> Regarding the questions about 3D and autorouter, what parts of Protel do
> you actually use?

I have made my own comments to Mr. Rupinski's disection. Hope you don't mind
my plagerism.

    - Schematic    YES  My only concern is that I wish the ERC checking was
a little more comprehensive. 

    - Global Editing YES  This works just fine. Once you learn the nuances,
its effective and easy.

    - Report>BOM    YES    This should allow complete user control

    - PCB    YES    Compared to others I've used in the past 15 years, it's
intuitive and easy to use.

    - Powerprint    Yes, at first I hated it, now I love this way to print,
makes making single PDF files from pcb layers so much easier.

    - CAM Manager    YES

    - Simulator    YES    Only used once, wish this was covered better by
the documentation.

    - AutoRouter    NEVER, and have serious concerns about layout people who
do. (Unless using Spectra)

    - 3D Viewer    YES    Completely useless! As I have said previously,
Protel should buy the export applications from Desktop-EDA. 3D export to
IDF/STEP/IGES or Solidworks is a necessity for real and efficient product
integration. I can't even begin to tell you how this has improved the
relationship between PCB and Mechanical design.

    - PLD    I would if I had the time to learn this part. 

    - Arrange Components    No, 

    - AutoPlacer    No,

    - PCB Miter    No

    - Signal Integrity    Used once, will definitely keep trying it.

    - Database Link    YES, but this used to work in Client 3.x, it has
since been totally screwed up!!
Takes way to long to be useful, and our company NEEDs it to work properly.

    - Library    No, Protel libraries have never been reliable or adequate.
I lost all confidence when the QFP-100 only had 80 pins.

    - Send By Mail    Never tried.

    - Camtastic    YES    I have used it to convert old gerbers into
something Protel can load.

    - Intuitive Interface    If you have ever used PADS, you'll think Protel
is one the MOST intuitive programs out there. I have never seen a more User
hostile interface than PADS.

    - SDK EDA server - YES, but not myself. I have had some servers built
for me by others, again not covered particularly well but the documentation.

    - Productivity    This is a function of the User, I have used Protel
since the DOS Autotrax days and have seen the rise and fall of productivity.
The worst version of Protel ever produced in my opinion was Protel 98, and a
tie for the best is Protel for Windows 2.8 PCB and DE99SE given that you
have to judge each one at it's time of deployment. Obviously 99SE is more
powerful, but can you imagine trying to run it on a 1991 top-of-the-line PC.
I think not.
No software is perfect or free from bugs, just look at Windoze, however you
can either work around it and make the best of it or sit there and complain.
Yes I would like some things fixed, but considering what else is out there,
I am making the best of the current situation.

Lloyd Good

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