DXP2004 is mostly fit. It is a resource hog, and has a very steep learning curve. I don't see many crashes/hangs under WINXP Pro with SP1(pre-release).

You need a really fast processor, a good graphics card, plenty of memory, and a good size disk to keep things moving along during layout. Take a look at the recommended system on the Protel web site, and believe it. You can get by with less, but expect lots of software delay as your project grows. WINXP seems to work better than WIN2K (SP4).

The biggest hangup is learning new ways to do what you do quickly in 99SE. Some of the shortcuts and menus you have come to know are gone - replaced with more powerful, but more involved methods. What you do almost automatically with global edits in 99SE takes time and thought in DXP2004.

There are more "bells and whistles" to learn - some good, some just fluff that you will never use. Some features aren't mature enough to use yet with confidence for production - the router, 3D, and simulation for example. The upcoming service pack may improve the router - too soon to tell.

If you have a collection of addons for 99SE, they won't work with DXP2004. Some vendors have updated, but the end user can't get a SDK yet for in-house addons.

The paper/pdf manual is not as comprehensive as earlier manuals. More dependence is placed in online help and various tutorials/white papers which are not entirely complete in describing the software. For example, you won't find a menu tree that walks you through each available function and command with detailed explanations. Much is left to trial and error. Not everything is intuitively arranged, and you won't get much help online trying to find the function you are after in the menus.

Bottom line - if the price is good, and you have a system that will support the software demands, go for it. You can always do as I have done thus far - play with DXP2004 features for entertainment while doing the critical work in the older software. When the service packs and playtime experience have reached the point of confidence, the shift to DXP2K4 should be mostly painless.

At 10:25 AM 5/29/04, you wrote:

Having just been offered a discount to upgrade from 99SE to 2004 it's time
to think about it again. (I knew those special offers would keep coming).

Is it fit to use yet or should hold out for a couple more service packs and
the next special offer?

Cheers, Terry.

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