Hi Jami,

See comments scattered below...


> -----Original Message-----
> From: JaMi Smith [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]] 
> Sent: Tuesday, September 10, 2002 1:33 AM
> To: Protel EDA Forum
> Cc: JaMi Smith
> Subject: Re: [PEDA] So sue me ...(was:Crunch time?)
> 
> 
> Tony
> 
> See below,
> 
> JaMi
> 
> 
> ----- 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 companies.
> 
> 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 time.
> 
> 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.

OK, well when your story got longer and more complete, it got better.




> 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.

I meant he was probably functioning in a slowly evolving snails pace,
not as an enthusiastic developer. But since he was a scumbag, heck with
him.



 
> 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 bugs.

Well I think ATS throws a new monkey wrench into the pic. Before ATS, we
got 6 good service pack out of them and the whole time they were not
collecting for them. Yes, a solid argument can be made for "I paid for
those service packs up front when I bought the buggy software." But they
didn't have to release them OR add features to them. I think the
development efforts since SP6 was creating DXP. I'm not sure why ATS
came along with it, but they do have finite resources and someone
thought DXP would be better for the company than SP7. (Probably because
they couldn't sell SP7 and could sell DXP)

Post ATS makes it complicated for them and users because IMO, I think
ATS would require Protel to do SP7 or some other concession towards DXP.


 
> 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.

Hey it's not an argument, it a discussion! :)


> 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.

I'm glad you didn't take my comment as a personal jab. I tried to phrase
it in such a way that your current writing left an 'impression' only.
Unstable is a very interesting word. I have found 99SE-SP6 to be quite
stable. I'm not sure if I in the minority or not. (Hard to tell on this
list) I know it's certainly stable enough that I'm not upset at it every
week or every month. When I have to sit down and do a PCB or capture a
schematic, it works well (unlike earlier versions) and I am fast at it.
(Even though I learn new tricks from this group many times a year) I'm
not sure what entitlements your employer deserves in this regard. I'd
say he was entitled to his money back in the first year or so, but how
much more beyond that?? 




> 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.

Not quite true. Several people were picked as beta testers for unknown
reasons, I happen to be one of them. One thing that I (and many others)
got out of it was to be able to voice our opinions directly to the
development team and have them make changes to DXP in direct
relationship to what we were saying! That is pretty powerful. There were
some big changes that happened in that period and it was because some
user's ideas were better than the developer's ideas. I think that's
pretty darn cool.


 
> 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.

Would you threaten Microsoft to support win98? Come on, life goes on,
software advances. Should Altium write a service pack for Tango DOS too?
Yeah, I have a friend in Idaho that is still using Tango DOS (with
whatever set of bugs IT has) and likes it because he's comfortable with
the tool (bugs and all)

When you bought 99SE (even at SP6) you bought it that day with the
capabilities it had THAT DAY, right? If it was unfit for purpose, you
could have taken it back. You were not committed financially to more
than you received and they were not committed to giving you more than
you paid that day. Now say you had (within a reasonable or legal period
of time) indicated you were unsatisfied with the product. If they
offered to give you your money back and didn't, or instead promised to
fix XYZ if you would keep the product and then didn't, you would have a
much better position to complain 2 years later. But I bet those things
didn't happen.


 
> 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 SE.

Are you asking me or them? I have no idea. I think it might be a good
idea for them to do, but will they? It might be even better for them to
make DXP kick ass (I wonder if I can say that without this email getting
rejected ?) and everyone would want to pony up ATS to get it. Wouldn't
that be the best scenario? Have a app that is so great and so productive
that you would be a fool to not have it?



 
> 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.

Well yes you certainly are stirring up the discussion to a new lively
level. :)


 
> 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.

Sure, I think they should do something: Either offer a SP7, or modify
ATS, or make DXP rock!



> 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.

I don't agree. If we shut up, and at the same time withheld
participation into both ATS and DXP purchases, they would be forced to
change something. It would also require a lot less typing. ;)



 
> 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.
> 
> snip
> 
> > 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.

How did I loose you? I wasn't even talking about 99SE. It was only for
DXP improvements. Right now DXP is offered on a 30 day trial, right? So
you try it and it doesn't suit you. Don't buy it now. Don't pay ATS now.
Down the road, they offer SP1. Ask for another trial plus the list of
things fixed in SP1. Maybe just reading the list will tell you enough
about the current state of DXP. Say your 3 big pet peeves are still not
fixed. Don't buy it now. Don't pay ATS now. Repeat at SP2, etc...

At some point it will be right, or you will have moved on to a different
package, but you kept your money if it wasn't right for you. I've looked
at other cad packages (mostly low end) in the past and they suck. I
could have paid for them and complained for years but I decided not to
do that.




 
> 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.

How many times are you going to reference the EULA? I never one
mentioned it in my post.



> 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 ago.

Say in 3 years it would be 3 as well. IIRC, it was all P99. (not much
new in the past two years)



> 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.

Not at all! I've had a lot of coffee this evening and it's now 2:47AM I
should have been asleep hours ago, but this is kinda fun! It's just a
discussion ;)

Regards,
Tony

 
> Respectfully submitted,
> 
> and thanks for your participation,
> 
> JaMi
> 
> 
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