See below,


----- Original Message -----
From: "Tony Karavidas" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "'Protel EDA Forum'" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Monday, September 09, 2002 10:32 PM
Subject: Re: [PEDA] So sue me ...(was:Crunch time?)

> "...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."
> You should pat yourself on the back...with a club. So it seems to me
> that this guy was trying to fix the bugs and you found the best thing to
> do was threaten him with a "breach of contract" lawsuit? Great. So the
> guy runs scared and throws in the towel. Now you've got yourself some
> expensive software that's "really neat" and no one to fix it, ever.
> Smart move.

Actually, I tried to keep the story short. The reason he went to the "Users
Group" meeting was to say that Design Aids as a company had no employees to
fix any of the bugs - major bugs - but that he as an individual would - for
a consulting fee - about $10,000.00 a crack - fix these major bugs for
individual companies, on a consulting basis.

Kind of like Protel saying that we won't do anything until you pay an
additional ATS, and then still not do anything.

After the meeting in Seattle, everyone came up and handed business me cards
wanting copies of the tapes openly produced of the meeting for their
corporate lawyers. It was only after this, and at the urging of, and with
the support of, all of the representatives of all of those 35 companies,
that I persued the avenue that I did.

Roger Rutman was a scumbag looking to rape his customers who he knew he had
over a barrel, since he alone had the source code. and could patch the
binary images for each installation. He was unethical, and was trying to rip
people off.

I have a very clear conscious over Design Aids and bringing in the Feds, and
the sincere thanks of all of the people involved with the different

One direct result was that the Feds allowed another "service bureau"
company, Cadd Technology out of New Mexico, to start handling "software
problems" once they freed up the source code that I had found by my
investigation into the court documents. This allowed many companies to get
there systems fixed at reasonable prices, and in a reasonable amount of

It was the best possible ending to an impossible situation, and it made
Roger accountable to the point that when he contracted to do a project for a
fixed price, he had to do it no matter how many hours a day it took him, and
it had to be done by a specific time or the Feds would be on his case.

With all of the talk going on both here in this forum and also in the DXP
forum, there have been numerous people talking about whether or not we
customers and users are going to get "hung out to dry", or whether Altium
has the "integrity" to do what is right, or whether they are going to go
"belly up". These are not my words, and these are not fears that I have
stirred up all by myself.

While I am certainly contributing to a lively discussion, I am not putting
words into other peoples mouths.

All I am saying here with this post is that we are not in fact totally
helpless and totally at the mercy of Altiums whims, and that we do not have
to stand idly by while Altium goes on about its merry without giving us a
second thought.

> And do you think once the gov't was involved that he really tried to do
> the work properly under those conditions? Doubtful.

He actually had to to be able to eat and keep a roof over his head.

There are probably a lot of people still around who remember Design Aids and
what happeded when Roger tried to steal the source code to DS1. I am not
inventing this story.

>Doubtful. Enron and WorldCom
> have nothing to do with the guy you buried or with Protel.  Unlike the
> two big companies that were hiding the fact they were cooking the books
> to the extreme, the bugs in Protel are there in your face.

I am certainly not saying that I think that "Altium is out to screw us",
although some in the forum have hinted at it or directly stated it.

But at the same time I am in fact saying "Altium, don't even think about
it", because I for one will scream "bloody murder".

I am not for a moment saying that I think that Altium's top management is
getting ready to jump into their "golden parachutes" and take what may be
left and abandon ship, in the manner of ENRON.

But I am saying that if it even begins to look like they might even be
thinking about doing something like that, then that we as the people who
stand to loose the most will be ready to do what it takes to prevent that.

I will be the first to admit that we really do need to do is support Altium
right now, but at the same time I will be the first to say that they really
need to support us too.

> It doesn't
> take long to find them, and you CAN return the s/w if it isn't suitable.
> Go buy someone else's software if you don't like Protel. There are
> plenty of other vendors and the people on this list aren't afraid to
> indicate what is better and what is worse.

And it has been how long now since there has been any support or fixing any

I certainly do not want to get into any more arguments with you Tony, but I
do believe that it is time to light a fire under Altium and get some
response from them.

I have presented a pretty reasonable case here in this forum for Altium to
continue to support all of their customers, and not literally abandon
everyone who bought Protel 99 SE at SP5 or SP6, which is what, 1 to 3 years
back now, and which they appear to be doing.

Please remember that I am a person who laid out my own hard earned money to
purchase my own copy of Protel 99 SE 6 months ago just after Protel told me
go in essence to go pound sand when the copy my employer bought just over a
year ago had major major problems.

I may be vocal, and I may be "stirring the pot", but at the same time I have
actually supported Altium with my own cold hard cash, even after they
totally failed to support me or my employer in any manner whatsoever..

