best schematic capture/board editor program to learn for professional world?

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Michael J. Noone

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Sep 9, 2005, 6:32:20 PM9/9/05
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Hi - so recently talking with someone I mentioned that I use Cadsoft's
Eagle for schematic capture and board design. They were quite
surprised, and said that Eagle is not used hardly at all in the
professional world, and employers would much prefer to see a different
program listed on my resume (as I will soon be applying for jobs, being
a 3rd year EE). He specifically suggested orcad and pcad. I just
thought it'd be best to get a second opinion, though I expect he knows
what he's talking about. What do you all think? Thanks,

-M. Noone

Charlie Edmondson

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Sep 9, 2005, 6:58:10 PM9/9/05
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Michael J. Noone wrote:

Depends on where and what you are doing.

Orcad is pretty standard in medium-large businesses. Protel has a lot
of use in small businesses. Use Cadence Concept if you have a
masochistic tendency and want to work for big companies...

Charlie

Jim Thompson

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Sep 9, 2005, 7:14:18 PM9/9/05
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Sno-o-o-o-ort!

Cadence products and PAIN do seem to go hand-in-hand ;-)

...Jim Thompson
--
| James E.Thompson, P.E. | mens |
| Analog Innovations, Inc. | et |
| Analog/Mixed-Signal ASIC's and Discrete Systems | manus |
| Phoenix, Arizona Voice:(480)460-2350 | |
| E-mail Address at Website Fax:(480)460-2142 | Brass Rat |
| http://www.analog-innovations.com | 1962 |

I love to cook with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.

bill....@ieee.org

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Sep 9, 2005, 7:28:19 PM9/9/05
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If you can use one of the programs you can learn to use all of them,
though with the less user-friendly ones you forget stuff if you stop
using it for a couple of weeks.

I'm sure Charlie Edmondson is right - Orcad and Protel probably
cameprobably name more customers than anybody else, while Cadence might
have more seats.

Check out sci.electronics.cad for a better informed opinion.

There are quite a few other programs out there - I've used Metheus
(probably long extinct), several flavours of Orcad, and Ultiboard, and
one mob that I worked for used the PADS program. Bartels AutoEngineer
has its fans ...

I like gEDA myself. It's Linux/GNU software, and if you don't like what
it does, you can dive into the source code and improve it. Not that I
can - in my programing days I was a master of Fortran 4, and I've yet
to make the switch to C and Python.

http://www.geda.seul.org/

-----------
Bill Sloman, Nijmegen

http://www.geda.seul.org/

Tim Wescott

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Sep 9, 2005, 7:35:56 PM9/9/05
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Someone who only cares about what schematic capture program you're used
to either wants a draftsman or they don't know what they're talking
about. I would take a resume listing for _any_ second schematic capture
program to mean that you are ready to learn whatever one comes your way.

--

Tim Wescott
Wescott Design Services
http://www.wescottdesign.com

Joerg

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Sep 9, 2005, 7:39:56 PM9/9/05
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Hello Tim,

> Someone who only cares about what schematic capture program you're used
> to either wants a draftsman or they don't know what they're talking
> about. I would take a resume listing for _any_ second schematic capture
> program to mean that you are ready to learn whatever one comes your way.
>

Amen!

Eagle is fine as far as I am concerned. Ok, maybe I am biased because I
switched from OrCad to Eagle.

Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com

maxfoo

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Sep 9, 2005, 9:41:32 PM9/9/05
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It's the end product you designed that matters, not the tools used...
Sheesh, do you also mention on your resume the brand soldering iron used to
solder the parts to the pcb?

Mac

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Sep 10, 2005, 12:36:55 AM9/10/05
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All I can do is share my experience. At my first job, a very large
company, we used Mentor Graphics Design Architect tools. I was
designing single board computers (12 layers) with Intel PC-type
processors. There is no way you will be using these tools unless you get a
job working for a big company. ;-) And while the tools are very powerful
in many respects, they are also kind of clunky. I mainly used the
schematic entry tool, and the layout inspection tool. I didn't work on
layout myself.

At my next job, where I still work, we use orcad capture. There is nothing
wrong with this tool, and many reference designs or eval boards are done
with it.

At home, I have been experimenting with gschem, which is free software (it
is part of gEDA, which you can learn more about at geda.seul.org). I don't
think you can easily run it on Windows (although it may work under
cygwin), but if you have a linux box you should be able to get it up and
running easily. It is quirky, but overall, I like it. Whether people out
there in the industry use it, I have no idea.

