First of All Mr.Lomax has been some of the best help I've had since I
started using Protel. Being A Newbie to Protel since lastyear;  I've kept
all the posts since 2/5/01 (that is 8875 posts) have I read them all??? HELL
NO!!!!   But I keep them just in case I do have questions/problems that I
cannot answer. And I find it to be a pretty useful message database. SO LIKE
EVERYONE ELSE HAS TOLD YOU...... switch to decaf......



----- Original Message -----
From: "JaMi Smith" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "Protel EDA Forum" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Cc: "JaMi Smith" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>; "JaMi OC"
Sent: Tuesday, February 19, 2002 12:55 AM
Subject: Re: [PEDA] Writing messages all day . . . hopefully, the final
response . . .

> Abdul,
> Thanks for coming clean on your interests in buying and selling Protel
> Licenses, as it clarifies a lot on why you have attempted to justify the
> raises in price by Protel. It also explains why you appear to be a Protel
> "shill". You're just trying th hustle your own 'product' (the "licenses"
> own).
> Please however, stop doing it here, because while it may be good for your
> "business", it is in fact counter productive to the interests of Protel
> customers and users as a whole, and it clutters up the list, and as I
> thought I made perfectly clear before, it is sending the wrong message to
> Protel / Altium.
> While I will admit that you do appear to have been using Protel for a long
> time, and therefore appear to be pretty knowledgeable about the Protel
> product, and in that respect I am sure that I could learn a few things
> you, please keep in mind that being a "cad jockey", or more specifically a
> "Protel jockey", and being a good designer are not in fact the same thing.
> You really don't get it, do you? You are in fact new to the game. As a
> designer, who claims to have been in the business since 1976, you really
> don't seem to have learned much about design.
> Please also stop using this forum as a place to talk (write) just to here
> yourself talk. Contribute where you can but, but please stop acting like
> is the "Ask Abdul" show. Believe it or not, it really is counter
> for the list in general.
> Oh, and by the way, while at TRW in 1983,  I was responsible for driving
> CAD company, Design Aids Inc., into Chapter 11, and putting them out of
> business, because they thought they didn't have to support their
> But that's another story.
> Yes, in fact there really is legal precedent, but you don't really expect
> to think that besides being the worlds best designer, that you now also
> understand consumer protection law as well do you?
> Why counselor, I didn't know.
> Also please, you also should stop trying to talk down to everyone in your
> manner of speech, as it too is counter productive. And don't even think
> you have a chance at winning a battle of wits, because you don't.
> You really do miss the whole point don't you Abdul? You really may have
> day to sit around and write messages, but the point is that the rest of us
> really don't have all day to sit around and read them, let alone respond!
> Let's dispense with the BS, which truly is counter productive to the list,
> and try to get back on course, which I believe is solving the problems
> users are having with Protel, and getting Protel to address the real
> problems that are out there, and support their customers, rather than
> to justify a price increase.
> JaMi
> P.S. I am not sure whether you would like me to address you as Abdul,
> Dennis, or Lomax, but my name is JaMi, and I would request you address me
> that way.
> You really don't need to respond any further, as it really is all down
> from here.
> * * *
> ---- Original Message -----
> From: "Abd ul-Rahman Lomax" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> To: "Protel EDA Forum" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> Sent: Monday, February 18, 2002 4:59 PM
> Subject: Re: [PEDA] Writing messages all day . . . the response . . .
> > warning: a long response to a long post, not directly related to
> >
> > At 06:40 PM 2/17/2002 -0800, JaMi Smith wrote:
> > >Unfortunately, herein lies what I perceive to be one of the problems,
> which
> > >already has been partially acknowledged and addressed,  in that when
> > >list, or more precisely the size and content of the posts, as well as
> > >number of posts to the list, becomes such that the average subscriber
> the
> > >list cannot keep up with the list due to the overwhelming number of
> or
> > >the vast amount of extraneous matter in some of the posts, then  the
> > >has in fact defeated it's purpose, and the community as a whole can
> suffer.
