Sorry for the delay in responding.

The first things beyond simple hand taping that were in anyway pointed
towards the automation that we have today in the world of PCB Design were to
make "photo masters" on "stable film" which were generated on a Gerber
Scientific "X-Y Co-odinatograph" which we used in a darkened room and
manually cranked (dialed) in the proper X and Y co-ordinates and then
"flashed" an "aperture" for the given type of "pad" that was required at
that specific location. After many hours, and sometimes days, of doing this,
providing we did not make a mistake, we would have a "photo master" of a
standard array of standard 16 pin dips, with a board outline and edge
connector, which would then be duplicated on stable film to serve as a basis
of hand taped artworks on the Burroughs 3600 Computer.

In the mid seventies, I was introduced to a program that was run on the old
"Time Share" network which required you to enter data in a bizzare format
thru your 110 baud ASR33 Teletype (still have one of those in my basement)
and wait a day or two for a program that was written in ALGOL to "solve"
your optimum plavement and layout, which information would come back over
the Teletype. Can't even remember the name of the program, but you still had
to hand tape the resultant "placement" and "layout".

In the late seventies I used a Gerber X-Y table to "scribe" rubylith.

Somewhere in the early eighties while at TRW, believe it or not, we actually
began to use Lockheed CADAM for a while, which was a Mechanical CAD System,
to make PCB "Artworks" where we would "draw" a board outline and card edge
connector for a PCB, and then "draw" a line with a specific line thicknesses
(for traces) and symbols (for pads), rather than "Tape" them by hand on

Somewhere along the line, probably in the early to mid eighties, there was
DOS Tango.

Also while at TRW I also used the Bell Northern CBDS system, and also did a
little work on the early Mentor systems (pre Board Station (on appolo

Somewhere about 85 or 86, whenever it came out, when I was still at TRW, we
were one of the first to acquire Cadnetix (I still have a functional 5000S
system pedistal and monitor of my own which I am just now looking at).

In the late eighties, I worked with Mentor Board Station 6, and then in the
early ninties with Dasix (who bought out Cadnetix), and again with CBDS, and
had some training on AutoTrax.

In the mid ninties there was again some Cadnetix and a little bit on
VeriBest and Pads PowerPCB (which continues on an occasional basis until now
(with some occasional use of other older versions of Pads sprinkeled in at a
few other times in the past)).

Late ninties thru now, mostly Protel 98 and Protel 99 SE, most of which was
forced on me by employers, however, I have become quite proficient at Protel
99SE inspite of its shortcommings and bugs (yes Ian, bugs), so in view of
the recent state of the economy and my failure to believe that it can
sustain the industry without possible business failures and layoff's in the
electronic sector, I decided to "bite the bullet" and purchase my own copy
of Protel 99 SE several months ago, just in case I need to fall back on

Hopefully this will establish to you that I have been around for a few years
in the PCB Design business, and have used my fair share of systems, enough
anyway so as to be able to realistically "critique" a product such as Protel
99 SE.

I have experience with other Mechanical and Schematic systems, but those
appear to be outside the scope of your question.


* * * * * * * * * *

----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael Reagan (EDSI)" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "Protel EDA Forum" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Friday, July 26, 2002 8:25 AM
Subject: Re: [PEDA] Jami's Protel Bugs.

> Jami,
> I would like to hear what other programs you have experience with for PCB
> design and why you chose Protel for your design system or did you get
> with it
> Mike Reagan
> Frederick MD
> ************************************************************************
> * Tracking #: 7ACE67F3FE28654DAC7A5F36D5E712596A1F4D0E
> *
> ************************************************************************

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