In my experience Protel versions 3.0, 98 and 99 were "flaky". Protel 99SE with SP6 is 
stable. I aggree with you on SP7. There are things to be corrected.


-----Original Message-----
From: JaMi Smith [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]]
Sent: Saturday, 7 September 2002 6:41 PM
To: Protel EDA Forum
Cc: JaMi Smith
Subject: Re: [PEDA] KLUNK! - Whats wrong with this picture.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Tony Karavidas" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "'Protel EDA Forum'" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Friday, September 06, 2002 9:14 PM
Subject: Re: [PEDA] KLUNK! - Whats wrong with this picture.

> Jami,
> Do you have the ability to install P99SE on a different machine? (I
> can't remember if you've indicated that before). I think your frequent
> crashes are pretty unusual.


Over the past year, most of my problems have been on either a Dell Model
4100 1GHz Pentium III or once that was upgraded, on a Dell Model 535 2.3Ghz
Pentium 4, at work.

I then purchased my own license, and now have my own copy of Protel 99 SE
SP6 installed on my own IBM Model 6648 NetVista 866 MHz Pentium III at home.

I actually just think that the crashes are just a matter of usage, and the
reason it has been so high in the past several weeks is that the total usage
has been an average of about 12 hours a day, with occasions reaching up to
18 hours straight.

When I push Protel, it crashes!

When Protel crashes, I scream and yell!

I don't think that I am having more crashes than some others out there, I
just think that I may have a slightly higher usage, and be much much more
vocal and much much less tolerant about the crashes.

I really really think that is as simple as that.

I think that far far too many people out there have become accustomed to
their systems crashing on them from time to time for one reason or another,
and actually think nothing of it. Many accept it as the "cost of doing
business" as it were, and in some cases actually blame it on themselves
thinking that it was something that they might have done wrong, or that for
some reason the hardware or software combination that they have just does
not live up to Protel's requirements and expectations.

I have heard some people insist that their system is rock solid, and never
crashes, and yet these are the very same people who admit that they have
occasionally seen "hidden processes" or "phantom copies" of Protel still
running when they go to shut their system down.

This is not normal.

This is not how software is supposed to run.

Especially when that software is currently costing $8,000.00 a copy.

It is not simply a fluke.

It is not something that you did wrong.

It is not that you have a flaky system.

It is simply inexcusable blunders and oversights in programming.

It really and truly is that Protel really and truly is flaky software.

If nothing else, what we have learned today is that Protel can't even
perform the simplest of functions of terminating its own program correctly
and returning control and resources to the operating system, without making
an error.

This is fundamental.

This is an obvious blunder.

And this problem has been there all of the time.

I know that there may be some in this forum who would take issue and try to
say that this is not a big problem, and my answer to them is simply that we
really do not know how big the problem is since we do not have the source
code and can therefore not really understand what is or is not happening,
and I don't think that that is really the issue here anyway.

I think the issue here is that this "KLUNK!" problem proves beyond any
shadow of a doubt that there are in fact some very basic software bugs and
problems in Protel 99 SE, and that Protel / Altium has really never looked
at the software from a stability and reliability standpoint to see whether
or not there really are problems there when people have complained of

Do you realize the magnitude of this blunder!

What we have found out here today is something as basic and fundamental as
writing your very first "hello world!" program in C, and having it crash on
exiting "main".

Whether or not it causes other problems is secondary to the fact that it is
a programming blunder of monumental proportions, and the jury is not really
in on whether or not it causes any other problems.

These are the same people who are now trying to sell you another "can of
worms" called DXP.

I apologize for my little soap box oratory here,  and it is certainly not my
intention to offend anyone or start another battle of words, but this is
Problem Number One in Introduction to Fundamental Programming 101, on How to
Properly Terminate any Program, and Protel / Altium has flunked the course.

I believe that this problem needs to be widely publicized, and Protel /
Altium needs to be pressured into "stepping up to the plate" and taking
responsibility for the problem, and promising to do something about it, for
all current Protel 99 SE users and customers.

There are many Protel 99 SE customers out there that have a monumental
investment in Protel 99 SE software, and simply cannot afford to "upgrade"
to DXP to solve the existing problems and shortcomings with Protel 99 SE.

Don't you find it a little ironic that all of the Altium "Management" from
the CEO on down is scrambling to pacify every whim of the users in the DXP
Forum so that they can convince everyone that they have a real viable
product and that they have real viable technical support, so that everyone
will think that they should buy into DXP and ATS so that they can make more

The primary problem with that scenario is that they have not delivered the
technical support on Protel 99 SE, and the company has undergone a
noticeable shift from people  of technical expertise to people who are money
managers and dream salesmen.

These are the same people who want you to believe that they now know how to
program all of your dreams come true into a software package called DXP, and
further, that once they have your money, they will continue to have their
CEO and all of their Managers answer all of your questions and provide you
with technical support.

I believe that Protel / Altium needs to support their current customers with
their current products before they can expect their current customers to
support them with any new products.

I have previously stated here in this forum that I believe that Protel /
Altium needs to do many things to reach out to their customers, such as
"toll" the time limit on ATS until they have a viable DXP Product, and let
everyone's "1 year of ATS" start from that point in time, and additionally,
create and issue a Service Pack 7 for Protel 99 SE free of charge to those
customers who bought into Protel 99 SE at either a Service Pack 5 or 6
level, and charge a reasonable fee to older customers.

Most of all, I believe that the Protel / Altium customers need to take
advantage of the current "problems" with both Protel 99 SE and DXP, and the
current "attentiveness" of the "CEO and Management" (at least in the DXP
Forum) and use it to "leverage" Protel / Altium out of their  current "chase
the money and the stock market" mode and get them into a "deliver and
maintain a technically sound product" mode.

I made the statement above that "this problem has been there all of the
time", and it has.

Just how long is that?

Well let me put it this way. If you have a copy of Protel 98 up and running
somewhere, you might want to perform the "KLUNK!" test on that.

Yes boys and girls, at least that long.

Maybe longer.

The real point here is that it is a fundamental bug, and it is eminently
provable to be just that, a basic, fundamental, programming 101 type bug,
and it is probably one of the primary reasons that Protel is, and always has
been, "flaky", in some installations, in spite of the fact that others
"swear by it" and say that they never have seen the system crash.

Yes, "flaky".

As in "unstable".

Yes, Protel 99 SE is in fact "flaky".

Is there any reason to think that Protel / Altium can and will do any better
in programming and supporting DXP than they have Protel 98, Protel 99, and
Protel 99 SE.

My Sincere apologies if I have offended anybody, for any reason, by this
post, and it is not my intent to argue over the "finer points" of whether or
not "KLUNK!" is responsible for all of the years of instability in Protel
Products, because we will never truly know the answer to that question until
Protel / Altium fixes the problem with Service Pack 7, and we are allowed to
test drive it for ourselves.

The bottom line is this:

No one can insist that any software application is "stable" when it exhibits
such a fundamental programming error as "KLUNK!" for such a long period of

Respectfully submitted,

JaMi Smith

* Tracking #: 1CA90CE5BD5DDF4F91DF9520748770B2536FD240

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