If you spend the time to get familiar with gschem and pcb (by harry eaton,
et. al) you will have tools you can take with you anywhere you go, and
which will allow you to be reasonably productive on boards up to 8 layers.

--Mac

Tilmann Reh

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Sep 10, 2005, 3:44:06 AM9/10/05
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Michael J. Noone schrieb:

> Hi - so recently talking with someone I mentioned that I use Cadsoft's
> Eagle for schematic capture and board design. They were quite
> surprised, and said that Eagle is not used hardly at all in the
> professional world,

This might be correct for the US, but at least in Germany there are not
many electronic companies that do *not* use EAGLE for professional work.

Besides, the comments in the other replies apply. It's the work that
matters, not the tool (though EAGLE is a good tool :-) ).

[I'm not affiliated with CadSoft, but I am using EAGLE for many years,
and I have seen a few other packages too - which often were much more
expensive...]

--
Dipl.-Ing. Tilmann Reh
http://www.autometer.de - Elektronik nach Maß.

PeteS

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Sep 10, 2005, 5:42:40 AM9/10/05
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I would agree that it's the end product, and if you've mastered one
decent capture tool, you can master others.

I have used a number of capture tools, including Eagle, OrCad and
Protel, and they each had their pros and cons. Moving to another one
was largely a matter of finding the new naming convention for
operations and what the hot keys were. All of the packages have their
quirks, strengths and weaknesses of course.

On the comment about Cadence - Cadence bought OrCad some time ago,
which explains how it suddenly got loaded up with features and pain ;)
Cadence is no longer selling OrCad, by the way - they are trying to
migrate users to their newer packages.

Cheers

PeteS

Winfield Hill

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Sep 10, 2005, 10:22:24 AM9/10/05
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PeteS wrote...

OrCad used to be the "standard" but it rarely got high marks
in evaluations and usually in my experience failed to get the
nod for the one program to settle on. I'm a longtime p-cad
user (originally called Tango). It's been owned for sometime
now by Altium, who originally introduced the Protel product
mentioned above. We were worried when Altium bought p-cad,
but they have made steady improvements to p-cad, despite it
being a program that was already mature and highly refined,
provided you ignore the painful library management issue,
that is. But then, all the CAD programs seem to have very
painful library quality and management issues. <sigh>

One thing about p-cad, over the years I've been surprised to
find most of my circle of electronics friends, at least here
in Massachusetts, are using p-cad. Only one uses OrCad, and
he's using an old DOS version. Of the two pcb designers that
I taught at my old engineering company, Sea Data, one uses
p-cad and the other, who is now in Colorado, uses Protel. So
I'm looking forward to the p-cad = Protel link-up that Altium
promises for the next release.

OK, back to the PCB layout I'm editing for shipment to the PC
house - it should have gone out yesterday or the day before!
But first, just to add in one more feature I dreamed up...


--
Thanks,
- Win

Winfield Hill

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Sep 10, 2005, 10:42:12 AM9/10/05
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Winfield Hill wrote...

One more thing. If I were starting over now, I'd take a
careful look at Protel, because of its claimed integration
with FPGA and cPLD design. If this works as advertised, it
means the FPGA pins can be automatically swapped as the PCB
layout progresses, avoiding a painful chance for serious IC
pinout errors. That would be an important capability, but
provided I could still use my preferred FPGA design tools.

One final thing, Michael. I suggest that you ignore the
schematic-capture / PCB integration with Spice that many
programs (including p-cad) have and claim to be desirable.
This is NOT an important capability, for a few dozen good
reasons I've detailed previously here on s.e.d., so one
shouldn't let it influence his choice, in my opinion.


--
Thanks,
- Win

Jim Thompson

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Sep 10, 2005, 11:42:42 AM9/10/05
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On 10 Sep 2005 02:42:40 -0700, "PeteS" <p...@fleetwoodmobile.com> wrote:

[snip]


>On the comment about Cadence - Cadence bought OrCad some time ago,
>which explains how it suddenly got loaded up with features and pain ;)
>Cadence is no longer selling OrCad,

Sure they are. It's just handled by EMA-EDA for the small user. I
was recently contacted, with them wondering why I could be using
Capture and PSpice and NOT doing boards ;-)

Disclaimer: I only use Capture as a translation tool when requested
by my customers. I use PSpice Schematics for schematic entry.

