At 06:55 PM 10/23/2003, you wrote:
I have seen the disjointed line problem on every single installation of
Protel99SE I've come across (about a dozen or so) and refuse to believe that
it is hardware related - how could so many different systems all have the
same hardware problem? - unless Protel wrote the code for one specific
graphics card only.

I'm not sure I know what the "disjointed line problem" is. I think I may see, occasionally, some drawing artifacts, something which is common to many programs I use.

If one of our writers describes how to duplicate the problem, I'll try it on my installation.

But as to how it could happen, I'd say it is possible. First of all, certain inexpensive cards are very, very common. Last time I was shopping for a computer, every one I considered had an ATI graphics card, and those have known problems with many programs, it is not just Protel. Not all programs failed, not even a majority, or they would have had to fix it. (But this problem was different than display artifacts, it caused occasional system crashes.)

Is the problem the card or the software? Which one is not following the spec? It is entirely possible that the specification is ambiguous or incomplete in some way. That certainly happened with RS-274X, which is why Protel octagonal pads are incorrect. The original spec was easily misread, it was pretty much a toss-up which way you would read it. A subsequent revision of the standard made it clear, but the damage had been done.

We'd want Protel to correct it, but that would create another problem: existing CAM files and photoplot procedures that depend on Protel being a certain way. Change it to make it "correct" and the films will now be garbage. The only ways around it that I can see would be to (1) create, automatically, a file to go with the photoplot files that explains any unusual things about them, such as the octagon definition, or (2) use a different procedure to create an octagon, there are other ways to make the same shape on the film.

I have however become used to it, so much so, that I hardly notice it now.

And right there is the reason why it wasn't fixed. Apparently, it wasn't all that serious a problem in the first place. (But it might be more serious with some cards, perhaps.)

And there is another reason why many computers might have the same problem, mentioned by another write. Perhaps all or most of those computers were using W98, something that is again very common. Protel will run on W98, with some caveats, but it is substantially more stable on W2000 and there may be, in addition, other differences. NT or W2000 were recommended for P99SE, I think it may even be somewhere in the documentation.

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