> >
> > It does not directly suffer from the volume of posts, because no user is
> > forced to actually read the posts. Some simply let mail accumulate, and
> > then search it later when they have questions. Disk space is cheap. But
> > one thinks that one must read everything, then, yes, one will have a
> > problem as the list grows.
> >
> > >If one person unsubscrbes from this list, because he or she doesn't
> the
> > >time to sort thru the extra clutter to find the answers that they need,
> or
> > >the pearls of knowledge and wisdom that will make their job easier,
> > >those responsible for the content of the list have in fact done a
> tremendous
> > >disservice to the community.
> >
> > I'd say that this is greatly overstated. If one is looking for answers,
> > then one asks, one is not forced to go through tons of clutter. One can
> > simply watch the thread of one's question. I use Eudora for e-mail, and
> > can press the Subject button, to sort by Subject, and it knows that Re:
> > Subject is the same as Subject.
> >
> > When a question is asked, responses usually come in fairly quickly. One
> can
> > tell from the subject lines if they relate to one's question or not.
> > Reading other mail is *voluntary.* I routinely skip over some posts when
> > see that they are off-topic and I'm not particularly interested.
> >
> > >I for one think that the list is approaching critical mass, and rather
> than
> > >try and sort thru all of the content to find what is of value, and what
> is
> > >superfluous, or simply ignoring new posts when I don't have the time to
> look
> > >at them at all, I chose to address the issue in a manner that I thought
> > >would be the most productive and  least offensive way that I could.
> >
> > It would have been better to directly address the issues. There are a
> > number of problems with the list as it is constituted. I recount these
> > to blame anyone but simply to examine the issues.
> >
> > (1) Subject lines are frequently not descriptive.
> > (2) There is a lot of duplication. Many questions are asked which were
> > answered perhaps several days before.
> > (3) Off-topic posts are intermingled with the rest of the list.
> >
> > Techserv attempted to solve the third problem by opening the Open Topic
> > Forum, without much success; it could have been predicted. Besides the
> fact
> > that an open topic forum already existed,
> > [EMAIL PROTECTED], one never knows if the persons with
> whom
> > one might be having a discussion are subscribed to Open Topic. We have
> > idea who subscribes to Open Topic except for the few who have posted
> there,
> > which brings us to a central problem: this list is managed by Techserv
> > according to its own lights, and the users are typically not consulted,
> nor
> > are we informed. It is interesting that Mr. Smith brings up issues of
> > conflict of interest, below, without seeming to realize that there are
> > major issues involving Techserv itself and its management of this list.
> >
> > They have done well enough that we have not actually moved the
> > association's support to another list, but we have found, in the past,
> that
> > we may spend a lot of effort to propose paths for the growth and
> > development of the list, and they go nowhere. Techserv is not interested
> in
> > user involvement in the list management, that is clear.
> >
> > >I have in fact, in recent weeks, written several very long and specific
> > >replies to several posts , but decided that any one of them might be
> > >offensive to post to the list, or even to send directly to any specific
> > >individual, since I think that the last thing that this user community
> needs
> > >is a war of words between any of its contributors.
> >
> > It takes two to make a war, otherwise one person ends up looking pretty
> > foolish, all by himself....
> >
> > >But I did reach the limit of my tolerance the other night, when, after
> > >very long and productive day, I decided to quickly check my email
> > >leaving for home. A simple glance in the lower left corner of Outlook
> see
> > >the number of new (unread) posts to this list (which Outlook
> automatically
> > >sorts upon receipt into a separate folder), and then simply sorting
> by
> > >sender and doing a little counting, quickly provided the statistics for
> the
> > >days posts, all of which took less than a minute. Yes, it did take a
> > >more minutes to cut and paste the list together, but I figured that it
> would
> > >be a quick and easy way to broach the problem in a manner that would
> be
> > >too offensive, and see what sort of responses I could get from the
> > >members of the list.
> >
> > Yes, compiling those statistics need not be much work. It was a bit of a
> > cheap shot for us to point out the possible contradiction to Mr. Smith.