>by the way - they are trying to
>migrate users to their newer packages.
>
>Cheers
>
>PeteS

PaulCsouls

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Sep 10, 2005, 1:35:28 PM9/10/05
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It depends on the company. If you work for a small company, where you
do your own layout, a large part of the job will be doing sustaining
of older designs and they will need some one who can work with the
tools used to make them in the first place. It applies to FPGA stuff
too. It's good to list the tools you've used on your resume as well as
the languages and brands of processors and FPGAs you worked with.
Skills can be as important as knowledge and they both require a
learning curve. Maybe the brand of soldering iron doesn't matter, but
it is important to find out if the guy you're hiring knows which end
to hold on to, if that's what you're going to expect him to be doing.

Paul C

Paul C

Joerg

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Sep 10, 2005, 1:59:09 PM9/10/05
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Hello Winfield,

>> But then, all the CAD programs seem to have very
>>painful library quality and management issues. <sigh>

Oh yes. Just got burned by that and now I have to "semi-invert" some
SOT23 on a board that came back from fab. CAD programs seem haphazard in
pin numbering and so it seems for some manufacturers. IMHO the CAD scene
is notoriously poor in agreeing on pin numbering standards. Or any
standards for that matter.

>>OK, back to the PCB layout I'm editing for shipment to the PC
>>house - it should have gone out yesterday or the day before!
>>But first, just to add in one more feature I dreamed up...

Hmm... I thought only Sales & Marketing introduces feature creep ;-)

> One final thing, Michael. I suggest that you ignore the
> schematic-capture / PCB integration with Spice that many
> programs (including p-cad) have and claim to be desirable.
> This is NOT an important capability, for a few dozen good
> reasons I've detailed previously here on s.e.d., so one
> shouldn't let it influence his choice, in my opinion.

Fully agree.

Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com

John Woodgate

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Sep 10, 2005, 2:20:22 PM9/10/05
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I read in sci.electronics.design that Joerg
<notthis...@removethispacbell.net> wrote (in
<N9FUe.1605$zq6....@newssvr27.news.prodigy.net>) about 'best schematic
capture/board editor program to learn for professional world?', on Sat,
10 Sep 2005:

>Hmm... I thought only Sales & Marketing introduces feature creep ;-)

Absolutely not. It's the chief bane of highly creative designers. They
are never ready to release the product for production, because in a few
days/weeks/month/years they will have a product that is 1000% better,
half the price and will convert Australian audio engineers into human
beings.(;-)
--
Regards, John Woodgate, OOO - Own Opinions Only.
If everything has been designed, a god designed evolution by natural selection.
http://www.jmwa.demon.co.uk Also see http://www.isce.org.uk

Joerg

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Sep 10, 2005, 2:39:37 PM9/10/05
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Hello John,

> Absolutely not. It's the chief bane of highly creative designers. They
> are never ready to release the product for production, because in a few
> days/weeks/month/years they will have a product that is 1000% better,
> half the price and will convert Australian audio engineers into human
> beings.(;-)

Maybe you are right. I have often heard the saying and actually seen it:
A firmware designer will sometimes fill up the ROM space of a uC to well
above 95% regardless of the complexity of the task.

Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com

Pooh Bear

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Sep 10, 2005, 2:59:55 PM9/10/05
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John Woodgate wrote:

> I read in sci.electronics.design that Joerg
> <notthis...@removethispacbell.net> wrote (in
> <N9FUe.1605$zq6....@newssvr27.news.prodigy.net>) about 'best schematic
> capture/board editor program to learn for professional world?', on Sat,
> 10 Sep 2005:
>
> >Hmm... I thought only Sales & Marketing introduces feature creep ;-)
>
> Absolutely not. It's the chief bane of highly creative designers. They
> are never ready to release the product for production, because in a few
> days/weeks/month/years they will have a product that is 1000% better,
> half the price and will convert Australian audio engineers into human
> beings.(;-)

What's required to change Oz bench techs into human beings then ?

Graham

John Woodgate

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Sep 10, 2005, 3:06:44 PM9/10/05
to
I read in sci.electronics.design that Pooh Bear
<rabbitsfriend...@hotmail.com> wrote (in
<43232D2B...@hotmail.com>) about 'best schematic capture/board
editor program to learn for professional world?', on Sat, 10 Sep 2005:

>What's required to change Oz bench techs into human beings then ?

A miracle of the 3rd altitude. (;-)

bill....@ieee.org

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Sep 10, 2005, 11:04:23 PM9/10/05
to

John Woodgate wrote:
> I read in sci.electronics.design that Joerg
> <notthis...@removethispacbell.net> wrote (in
> <N9FUe.1605$zq6....@newssvr27.news.prodigy.net>) about 'best schematic
> capture/board editor program to learn for professional world?', on Sat,
> 10 Sep 2005:
>
> >Hmm... I thought only Sales & Marketing introduces feature creep ;-)
>
> Absolutely not. It's the chief bane of highly creative designers. They
> are never ready to release the product for production, because in a few
> days/weeks/month/years they will have a product that is 1000% better,
> half the price and will convert Australian audio engineers into human
> beings.(;-)

The first two promises can be difficult to deliver, but degrading
Australian audio engineers to merely human only requires brain surgery
or a cask of beer. I can understand why a U.K. audio engineer might
want to do this, but it would probably get you into trouble with UN mob
who look after the world's cultural heritage.

