Jason wrote
> A schematic entry tool that is missing features and has many bugs.
> A PCB system that has missing features and crashes a lot.
> An almost useless 3D 'viewer'.
> A redundant spreadsheet that tries to emulate Excel.
> A badly integrated spice tool
> An extensive but disjointed library (PCB and SCH)
> A pointless PCB quoting system
> An undocumented 'Public' API
> The list grows.....
> I am reaching the end of my patience with Protel and expect we'll
> will soon
> give it the push, a feeling that I expect many others have.  It
> would not be
> unlikely for Altium to receive a bill from our legal department for wasted
> time and money!!

> P.S. Heads up Cadence, you should be using this chance to catch all of the
> deserting (ex) Protel users.
I have to respond to some of your criticism starting with PCB.  You wrote >
A PCB system that has missing features and crashes a lot.   I am not sure
what setup you have or if you are using even the latest service packs which
were supplied FREE from Protel, but I turn my system on at 7 am and it goes
off at 9 pm every night. I use it on three different configurations
 computers with different memory sizes, speeds, etc) and 99SE  PCB is
flawless, everyday 7 days a week.  Don't get me wrong, I know how to make it
crash, there are some design rules that will make it crash but I'm not a
moron so don't try them again. I receive designs from other "Protel"
designers and yes their designs crash (lock up)  when I load them in my
system. I generally investigate what crap they are trying to do the board
and disable or remove it.  I generally find former PADS users are the
culprits for blowing up Protel files.  Almost 100 percent of the time I have
found that other "designers" are clueless to how to use this program in the
first place. That's being harsh but it is the truth,  there isn't a PCB
design I cant sit down with and find out what your problem is.   Perhaps
more training or closer attention  to this forum is the answer.  I consider
myself an "expert" with the pcb tools and sure enough someone on this forum
will point out another cool and hidden feature I never used before.  Look at
your computer   system, including running other software junk in the
background. ie virus scanners, power savers, screen savers, etc.  Disable
all of it....Protel will work flawless once you have your computer system
setup properly.

> An extensive but disjointed library (PCB and SCH)  Are you are clueless?
If you want to see a messed up library system, look at Accel or Cadence.
Accel's library management tool is 4- 5 K alone.  What is neat about Protel,
as an independent design bureau, I have the option to use pcb with any
schematic design system, ( I have translators)  weather it be Cadence,
Inoveda, Accel.  Try that on Cadence,  you cant because the system
architecture is closed so you cant import other netlists.

I will not attempt to defend  all of your other criticism, due to my lack of
experience with the schematic tools, spice tools.   I have used the sig
integrity tools for controlled impedance designs and yes they also work
quite well.  I use the PCB tools 7 days week, I feel there is no design I
cant handle with the current design tool ( with the aid of Spectra).   I am
hoping ALTIUM does not make this product ACCEL like, remember is was ACCEL
that went out of business, not Protel.  If ALTIUM wants to do anything they
should make the more expensive ACCEL (bitmapped cayola)  work like Protel.

Sure the 3 D  tool is not even a good toy, but do I really need it? No, I'm
a pcb designer, not a packaging / electro mechanical/ designer or even a
draftsman.  PCB has become to specialized for  pcb  designers to try to
cover , packaging/ mechanical engineering, thermal,  and the company dental
plan.  So yes they can even get rid of the Auto RFQ crap.  I don't want to
be a buyer, damnit I'm a pcb designer. I have enough issues to deal with.

I do contract work for Cornet Technology in Va, they have 5 engineers using
Protel Schematic capture. I cant speak for them other than their designs all
work, lots of them. As many as 100 designs a year, so the schematic tools
must work for someone. Some of thier designs have 1500 parts, BGAS by the
tons, from power supply boards to large panels for telecom switching
networks.   I dont try to tell how people how to use the schematic tools
because of my lack of experience with using them.

Good Luck using Cadence or whatever you bail to. Wait until you buy Cadence
and find the only way the program will even install is with the factory rep
installing it for you.  I like that, I like that alot.

Mike Reagan

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