We should have all seen this announcement.  This was the first time I saw
the October, 2001 date referenced as the grandfather date for free ATS
support.  I previously thought that all the 99SE users would get ATS and
hence the DXP update at no charge for the first year.  This does not appear
to be the case.  Now my question is when should I pay the $2000 to start my
ATS subscription?

I use Protel as a support function for by business. It does not directly pay
for it's cost with billed PCB layout services and as such the $2000 a year
is a bit steep considering that an entire year may pass without receiving an
update worth the price.  This happened in 1994? when Protel went stale after
version 2.3/2.8. For several years nothing was done to the product to fix
some major bugs.  I can't see that happening here as they will have plenty
of money to keep things fixed but there is no guarantee.

I just sent Brent an email suggesting the Protel have several ATS options to
keep some of the less professional users from having to go the way of more
hobbyist programs.  What if there were an ATS option that provided bug fixes
for the current version to the tune of a few hundred dollars a year ($500).
One could argue that this is stuff that should be fixed anyway because we
originally paid for a product that should be productive.  If a major update
should come along during this period there would be a major update fee, say
$2000.  Those that want to wait for the features that are most valuable to
their business would pay the larger amount but would know what they were
getting for the extra $500.  The PCB professionals would continue to get the
full program at $1995.

This system would work better for me as the current changes in DXP don't
really excite me, although I would like to finally try the autorouter and
have it work.

What do you all think?  Single fee or a two part option?

Charlie Jenkins
Reference Design


-----Original Message-----
From: Brent Smith [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]]
Sent: Monday, March 18, 2002 1:59 AM




Protel DXP brings a host of new and enhanced PCB features such as:

*  Situs - Altium's Topological Autorouting technology
*  Native support for multi-channel design and design variants 
*  Enhanced error checking and synchronization 
*  The integration of VHDL design entry
*  Support for integrated component libraries that link schematic symbols to
footprints, simulation models and signal integrity models
*  Support for major third-party version control systems such as Microsoft
Visual SourceSafe
*  Enhanced documentation and reporting features



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