--------
Bill Sloman, Nijmegen (but an Australian citizen)

bill....@ieee.org

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Sep 10, 2005, 11:14:24 PM9/10/05
to
Oz bench techs are fine if you treat them a human beings. English
engineers on secondment in Australia mostly seemed to think that they
have to treat them in the same way they treated the erks in the U.K. -
no "please", no "thank you", and no explanation of what you were asking
them to do, or where it fitted in the whole project.

English bench techs respond well if you talk to them as if they wee
human. I don't know if this approach would work if delivered in an
upper- or middle-class English accent - I've got no empirical evidence
on which to base and opinion.

-----------
Bill Sloman, Nijmegen

Michael J. Noone

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Sep 11, 2005, 1:10:50 PM9/11/05
to
Was there anything in particular that drove you to make this switch?
Just curious as I'm currently pondering making a switch in the other
direction...

RST Engineering (jw)

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Sep 11, 2005, 1:15:41 PM9/11/05
to

<bill....@ieee.org> wrote in message
news:1126408464.7...@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...

>
> English bench techs respond well if you talk to them as if they wee
> human.


I'm not sure what mental capacity has to do with weeing human, but I think
we all wee human.

{;-)


Jim


Joerg

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Sep 11, 2005, 5:27:58 PM9/11/05
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Hello Michael,

> Was there anything in particular that drove you to make this switch?
> Just curious as I'm currently pondering making a switch in the other
> direction...

The answer can be summed up in one single ASCII character: $

My first OrCad license cost $499 IIRC. Just for schematic because I
don't do layouts myself. Latest I heard it's now above $1500. At Cadsoft
you get the whole enchilada (schematic, layout and autorouter) for that
money. I also like the support groups for Eagle where you receive
answers almost immediately. Staff participates in the groups which
unfortunately is very unusual in today's business world.

There are a few downsides: Hardly anyone on the west coast uses Eagle or
even knows it exists. Cadsoft utterly lacks advertising out here. So the
schematic often has to be re-drawn by hand before layout. Then Eagle has
no hierarchical schematic structure. That is a serious shortcoming but
heck, you can't have it all.

Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com

bill....@ieee.org

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Sep 11, 2005, 6:19:18 PM9/11/05
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The intended phrase was "if you talk to them as if they were human".

------------
Bill Sloman, Nijmegen

Jesse Lackey

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Sep 12, 2005, 12:17:41 AM9/12/05
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Actually I disagree, clearly employers prefer to hire engineers familiar
with the tools already used in-house. I have yet to see Eagle listed in
a job description. This is a valid question / consideration. However,
familiarity with any EDA system is better than none, and as far as I
know the $multi-thousand tools don't offer anything beyond 30-day eval
versions.

Obviously something smartly designed in Eagle - which you learned on
your own - will be more impressive than someone who knows
(orcad,pcad,...) from a school class and didn't do much real work with
it. IMHO anyway. In the long run (and a full-time salaried hire counts
as this) smart go-getter people are the best employees to have.

J

samIam

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Sep 12, 2005, 11:45:04 AM9/12/05
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> I like gEDA myself. It's Linux/GNU software, and if you don't like what
> it does, you can dive into the source code and improve it. Not that I
> can - in my programing days I was a master of Fortran 4, and I've yet
> to make the switch to C and Python.

I second that!
Although I still find myself using ORCAD to draw schematics and gEDA's
"PCB" program (open source) to do layout

But then again its hobby not commercial design so ...

Joel Kolstad

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Sep 12, 2005, 4:35:42 PM9/12/05
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"Jesse Lackey" <jsl...@celestialaudio.com> wrote in message
news:Fj7Ve.13362$FT6.5427@trndny02...

> Obviously something smartly designed in Eagle - which you learned on
> your own - will be more impressive than someone who knows
> (orcad,pcad,...) from a school class and didn't do much real work with
> it. IMHO anyway.

