Please see below,


----- Original Message -----
From: "Dennis Saputelli" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "Protel EDA Forum" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Saturday, September 07, 2002 1:25 PM
Subject: Re: [PEDA] Altium - Have your cake and eat it too!

> well this sounds like a pitch for SP7 among other things
> while i would certainly be entirely in favor of that i am not going to
> hold my breath

Yes, among other things . . .

> to strike to the heart of the matter here is to consider whether Altium
> will survive the DXP disaster at all

Well, look at the bright side of things. If Altium does not survive, then we
can replicate the existing P99SE as an open source multi person project in
relatively short order, and then do our own SP7.

Altium may go down, but I believe that the application and the customers
will in fact survive without them.

In fact, it would be a very easy thing for a few key players out here to
update the features of the existing Protel 99 SE by rewriting or updating
some existing servers, and adding some new servers with the existing SDK,
and if Altium were to go down, I am sure that there would be a real market
for that kind of service, and I would be willing to bet that there are more
than a few people out there who could make up a fairly good "technical
support bureau" for a fee that would be a only a fraction of the price of

But that's another story, I have faith that Altium will step up to the plate
and do the right thing.

> they have put themselves in a trick bag
> if they are still around in a year they certainly won't be patching 99SE
> or improving it at that time
> if they work on patching and improving 99SE now, they might undermine
> and dissipate their efforts to get DXP in shape

This may be true in some respects, but SP7 could probably be handled by one
competent programmer, and if some of the speculation is true and all of the
"old school" has been replaced with a new crew, than maybe it is time to
bring back one of the "old school" to do the job.

It certainly would not cost Altium anything in either time or money to
"commit" to doing both SP7 and DXP at this point in time, and it certainly
would quell the storm among the restless natives who are sharpening their
spears and dancing around the bon fires as we speak.

I don't think that many people out there realize just what kind of a real
legal bind Altium will really be in if they don't deliver in a real and
substantial way with ATS by October 1st, which is only weeks away. I mean
they will be subjecting them selves to some breach of contract lawsuits by
some of their very large customers which have large legal departments just
sitting around waiting to jump at the chance to do something.

Can you imagine the field day that the trade press and stock markets will
have if Altuim does not make good.

It is not DXP that is the problem, it is ATS, it is the "support", or more
specifically, the lack thereof, and if Altium does not come thru on the
"support" they may be in big trouble.

They have been hoping that everyone would accept an upgrade to DXP in lieu
of  that "support" which they have actually not provided, but come October
first it will be time for many customers out there to write the next big
check for ATS "support", and can you imagine what will happen when they find
out there has been no "support", and DXP is still "smoke and mirrors"?

As for whether or not continuing to maintain Protel 99 SE would in fact cut
into the "projected market share" of DXP, I really don't think so.

DXP really is not an upgrade but a totally different product. Those that are
going to buy it have either already bought it (via ATS), are going to buy it
anyway, and those that are not going to buy it are not going to buy it
anyway, whether or not Altium realizes it.

Some people are just not ready for this supposedly "new technology", or
"next generation" in EDA software.

Sure, there are a few in the middle that are sitting on the fence, but I
would maintain that they are few in number compared to all those that they
could maintain as loyal customers if the did do the right thing with Protel
99 SE, and then when those customers really were in fact ready to step up to
the "new technology" and the "next generation", they would for the most part
remain loyal and step up to DXP at that time, by which then will possibly
have evolved into a very stable product.

As it stands, they stand to loose customers by the droves.

> i don't see an easy out for either them or us, unless they have more
> resources and integrity than appears to be the case

They truly do have to walk a very fine line here, and one mis-step in any
direction could indeed spell disaster for them.

I think that the key word here is "integrity", but I wonder at times whether
Altium really realizes that and just how important it is to their survival.

Respecting the resources part of the deal, I think it may be time to get rid
of some of the mid and upper level management and financial "gurus" that got
them into this predicament in the first place, and you can bet that that
would "free up" a lot of "resources".

> in short, i fear that we are screwed

Alas, you may be right.

> i sincerely hope that i am proven wrong about all of my speculations
> above

And a hearty me too!


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