----- Original Message -----
From: "Tony Karavidas" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "'Protel EDA Forum'" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Saturday, September 07, 2002 3:04 PM
Subject: Re: [PEDA] DXP - Crunch time?


Snip

>                   . . . What, are you going to sue
> them? Read the EULA. Read any EULA. > boards.
>

Actually, I have the dubious distinction of once personally having put a CAD
/ EDA company out of business, virtually singlehandedly, in spite of a
contract that makes todays EULA's look like a peice of toilet paper.

The company was Design Aids Inc., and the product  was "DS1" (for Drafting
System 1), and their President was Roger Rutman, and it was in the fall of
1983 (or possibly 84).

To make a long story short, Design Aids was a Schematic Drafting system that
appeared in the late seventies, that was beautiful, and was used to
"front-end' several early systems such as SCI-Cards [sic?] and Racal-Redac
[sic?].

The software was really neat. You could take a hand drawn schematic written
on the back of a "Denny's Paper Placemat", or virtually any scrap of paper,
and tape it down to a 48" x 60" Summagraphics Digitizing Tablet, and
"digitize it", and process it thru "DS1" and out would pop the most
beautiful schematic you had ever seen, plotted in ink on mylar on a Cal-Comp
plotter. I mean beautiful! If you had changes, you simply placed the "plot",
with corrections "penciled in", back on the digitizer, and "digitized" the
changes, and then processed it thru DS1.

DS1 was based on a couple of very special "proprietary placement
algorithems" (Al Gore ain't got no Rythm), coded in FORTRAN II, which
"opened up" the existing schematic (or initial input) and spread it out so
that everything would properly fit in the middle, and then lined everything
up where it fit and belonged and then shrunk everything back into place.

This was back in the days just prior to "workstations", where things were
processed on mainframes. Design Aids next step was to adapt the system to a
"workstation terminal"

"DS1's" main "claim to fame" besides taking garbage (sometimes quite
literally) as input, and producing a beautiful schematic, was that it
generated a real "netlist", back in the days that most of them had to be
done by hand. Hence the use as a "front-end" to several other types of
systems, including automated "wire-wrap" systems.

Anyway, over 35 of Americas largest Aerospace and Defense Contractors bought
"DS1" systems, with extremely large price tags. Our installation at TRW in
Redondao Beach consisted of two "Digitizing Stations" at $19,000.00 each,
and $100,000.00 for the software "License", and the only "hardware" we got
was 2 Digitizing Tablets and 2 IBM PC's on which to capture and forward the
"digitized data" to the "DS1" software running on our own mainframes.

Back in those days, you didn't buy software, you truely did "license" it
under a very specific licensing contract.

Problem was, "DS1" had a few "bugs".

And while DS1did "perform" to an extent, virtually everyone who had
purchased "DS1" had reported "bugs", usually within the initial installation
period (well within what today would fall under the implied comsumer
protection warranties legislatively mandated buy most state or national
governments) , and while many of those "bugs" were in fact addressed and
fixed, there were always a few that had been reported by virtually every
customer, that were never addressed or fixed.

Design Aids, and specifically their President, Roger Rutman, thought that
they were in the clear, from a "warranty" perspective, since virtually
everyones "warranty", most of which ran for one year, had expired. What
Roger hadn't counted on, was that while most of the "bugs" had been fixed,
there were still some large ones that hadn't, and in fact several that had
been submitted by each customer within the valid warranty period, and even
when the smallest and most mundane of these was not fixed, even years later,
it formed the basis for a true "breach of contract".

When I pointed this out to Roger on the first day of a three day
international "Design Aids DS1Users Group Meeting" hosted by Boeing in
Seattle Washington in the fall of 1983 (84?), he immediately left the
conference early and flew back to Southern California so that he could
immediately file for Federal Bankruptcy protection. Within two months, he
had filed under Chapter 11 (for Corporate Bankruptcys).