Unless you're hiring someone specifically as a PCB layout guy (or schematic
capture guy, although in my experience it's very uncommon for anyone other
than the design engineer to perform schematic capture anymore), which
particular EDA tool some guy I'm considering hiring has used in the past is
pretty close to the bottom of my list of things I care about (somewhere in the
same ballpark of how well they dress :-) ). EDA software is just a tool, and
if it's clear you've already mastered one brand of hammer, it stands to reason
you can readily do so with any other hammer as well. On resumes I've
provided, I've always listed two sets of 'tools' experience I have -- one set
is software I feel I have well-above-average to expert competency in, whereas
the other set is stuff that, yeah, I've used it, but I'm no better than
average (if that) due to a lack of experience with it. This was in direct
response to my getting resumes from people where they listed every package
they every double-clicked on regardless of their experience level with it, and
my dismay at discovering this 5 minutes into an interview process. (I liked
the guy who said he had FPGA experience with "Xylinx" -- yeah, sure he did...)

> In the long run (and a full-time salaried hire counts
> as this) smart go-getter people are the best employees to have.

It's not particularly realistic to expect individuals to learn a full blown
commercial EDA tool on their own given that the license costs are typically
four digits if not five or even six. For instance, I've yet to meet anyone
who's learned how to use analog IC layout tools outside of a commercial or
(formal) educational setting.

In response to the original poster... OrCAD and PCAD are decent programs, but
arguably both of them are so popular these days mainly due to being around a
long time and being "good enough" -- not because, IMO, they're examples of
really, really good pieces of software (particularly OrCAD, which Cadence is
not even really actively developing anymore). Any employer who thinks that
someone having done one or two school projects with OrCAD or PCAD is somehow a
lot more qualified than someone using Eagle, is, IMO, an employer you should
be very cautious with in thinking you want to work for them -- it suggests
that they might be a little out of touch of what they really want in an
engineer (or else that the company has very undemanding projects to work on).

---Joel


Joerg

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Sep 12, 2005, 5:07:48 PM9/12/05
to
Hello Joel,

> Unless you're hiring someone specifically as a PCB layout guy (or schematic
> capture guy, although in my experience it's very uncommon for anyone other
> than the design engineer to perform schematic capture anymore), which
> particular EDA tool some guy I'm considering hiring has used in the past is
> pretty close to the bottom of my list of things I care about (somewhere in the

> same ballpark of how well they dress :-) ). ...

Unless he or she is then using their CAD SW as a contractor. That can
sometimes lead to trouble. Just had that, several library errors
resulting in pinout errors on SOT23. IMHO there is no serious
achievement in standardization in the EDA industry.

> ...EDA software is just a tool, and


> if it's clear you've already mastered one brand of hammer, it stands to reason

> you can readily do so with any other hammer as well. ...

And then that other hammer flies off the handle :-)

>>In the long run (and a full-time salaried hire counts
>>as this) smart go-getter people are the best employees to have.

Fully agree.

Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com

Rich Grise

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Sep 12, 2005, 6:57:40 PM9/12/05
to

Isn't that one of the laws of S/W design? "Programs will expand to fill
available memory."

Cheers!
Rich


Joerg

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Sep 12, 2005, 7:15:51 PM9/12/05
to
Hello Rich,

>>Maybe you are right. I have often heard the saying and actually seen it: A
>>firmware designer will sometimes fill up the ROM space of a uC to well
>>above 95% regardless of the complexity of the task.
>
> Isn't that one of the laws of S/W design? "Programs will expand to fill
> available memory."

It's sad but that's what I am seeing as well. My biz records are being
kept in databases. They are compatible with the ones I used in the late
80's. The program used to fit into about 200k of memory. Now the
software doing the very same thing eats oddles of megabytes with no
significant upsides other than some glitz. Unless I elect to fire up the
DOS program which is still happy with about 200k, way faster and the
laptop fan never comes on.

The worst though are memory leaks. Even pretty good programs sometimes
begin to bloat a little, using more memory than in the morning. Closing
and restarting fixes that. Looks like lack of control in the design process.

Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com

Rich Grise

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Sep 13, 2005, 11:21:27 AM9/13/05
to

Exactly. I've been studying "Thinking in C++", in an attempt to learn
something, and the guy practically harps on memory leaks. "Watch out
for this bug, because it will give you a memory leak..."

I had always kind of thought that the OS was responsible for allocating
memory - what's the mechanism of a memory leak? Is it that the app
will request memory from the OS and not return it? In other words,
will the OS free all of the memory that the crappy app forgot to
release, or is it gone until you reboot?

Thanks,
Rich

Keith Williams

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Sep 13, 2005, 11:29:39 AM9/13/05
to
In article <pan.2005.09.13....@example.net>,
rich...@example.net says...

