> In response to Daniel Websters comments :
> This comment is very narrow in it's perspective, which leads me to think
> that financial resources are not an issue for this user, perhaps working
> a large company with larger budgets, but does not take into account the
> smaller companies who have gone with Protel precisely because they operate
> on restrictive budgets. This smug statement cuts like a knife into the
> little guy trying to make a living for himself as a pcb design contractor.
> Mike, I think your imagination needs to be expanded some !

Daniel my friend,
Oh how I only wished upon a star that I was major corporation. Surely with
all those resources, I would be using a more expensive tool....
I am a one man shop, my wife  works with me as my business manager, I spend
25 percent of my time unpaid to do marketing, 10 percent on customer
relations and wear many other hats that most engineers will never wear. I
work  16 hour days, regularly, pay my own hospitalization, have a tuition
reimbursement plan, retirement fund, pay for a mortgage in a very expensive
neighborhood,  all with the $8000.00 tool I purchased.  I am competitive and
professional in our market area only because I have factored  Protel into my
over head  and not a $100,000 design tool.
When I started my business, one other designer in this area started at the
same time using  Cadence . He mortgaged his house to borrow $70 K to finance
CADENCE.  The difference between him and me is, I understood the value of a
dollar and the fact that I had make more than I spend in order to survive.
Most engineers are clueless about  running a business.  This was my third
attempt at starting a business, and I have been  successful for the past 6
years,  except that I have not expanded as I might have wished.  But that is
another story...I cant market full time and get any work done at the same
My point here is   I use Protel about 50 percent of the time that  I am in
my office. The rest of the time I am doing other tasks.  I can only make
real money with this tool when it is fully utilized.  If I were to dedicate
all of my time to lets say marketing, I would need to have a designer using
Protel 100 percent of his time in order to pay his salary and mine.   What I
am really hearing on this thread is there are many of you who use the pcb
tool once in while, pld once in while, schematic once in while , etc.    I
am getting at least 50 percent time on it.   The only competitors that can
beat my   price or productivity are using pirated or stolen software.  Most
of the legitimate bureaus are using tools costing $50 -$100 K ,   I am using
an $8000 tool. There are about 2000 hours in normal working year,   My
competitors need to recover $25- $50 per hour just to pay for their
software.   I need $4.00 an hour ( as much as it takes to feed a child in an
impoverished country) . Don't tell me I don't understand the business model.
$2k or $5 K is probably more to me than most companies.  It means the
difference between keeping my Miata or buying a Boxer which I am trying
justify to my wife and business manager.   I understand small companies and
see many go belly up trying to establish a pcb department instead of
subcontracting for services like this.   Most managers don't have a clue
that, beyond the cost of the software, there are plotter cost 5- 10 K,
routers, office supplies, and a tons of other software needed to make a dept
like this work.  I have invested over $100K in software alone in 6 years.
And despite that, I can afford to feed my poor child PROTEL for $4.00 an
hour.   You must be able to recover the cost before making the decision to
purchase tools like this.  Its that simple

Then you wrote
>........fear that I, along with many others, may be forced to look
elsewhere for EDA
software, due to the corporate greed monster that has swallowed up our
beloved Protel.

Where are you going to find $25- $50 / hour if you don't have 4 ? This is
the cheapest tool on the market with or without a router

Please Daniel don't be to upset at my reply....I tried to keep it light
I just sound like Secy of Defense Rumsfeld allot these days

Mike Reagan

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