It didn't do him any good though, since I figured out what was going on and
kept checking with the Bankruptcy Courts, and since I personally went down
to the courts, regularly, and personally looked at all of the paperwork, as
well as looking over 3 months of earlier filings, I was able to catch him
attempting to file an earlier Chapter 7 (for Personal Bankruptcy), which was
filed within a week of his walking out of the meeting at Boeing in Seattle.

It appears that he was trying to pull a fast one, and not list any assets of
the Corporation, in the Corporate Bankruptcy until after completing his
Personal Bankruptcy in which he claimed that his only assets were 120 Reels
of Miscellanious Computer Tapes, and 10 Boxed of Miscellanious Diskettes,
and an IBM Personal Computer, all of which he received as "compensation"
from the company, who could no longer pay him, and all of which he requested
the court to "exempt" from the Bankruptcy Proceedings by declaiong them
"Personal Assets Needed as Tools of The Trade".

What he forgot to tell anyone, was that those 120 Miscellanious Reels of
Tape and those 10 Miscellanious Boxes of Diskettes contained "ALL OF THE
SOURCE CODE TO DS1", which was in fact the only "real asset" that the
Corporation actually owned.

Well, I actuall stumbled into the Chapter 7 and all of its tables of
"protected assets" and other goodies, long after the Chapter 7 had had its
final "hearings", and only about a week before it was to become final, which
would have left him legally owning all of the "SOURCE CODE", and Design Aids
with nothing for those 35 major Corporations to go after but empty leased
office space.

I jumped into high gear and contacted the U.S. Attorney, and the Federal
Bankruptcy Examiner, both here in L.A., and all just in the "nick of time"
too.

To make a long story short, the Feds stepped in and took everything, froze
ALL of his assets of any kind, indeffinately suspended all if his Bankruptcy
Proceedings, and put him on a short leash with a choke chain. They allowed
him to "consult" with the various "DS1 customers", each on an individual
"contract" basis, where Roger did the work, but the company paid the Feds
for the work, and the Feds then issued him a very minimal "subsistance
allowance" from what money he was able to earn.

Unfortunately, Roger had Cancer, and died within a short time after all of
this happened, and so I really do not know who really ended up with what in
the end.

The "Moral of the Story"?

1. FIX ALL OF THE REPORTED BUGS, EVEN IF YOU THINK THAT THEY ARE UNIMPORTANT
AND MINOR, AND THAT THE WARRANTY PERIOD OR YOUR "END USER LISCENSE
AGREEMENT" HAS YOUR BACK SIDE COVERED.

2. NEVER, NEVER, EVER, EVER ATTEMPT TO SCREW YOUR "CAD / EDA" CUSTOMERS.

3. NEVER, NEVER, EVER, EVER DO BUSINESS IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA WHICH HAS
EXCELLENT CONSUMER PROTECTION LAWS WHICH WILL PROTECT CONSUMERS AGAINST
FLAKEY SOFTWARE COMPANIES WHO REFUSE TO FIX THE CUSTOMERS REPORTED BUGS.

But actually boys and girls, this little tale, as true as it is, has an even
deeper message to convey.

This is especially true in these times of big Corporate Scams and Coverups
and Bail-Outs, such as with ENRON, and WORLDCOM, etc., etc., etc..

I singlehandedly put Design Aids Inc. out of business, and brought their
President Roger Runman to financial ruin, all because they / he tried to
screw their / his customers and refused to fix the "bugs".

You, can do it too!

Yes YOU!

Each and every one of you is in a unique position to know some very special
things about your companies relationship with Protel / Altium.

Some of you are in a really unique position to know certain things because
you either are on the inside track or with Protel / Altium, or you work for
them.

There is a large international user community out there who are dependant on
Protel 99 SE, and will be for at least the next 6 months to a year, even if
DXP does come thru, or even of they bail today and try to go to a different
system.

NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE, PLEASE DO NOT LET THIS USER COMMUNITY DOWN!