The OS can't possibly know the app is done with the memory it's
allocated until the app releases it. If it doesn't, it's a memory
leak. The memory *may* be returned to the pool when the program
terminates, or maybe not.

--
Keith

John Woodgate

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Sep 13, 2005, 11:44:03 AM9/13/05
to
I read in sci.electronics.design that Keith Williams <k...@att.bizzzz>
wrote (in <MPG.1d90ba6d8...@news.individual.net>) about 'best
schematic capture/board editor program to learn for professional
world?', on Tue, 13 Sep 2005:

>The OS can't possibly know the app is done with the memory it's
>allocated until the app releases it. If it doesn't, it's a memory
>leak. The memory *may* be returned to the pool when the program
>terminates, or maybe not.

I understand that apps can also leak into areas of memory that they have
no business to be writing to.

Keith Williams

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Sep 13, 2005, 2:15:39 PM9/13/05
to
In article <D6h6JSfD...@jmwa.demon.co.uk>,
j...@jmwa.demon.contraspam.yuk says...

> I read in sci.electronics.design that Keith Williams <k...@att.bizzzz>
> wrote (in <MPG.1d90ba6d8...@news.individual.net>) about 'best
> schematic capture/board editor program to learn for professional
> world?', on Tue, 13 Sep 2005:
>
> >The OS can't possibly know the app is done with the memory it's
> >allocated until the app releases it. If it doesn't, it's a memory
> >leak. The memory *may* be returned to the pool when the program
> >terminates, or maybe not.
>
> I understand that apps can also leak into areas of memory that they have
> no business to be writing to.
>
I don't believe that's a memory "leak", per se. A "Memory leak" is
where memory is claimed and not returned to the free pool, causing
memory to be continually consumed. Sooner or later the system runs out
of even virtual memory and the universe ends.

--
Keith

Rich Grise

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Sep 13, 2005, 3:32:37 PM9/13/05
to
On Tue, 13 Sep 2005 16:44:03 +0100, John Woodgate wrote:

> I read in sci.electronics.design that Keith Williams <k...@att.bizzzz>
> wrote (in <MPG.1d90ba6d8...@news.individual.net>) about 'best
> schematic capture/board editor program to learn for professional world?',
> on Tue, 13 Sep 2005:
>
>>The OS can't possibly know the app is done with the memory it's allocated
>>until the app releases it. If it doesn't, it's a memory leak. The
>>memory *may* be returned to the pool when the program terminates, or
>>maybe not.
>
> I understand that apps can also leak into areas of memory that they have
> no business to be writing to.

That's why there's Linux. ;-D

Cheers!
Rich


David Brown

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Sep 13, 2005, 4:18:33 PM9/13/05
to
John Woodgate wrote:
> I read in sci.electronics.design that Keith Williams <k...@att.bizzzz>
> wrote (in <MPG.1d90ba6d8...@news.individual.net>) about 'best
> schematic capture/board editor program to learn for professional
> world?', on Tue, 13 Sep 2005:
>
>> The OS can't possibly know the app is done with the memory it's
>> allocated until the app releases it. If it doesn't, it's a memory
>> leak. The memory *may* be returned to the pool when the program
>> terminates, or maybe not.
>

If a program requests memory and does not return it when finished, it's
the program's fault. If this leak causes the OS to crash because it
hands out memory continuously until it falls over, it is the OS's fault
(as windows may do). If the OS doesn't automatically free all the
program's memory when it is killed, then you are the proud owner of Win9x!

>
> I understand that apps can also leak into areas of memory that they have
> no business to be writing to.

That's only possible if the OS doesn't properly implement memory
management and inter-process security. In other words, it happens on
Win9x, but not on WinNT (including W2K and XP) or real OS's.

Winfield Hill

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Sep 13, 2005, 6:03:19 PM9/13/05
to
David Brown wrote...

Yes and no. If I close all my open programs, Win-XP sometimes recovers,
but not always; frequently a reboot is required. The operating system
may indeed restore the lost memory if the application is terminated, but
I know many applications are rarely or never terminated. Whatever the
explanation, the painful scourge of memory leaks is alive and kicking.

Interesting factoid, my computer running Win-XP is far less stable than
my computer running Win-2000. This wasn't true at first, but degradation
of my Win-XP computer set in rapidly. BTW, it's treated with kid gloves,
behind a firewall, doesn't even run an email program, full security progs.


--
Thanks,
- Win

Jim Thompson

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Sep 13, 2005, 6:22:16 PM9/13/05
to
On 13 Sep 2005 15:03:19 -0700, Winfield Hill
<Winfiel...@newsguy.com> wrote:

Yep. Watching other's experiences with XP, I've stuck with Win2K.

