At 06:33 PM 4/12/2004, John A. Ross [RSDTV] wrote:
> I believe Altium/Protel has lost its 'common sense'... or
> maybe PCB designer sense at the very least.

Which is a great pity, as from my understanding, I am sure Mr Lomax will
correct me if I am wrong (as he seems pretty hot on Protel history) that
Protel tools were first created out of ones mans frustrations with the PCB
layout tools available at the time, being clunky, inefficient and hard to
use, so Protel was born.

Circle of life eh? :-)

Yes, life does move that way. I'm not really any expert on early Protel history, I came on board with Protel 98, though I did have some experience with Autotrax, having written bidirectional Autotrax - Tango translators.

Tango, having been (it appears) born as a Protel knock-off, was targeted at engineers, priced for the low end, entry/startup level. Accel got bigger, ate PCAD, and the package ended up targeted at a very different market. That's fine, but they lost the original market, they became much too expensive. Problem is, that original market is the future, that is, the designers who cut their teeth in it go on to become decision-makers in future years.

Yes, Protel has moved away from that startup market, at least to some degree. There should be an entry-level package. Problem with entry-level packages is that they often are so limited as to be unusable in practice. The Accel TangoPro light package for example, would have meant that I could not have handled jobs that I was doing without difficulty in Tango DOS.... A basic package could skip pretty much everything but Schematic and PCB, but there should not be layer and pin limits, and the files should be compatible with the full version. (In both directions, preferably, though that does not mean that all file records would necessarily be functional in the limited version. Still, those records should be preserved.)

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