> > mentioned the time taken simply to point out that this thread is itself
> > off-topic. There is actually another place to discuss list policy, and
> > is the association list. While the association does not directly control
> > this list, it does have the power to move elsewhere if association
> > decisions are not respected. But the association has made no decisions
> that
> > would test this, and the sense has been that it would not be productive
> > force a confrontation.
> >
> > The work which Techserv did to found this list and to run it when that
> > a burden has been acknowledged with gratitude by the association, and
> would
> > continue to be acknowledged.
> >
> > However, major changes are to take place with this list, it is likely
> > the list will be moved elsewhere, so that the association can directly
> > implement decisions without going through a rather opaque process with
> > Techserv.
> >
> > The association list is [EMAIL PROTECTED] It was
> > founded to be a means of making association decisions, and a number of
> > decisions have been made. The association has not been directly active
> > late, but I am sure that anyone coming in with proposals would be
> > and there is a mechanism for actually making decisions, something that
> does
> > not exist here (other than appeal to the list administrator, who makes
> > decisions according to his own opinion, which might or might not be
> > satisfactory to the majority.)
> >
> > >Well, as I said before, I think that most of what needs to be said has
> > >already been said, and been said in a much less offensive manner that I
> > >could have said it myself. I would point out however, for some self
> > >appointed experts (who according to some of the responses to my post
> in
> > >fact have gained much of their "expertise" by reading this list or
> > >contributing to the list and waiting to be corrected),
> >
> > I feel sorry for Mr. Smith.
> >
> > >  that there are in
> > >fact people on this list who actually have been in the industry for
> > >more than 25 years, and in fact predate MIL STD 275 revision D, Bishop
> > >Graphics, Red and Blue Tape (and it's proper use), rats nests (both
> and
> > >those contrived here in this list), multilayer boards, plated thru
> > >and even "Computer Aided Design" in any and all of its forms, and most
> > >the systems that any form of CAD runs on.
> >
> > Such as myself, if I am correct. 275D was issued in April 1978 and I
> > designed my first boards in something like 1976.
> >
> > >There is one specific area that has not been discussed, and which I
> > >needs to be discussed for the overall  good of the user community, and
> that
> > >is the issue of personal or economic bias, and the issue of unsolicited
> and
> > >unwarranted comments regarding the performance (or lack thereof) or
> Protel
> > >Products..
> > >
> > >Let me preface this by the fact that this list is supposed to be an
> > >Association of Protel EDA ***===>>> USERS <<<===*** ("A Virtual User
> > >  Group"), where: The group functions in two modes:
> > >1. Use of this web page to learn and inform others.
> > >2. Use of the email forums for immediate two way communication
> > >For new members, this web site serves as a starting point to join
> > >[AND FURTHER] It also provides advertising for Protel related products,
> > >services, and employment.
> > >(SEE => http://www.techservinc.com/protelusers/index.html).
> >
> > That is Techserv's statement of purpose for the list. It was written
> > ago, it was the work of one person who did not consult any association.
> But
> > it is true, to be sure, that this is a list for Protel users. However,
> > would wish that Protel *employees* also participated, though I certainly
> > understand why it would be company policy that they do not.
> >
> > >Respecting the latter; "advertising for Protel related products,
> services,
> > >and employment;"  I cannot believe that it was the intent of the list
> > >moderator that such "advertising" should be done without proper
> > >identification and notification.
> >
> > Mr. Smith does seem to be a tad confused here. The statement he quoted
> > from a description of a "virtual user group" and its web site, operated
> > Techserv. Techserv has not encouraged the use of this list for
> advertising.
> > I did once check the advertising policy and get a quote (Techserv sells
> > advertising for this list, but only once has an ad actually appeared
> > as I recall.). The price was not affordable for what I had in mind
> > (advertising broker services for used licenses; one insertion would have
> > cost almost as much as one sale would yield in commission, and sales of
> > used licenses are few and far between).
> >
> > >To be blunt Abdul, in much of what you say in this forum (consisting of
> this
> > >list and other closely related lists), you appear to be a "Shill" for
> > >Protel., and many of your comments seem to gloss over or at least
> to
> > >minimize many severe problems with Protel.
