I agree.  Our investment into Protel has been tremendous.  We are not
shareholders, so we have no voice, but I feel as though they should invest
more in getting their tools to be stable and well behaved, although I
understand market pressures can drive decisions, as well.  Oh well, I still
stick with Protel, but I am concerned about them devoting the resources
necessary to back up their tremendous marketing effort with product that
delivers commensurate with the price (and investment into the learning

-----Original Message-----
From: Peter W. Richards [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]]
Sent: Wednesday, January 23, 2002 12:59 PM
To: Protel EDA Forum
Subject: Re: [PEDA] Is this normal???

Is it just me, or was Protel98 a heck of a lot stabler before they
client-servered and databased and OLE'd everything to death in 99?  I liked
98 a lot, but 99 has been a big step back if you ask me...maybe we should
all demand free downgrades...!

-----Original Message-----
From: Joel Hammer [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]]
Sent: Wednesday, January 23, 2002 10:57 AM
To: Protel EDA Forum
Subject: [PEDA] Is this normal???

A year and a half ago I made the decision to go with Protel 99SE based upon
inputs from a couple of friends and colleagues, price and all seemed to go
well during the thirty day trial. Now mind you I had been in PCB design 8 or
9 months at that point. (CAD/CAM the 6 years prior)  And had worked only
with PCAD 8.5. And compared to 8.5, 99SE was a god sent. At least During my
thirty day trial where I "played" with it and still used 8.5 to get paid.
Shortly after purchasing a few seats for the company I took the Protel
training and started using it exclusively. And immediately i started running
into "issues". First it was a video card issue. (Ok, I can almost swallow
that pill. Video issues are somewhat common in a complex software package.)
Then a printer issue. (Alright, this is a little odd.) After getting those
taken care of, the wheel mouse issue presented itself along with a macro
keyboard issue. (This is getting out of hand! This thing has more issues
than Mike Tyson.) Wasn't the wheel out even prior to P1 processors? The
people who wrote my sons jumpstart to preschool software managed to get the
mouse thing figured out. And I didn't have to download a service pack before
he could use his fresh out of the box software.

So now my computer is designed and built by Protel. I have been forced to
change one of my input devices. (from a wheeled mouse to a standard mouse)
And was forced to remove my blessed macro keyboard from my system. Both of
which affect my work style and for a time my proficiency in Protel as well
as, and most troubling, in other CAD packages. Why on earth is my entire
system and style of work dominated by a software package that was written
AFTER 99% of the other software I am using.

What is going on here??? This is not some freeware beta package that you
just download. We paid for this! It cost money to get the software. It cost
money to learn the software. It cost money to get my computer to make the
software work. And on and on! So much for the price being a valid factor in
the decision making process next time.

How can the "lurkers" sit by and read this forum and think for a moment that
these are things we wanted or thought we were getting when we purchased
their companies product? I do understand that they have a job to do. And I
recognize that they did not write the software. But they are the "face" of
the company to all of us here. The only contact many of us ever have with
anyone from Protel. Aside from the newsletters that arrive telling us that
there will now be another opportunity for us to give them more money for
something that doesn't work like expected even after I've made all the
adjustments the product demanded. This just seems like a very sketchy
practice to employ on an iffy product.

Now I am not running out and replacing my design software. At least not yet.
But let's be real. Buggy is bad place to start from when doing design. And I
have found that is the best I can hope for with Protel. If all goes good...
I won't encounter an "issue" that is not common knowledge. And won't have to
stop working to figure out what Protel is doing. Or god forbid, why? I've
never had the amount of problems with any of my other CAD packages that I've
had with Protel. (not to mention the ones I've read about here and not had
to deal with myself.)

Is this normal? Is this what we had hoped for when we made the leap from
whatever design package to Protel? I'd have to say not! If i had it to do
over again... I would certainly look a little harder at some of the other
packages. There has to be a stable package somewhere in the world that will
work properly and still allow the user to use a piece of cutting edge
technology like a wheel mouse. (in case you couldn't tell, the mouse thing
really bothers me!)

Thanks for your time,

Joel L. Hammer

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