I am in agreement with Bill Brooks and his comments about PADS.  I too own a seat of 
PADS. Unfortunately for $8500  I can't use it.  DXF is an option, design rules are a 
$4K option and get this.....copy and paste is an option.  GONG! piece of crap for 

If you asked me several years ago about Protel, I would stack it against anything ( 
providing you never attempted to user the router). The main advantage was user 
interface and getting up to speed.  There is no clear advantage to other products. DXP 
is as cumbersome and awkward to use as PCAD, Cadence, or Mentor. So given that all is 
Mentor is the  clear winner.

Altium better start to listen to folks like Ray.  Ray came to the same conclusions 
that everyone else has about DXP without anyone holding a prompter if front of him.  
Ray's statement are pretty significant from a marketing standpoint

Mike Reagan

---------- Original Message ----------------------------------
From: "Brooks,Bill" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Reply-To: "Protel EDA Forum" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Date:  Fri, 9 Apr 2004 09:12:42 -0700 

>I made the mistake that you are considering before. The group I was with in
>Temecula bought Pads on my misguided recommendation... I was taken in by the
>demo. The guys made it look so easy, then when I got the software and
>realized they sold me a package that was stripped down compared to the one
>they demonstrated... I saw red.  If I wanted the package that did all the
>fancy stuff like interactive routing and push and shove placement.... etc, I
>would have to pay thousands more for the 'add-ons'. The total would come to
>about 22K... we chose not to by more stuff, but to try to get along with
>what we bought. I cussed aloud many times when trying to learn to use the
>software on my own. I took a 1 day compressed class and that didn't help
>much either... 
>Pads is functional, if not confusing... and if you don't know any tool it
>can be fine, you just need to allow yourself 6 months to a year to get it to
>be really useful. Learning all the 'work arounds' can be a full time job,
>and very frustrating when you have a job to get done. I spent a lot of time
>on the phone with the tech support guy in Los Angeles, He speaks with a
>Russian accent to boot. That was not fun when he was out on sales calls... 
>The thing I am trying to say is, Protel was what we purchased after fighting
>with the PADS program for a month and a half. PADS would not take back their
>software, so we had to eat the 12 grand we invested in that software. Later
>I took a class at Palomar College that was using PADS and walked through a
>full semester of training with the package and still I don't like it, but I
>was able to use it. It's a frustrating package for a guy like me who expects
>to find the print command under the word, print. There's was buried in some
>dialog box that had no reference to printing at all. 
>Protel has been a better software package than the PADS program was for me,
>mostly because Protel was more intuitive to use, I spent less time looking
>for a command or feature than I did with PADS and it was easier to use and
>it let me undo mistakes which PADS was notorious for NOT letting me do.
>The new 2004 product remains to be seen... I would be patient and don't get
>too discouraged with all the talk you hear on this forum... some of us are
>real idealists... I think I'm included in that group. 
>As soon as I can get the time to spend on kicking the tires on the new
>software I will let you know what I think of where we are with Protel. 
>In the mean time you can ask specific questions about the functionality on
>this forum and you might consider get the training class that Matthew
>Berggren does on Protel if you can. It was helpful in getting a better sense
>of what the software can do and where you can go with it. Although I found
>when I was learning Protel that a local designer who had been using it since
>version 2.0 was more savvy and had better 'tricks' for being productive with
>it than I got anywhere else. 
>I have been using Protel since version 98 and that was in 1998. It's not a
>bad package. There are just some features I wish it had that are less than
>perfect, but hopefully they will iron those out in the future. 
>Feel free to give me a call if you need help. Or just publish your questions
>here and you have a lot of years of PROTEL experience here at your
>fingertips with all these great guys and gals listening in. They will be
>glad to help and discuss your issues I'm sure and even some of them are
>programmers who will write user commands that you can use to get better
>productivity out of the software. 
>(Okay, so now I am an apologist for the Altium company... so shoot me...)
>Actually, the best combo I have used so far in this price range is the Orcad
>schematic package with the Protel PCB editor and the Specctra Autorouter and
>AutoCad for the drafting of mechanical things like board outlines,
>dimensions, etc... 
>We use the schematic package here that comes with Protel and we get by with
>it. Have for the last 3 years.
>Bill Brooks 
>PCB Design Engineer , C.I.D., C.I.I.
>3030 Enterprise Court, Vista, CA 92083 
>Website: http://www.titan.com/business_units/index.html?organization_id=81
>Tel: (760)597-1500 Ext 3772 Fax: (760)597-1510 
>Member of the San Diego Chapter of the IPC Designers Council
>Communications Officer, Web Manager
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Ray Mitchell [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] 
>Sent: Friday, April 09, 2004 7:42 AM
>Subject: [PEDA] Good schematic/PCB development suite recommendation?
>Our group has used Protel for years.  I've tried to get everyone to change 
>to something else for most of that time but the resistance has been fairly 
>great.  It seems that the the philosophy has been that pain you know is 
>preferable to the pain you don't know.  However, with the introduction of 
>DXP/2004 everyone is starting to realize that a good tool is needed.  Is 
>there something that is generally considered to be the best?  I realize 
>that some of the tools cost significantly more but when the frustration, 
>poor results, and wasted time are considered, it may not actually be that 
>expensive.  One of the guys here uses PADS and really likes it.  If we make 
>a change we don't want to make the same mistake we made with Protel again.
>Ray Mitchell
>Engineer, Code 2732
>SPAWAR Systems Center
>San Diego, CA. 92152

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