> >
> > That's an opinion. It's not one which might be held by Protel employees.
> > do, however, have a different style in approaching problems with Protel.
> > wish to *support* Protel in making changes that will benefit itself as
> well
> > as the users. In doing this, I do not treat them as a bunch of
> > ill-intentioned, ignorant incompetents, or as evil-minded marketers, as
> > seems to be the wont of some critics.
> >
> > Instead of merely griping about some problem with Protel, I attempt to
> > explain -- if possible -- *why* the program has that deficiency, why it
> may
> > not yet have been corrected -- i.e., the etiology of the bug and its
> > persistence -- instead of purely blaming Protel, while at the same time
> > often point out that the problem could have been solved years earlier.
> > Protel can be improved, and user involvement is crucial in this.
> >
> > When I joined this list, Protel was somewhat of an embattled company
> > respect to its users; the list was full of outrage. I attempted to
> > that. I have lots of evidence that I was successful, among them Protel
> > 99SE, long-time readers of this list will know how effective user input
> was
> > in giving direction to the SE release. But I also know what Protel
> > employees have told me. (One man, very highly placed in the company,
> > "You should never have to pay for a Protel license again, at the very
> least.")
> >
> > But was I paid for this? No. (And I have received no free software from
> > Protel that was not given to others under similar conditions. I.e.,
> CAMtastic.)
> >
> > >When one goes to www.lomaxdesign.com, we find that "LOMAX DESIGN
> > >  CONSULTANTS" provides "Protel design consulting, training and
> support.",
> > >and also "Protel license resale support".
> >
> > Right. I wear a number of hats. "Design consulting" is a fancy name for
> > printed circuit design. "Training and support" is mostly pie-in-the-sky,
> > though two users have hired me by the hour to guide them through their
> > first designs. I think they were satisfied. One came back for more, the
> > other, *at my encouragement*, found this list and uses it frequently.
> >
> > Some time back I noticed that Protel users sometimes had licenses to
> > and these licenses were going for cheap. That seemed strange to me,
> a
> > "used" Protel license is every bit as good as a new one. The problem
> > if I saw it correctly, that resales had a bit of a bad reputation,
> > did not trust that they would not get burned. If someone with a good
> > reputation would start brokering these licenses, buyers *and* sellers
> would
> > benefit. Ahem.
> >
> > I have made a few thousand dollars over the last two years or so. It is
> > very small potatoes, since few Protel users want to sell their licenses.
> > Right now, there is one user who would like to sell, but Protel has
> mangled
> > the used license market with a barrage of "sales" and "specials" and the
> > ATS announcement and all the uncertainty over upgrade costs. Used
> > were going for about 25% off of full price until all this. But the sale
> > meant that one would pay only a tiny bit more for a new license
> ATS.
> >
> > >Further, when we look at one of your responses to another responses to
> > >original post, you specifically admit that "Protel support through this
> > >list, as well as providing other services for Protel users, some of
> > >are for compensation, *is* [your] business"
> >
> > Yes. That is, it is a part of my business. The primary business is
> > circuit design. By providing support to users, I keep my name present,
> > thus companies needing design support might call me. If a few do, it
> > not take many, the time I have spent here is well worth it.
> >
> > I should also mention that I have done one small piece of work for
> > I wrote a guide to something or other, and I was paid, as I recall,
> > $300 to $400. I might do more writing for them, there has been talk of
> > But I would prefer to move toward what I would call "user resource
> > facilitator." I think Protel needs such a person. So I *might* become a
> > Protel employee or paid consultant. But anyone who thinks that my
> > here has been influenced by some reluctance to criticize Protel has
> > not been paying attention. I've said plenty of things on this list that
> > might lead some Protel executives to dislike me.
> >
> > It appears that there may be divisions within the company as to
> philosophy,
> > and I don't know which faction has the upper hand. What goes on
> > within Protel is not very much visible to me, I have only hints from
> > occasional conversations and correspondence.
