Bill,

You've hit the nail on the head.
I've used Protel since 1987, I've also used Mentor.
I was influential in converting my current company from using Mentor to
using Protel.
Simply because, for our kind of work, Protel was more intuitive, faster,
and the designer could focus on designing the board. My DXP is still in
the box. My current workload cannot tolerate the learning curve or
reduction in my efficiency to change to DXP at this time. There are some
good things in DXP, but there are many features that really don't seem
to help my productivity.

regards,

Phil Dutton CID

-----Original Message-----
From: Brooks,Bill [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]
Sent: Wednesday, 10 March 2004 10:31 AM
To: 'Protel EDA Forum'
Subject: Re: [PEDA] 2004 DXP Looks Great,


Hmmm... my 2 cents. (that's about what it's worth...)

Bah...Protel has a following because it was the best bang for the buck
and
it had a good user interface... That was P98 SP3 in my book.... most
useful
package I ever bought.

It's just not there anymore... it's more costly, and they have all kinds
of
file/project management road blocks and useless 'hoopla' built into the
software that just gets in the way. Who wants to 'jump through hoops' to
get
their work done.. any volunteers? 

My advice to Altium, Improve our productivity through the use of smart
tools, not more complexity. The old task specific packages were easier
to
use than anything that has come after them. We kept track of our files
without all this extra junk. If there are linkages needed to improve the
product, do it in the background, don't make the designer become a
programmer to overcome poor implementation on the part of the
developers. 

I have used this product for a long time now, mostly because it has been
the
tool that was available. If I have to change tools I will... I have in
the
past many times. Currently I am using 2 PCB design tools here to support
older designs and newer ones that were developed on different tools. 

K.I.S.S. - keep it simple stupid! And fix MORE than you break. 

We don't need more structure to use the product...it just gets in the
way.
What we need is pin and gate swapping, we need a good autorouter, we
need
impedance matching tools to help with matched line lengths... and
calculate
better layer construction and the right materials to use... a wizard for
those things would go a long way towards making our jobs easier. Build
in
IPC standards into the product... help us do our jobs more
efficiently... we
might even get raises from getting our boards out more trouble free and
quicker...   

That's the key, make it easier to use and you have a winner. Mentor has
created a monster, its unbelievable what happens to a cad tool when
unchecked and unmanaged programmers get a hold of it... Pads is stuck
with
its poor 'just stick the feature here' philosophy... tools and commands
are
buried in such unrelated and topsy turvy menu structures and names that
it
takes months of use before you can make a board... and yet we do. We can
figure it out... but why make it so difficult? My guess is it was
probably
easier for the programmers not the end user. I bet the programmers just
love
the product... but they don't use it.

If someone would just take all the stuff that works good in the program
and
clean up the stuff that was broken or didn't work right they would have
something. Get rid of the programmers that want to make some sort of a
file
management tool out of it... they are just making it worse and more
complicated. We don't NEED or WANT that.

You need to hire a PCB designer to run the development of the tool...
that
will make sure that you end up with something a PCB designer would like.

Hire a EE to run the development of the Schematic and chip development
tools... your success will be overwhelming.... vision is the key... so
many
things fail for lack of clear vision. Understand your customer. Put
yourself
in our shoes... then create the product.

 I have not yet seen the new product release for 2004... but I have seen
DXP... and 99SE, and 99, and 98, and 2.5 ... so when do we get what we
want?



Bill Brooks 
PCB Design Engineer , C.I.D., C.I.I.
Tel: (760)597-1500 Ext 3772 Fax: (760)597-1510



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