This examination of the Protel package usage is a good exercise... Protel
should pay attention to this. 

<rant mode on>

My pet peeve with the Protel Explorer concept is that I have to open
everything, in a specific place, without any changes in the windows
environment, in order to get the design up and running to edit it... I can't
keep my users from being confused about the stupid thing... I just want it
to go away. I want the option to disable the stupid thing and use the
program like it was in the 98 version... without all the bugs.. At least it
made sense to everyone back then. Archiving files, Rev Control, argh... must
be done manually anyways... with or without it.

They have added a layer of complexity that was not wanted or needed... I
presume that it simplifies the desire to do their paranoid licensing checks
over the network... but it provides me with nothing but trouble... no net
value to the company...  

I prefer a KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) approach... One program one
function... Windows explorer does ALL that is needed to handle organization
of files... PCB should read PCB's. Schematic should read Schematics, PLD
should do PLD's... SIM should simulate.. this things do not need to be
hidden inside an extra layer of hierarchy.. I archive just the .pcb and .sch
and throw away the ddb file... the backups... the superfluous junk files...
This is in order to capture the important files for archiving... I do not
use the 1 file for all files approach to Protel, I use the Windows file
system to keep the files out where we can see them... where we don't get
confused about which file is which.. and what rev is what...etc...

The ability to do IPC-356 Netlist out or ODB++ file output, or the GENCAM
format might be useful... If it doesn't make our lives more complex than it
has too..  
  
I dislike what the Autorouter does, It breaks the DRC rules and creates more
cleanup for the designer...  I'm sure it makes sales though... looks awesome
in the demo... If they ever did make it do what it was advertised to do it
would be worth the extra cash....

I don't do sim, signal integ, pld, 3D, The print manager is sucky... and
buggy... and makes me repeat the setup steps over and over with every edit
session I set up...the 3D implementation is a... not too funny joke... A
good translator to solidworks would be way more useful... The CAM manger is
... well could be better... still have to set it up every time... 

 And the 'Microsoft' approach to releasing software before there is good
beta testing and debug... is just poor customer relations... Protel has a
reputation of being the 'Jack of all Trades' and Master of none... and when
do we get to put our feet up on the desk like that guy who's in the picture
on the box? 

<Rant mode off>

As a caveat, I still like Protel better than PADS... (which truly sucks with
terrific force...) all things are relative...after all :)
Still wish they had not used the Explorer concept as a required option.. it
sucks.

 - Bill Brooks (don't quote me...I use sarcasm as a tool... lol)


-----Original Message-----
From: Jon Elson [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]]
Sent: Monday, November 19, 2001 12:34 PM
To: Protel EDA Forum
Subject: Re: [PEDA] Protel usage


[EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
The following is my usage of Protel

 - Schematic            yes
 - PCB                       yes
 - Powerprint           yes
 - CAM Manager    yes
 - Simulator            sometimes - still have great difficulty
providing models for
            many components.

 - Autorouter           yes - usually try it on every board, and usually
take the
            best result from a few trials and finish/clean-up by hand.
I trick
            myself into thinking I'm saving time this way, but I can't
say for sure.
 - 3D Viewer            no
 - PLD                  tried it some, simulation works to test out
designs, but couldn't
            implement any Xilinx chips with it.
 - Arrange Components  no
 - Autoplacer           no
 - PCB Miter            no
 - Signal Integrity   no
 - Database Link     no

Jon



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