On 04:29 PM 19/11/2001 +0000, Jason Morgan said:
>The files in question were returned to Protel under NDA, they confirmed the
>problems as reported and indicated that at present there was no fix.
>
>Sorry, but I can't transmit designs to the public, at least without NDA,
>thanks for the offer anyway.


What I have done with this sort of confidential data (even when sending the 
file to Protel) is to do a global search and destroy on all PCB parts and 
change their values to 10k  (You see a "10k" 256-ball BGA does not contain 
a lot if IP).  I then clear the netlist.

If the board is incomplete, and the netlist from the sch is required, then 
it is a little more complex, but still do-able.
I create some dummy schematics and PCB by copying the correct ones, 
immediately synchronise to make the following processes simpler.  I then, 
globally remove every netlabel of all sheets, rename all the power supplies 
to meaningless names and change all the component designators to R? or 
A?  or something meaningless. Re-annotate.  Then change all the part types 
to 10k or some other silly value (including all ICs, caps, R's, connectors 
etc) and synch to the PCB. The resulting netlist and refdesignators convey 
almost no useful info - just point-to-point connectivity.  All identifying 
text on the PCB is then removed, and all mech layers removed - apart from 
maybe the outline and the keepout.  I then try to remove as many rules and 
classes as possible to reduce the chance of there being some useful IP 
embodied in these.  However, it is likely that mucking about with the rules 
is very likely to change the suspect behavior, so this has to be done with 
some care.

I may also rejig the mech outline to mask the target application a 
little.  Possibly remove a few mech holes as well.

Then confirm the problem still exists.

I then only send it to people who I think I can trust.  Not to the public 
in general.

So Jason, if you would like others to try to see if you have hit a limit on 
the capacity of Protel, this may be one option.  I would also be prepared 
to look at it.  So I think you have three long-term members of this forum 
(at least) who are prepared to see what your file does to their machine.  I 
would be very interested in the results of such a test. (I run Win2K, SP2, 
256MB, PIII-450).

I for one do not discount the troubles that Jason has reported over some 
time on this forum.  However as others have said, quite a few of us see 
very very few Protel crashes these days, and there must be significant 
differences in the hardware we run.

Ian Wilson

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