On Fri, 9 Apr 2004 13:19:34 -0700, Brooks,Bill wrote:
> Those big vendors like Cadence and Mentor will all adopt the old business
> model because the only players will be big companies... no competition,
> maybe Protel can't compete. Or maybe we just don't see the whole picture...
> Lots of 'maybes' in there.  I think Protel has a market... it's guys and
> gals like us that are willing to hold on... but nobody can continue to wait
> forever. I would prefer that Protel remain a player and fix the product...
> there is a need for the smaller companies to have somewhere they can go to
> get their board software. As the economy picks up there will be a lot more
> startup shops and they will need Protel... or a cad vendor like them if they
> want to design in house. Then there's always the guys who set up shop and
> contract their jobs. And then there's China.. hmm that's another subject.
> 
> If Mentor was cheaper Protel would not have a chance. Hang in there Protel
> and get the product working before sending it out. And... listen to your
> customers...

This has been a really interesting discussion without degrading into 
outright Protel/Altium bashing. I think all of us on the list are 
hoping for the best, but there's a bunch of us that have been in the 
industry a long time and have heard and seen all the stories and
promises... 

I took a look at the Pulsonix website today and I must say I'm
impressed. They seem to have put together a package that does what 90%
of engineers and PCB designers I talk to need. The price seems
reasonable too. If their tools work as advertised, I think Altium has
much to fear. 

As for me and my PCB designer -- we've decided to use Protel 99SE until 
it becomes impractical for us. Protel 2004 adds no "must have" features 
that make a switch worthwhile to us. I really wish Altium would have 
just fixed the handful of known issues with P99SE and charged an 
"upgrade fee" for it. I would have gladly coughed up $1000-$1500 for 
it, both for the bug fixes and to avoid having to go through a learning
curve for a tool I'm still not convinced would let me do my job any
faster or better. 

So for now, we're riding it out with P99SE but watching what develops 
in the market. Pulsonix just got added to the "watch list". Who knows,
they might even offer a deal to convert registered users of other EDA
tools to their software? Much as Protel did with Orcad users several
years ago (when there was a revolt going on after Cadence bought
Orcad). That could be big trouble for Altium. 

Matt Pobursky
Maximum Performance Systems



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