> -----Original Message-----
> From: Abd ul-Rahman Lomax [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] 
> Sent: Friday, September 19, 2003 8:15 PM
> To: Protel EDA Forum
> Subject: Re: [PEDA] P99SE has Altzheimers' ?
> At 07:02 AM 9/19/2003, John A. Ross [Design] wrote:
> >But as for a point by point, and ease of use, UI analysis 
> etc I think 
> >it would be an even enough score (Autorouter excluded) as the 2 
> >applications have the same core abilities, but each of them offers 
> >different benifets in certain areas depending on the board design 
> >itself.
> This is, in fact, not an even score, unless you have already 
> factored in 
> price -- or you bought Pads when they had their brief 
> Kill-Protel-Accel 
> fling. I did, and I returned it when I found that the 
> software license 
> provided that they could withdraw the license if you didn't 
> keep up on 
> maintenance....

I was comparing features and individual benefits. Not cost

New Pads Designer suites as now offered under the MG banner starting at
$4000 USD, so in many respects you pay for what you use, not forced into
a bundle.

I am happy to say my Pads maintenance for Plogic/PPCB/Blaze is actually
less than $800 USD per year, the support from the VAR is really good,
not that I have had to use it much, the people on the pads list server
are also pretty cool if needed, and the s/w is quite intuitive in many
respects, this is also the case for DXP.

If you look to the user driven efforts for improvements in PPCB they are
pretty passionate about their tools, and very well co-ordinated as a
user group.

Software licensing is always an icky issue. Especially as you pointed
out, that politics dictate strange license conditions. MG license
conditions are now worse, prohibiting use of the license outside xx
miles of the registered address and so on.... When will their paranoia

The options I have in PPCB suits my needs. By my estimate it would take
me many years to meet the cost of a single DXP license excluding any
version upgrades for DXP in that time.

To date for ROI, over the past 2 years my Pads seat has cost me $1600
USD, the P99SE seat with DXP upgrade has cost me $6-8k or so at the
beginning of 2002, cannot remember exactly, but I assume there will be a
major version upgrade within the next 12 months as Altium will need some
form of revenue stream, upgrade costs, based on previous prices $3-4k a

The fixed software assurance type cost model is also available from
Altium at about $2k USD per year I believe.

So to be fair I reckon cost wise they are pretty even if looked at over
time on the same maintenance model.

Ian mentioned this in another post about what features users would pay
extra for, and he has a point, but as Altiums 'bundled' suite model has
worked well for so long I do not think a change would lie well with the
users. It would be cool if DXP was modular priced, some users asked for
this before, perhaps this is what spawned nVisage as a separate product.

> It would be surprising indeed if PADS were not stronger than 
> Protel in at 
> least some areas.

I could probably list some 'extras' in DXP not present in my Pads suite
and vice versa and it really would come out even.

As I have already said, I have a choice after taking my design to
netlist and I will pick the best tool for the job at that point based on
the board technology in use. 

I do have overheads though as I have to maintain the same libraries and
names/naming conventions in 2 different library types.

To date I have not seen an EDA suite that is all things to all people
for all jobs. 

I just use what I need to get the job done, just like everyone else :-)


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