About half my messages to the Forum are now bouncing back with a message that the mail server can't access techservinc.com. Might be a problem with my domain host, to be sure.... This one is resent. Usually the resent messages get through.

At 11:25 AM 12/17/2003, Protel Hell wrote:
whew! lots to read, I have used Viewdraw, PowerLogic, & Orcad before, I was good enough to be the library manager, trainer, and just overall management at two different companies for both of the 1st two

Yes. Protel would seem to you like something very weird. Frankly, it is because you learned some very weird programs; OrCAD, especially, we not particularly Windows compliant, and the differences between Capture and Layout were ... drastic. Capture was easy to use -- and, in fact, quite similar to Protel Schematic even under the dashboard -- and Layout was not. Very much not. Unless you learned it as your first PCB layout program, in which case you didn't notice the difficulties.


Protel reminds me of the early versions of ViewDraw, not easy to learn or use, I don't know where you are at or background But I'm in the US where uSoft rules, and brother you'd better conform to it if you expect too succeed

I'm in the U.S. And your attitude is not untypical of those who were in your position, which is not the typical Protel user profile, which might be more ... rebellious.


all you have to do to see how well sch & pcb match in Protel is look at the cardboard triangle thing they give you, if I every remember all that I'll either: be committed to insane asylum or forget everything else I know

I never looked at that command set. I didn't need it. You think you have to memorize it ... which might have been the case if this were OrCAD Layout!


That card is a *help*, not a requirement. Usually there are more than two ways to do something in Protel, and usually they are quite easy to remember. If nothing else, look at the menu choices along the top.

There are or have been exceptions, such as the famous hidden Update Free Primitives from Component Pads command, which was buried in a right-click menu that you were not likely to find on your own.... That was fixed eventually, but I did just find something similar in DXP, I mentioned it in another post, I think. Some programmer thinks that a command will be nice to add to a right-click popup -- good thought -- but then does not make the same command available through normal menus -- not so nice.

You should also realize that the key to ease of design with Protel is also this user group. I'd highly recommend that anyone starting to use the program subscribe to this list and read as much of it as practical. Even experienced designers often learn that they overlooked something very powerful and easy to use, simply because it never occurred to them that it might be in the program. There is a lot more there than you'll get, even if you read the manual, even if you memorize the manual. But most of us ("us" being, I suppose, engineer types) are a bit allergic to manuals, at least it seems that way. We just plow in and start using the program. And if your mind has not been poisoned by another CAD system first, it actually can work with Protel. It did with me, coming from Tango.

But, of course, you'll also miss a lot, hence the importance of having someplace to ask stupid questions. Don't worry!!! I can't remember the last time I saw RTFM on this list.

Sometimes we've seen users complain about Protel support. Protel support is actually reasonably good, but there is no way that affordable support can match what users can provide for each other, it is simple economics.

I hope my bitching is seen as constructive by Altium, ViewDraw which I compared it to is much easier to learn and productivity has increased than it was in the past, hopefully DXP will improve too

We have seen Protel be very responsible to user complaints. They are, in my experience, the *most* responsive of the major CAD companies, they really do listen. They don't respond on this list, usually; historically, they -- with other CAD companies -- found that writing on open forums often led to flame wars and other major time-wasters. They do respond, I understand -- I'm not currently subscribed, until I get a Round Tuit again -- on the DXP list, which they own and can control to some extent.


Definitely Protel, good as it is, from my point of view, could be improved in the area of productivity. And it *has* been improving, steadily, over the years. I have my complaints, but I also know that they are working on the problems.




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