>OK, so how many more apps are we going to devote an entire machine to?  If I
>did this, there would be no room in my office for me!  I already have 4 PCs
>(Linux server, 486 hackbox, W2K CADzilla, W95 print server) on/under my
>desk, 2 printers, and the usual test equipment (LA, scope, PS, etc.)!  And
>they are all used each day.  The areas under and behind my desk look like
>the aftermath of an explosion at a wire factory!
point taken and for small companies this is a problem . if i look around 
here we have dedicated computers for almost anything :

Dedicated Sun Ultrasparcs to run Synopsys on , dedicated Ultrasparcs to 
run digital layout
dedicated ultrasparcs to run analog layout , dedicated pc server to run 
mathlab , dedicated fileservers , dedicated printservers , dedicated 
machine to run simulations , dedicated CAD stations , and then 
everyone's desktop PC runs all the other junk ( office , internet, 
email, proect, etc ).

And guess which machines i have most trouble with ? The desktop machine 
that barf up all the time all over the place because of 500 things 
running at the same time. The others very rarely get into trouble , and 
if they do its a hardware problem ( disk , mouse keyboard monitor ) or a 
true bug in the software and not something cause by another program 
interfering.with another

Since you are really cramped from what i can make out r : Here is my 
optimisation : ( this is what i  actually do in our cramped 2500 square 
feet lab )

Dump the w95 print server and use a networkable printer or a printserver 
box like made by netgear or use the linux box to serve the printers.
Cadzilla can run protel.
the hackpc remains the hackpc. ( everyone needs a pc with wires soldered 
on the motherboard , believe me , i do this all the time in the lab. NO 
joke ! )
Use the linuxbox to surf the web.
Use a KVM switch ( there are KVM's thatr can be controlled from the 
keyboard these days by hitting scroll lock twice followed by the number 
of the port you want to connect ) and get yourself a nice 18 inch LCD an 
a pendulum arm so you can move it out of the way when not needed. Get a 
wireless mouse and keyboard ( no more cables )
Get slim tower cases and bolt them on a bearing mounted tray underneath 
the desk. They are out of the way and you can wheel them out when you 
need access to them.

For the testequipment:. HP makes a real neat USB connected logic 
analyser. Or get one of their Infiniium MegaZoom machines. Tenma makes a 
very compact 3 channel power supply , function generator , multimeter 
and frequency counter in one box. You can stash all test equipment on a 
19 inch wide space on top of each other with the lcd 'floating' in front 
of it. Need access to machines : push the lcd up, play with the 
connections and then move the lcd back down. The PC's are hanging 
underneath the table in the same spot. that leaves the rest of the desk 
area wide open for whatever board you are working on.

The only machnine still on the desktop is the 'hack-pc'

This is of course an enormous investment and for small labs it might be 
chaper to jst add another wing to it.

>I refuse to devote an entire machine to CAD only.  If that's the way CAD
>software is designed, then to hell with it - that's poor design.
unfortunately that is the way 99 % of the software is designed ( not 
only cad software) . very few software vendors test the behaviour of 
their tool to when running togetehr with other programs. , and this is 
an impossible task to begin with you would have to try all versions all 
combination of any existing program.  The problem is the Os's are leaky 
and intermingle applications.
And that DOES include Unix and Linux
If we would be able to have virtual machines running that can not 
intermingle then a lot of problems would disappear.
Again : It is sad to have to dedicate machines to one application , but 
until everybody starts writing clean applications that is what we have 
to do.

>For what it's worth, Protel 99SE running on W2K works pretty well, no
>resource limitations like in W9X.  Just don't switch the focus while 99SE is
>loading!  And don't select a non-existent network printer!
yep . the non existent printer. And who's fault is that ? protel ? No ! 
Windows ! . Windows should not report non existing printer to protel. ( 
ive seen other programs report non existing printers.) , or have a 
hndler that dumps the printout to the bit-bucket and tells you to try 
again to an existing printer this time.

    /____________/  Vincent Himpe
   // _____  ___/   Lab Manager
  / \ \   / /  /    ST Microelectronics
 /___\ \ / /  /     5510 Six Forks Road . Suite 200
/______//_/__/      Raleigh NC 27612

                    Tel : (919) 850 6070
                    Fax : (919) 850 6689
                    e-mail : [EMAIL PROTECTED]


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