...Jim Thompson
--
| James E.Thompson, P.E. | mens |
| Analog Innovations, Inc. | et |
| Analog/Mixed-Signal ASIC's and Discrete Systems | manus |
| Phoenix, Arizona Voice:(480)460-2350 | |
| E-mail Address at Website Fax:(480)460-2142 | Brass Rat |
| http://www.analog-innovations.com | 1962 |

I love to cook with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.

martin griffith

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Sep 13, 2005, 7:08:46 PM9/13/05
to
On Tue, 13 Sep 2005 15:22:16 -0700, in sci.electronics.design Jim
Thompson <thegr...@example.com> wrote:

>>>everybody wrote something

>Yep. Watching other's experiences with XP, I've stuck with Win2K.
>
> ...Jim Thompson

Fat chance of finding a PDF reader that works, and isn't written by
those Adobe wankers?


martin

Winfield Hill

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Sep 13, 2005, 7:20:11 PM9/13/05
to
martin griffith wrote...

>
> Fat chance of finding a PDF reader that works, and isn't
> written by those Adobe wankers?

What's pdf-file software got to do with Win2k or WinXP?


--
Thanks,
- Win

Joerg

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Sep 13, 2005, 8:25:41 PM9/13/05
to
Hello Winfield,

> Yes and no. If I close all my open programs, Win-XP sometimes recovers,
> but not always; frequently a reboot is required. The operating system
> may indeed restore the lost memory if the application is terminated, but
> I know many applications are rarely or never terminated. Whatever the
> explanation, the painful scourge of memory leaks is alive and kicking.

Tell me about it. For the new lab PC they didn't give me a joice
anymore. No, couldn't "downgrade" to NT this time, I had to accept XP.
What a pain.

The worst is the persistent bugging for attention by bubbles. They threw
in McAfee and it constantly splashes a stupid window over anything you
are working on. "Your computer needs an update and is in danger
blah...blah...blah". I turned everything off I could, didn't get rid of
it. Next is an un-install I guess.

> Interesting factoid, my computer running Win-XP is far less stable than
> my computer running Win-2000. This wasn't true at first, but degradation
> of my Win-XP computer set in rapidly. BTW, it's treated with kid gloves,
> behind a firewall, doesn't even run an email program, full security progs.

Same here. Not happy with XP at all. In the end none of these "operating
systems" is as good as DOS.

Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com

Jim Thompson

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Sep 13, 2005, 8:43:32 PM9/13/05
to

When I last bought PC's, 3 last summer, they only offered XP. I chose
NONE for OS, and put Win2K on all three ;-)

Wouter van Ooijen (www.voti.nl)

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Sep 13, 2005, 9:18:01 PM9/13/05
to
> He specifically suggested orcad and pcad. I just
>thought it'd be best to get a second opinion, though I expect he knows
>what he's talking about. What do you all think? Thanks,

IIRC Eagle has not been around as long as the ones you mention.
Inertia has a strong relation to the size of a company, so chances are
high that a big company will not even know Eagle exists.

Most newcomers to PCB design seem to prefer Eagle, for whatever
reason.

But what does it matter? If you want to work for a certain class of
companies it makes sense to get yourself at least some experience in
the software they like to see on your resume.


Wouter van Ooijen

-- ------------------------------------
http://www.voti.nl
Webshop for PICs and other electronics
http://www.voti.nl/hvu
Teacher electronics and informatics

JeffM

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Sep 13, 2005, 9:21:47 PM9/13/05
to
>When I last bought PC's, 3 last summer, they only offered XP.
>I chose NONE for OS, and put Win2K on all three ;-)
> Jim Thompson

Vendor?
Price differential?

John Larkin

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Sep 13, 2005, 11:37:28 PM9/13/05
to


Both my new Dells came with XP/SP2 installed. A number of things about
XP are stupid and annoying, but they are very reliable and seem to run
fine for weeks at a time. The Dells themselves are crap, at least as
far as packaging and ergonomics go.

John

Michael A. Terrell

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Sep 14, 2005, 1:46:23 AM9/14/05
to
John Larkin wrote:
>
> Both my new Dells came with XP/SP2 installed. A number of things about
> XP are stupid and annoying, but they are very reliable and seem to run
> fine for weeks at a time. The Dells themselves are crap, at least as
> far as packaging and ergonomics go.
>
> John


Just wait till you need parts. I scrap almost every Dell I get my
hands on because nothing fits other systems and the Dells all have
similar component failures. Only one worked at all, and the on board
IDE ports are bad. Most of them have bad electrolytic capacitors and
blown power supplies.