I do not Live in Austraila.

I do not know Austrailian Law.

PLEASE DO NOT ENRON HAPPEN ALL OVER AGAIN AT PROTEL / ALTIUM!

Check the local Austrailian papers.

Check the local Austrailian Bankruptcy filings

Keep abreast of the Alstrailian Stock Market and Media Reports.

I do not work for Protel / Altuim.

Save copies of your memos.

Keep notes on your meetings.

Keep copies of your important files, especially "SOURCE CODE".

I cannot afford to pay for another copy of Protel or DXP or anything right
now.

But you can talk to your boss if he is going to buy another seat, and tell
him to get some specific guarentees in writing.

My ATS is not due now.

If yours is, demand specific things, again, ask for specific guarentees in
writing.

MOST IMPORTANTLY - DO NOT THINK FOR ONE MINUTE THAT YOU CANNOT DO ANYTHING
BY YOURSELF!

DO NOT THINK FOR ONE MINUTE THAT YOU ARE TOTALLY LIMITED ONLY BY THE PROTEL
/ ALTIUM END USER LICENSE AGREEMENT, AND TOTALLY WITHOUT RECOURSE!

IF ONE PERSON CAN STAND UP FOR WHAT IS ETHICAL AND RiGHT, JUST THINK WHAT A
WHOLE GROUP OF UNIFIED PROTEL / ALTIUM CUSTOMERS CAN DO TOGETHER.

I do not have an ear inside of Protel / Altium.

DO YOU?

Anyone in a position to become "DEEP THROAT" would be greatly appreciated.

We need to know whether Altuim / Protel is going to hang us out to dry.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Let's keep things in a proper perspective.

There is a lot of "promise" for DXP.

Protel / Altium may in fact be able to "pull it off".

But Protel / Altium needs to be able to stay in business and work some very
big miracles to pull this thing off.

If Protel / Altium goes belly up in the next few months DXP is totally
useless as a system.

DXP is not finished, and without a monumental additional effort, it will not
transform into the stable product that it can become.

I ALREADY OWN DXP - I WANT IT TO WORK!

MY ATS IS NOT DUE FOR 6 MONTHS - WILL PROTEL / ALTUIM BE THERE TO TAKE MY
MONEY THEN?

BUT I ALSO OWN PROTEL 99 SE, AND UNTIL SUCH TIME AS DXP BECOMES A STABLE AND
USABLE PRODUCT, I AM STUCK WITH PROTEL 99 SE.

I NEED SOMETHING TO RELY ON.

RIGHT NOW THAT IS PROTEL 99 SE.

MY LIVELYHOOD DEPENDS ON THIS PRODUCT!

I DO NOT WANT THIS COMPANY TO GO BELLY UP, EITHER NOW OR IN THE NEAR FUTURE!

I NEED FOR THEM TO BE SUCCESSFUL!

**************************************

I NEED FOR THEM TO BE HONEST, AND ETHICAL, AND STAY IN BUSINESS, AND FIX THE
BUGS!

I DON'T WANT TO SUE THEM!

BUT I DONT WANT THEM TO THINK THAT THEY CAN IGNORE ME, OR YOU, OR ANY OTHER
CUSTOMER WHO HAS REQUESTED THAT A REAL LEGITIMATE BUG BE FIXED!

************************************

LET'S MAKE DXP THE BEST DAM CAD PACKAGE OUT THERE!

LETS MAKE PROTEL / ALTIUM STOCKHOLDERS RICH!

THE WAY TO START DOWN THAT PATH IS FOR ALTIUM / PROTEL TO MAKE THEID
CUSTOMERS HAPPY TODAY!

THE ONLY WAY THEY CAN START TO DO THAT IS TO HONER MY "ATS" CONTRACT AND FIX
THE BUGS!

SP7 FOR CUSTOMERS TODAY - DXP FOR THE WORLD TOMORROW!



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