On 02:18 AM 19/09/2003, Matt Pobursky said:
On Thu, 18 Sep 2003 22:29:43 +1000, Ian Wilson wrote:
> Otherwise the quote upgrade price is about $2500.  Lets assume a
> designers on-cost is between 25 and 50 dollars per hour - 25 to 50
> hours of improved productivity will pay for it, one week.  So, the
> question then is how long will I have to be running DXP to get 25 to
> 50 hours of productivity improvement?
> That is the real question, not the actual cost.  But this is a harder
> question to answer.
> I have been a little disingenuous here, I haven't included the
> learning curve which is significant in one area - queries.  Add a few
> days for that.

I think more than just a little disingenuous. I find it extremely
difficult to believe that anyone not already familiar with DXP can be
as productive as they are with 99SE "in a few days". In fact, this was
a major factor in my cost analysis of DXP vs. 99SE that led to my
decision to not upgrade. That and the fact that even after I go up the
learning curve, I haven't seen anything that will make my designs
better or happen more quickly or with less errors.

I'm a reasonably smart guy having many years (20+) of experience with
engineering software in general. I figured more like 1-2 months to come
up to speed on DXP and become anywhere near as efficient as I am with
99SE (primary rule of engineering management: engineers are eternal
optimists when it comes to time estimates! ;-)). I also figured I'd be
spending the first week or two just sorting out how everything works in
general. Following the posts on the Yahoo DXP list reinforces this

I presume you have someone paying for your "seat time", i.e. you have
an employer that's issuing a paycheck whether your jobs are completed
or not and also continues to pay you while you are "going up the
learning curve" with new software. I'm an independent contractor and I
don't get paid unless the job gets done, so any time I spend learning
new software and struggling with a learning curve are "on my dime".

My situation exactly - if I don't bill I don't get paid, if I don't work I don't bill. Almost all of my work is by the hour, so there is actually little financial incentive to make myself more productive, apart from the long term possibility that my clients may see that others can do more in less time. There is certainly much less incentive to be more productive than someone doing lots of fixed-price work.

As for DXP not being more productive than P99SE. That is wrong. It is easily more productive. The question is are you happy with the pay back time in your situation.

If you do multi-channel work, if you do much simulation, if you want better erc, if better library management is important, if easier creation of large-pin count symbols is relevent, if version control integration is important, then the pay back time will be shorter than someone that doesn't want this stuff. You can see a bigger comparison on the web link I have posted in the past. I get no detailed analysis or feedback from P99SE users on these points so it would appear to me that most of the people complaining about DXP on this list are not actually using it - which is not unexpected but is a bit of a luxury. I would certainly be very interested in other detailed analysis on the advantages of P99SE over DXP. I spent my own time and, hence $, doing this. Anyone else game? I did (and do) this as a bit of a service to the users - sort of my contribution instead of writing open-source software. (Ditto my time on these lists.)

I was comfortable with queries in a couple of days, truely. I did not read the detailed documentation that is now available on the query system (and still haven't). I doubt I am more intelligent than most of the other players on this list. So my conclusion is that pretty much everyone else can do this - it does help to have real work to do and real commitment to pushing up the learning curve. The learning curve for DXP in total was certainly longer than the learning curve for the queries alone. If it took me months to get across a new tool like DXP then I would be out of business. I usually give a day for any new instrument, a week for any new software. I may be involved with a shop doing the DXP upgrade in a week or so. I will try to see how long it takes (they will have me there which will colour the results, I guess.)

This is a significant cost to me -- a week of "learning time" costs me
~$3000 in billable work. There has to be an awful lot of productivity
increase in DXP vs. 99SE to make it a paying proposition for me.


Maybe I'm missing something, but I haven't seen much in DXP vs. 99SE
(at least to this point) that makes a huge difference to designers
doing everyday work (schematics and PCB's).

Oft repeated by those not using it. Much less so by those using it. Classic situation. You can see my comparison and make your own decision. My preferred tool is DXP, now by a long shot. I look forward to bug fixes, improvements and the autorouter being made to work on the sort of designs I do. But even without those fixes I am more comfortable and significantly faster in DXP. I do feel very let down by the non-performance, in my experience, of the autorouter - I would guess for many this is a very fundamental part of the upgrade balance.

Just an opinion of a long time Protel user.

Ditto (Autotrax and Dos Schedit).


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