Yip, I too have a 6 month copy of Tsien BoardMaker 3, got send for free as
an existing (mid 1990's) Boardmaker customer.

I haven't used it yet, but this DXP major changes, ATS and associated
pricing fiasco has got us seriously looking at other far more cost effective
solutions. I wonder if Protel realise what it is doing to its existing "have
purchased upgrades and support since V1.0 customers".

In our company before Protel we used Boardmaker (V1 I think) so moving to V3
should not be too much of a problem.

Also price is 250 per year for the first seat and 125 per year for the
second, is unbeleivable compared to ATS for one seat.

See http://www.tsien.co.uk

After reading all the DXP comments I feel I should be spending my time
evaluating Boardmaker rather than DXP.

ian

> -----Original Message-----
> From: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
> [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]]
> Sent: 05 September 2002 10:19
> To: Protel EDA Forum
> Subject: [PEDA] Hard Look at other Programms
>
>
>
> I just thought I'd throw you guys my 2c worth and another option.
>
> Around 6 months ago I found myself in a position where I needed
> to do some
> design work at home - we use Protel98 at work - so I downloaded
> the demo for
> 99SE and started to use it. Disapointingly, I came across the some of the
> same "issues" that I see at work and started to look around
> before stumping up.
> I contacted several companies including a UK company called
> "Tsien" (spelt like
> that) and when I mentioned that I was looking at Protel, they
> quite literally
> gave me a full copy of their system "on trial" for 6 months, no questions
> asked. It has some features missing, in particular, there's no
> autorouter, but
> it's got some features that leave others standing:
>
> Very impressive plane and split plane control with an automatic
> thermal break
> generation tool and a built-in plane viewing facility. Trace ploughing is
> dynamic!! no repouring polygons at all.
>
> True rotation of SMD parts by any angle - even polygon and
> rectangular pads get
> plotted correctly in the gerber (this has been a great bugbear
> for me in the
> past because I often design irregularly shaped boards).
>
> Pin swapping from the PCB editor with automatic back annotation of the
> schematic.
>
> Bill of Materials export to CSV format and reverse field stuffing
> in parts from
> excel
>
> Via tenting control on an individual basis - really useful for those BGAs
>
> In the (integrated) schematic tool, they've got a mechanism for
> getting power
> connetions displayed on a part by part basis. No more hidden
> connections and no
> more explicit power pins to be connected (Hooray). The text with
> the power
> ("global" as they call it) connections changes automatically if you the
> connections.
>
> Annotation of parts is completely under user control although the
> mechansim for
> creating the parts in the first takes some getting your head round.
>
>
> There are loads of tools that I haven't played with. In
> particular, I've just
> had a realease from them which has a star earth return feature to
> allow nets to
> be connected without erroneous DRC errors. Not played with it yet.
>
>
> It's coming to the crunch time when my free trial license runs
> out and Craig
> Elison's comments exactly matched what I thought at the beginning
> - "I could
> fall in love with it and then find I can't afford it.  I also
> would have wasted
> my time evaluating the demo." I asked the Tsien people again and
> again about
> the pricing. It is leased at  250 a year which includes all the
> new versions,
> no capital outlay - it's pin money.
>
> For the record, I have no personal connections with Tsien.
>
>
>
> Kiernan Fitzpatrick
>
>
>
>
> ************************************************************************
> * Tracking #: CD32527E7C1D9C46B123E98DD4928916F7058F29
> *
> ************************************************************************
>

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