For whatever it's worth, I bought 99SE before Oct 1 and therefore get all of 
the ATS except the upgrade to the next version. So when they published the 
offer for a C compiler and multitasker, I decided to sign up for it just to 
see what this ATS stuff is all about. (It'll be a cold day in a warm place 
when you see me using an 8051 again.) Apparently their offer was in a similar 
vein, to see how many nibbles they'd get.

When I tried to request the offered software, the website would not take any 
form of my name, company name, license number, etc., so I went to the link 
they conveniently supplied for such a situation. The person there wanted all 
my info plus a faxed copy of my original invoice. A few days later I got an 
email saying that they'd decided to put my name in their records anyway, even 
though I hadn't yet gotten around to faxing them the invoice (how generous of 
them...) One possible interpretation might be that they've lost their 
customer records and are trying to re-create them.

Anyway, in the course of this fiasco I corresponded via email several times 
with several people at Protel. Most recently I've been getting a bounce of 
the last email I sent them. Even if that particular person were no longer 
with the company, I'd hope that any reputable company would use a default 
address to pick up misaddressed mail (I sent the email with Reply, so I 
didn't mistype the name; even if I had, somebody should be fielding the 
mail), and allow someone to deal with it. So I'm wondering if anyone down 
under is actually looking at their websites lately (I've been on both and

Finally, after all this, when I finally got signed up for the "freebie", I 
was told that it would ship in a few months.

On a different note, I've been on their beta test list for several years, and 
haven't been asked to test anything in the last year or so. Perhaps they just 
didn't choose to ask me to help test Phoenix; perhaps they aren't ready for 
beta test yet. Hmmm..... I wonder how long a beta test period they'll need.

I leave it as an exercise for the reader to draw any inferences from this 
experience. Meanwhile, if anyone discovers a reasonably-priced alternative to 
Protel, especially one which can read Protel files, I'd sure want to hear 
about it. Protel is adequate for my needs for right now.

Steve Hendrix

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