----- Original Message -----
From: "Tony Karavidas" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: JaMi Smith [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]]


> >
> > Protel 99 SE is at a minimum very instable with Microsoft Mouse Drivers,
> > especially with Microsoft Intellimosue software and a "wheel mouse".
> > bug has been acknowledged in the "knowledge base" as far back as
> > Protel 98,
> > where the reccommended correction has for years been "install the
> > mouse driver" (which is some trick since all Microsoft Operating Systems
> > have been shipping with Intellimouse software for several years now).
> No it's not unstable. (Not for me at least) That is exactly what I'm using
> for a mouse.
> I'm using whatever driver that came with Win2000.
> You're referring to a driver that was around in 1998. Have you tried using
> newer version????
> I'm unaware of the problem for none of those reasons. So you admit:
> ...sightly different or slightly modified
> "Intellimouse" software that doesn't have the problem... and still proceed
> to blame Protel?? That's a pretty lame position and a poor use of logic.
> Surely you can attribute some of the blame on MS mouse driver writers?
> P99SE is very stable for me and many others when used on WinNT or Win2000.

I am talking about July of last year with an almost new (less than 6 months
old) Dell Dimension 4100 (1 GHz Pentium III), with Windows 2000
Professional, Office 2000 Professional, a brand new Microsoft Wheel Mouse,
and a brand new "out of the box" installation of Protel 99 SE with Service
Pack 6.

Although my employer did have 2 other seats of Protel 99 SE at the time I
was hired, they Purchased a third seat for me, and the "keyboard / mouse"
issue was a problem from day one.
Please note that one existing Protel 99 SE seat was used by an an engineer
who only did schematic entry, and the other was used by someone relatively
new to Protel who did not know anything about keyboard shortcuts, and always
did everything the "long" way thru the pull down menus. The only problem he
had was Protel crashing alot in PCB.

Back to my new system and installation, although please note that the
ultimate results were identical for all 3 virtually identical installations
the company had.

The minute you touched the "wheel" on the mouse, Protel lost contact with
most of the keyboard (virtually none of the keyboard shortcuts worked,
although you still had PgUp and PgDn, and a few other keys (although
sometimes you would loose these also), although the keyboard would still
work within a Dialogue Box. The system also began to crash on a regular
basis, although never before had it crashed until Protel was installed on
it, and then it only crashed in Protel.

The Official Protel response from the 800 number which reached only the
sales people in the San Diego Office at that time, who would not allow me to
talk to anyone in technical support, was that technical support said that it
was not a problem and it would not even be addressed or fixed until the next
release of the software. This was Protel's Official response to a brand new
customer who had just spent $8000.00 plus California Sales Tax at 8.75%. All
they could say was that it was not a bug. New customer on a new system
crashing 7 or 8 times a day and it was not a problem. They could not even
point me to any solution.

I was left to resolve the issue myself, and ultimately tracked it down to
the "wheel" and the Intellimouse software, and once I did that I found out
that you could disable the "wheel" in the for the certain applications in
the Intellimouse software, which I did for "Client 99". This resolved the
loss of the ability to use the keyboard shortcuts, but did not resolve the
frequent crashes of Protel.

I ultimately found that this problem had been identified and listed as a
problem and mentioned in the "knowledge base" continuously all the way back
to Protel 98, but the "sales person" in San Diego couldn't even tell me that
much, and I also had to find that out on my own.

I also eventually found this forum, which has been of some help. The problem
here is that in general everybody refuses to realize or acknowledge that
this (as with many other things) is a bug, notwithstanding the fact that it
has been acknowledged in the "knowledge base" for years and pops up here in
the forum on a regular basis. Most people here appear to love Protel and
hate Microsoft, so the blame always gets shifted to Microsoft or if not
them, the implied "stupid user".

It was only after several months of using the Microsoft wheel mouse with the
Intellimouse software "wheel" disabled for Protel, that I realized that the
mouse "wheel" had always worked well on a previous employers Protel 98 and
Protel 99 (in both Windows 95 and NT) which used a Logitech wheel mouse, and
also the trial version of Protel 99 SE that I had at home which also used a
Logitech wheel mouse.

I bought my own Logitech cordless wheel mouse for work, and installed the
Logitech "Mouseware", and magically the problems went away, and not just the
problems with the keyboard, but all of the problems that I had been having.

It was great to have both the wheel and the keyboard shortcuts all back at
the same time, but more importantly, the system stopped crashing.

Plain and simple. The system stopped crashing on a regular basis. I went
from 7 or 8 "crash and reboots" a day, down to about 1 a week, if that.

"Microsoft Bashing" is not the answer, anymore than "Protel Bashing". The
real answer is for a software developer the size of Protel / Altium to have
a functional relationship with Microsoft. They should be a member of the
Microsoft Development Network where they would get regular updates on
software and problems, and more importantly, they would get real Microsoft
Technical Support on issues such as this. Yes it cost a few sheckels to join
the "MDN", probably a few grand a year, certainly more than I can afford,
but there is no excuse in the world for Protel / Altium not to be a member.
Sometimes I wonder if they even know that the "MDN" and other forms of
Microsoft Support available to OEM Software Developers exists.

The real issue is that statements like:
> No it's not unstable. (Not for me at least) That is exactly what I'm using
> for a mouse.
> I'm using whatever driver that came with Win2000.
gloss over the problem. The operative phrase is "(Not for me at least)", and
that is a primary indication that could in fact be a Protel problem, simply
by virtue of the fact that it is so inconsistant. (In reality, the very
nature of the problem itself points the finger at Protel).

