I'll second Tom's favorable opinion of 99SE, and add my own comments.

I don't find the 99SE database annoying, my main concern with it is I wonder
if the DDB files will be readable in the future by any non-Microsoft
database tool.  That could be a problem, if DDB files are never documented
or properly reverse engineered, and we dump MS software for Linux or
whatever, we might not be able to access our DDB file contents.  That said,
you don't have to use the DDB database in 99SE, it has an option where you
can select Windows File System, instead of MS Access Database.  I know
others have had problems with corruption of the DDB files, but that's never
happened to me.  The downside of having one big huge file is that if you
lose part of it, the entire thing may become unrecoverable.

As far as design complexity goes, the record here is 35 schematic pages, 8
PCB layers.  All handled without problems.  Most of our designs are in the
range of 1-6 sch pages, 2 to 6 layers.  The 99SE autorouter works OK if you
are patient with learning how to tweak the design rules.  Of course, don't
use autorouting for analog, power distribution nets, or high-speed digital,
do that stuff manually.

The main feature I wish 99SE had is Pin Swap in the PCB editor.  They took
this feature out from earlier versions!  PCB 2.8 had it.  I still
occasionally do some PCB designs in 2.8 because of the need to manually
optimize nets during routing, using Pin Swap, and then go back and fix the
schematic to match the PCB.  Sounds backwards (and it is), but the results
can be awesome.

Oh, and you MUST have a stable PC to use it on.  That means NO memory
errors, spyware, blue screens, etc.  Run memtest86 on your PC to make sure
it's rock solid.  99SE can use up lots of resources, so if your PC is not
100% you will have problems.

Best regards,
Ivan Baggett
Bagotronix Inc.
website:  www.bagotronix.com

----- Original Message -----
From: "Tom Luttrell PWRCOM" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "Protel EDA Forum" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Thursday, July 15, 2004 9:03 PM
Subject: Re: [PEDA] Ver 3.x --> 99SE or DXP??

> I have no experience with DXP but I can recommend the move from v3 to
> 99se.
> I have found 99se +sp6 running on win 2k is extremely stable and the db
> system is very useful to us. Conversely I had no end of trouble with v3.
> Most of our boards are double or 4 layer at most and easily manually
> routed. We have yet to find a reason to upgrade to DXP.
> I had no trouble at all moving from v3 to 99se. Importing many hundreds
> of separate PCB and SCH files into their respective databases took me an
> afternoon. I can't remember having any problems converting our footprint
> and SCH parts libraries.
> I recommend you give the trial 99se disk with service pack 6 a good
> workout, I guarantee you won't look back.
> Tom Luttrell.

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