> You don't seem too savvy when it comes to relating to people and trying
> to get what you want from them with motivation and personal connection.
> Maybe you are, but you certainly don't portray it in this forum.

Tony, long before my employer purchased any of his seats (I believe 1 at SP5
and 2 at SP6 (one at current price in 7/01)) there were problems that still
have not been resolved. He is not entitled to any upgrades to DXP, but I do
not believe that he has owned the any of the software for more than just
slightly over two years.

Is he entitled to anything at all in terms of support, when he has purchased
3 seats that are unstable and have been unstable ever since the time the
were installed, and were reported as such?

I believe that he, and probably hundreds if not thousands of customers just
like him are.

Please remember that long before I joined this forum, you, and many of the
other major players here have had a very long time to "relate" to Altium and
"motivate" them with that "personal connection", and we are still at SP6,
and all you have gotten from Altium is the "opportunity" to pay for "ATS"
and buy a lottery ticket called DXP that may or may not ever produce.

I am sorry, I am just not prepared to walk away from my investment of time
and money in Protel 99 SE with out at least trying to beg, plead, coerce,
coax, embarrass, and yes, even threaten Altium into doing one last little
something for that large block of customers who have really and truly
recently supported Altuim with purchases, but have not received any support
in return, and who now appear to be on the verge of being abandoned.

No I will not go quietly back into my little hole believing as you want me
to do in your previous post that I am totally defeated by the Altuim End
User License Agreement, and I have no choice but to suffer any indignities
that Altium may choose to do as they abandon me and my employer.

Yes Altium, I really do want my SP7

Do you really think that there is any chance for a Service Pack 7 Protel 99

Well I can certainly guarantee no chance if  I try to use the same methods
tried by others in the past few years with Altium.

But on the other hand, I actually believe that I have been offering Altium a
little "motivation" here recently, if nowhere else, at least in the "do not
abandon us" department.

I actually think that our chances of actually getting a SP7 out of Altium,
while still slim, have improved drastically in the last several weeks or
months simply due to the fact that people are finally voicing their
dissatisfaction with Altium and backing it up with real justification.

That is why I have floated several different proposals here in this forum,
ranging from SP7, to free upgrades to DXP (without ATS) for all who bought
into Protel 99 SE at its current level due to the fact that it actually does
have problems and these people have never received any support at all.

These proposals have met with a lot of support, even from you.

If we all go away now and shut up, we will never see anything from Altium,
unless of course you buy into the smoke and mirrors of ATS and DXP.

If we stand up for what is ethically and morally right, and don't budge, and
don't let the thread die in a week as usual, you can bet money on the fact
that we will in fact see SP7.


> Yes, read your statement that you "...DON'T WANT TO SUE THEM!"  Great,
> now be constructive and point out the bugs and pressure them to be fixed
> by not buying the upgrades. Ask for a new 30 day trial and a list of
> bugs fixed for each service pack if you really want to help while
> retaining your cash. Yes, you will be possibly testing for them by using
> the 30 day trial repeatedly, but if your goal is to make DXP better or
> the best, that's a small price to pay, isn't it? Once it's to your
> satisfaction, then buy ATS or whatever. You hold back your cash and that
> motivates Altium to make DXP better and better until you're willing to
> cut loose with your money, because that's what they need, right?

You loose me here. Most of this ground has been adequately covered, and
nobody is asking for a free ride.

Nobody is asking for any ongoing support for Protel 99 SE, beyond one final
SP7 (that works of course), other than training which I am sure Altium would
love to continue to charge money for as a continuing  source of income.

Some of these points are seeming to get into areas that are getting a little
ridiculous and have all been reasonably and adequately covered in previous
related posts in the last few weeks.

Again, nobody is asking for a free ride, and the above paragraph simply
seems an attempt to belittle the idea of SP7 since I don't buy into your
assessment of the Protel End User License Agreement.

This is not even a question of diverting resources that Altuim may need to
finish up DXP. All of those issues have all also been adequately addressed
here in recent posts.

Tell me Tony, how many seats of Protel or have you personally, or your
employer for that matter, purchased from Altium in the past say, two years.
My employer has purchased three, with one being purchased last July, just
after the price went up, and I myself have purchased one, with ATS, 6 months

My personal ATS is due in 6 months and I hope that first of all that Altium
is still around to receive it, but even more, I hope that by then they
demonstrate that they have earned it.

Things have been going so peacefully, and I certainly do not want to loose
your support for the so many things that you have agreed with recently, but
on the other hand I am not going to argue with you on this or let this get
out of hand.

Respectfully submitted,

and thanks for your participation,


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