> >
> > Let's say that I stand for the concept that a company benefits when it
> > makes the benefit of its customers high in its list of priorities, when
> > avoids short-term profit at its customers' expense. Some elements within
> > the company might think that ... insufficiently focused on stockholder
> > profits. In reality, however, stockholders, in a sound economy, are in
> > stock for the long haul, and thus will benefit from a long view. It is
> more
> > officers of the company who might benefit from short-term profit, a kind
> of
> > conflict of interest, the evil effects of which we are now seeing with
> Enron.
> >
> > >I believe that this, especially in light of your defensive posture on
> many
> > >of Protel problems and issues, gives me the right to ask , on behalf of
> the
> > >entire user community represented in this (and related) list, that you
> fully
> > >and completely disclose just exactly what your specific relationship to
> > >Protel and/or Altium in fact is.
> >
> > I think I've done that. Any questions remaining?
> >
> > >The bottom line is this: Protel and/or Altium personnel, both from
> > >management and/or technical support, obviously monitor this (and
> > >list(s), on a regular basis, in an attempt to keep their finger on the
> > >"pulse" (as it were) of the Protel User Community.
> >
> > Yes.
> >
> > >Every time you wax eloquent and philosophize on how Protel is God's
> to
> > >PCB Design and act as if it is perfect and was "sent down from heaven",
> >
> > Actually, I think it would be much better if it were sent down. No,
> > is the product of human labor and shows the marks of that. I.e., it
> > perfect. Together, though, we could make it *much* better, better than
> > Altium could manage on its own.
> >
> > >  and
> > >further, that we should all appreciate the fact that we are so blessed
> be
> > >able to actually use Protel,
> >
> > I feel blessed, yes. I have used other CAD systems. I have not used
> Allegro
> > or Mentor, but I have reason to believe that they would not necessarily
> > better for my applications.
> >
> > Remember, I paid for my Protel license out of my own pocket. It was the
> > best money I ever spent.
> >
> > >  I think you step over the line and actually
> > >perform a disservice to the community by covering up the real problems
> and
> > >giving a false picture to Protel and/or Altium. I believe that this is
> > >especially true in light of the apparent conflicts of interest.
> >
> > The conflicts I have, such as they are, are those which any user would
> have
> > if he were (1) a design consultant or contractor using Protel for
> > and/or (2) helping users to resell licenses (a secondary and very minor
> > item for me). All of which has been quite open and visible.
> >
> > >An example of this would be your advocated position on the limitation
> > >support and service to a short duration from the time of the purchase
> > >Protel, where in reality, not only ethically, but legally as well,
> > >there is a legitimate problem with Protel (as in a legitimate "bug"),
> Protel
> > >is obligated to fix the problem (especially when you consider the cost
> > >the product),  irregardless of how many new releases or service packs
> > >years) it takes.
> >
> > Mr. Smith appears to be under some level of delusion regarding the law.
> > may want to see that, but it (1) hasn't been the case for any software
> > (2) isn't going to be the case. The cost of the product is legally
> irrelevant.
> >
> > Further, I have not "advocated" that Protel not fix old bugs. I have
> merely
> > noted that, at some point, they stop supporting a release. Typically
> > has been after a year or perhaps a few years. This is not new, nor is it
> > unusual. If Mr. Smith thinks I am incorrect, and that what is absolutely
> > common and usual behavior in the software industry, perhaps he could
> > some law or legal precedent.
> >
> > [...]
> > >The bottom line is this, Protel, as a product, still has some very
> serious
> > >shortcommings and serious problems,
> >
> > Serious, yes. Very serious starts to become overstatement. The worst
> > I know about is blind and buried via display behavior, and technically
> that
> > is not a bug (but the lack of an important feature). The router
> > needs improvement, but, again, you get what you pay for.
> >
> > >  and the only way that any of them are
> > >going to get addressed is by calling a bug a bug and holding Protel
> > >accountable to it's users, which I believe is at least one of the
> > >functions of this list.
