> -----Original Message-----
> From: edsi [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] 
> Sent: Friday, April 09, 2004 6:48 PM
> To: Protel EDA Forum
> Subject: Re: [PEDA] Good schematic/PCB development suite 
> recommendation?
> snip <
> 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

It is a sad fact that Altium would prefer to listen to the 'few' than the
many as regards how their tools are now styled, viewed and the direction
that they have taken. 

By the few I mean the 'yes' men who will agree to anything from Altium that
betters their own needs, it is a shame that Altium cannot think for
themselves in this respect. Just because certain users can communicate well
with Altium (speak software developer language well) does not make their
guidance on product direction a good thing, or a fair representation of the
user base as a whole.

But when success is measured in pure $$$$$ at the bottom line of the
companies books instead of product quality, or user base, it is very common
for successful companies to believe that first, they can do no wrong (based
purely on their financial success and not on the product), second, their
users are locked to them so they can do what they want, third, their own
opinion (and that of their loyal followers and advocates) is more important
than the user base as a whole.
Generally companies fooled into a train of thought like this will 'skip'
user complaints or good suggestions that do not fit their master plan or
take a 'blinkered' view if it does not come from a source they like and will
never admit their error to themselves, and so they become isolated from the
majority of their user base.

Again IMO the trend is to restyle the Enviroment to resemble a software IDE
which better suits the FPGA tools integration (or take over), a useful
evolution indeed, and re-positions Altium tools pretty well, but I think the
core reason is that it is easier for the developers to produce an Enviroment
THEY would like, THEY understand, find NATURAL for THEM or use, than spend
the time to ask and understand what the PCB designers would actually like.

Despite its market re-positioning, I don't think the FPGA tools will stand
up well to other FPGA tool vendors on their own, so treating the PCB tools
as the poor cousins is a bad decision and IMO a mistake. 

Feature and functionality wise DXP/2004 is a big improvement, but I have
seen nothing added in DXP/2004 that could not have been left inside the 99SE
GUI (no retraining, no new skills needed, just more productive tools), but
as said above, that would have been a lot harder for developers to meet the
UI requirements at the same time as considering the needs of the PCB

How many software developers do you know that would prefer DOS boxes brought
back and return everyone to command line entries :-) ? Er, no thanks. Sound
familiar (query language, scripting.......)

Altium have did it very badly IMO (glad I am not alone) to the point that
the pain is in some cases, simply not worth the gain, due to making simple
things harder (un-natural for non software familiar people) to do.

Like others, I converted many of my customers from other vendors products to
98/99 purely on its ease of use, short learning curve, stability and I would
happily have stood my ground to defend statements I made to promote
P98/P99SE when challenged.

I cannot in honesty do this with DXP/2004, I would need to respond that
unless you do FPGA or need Multi Channel design, you do not gain that much
more. I think Altium have seriously underestimated this type of 'sale by
recommendation' outlet. Big mistake. I guess they can expect the same from
the PCAD community when they move them to the DXP platform.

It's a hard and sometimes lonely path to get a good reputation, it's a lot
easier to get a bad one. Which path Altium are on, only time will tell.

Could I go on about this all day, yes, but that would be boring for all as
it is really repetition of all that has gone before as well as being ignored
by Altium because it is not what Altium likes to hear.


> ---------- Original Message ----------------------------------
> From: "Brooks,Bill" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> Reply-To: "Protel EDA Forum" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> Date:  Fri, 9 Apr 2004 09:12:42 -0700 
> >Ray,
> >
> >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 
> http://dcchapters.ipc.org/SanDiego/
> >
> >
> >
> >-----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
> >(619)553-5344
> >
> >

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