struggle with
this poorly envisioned nightmare. At first, the Protel buy out of Accel
elated me. There were promises of a P-CAD import/export engine that would
arrive. It did. Then came the release of P-CAD 2000, which simply mystified
me. I believe it may have been a 'have cake and eat it too' syndrome that
had erupted in management.  It has been a disaster on both sides of the
fence.

The common sense thing to do from a Protel users perspective would have been
to adopt P-CAD users into 'the clan' with a very long free license for
product migration. Given sensible timing, I am sure Protel would have been
accepted as a much better tool. There may have been a loss of some
customers, but a very hard established customer base would have been
protected.

I see in corporate mergers only one thing, money grubbing. That was working
'ok' for Protel until buying the same type of flagship product. Mergers of
the same must disastrously lead to downsizing. At first, the fat is trimmed,
but then the blade starts to rip at the flesh. I got out of one organization
that did this. I heard of 'the smoke' from those that stayed on a little
while longer.

As a guess, I think P-CAD programmers were just as frightened to keep their
jobs as the Protel regime. A hostile atmosphere like this eventually leads
to the best seasoned programmers quitting just because the stress is not
worth it. This may explain the missing SP's since SP6. 

On the subject of the autorouter, it has been explained to me P-CAD does
have a fairly decent version in their Pro-Route line. As I had speculated
before, I thought Protel would be given a flavor of this. History had
written, Protel's simulation tools fell into the hands of P-CAD. Well, that
did not happen in reverse. I thought it would have happened when the price
of Protel shot up earlier this year. Nope..... Guess again. Why the price
increase if the product did not improve at all ? Why the October date for
beta testers when it should include those that ate the price increase ?

I have been an advocate of Protel for quite some time and as a user I have
encouraged sales. I thought Protel was offering exceptional support, when
compared to many other CAD houses. I have applied to be a beta person, but I
have not received no confirmation back at all. I read into this, silence is
a great way of saying no. But, it is a poor way of treating your customers.
No's cool, just say why and explain it. To me, ATS seems to be making a
statement that SP support is now dead for Protel 99SE. The service attitude
has changed and it has not been for the best. As for buying a site
maintenance, my attitude is to 'put up or shut up' with an immediate upgrade
before asking for more money. This is egg timer regime ? I cannot foresee
spending money to become a beta tester right now. A limited time trial
'beta' would have been a more respectable way to go and everyone would have
been happy. If the beta was worth it I could have argue for maintenance
fees.

P-CAD offers a six layer, 400 component buy in at $6K. Hey... isn't layer
limiting enough ? It's 10K to get something that works with unlimited
components with P-CAD 2001. That's the deal on that.

IMHO Two days for companies not to place web site announcements are April
1st and October 31st. In the wake of fools ? Or tricks and not treats ?

Fabian Hartery
Research Engineer
Guigne International Limited
Paradise, Newfoundland
A1L1C1
tel: 709-895-3819
fax: 709-895-3822
email: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
website: www.guigne.com



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