I had gotten busy and didn't have a chance to reply earlier.

Rene- I agree with most of what you listed as improvements. But my overall impression is that Schematic received most of the real enhancements. The PCB stuff is mostly frills. It is more polished, but I think it was done a great expense. See my interspersed comments...

At 04:16 AM 7/17/2004, you wrote:
-the mouse scroll for panning and zooming as well in the
 schematic as in the pcb. I don't have to add the panning
 in the schematic with the right mouse. That was overdue.

Nice to finally have the right mouse pan in the schematic. I find the pre-defined mouse wheel useless, wish I could define the wheel function myself.

-When exiting with a lot of files open, I'm asked which
 I want to have saved.

Nice frill but doesn't really improve my productivity in any measurable way.

-renaming copper that is already there, due to a net that
 was renamed. IN 99SE you could select the connected copper
 and rename the net, but that left the vias, as the vias
 were somehow not counted connected copper(!). This sort
 of stuff works like a charm and even much better.

Never had the via problem in 99se, they always selected along with other copper.

-The global search & replace I like better in DXP2004 than
 in 99SE.

I find that it is more powerful, but its generally overkill for PCB layout. Many simple edits in 99se are now very complex (or impossible) in DXP04. I'm sure I'll occasionally find a global edit in DXP that wasn't as easy or possible in 99se, but overall I find this to be a great loss in productivity.

-The schematic library displays not only the symbol but
 also the possible footprints as graphic. No, the integrated
 libraries are not necessary. I'm still working with my
 99SE libraries. Any new component is still made in 99SE
 and then pulled over to DXP2004.

Nice but I haven't gotten it to work consistently with my 99se libs. I'm sure its just operator error and I'll eventually figure it out.

-DXP2004 would allow more that the 4 footprints that 99SE
 did for a schematic component.

One was all I ever wanted. We use a strict one to one correlation between footprints and symbols. After we started doing this we NEVER had a footprint miss-match (long before integrated libs came along). Even so I do look forward to using fully integrated libraries. I don't see this as adding productivity, just greater peace of mind.

-It allows importing and saving files and projects in the
 99SE format
-Dimensions for example decayed into drawing primitives
 in 99SE. They are solved much nicer in DXP2004.

Yes, dims are now very nice!!! The datum dims are what I've been waiting for. This might save me an hour or two per fab drawing if they worked just a little better. Hopefully next rev.

-When something is selected, the rest is dimmed.

Some times this is nice sometimes its a curse. I wish it were easy to toggle back and forth between 99se mode and DXP mode.

-plus much more ...

Unfortunately the things I really need are still not there. These include: Rule setup for differential pairs and matched lengths that allows for series caps/resistors, and T's; True interactive differential routing; Length matching package skew factors for every net; Automatic length matching which handles user defined trombone lengths that can be routed interactively or in batch mode. These are just a very few things that are needed for modern board design. Any one of these items could save me DOZENS of hours on a single design. WAKE UP ALTIUM!

I'm only doing schematic and manual routing, nothing else.

I do mostly PCB and just a little schematic, so naturally my impressions are different.

One drawback: DXP2004 takes a lot more memory. 512Mega are
not sufficient when running a few more applications.
And yes the many panels require a second screen. It is
definitely not comfortable with even a 1600x1200. Meaning
I have a new system on the list, when the finances permit,
perhaps next year.


Unfortunately my machines were upgraded not long before I tried DXP04 I find my AMD 3200's with 1G of dual channel are sorely lacking in performance when it comes to DXP. I'm going to need to upgrade again, and of course I'll need to get those second monitors.

So far, I find the biggest productivity boost that DXP04 offers for PCB layout is the enhanced dimensioning. The global editing offers greater power but I find its mostly un-needed and at a cost of lost productivity.

DXP04 is pretty and more 'finished' but I really need much more than that. I am a contract designer which means I'm not salaried. I get paid by the job, so productivity is paramount. Compared to 99se, DXP04 is taking food out of my mouth. I'm still looking for the features that will change this. I sure wish someone could point out some PCB layout productivity enhancements that I might have missed.


Jim Monroe wrote:

Rene- I wish I could enjoy using DXP as much as I've enjoyed 99se. Maybe you could elaborate about the features "you wouldn't want to miss", because I haven't found them yet.

At 01:02 PM 7/16/2004, Rene wrote:

Steve Wiseman wrote:

I've got a project coming up which I'd like to run through DXP as a learning project, since it's not too urgent. While I do have a huge archive of DXP emails from [EMAIL PROTECTED], which I could no doubt work my way through, are there any other resources out there to help the transition? Altium seem to have completely disowned DXP on their website - is 2004 the same thing?
I guess what I'm really hoping for is a list of really obvious things that I'll otherwise have to learn the hard way...
Thanks for any hints, pointers, warnings, whatever :)

I recently made the transition too.
I also took a project that wasn't in a hurry.
I admit DXP2004 is great. There are many features that I wouldn't
want to miss anymore. The menues are untidy as in 99SE, meaning
there are a multiple times the same pages as we were used to.
Most important: before tryinging something for hours, post a
question to a newsgroup, here or at altium and get the problem
solved before the motivation is gone.

Ing.Buro R.Tschaggelar http://www.ibrtses.com
Your newsgroups @  http://www.talkto.net

Ing.Buro R.Tschaggelar http://www.ibrtses.com
Your newsgroups @  http://www.talkto.net

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