I will have to differ with you with respect to your views on Protel. We have
the latest PCAD here too and I have made it my best attempt to keep away
from it.

I have to admit, being a former Protel 98 user, I was intimidated by the DDB
interface at the first run. It did take the first two services packs and
some experience for me to get content with the package. I enjoy the
stability of Protel, noting Protel was written for a windows environment.
Most other CAD seems an array of DOS trivia. The Protel DDB architecture
makes it a global storage effort for a designer. Some will protest that this
is risky, those who do regular back-ups won't complain here.

I am a work alone engineer, so I have little time afforded for library
management. I also don't need 999 layers or a blockage of attributes to
create a pwb design. The attributes effort with PCAD has been used here to
even indicate naming the suppliers. This is insanity and it is what source
control drawings are about.

Well, it is true that Protel is weak on attributes. I do wish there was a
better design interface here. I feel this might come with Phoenix. I know,
PCAD will let you do more. However, it comes at the cost of remembering a
great number of short cut keys. This taxes my memory. Sometimes these short
cuts seem so far  buried in the Help, it hurts. As far as part creation is
concerned, a fellow engineer commented about the PCAD Executive does not
permit the saving of interim work. Another pox is the *requirement* for a
pristine netlist import that simply halts a work effort in it's tracks. The
one feather in Protel's hat even with a flawed netlist is a reasonably good
error reporting mechanism.

Basically, Protel is simple 'to use'. I prefer this to being fighting with
the tool rather than accomplishing the work. On the simulator, it was really
a freebie add on IMHO. I would not ask alot. PCAD also users the exact same
tool taken from Protel's work.

I have looked at the 3D thread here. In my earnest I would hope that this
would be adapted with proper library field definitions and it would match up
with industry standards. A would also pray for an engine to do a thermal
analysis for my design efforts. We do know a better autorouter is on it's
way, at least. This will also be implemented in PCAD from what I read.
Speaking for myself, I do not use autorouters. What I have seen of them, I
do not like. I just do my own work.

Take care.

Fabian Hartery
Research Engineer
Guigne International Limited
Paradise, Newfoundland
tel: 709-895-3819
fax: 709-895-3822
website: www.guigne.com

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