I suspect others of you also received this flyer or will get it in the next 
day or two. Wondering what your reactions are. I see a number of things:

1) Now they want to SELL me the Tasking compiler toolset for the 8051 
processor that I'll never use, for $800US. Maybe that's why they never 
delivered the copy which they promised as being free to all registered 99SE 
licensees last Fall?

2) They still claim they'll release Phoenix ("the next generation Protel 
design suite") within Q1 2002. Since beta test has apparently not yet even 
started, I'm guessing with consideable confidence that it will be either very 
buggy or very late. Maybe both, as managers scramble to avoid the 
embarrassment of another schedule slip....

3) I'm curious to see if the new VHDL capability is actually going to be 
useful, as I have some design work to do in that arena next year. Hopefully 
it will be better than the toy support for PLDs in 99SE.

4) I'm anxiously awaiting a look at what they mean by "integrated components 
and libraries". If that means their programmers are going to strap some more 
constraints on our backs, goodbye. But if it means that the designers of the 
supplied schematic and PCB libraries might actually talk to one another, so 
that the libraries work together without major bugs, that would be a serious 
improvement. Of course, it's nothing more than a bug fix. I and many others 
who have posted here completely avoid the Protel libaries because they're so 
full of bugs.

5) Since they again tout their "powerful simulation tools and extensive 
project and document management features", but they don't indicate any new 
"features" of those tools, I'm wondering if it's just the same old junk, 
repackaged. "Working" would by itself be a wonderful new feature.

Don't get me wrong - I use and like Protel for schematic capture and PCB 
layout. But the bugs remain annoying, and the other highly touted features 
are a joke. Here's hoping Altium has been listening to this list a whole lot 
more than their new image leads me to believe. I'm still skeptical.....

Steve Hendrix

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