I agree 100% Ivan!

I'm a design engineer, not a PCB designer. I bought Protel 2.8, Protel
98 and Protel 99SE (along with all the upgrades along the way) for
essentially a schematic seat. I don't do PCB layout, but I convinced my
PCB designer to switch to 99SE. I would find the simulator and PLD
tools useful but they are barely useable (as many others have commented
here) and I now use 3rd party tools for these functions. I occasionally
fire up the PCB editor to check PCB designs, make prints or generate
CAM files. At $5000 (previous Protel 99SE price) this is kinda pricy...

Enter DXP. Raise the price to $8000 and the price is pretty exhorbitant
for anyone not doing serious PCB design (especially since it seems the
other "suite tools" not related to PCB have not changed or improved

I did a quick informal survey of all the electronics companies I deal
with or have friends with. I found the ratio of schematic-only to full
PCB layout seats to be about 5:1. With a previous employer, we had
about 20 design engineers and 3 PCB/mechanical CAD guys. Most all the
engineers had the $495 copy of Orcad SDT and the PCB guys used Orcad
PCB and another PCB package (the name escapes me). There is no way most
companies that size will cough up $8000/seat for full DXP suites.

I think a free or at least a low-cost schematic-only package is a
really good idea. I'd love to see the Protel format schematic become as
ubquitous as the Orcad flavor is now.

Matt Pobursky
Maximum Performance Systems

On Tue, 17 Sep 2002 12:08:23 -0400, Bagotronix Tech Support wrote:
>This is exactly the reason Altium should give away the SCH for free
>- to get the entire industry thinking "Protel Schematics", instead of
>"Orcad Schematics".  Seed the market with free SCH, and they will
>probably buy PCB.
>This would be less work for Altium than writing a translator to export
>Orcad schematics, since they already have the SCH written - just break
>it out into a self-contained product.  And Altium wouldn't have to
>worry about Orcad breaking a translator by coming out with a new file
>format.  Altium could probably whip up a free SCH release in a day or
>two of programmer time.
>Besides, if DXP is the great and wonderful thing they say it is, it
>would be a great way to advertise.

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