First lets get something straight, I take offence at your questioning my
competence with Protel, I've been using it for a very long time and am
familiar with all of its usual weird behaviours (even though they are still

The only reason we are using it at all, and not the latest Orcad (which we
also have and use) is down to my experience with Protel.

Protel crashes, its protel's fault (even you admit that).  As for not using
the bits that crash, I find the inability to print, save or load a file a
bit of an inconvenience.  And as for missing and misplaced entities on
plots, well
that's to be expected these days.... nothings perfect.

Ok, yes I admit its got much better (so far as features go) since P98, but
at the expense of repeatable stability.

---------(A bit of background - you don't need to read this bit)
Our first dedicated cad machine was a 1GHz P4 with 1G RAM, it *ONLY* runs
Protel and win2K.

We bought this as protel was pausing for more than 30 seconds per pin as a
result of an edit of through hole components, it was also crashing many
times a day.  EDA UK confirmed both these bugs and passed our design to
Protel for investigation.

It seems that the crashing is usually down to known problems when you have a
very large design >1000 components, many polys (these are the killer) and
many tracks on a mixed through hole / smt design.  The other problem is down
to a bug with the on-line poly repour it seems to take ages when you have a
large number of polys.

All we do know is that an 1 hours lost work of one of our engineers costs
more than an extra gig of ram.

A newer machine was bought for a 2nd engineer. This is a dual processor
1.7GHz P4 with 1.5G RAM (at the time the fastest we could sensibly afford)

Initially on the new machine all printing activity from within Protel would
cause a crash, from experience we know that protel is very sensitive to
graphics cards (surely not the fault of protel), so changing it sorted some
of the crashes (its now the same as the first machine)

Protel still crashes, so what's going on?   Probably a fault of the IT guy
who (despite my advice) wants lots of patches installed under windows, even
if there is no visible problem, anyway that's his problem.....

So where am I going?

Ah yes, Michael, as you machine seems to be so stable, perhaps you could
everyone its build as its seems you've got it right.


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