> Stephen - Altium have a list of new stuff in P2004 compared to DXP:
> http://www.protel.com/newin2004.htm
> also a list of things fixed since DXP SP2:
> http://www.protel.com/2004releasenotes.pdf but this does *not* include
> changes in P2004 SP1.  You would also need to read:
> http://www.altium.com/downloads/2004SP1/releasenotes.htm
> to get the guff on those.

Thanks Ian, wow, the perfect answer ;-)

> ...  If you think the
> the changes in P2004 are not beneficial to you (or not so you can justify
> the $), at least you have some real conception of what your competitors
may
> be using.

A little story if I may. We were using Protel 98, and for a long time (2
years), resisted the pull to goto 99SE. Then we switched, and started using
the built in project format. Well, it takes awhile to get accutomed to any
new software as everyone knows, and it took us awhile to get into 99SE.

Starting in December, the Altium rep started calling fairly regularily,
wanting us to upgrade to DXP for $2500. Compared to the other packages out
there, this is really cheap. So we took the plunge, and started using DXP
heavily for the last 3 months.

Ok, so getting back to the story. I work for a company that also produces a
very large software project. We just recently released a new version. And to
see the reation to DXP/2004, it seems similar to our product. New features
allways come with a tradeoff. But then new features can make you alot more
productive. I like how DXP (and even 99SE) is forcing me to merge the
schematic parts with the PCB footprints. This was one of our major sources
of problems with 98 and previous versions. Has anyone checked out the
scripting features in the design rules? Stumbled on my first hard crash when
I was in there, but it looks incredibly powerfull. When I was first trying
to use the "inspector", I had set (or it defaulted to) "change all items in
the library" box, and then globally changed a pad size. Ok, so it took out
the library and I had to fall back to my previous day's backup. But then I
am never going to do that again, and I have now realized how powefull the
inspector is (which is to say very powerfull). Just wished it had an
"execute" button, still haven't grocked when exactly it does the changes if
I forget to press the enter key...

So overall I am happy with the switch to the new Altium package. Ok, I guess
I am contridicting what I said previously ;-). But in my defense, when I
have to devote a good part of you life working with a software tool, I get
very opinonated about it. And sometimes I just wished they would use their
software to design complex boards ;-) If I was in charge of their QA
department, that would be the #1 priority. Hook up with a design house, and
force the coders to design a few boards. Usually C++ gurus are not into PCB
design and layout, but you will occasionally get one. But who knows? They
may be doing that allready. Anyways, enough rambling on a Saturday morning.
Hopefully I will be of more help on the forums in the future ;-)

Cheers

PS: sorry for the numerous spelling errors, my home puter doesn't have a
spell checker :-(

SN




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