I would almost be willing to bet that if all of the Logitech Mouse users out
there were to reinstall their operating systems fresh and not reinstall
their "Mouseware", and scrounged another mouse with a wheel for a test (did
not use the Logitech mouse) that 50% of them would find out that they have
the problem.

While companies such as Microsoft do there best to see that different pieces
of hardware from different suppliers all work the same in their Operating
Systems, we all know that the simple truth of the matter is that they don't.
Part of this is Microsoft, and part of this is the different manufacturers
who write the different drivers for their own products.

I could accept some of the Microsoft Bashing and pointing the blame
elsewhere if in fact Protel / Altium would specify a "Golden System" (a
specific brand of hardware in a specific configuration) that their software
was guarenteed to work perfectly with, but they haven't and apparently
won't. I therefore maintain that Protel / Altium is responsible for making
sure that there software will work properly with any relativey new "generic"
hardware running "generic" installations of the Operating Systems software
they "claim" Protel will "run on" (Windows 95, 98, 2000, and NT), using
"generic" periferials (any somewhat "standard" mouse (as in Microsoft), or
printer (as in HP)). We all demand this this for any other software we buy,
why not Protel.


> > > >2. ) I am also betting that the anti-intuitave panning is still there
> I disagree completely. PADS PowerPCB does it the way you request and it
> sucks. I keep having to find the area of interest because it jumped
> somewhere on my screen. Yes, it's more or less in the center, but my eyes
> weren't in the center before the jump so I have to focus in on it. That
> isn't natural.
> I like the way Protel did it. It keeps the item in my original focus still
> in focus after the zoom operation.

Funny that you mention your eyes and "original focus".

In reality, you have to completely "re-focus" on the "new image" after a
zoom in or out irregardless of where the cursor is. Sorry, I wont buy this

Most people "look around" at different points of an image such as that
presented by the Protel display screen. and in fact usually zoom in or out
so that they can observe either more of a certain portion of that image, or
view a certain portion closer and in more detail.

Forgive me. I believe your arguement is simply not realistic.

I believe that your only valid arguement would be personal preferences.
Personal preferences will vary from user to user. Personal preferences will
also sometimes change within as short a time as a few days or weeks when the
same user gets a new toy to play with, such as a  new version of the same
software that might implement something differently. All said and done,
Protel is still the odd man out in the industry.

Why? I am beginning to boil it down to either one of two posibilities.
Protel software programmers and developers either don't know what the rest
of the world has been doing for the past 25 years, or they simply "don't
care" and are going to do it their way anyway.


> Use the home key...it's 1 cm away from the page up key. I would think by
> you could find it without looking for it. If you dont like that,
> right-mouse-button drag the screen.

Why do I have to hit one more key?

I am not as keyboard proficient as many other people out there are, and I
usually have to "look" at the keyboard to find the Home key (which is
actually almost 4 cm away (center to centrer)), and then "look" again to put
my fingers back on the PgUp and PgDn keys to continue zooming in or out.

Thats the problem! Talk about loosing your "original focus" and then having
to re-aquire it again! I believe your arguement regarding keeping things "in
focus" (as it were) actually works in favor of having the zoomed image
"center" about the cursor after a zoom, just like the rest of the world does
it, rather than looking for and pressing another key.

> > You may like it, but it is "non-standard" to say the least.

Respecting "right mouse click", it would be great if that would work, but it
doesn't work as a "nested operation" in all cases (you have to stop what you
were doing and then "re-aquire" whatever you were doing after the "pan",
which is even worse than having to perfoem an extra keystroke with the Home
key, and additionally it "drops" you out of some functions just as if you
hit the Escape key.

Consistancy. Consistancy. Consistancy. Is that too much to ask for?
Apparently so.


> Can MS answer your technical questions when they are awake? I don't see
> difference there. :)

See  above regarding the Microsoft Development Network.


> > > >3. ) I am also betting that Protel's "Print Dialogue" box is also
> > > >backwards as compared to the rest of the world . . .
> > > >


> Wrong. If you read the dialog that is invoked, it's called "Schematic
> Printer Setup" Since printing is more complex in Protel than it is for
> other apps, they put you in the setup before launching a zillon pages that
> you didn't want. The OK simply allows you to save the printing
> configuration. It doesn't do what everybody else's cancel button does. A
> cancel button should do exactly what it says: Cancel. It should not allow
> any dialog boxes to retain edits after the cancel is invoked.
> > Protel has the PRINT button on the left in a NON-STANDARD POSITION.
> So what?

You have totally lost me here on this one, what has "Schematic" got to do
with anything.

My arguement is that Protel is not consistant with the rest of the world,
and worse than that, it is not even consistant within itself.

Call me a "stupid user" - this is minimally a productivity issue when
switching between different applications.

Again, is it that Protel just doesn't know that the rest of the world is
different or is it that that they just don't care.

The more I think about it I am beginning to conclude that it is the latter,
and if not that, then they are simply not paying attention to the world
around them.


> > This really is a bad sign, isn't it. What you're really telling me is
> > these and many other things have not been fixed.
> He didn't tell you anything about what's been fixed or not because it
> probably be in violation of the NDA.

I wasn't talking about any NDA, but I kinda thought that his "tone" spoke
volumes, just as if he was saying that I had actually been a beta tester and
already actually knew that none of these things had been fixed. In short,
accusing me of already knowing nothing had changed.

JaMi Smith

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