> >
> > Not a stated one, to be sure. Techserv's strict rules -- mostly
> unenforced,
> > a problem with rules that are overstrict with a population of
engineers --
> > would limit the list to the provision of support, i.e., how do we do
> > or is this a bug and what is a workaround, getting the job done kind of
> > stuff. Ragging on Protel/Altium does not fit that. But this brings us
> > to how the list is managed. I'd have sublists, with users subscribed to
> > *all* by default, and they can unsubscribe from some of them if they
> > Once there is a *place* to do what users want to do, and which will
> > the majority of users except for those who opt out, it would become
> > reasonable to expect users to follow some discipline about where they
> post.
> > Under present circumstances, this list is pretty much *it*.
> >
> > (There are other ways to accomplish this, such as defined abbreviations
> > the Subject line so that users can filter, but a family of lists would
> > very simple to administer and it requires no special software, etc.
> > Actually, we have the family of lists, it is the protel-users family of
> > lists on yahoogroups. But because it has been opt-in instead of opt-out,
> it
> > would not work any better than this list, so if we were to move, if we
> > the subscription list, I'd vote to automatically subscribe everyone to
> > the association lists, with a very easy way to opt out of individual
> > being give to each user. New users, likewise, would be subscribed to all
> > the lists by default. Another advantage of this -- like the subject line
> > solution -- is that it would become simple to move a discussion to
> > list without losing the participants, assuming that most users would
> > subscribe to all the lists. I would, even if I weren't in the position
> that
> > I am in. The accessory lists will always have much less traffic, so
> > is little reason to unsubscribe from them. And if that changes, it is
> > simple to fix.)
> >
> > >In short Abdul, you have contributed immensely to this list, and don't
> for a
> > >minute even think that I am trying to sell you short on that issue,
> because
> > >I am not. But since I have joined this list, over 1 in every 8 post to
> this
> > >list has been made by you, and as you seem to realize and acknowledge
> > >yourself, much of the extraneous verbiage contributed to this list is
> also
> > >from you, and as you yourself have already pointed out in your reply to
> > >response to my original post, that is too much.
> >
> > Perhaps. 1 out of 8? I'd say that is wider participation than I had
> > thought. Given that I can afford to make a point to be here for
support --
> > which is the large bulk of what I do -- I'm glad to see that the ration
> > that low.
> >
> > >In conclusion, I apologize to you Abdul if I have offended you. Please
> > >continue to contribute to the list, as you are, and I am sure will
> continue
> > >to be, an immense help to many, but please at the same time, please
> disclose
> > >your actual relationship with Protel and/or Altium, and dispense with
> > >unwarranted posturing and commentary [...]
> >
> > You know, when you have an employee, sometimes you have to take the bad
> > with the good. One makes a decision about keeping an employee based on
> > overall benefit or harm. But time will tell if my commentary is of
> > or harm.
> >
> > >After all, as you have so conveniently pointed out yourself in your
> initial
> > >reply  to a response to my original post, you are not in fact an actual
> > >"user" of Protel yourself (since you have "arranged for another very
> > >competent designer to do most of [your] design" for you) , and you
> > >are fortunate enough to have a lot of extra free time on your hands.
> >
> > That is a misunderstanding. I am a user. It is just that the balance has
> > shifted, I now spend more time writing than I spend using for actual
> design
> > work (Obviously I use the software when I am writing, which has gotten
> much
> > easier with dual monitors). I don't consider this "free time." Rather, I
> > consider it an essential part of my job. I've got lots of other stuff to
> > do, which often suffers because I write. Maybe I will write less and do
> > some of these other things. But not because of Mr. Smith's critique,
> though
> > perhaps I may thank him for reminding me of certain things. Again, time
> > will tell.
> >
> > >Most importantly, as Bob Jones stated in his post in response to this
> issue,
> > >"For all of those who contribute to this forum, please do not stop!
> > >been a huge help". [...]
> >
> > And I intend to do what I can to make it even better. I do have ideas,
> some
> > of which might involve working more closely with Altium. Again, we'll
> >
> >
> > Abdulrahman Lomax
> > Easthampton, Massachusetts USA

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