> -----Original Message-----
> From: Matt Pobursky [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] 
> Sent: Friday, April 09, 2004 2:30 PM
> To: Protel EDA Forum
> Subject: Re: [PEDA] Good schematic/PCB development suite 
> recommendation?
> On Fri, 9 Apr 2004 13:19:34 -0700, Brooks,Bill wrote:
> > This is pretty damning commentary. And maybe a bit 'rash'...
> > 
> > It does make me think hard about Mentor and the cost/vs. 
> productivity 
> > issues.
> > If, I say,* IF * Altium is shifting its focus to the 
> embedded systems 
> > market as a way of garnering revenue... it may mean that they have 
> > come to the conclusion that there is no more or not enough 
> money to be 
> > made in the PCB design industry for them, for whatever 
> reason. I doubt 
> > this, because I know that Protel has the lion's share of 
> the market in 
> > the UK and the rest of the world for that matter...
> I've thought about this too and I think most EDA tool 
> companies lose sight of the fact that they are providing 
> tools to a niche market (relative to other desktop PC 
> software) with a limited size and the requirements haven't 
> changed all that much in the past 20 years. Yeah, geometries 
> have gotten smaller and frequencies higher, but schematic 
> capture and PCB design principles are still pretty much the same
> -- physics doesn't change and the manufacturing is still 
> basically copper on a substrate. 
> I know when it comes to tools, I want reliability and familiarity.
> Something I can pick up, do my job efficiently, count on the 
> results and move on. 

We could all still be doing it by hand. That was reliable and familiar. Too
bad the component manufacturers just didn't shrink their parts 50% each
time. A big old DIP40 would be 1/4 We could have kept the same artwork, and
instead of reducing it 10 times, we could reduce it 20 times, cutting the
PCB down to just 1/4 of what it was in the previous rev. A big old DIP40
would be the size of a DIP16, except it would be surrounded by a lot more
tiny pins.

> Making software more complex and "feature rich" -- whether 
> for serving the fractional percent of users that really 
> require the added features (but seldom used by the vast 
> majority) or for marketing purposes
> -- seems to be more common every day. Why can't good software 
> be developed and maintained at a relatively stable feature 
> and bug-free level? I guess the software companies see no 
> increasing revenue stream with this model (since the "current 
> version" stays current, longer), even though it results in 
> the best product for the end user. So it actually pays to 
> produce buggy or otherwise deficient code, where you get to 
> charge the user for the fixes "in the next release" (service 
> pack, whatever -- heck, just change the name of the program 
> and charge an upgradge fee! ;-) ). Sheesh, I wish I could run 
> my business and write my software that way... 

How will ANY company survive if they sell you ONE - Bug Free, Featured
Laden, Value Priced, application that you are so happy with you never need
to upgrade? 
Come on, get real. Either they need to charge for bug fixes (bad) or charge
for new features (ok), but whatever they do, they need to generate $$.

Software companies have an entirely different model than us 'embedded'
contractors or hardware manufacturing companies. They invest WAY more energy
into a s/w product than we do in h/w products. Every product I know of (in
personal terms) has the h/w development done in a fraction of the time the
s/w is done. Over my career, the money paid to me for my work has been
recovered over and over again in consumer product sales. I can spin a design
into a different product will little effort and sell it again to all the
people that have to have the latest gadget. Altium can't do that. Even if we
were totally happy with 99SE, we wouldn't dump it just to have 2004 for no
good reason. It has to have more features in order to make it attractive. I
don't think it seems to be more common every day, I think it's been common
from the beginning.

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