--
?

Michael A. Terrell
Central Florida

John Woodgate

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Sep 14, 2005, 2:02:32 AM9/14/05
to
I read in sci.electronics.design that Winfield Hill
<Winfiel...@newsguy.com> wrote (in <dg7ib...@drn.newsguy.com>)
about 'best schematic capture/board editor program to learn for
professional', on Tue, 13 Sep 2005:

> Interesting factoid, my computer running Win-XP is far less stable
>than
> my computer running Win-2000. This wasn't true at first, but
>degradation
> of my Win-XP computer set in rapidly. BTW, it's treated with kid
>gloves,
> behind a firewall, doesn't even run an email program, full security
>progs.

Do you run any app to clear trash out of the machine? I find WinXP SP2
requires the occasional spring-clean, not as often as Win98. I've not
used Win2k.

Paul Burke

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Sep 14, 2005, 3:00:19 AM9/14/05
to
martin griffith wrote:

> Fat chance of finding a PDF reader that works, and isn't written by
> those Adobe wankers?

It's not brilliant, it sort of goes, but it's not Adumby and it's free:

http://www.foxitsoftware.com/pdf/rd_intro.php

Paul Burke

Tony Williams

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Sep 14, 2005, 3:12:35 AM9/14/05
to
In article <dg7ib...@drn.newsguy.com>,
Winfield Hill <Winfiel...@newsguy.com> wrote:

> Interesting factoid, my computer running Win-XP is far less
> stable than my computer running Win-2000. This wasn't true at
> first, but degradation of my Win-XP computer set in rapidly.
> BTW, it's treated with kid gloves, behind a firewall, doesn't
> even run an email program, full security progs.

Hello Win. Are you by any chance suffering the XP GDI
Objects bug? This is where various lumps of software
request, and are assigned, GDI handles. The bug allows
some software to acquire thousands of handles, which
drastically slows down the computer.

To look at this: Move to an empty space on the icon bar
along the bottom, right-click, and select 'Task Manager'
from the menu.

From the TM menu select 'processes', then 'view'. In the
view menu, select 'columns', and untick everything except
'user name' and 'GDI Objects'. OK/close the view menu.

The processes window should now show a listing of software
names, who is the user of that software, and the count of
GDI objects assigned to each. Each count should be in the
10's for most software, with just a few 100's.

Make a rough mental record of the counts, and minimise the
TM window. Throughout the day, open up the TM window and
check to see if any software is grossly accumulating handles.

For example. I'm monitoring a particular prog. When loaded
it has 95 GDI Objects assigned to it. When doing a certain
action it gets about 10 more, but when closing the action it
does not release them. In just a few minutes it is up to
about 270, and people have reported 8000-10000 at the end of
the day.... XP running seriously slugged.

I believe that Microsoft have issued a fix for this.

--
Tony Williams.

The Real Andy

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Sep 14, 2005, 4:14:46 AM9/14/05
to

Disable themes, problem gone. I have tried to reproduce this behaviour
with no success. According to MS it only affects MFC child windows, so
the problem is limited. There is a hotfix available.

Tony Williams

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Sep 14, 2005, 4:29:04 AM9/14/05
to
In article <4daa25a...@ledelec.demon.co.uk>,
Tony Williams <to...@ledelec.demon.co.uk> wrote:

> I believe that Microsoft have issued a fix for this.

<http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q319740>

--
Tony Williams.

Ken Smith

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Sep 14, 2005, 9:59:21 AM9/14/05
to
In article <ej6fi19vfnn3g681o...@4ax.com>,
John Larkin <jjla...@highNOTlandTHIStechnologyPART.com> wrote:
[...]

>Both my new Dells came with XP/SP2 installed. A number of things about
>XP are stupid and annoying, but they are very reliable and seem to run
>fine for weeks at a time. The Dells themselves are crap, at least as
>far as packaging and ergonomics go.

Ummm..... which is it "they are very reliable" or "seem to run fine for
weeks at a time". If I had a car that only ran fine for weeks at a time,
I'd want my money back.
--
--
kens...@rahul.net forging knowledge

John Woodgate

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Sep 14, 2005, 10:54:39 AM9/14/05
to
I read in sci.electronics.design that Ken Smith
<kens...@green.rahul.net> wrote (in <dg9abp$ie3$2...@blue.rahul.net>)
about 'best schematic capture/board editor program to learn for
professional', on Wed, 14 Sep 2005:

>Ummm..... which is it "they are very reliable" or "seem to run fine for
>weeks at a time". If I had a car that only ran fine for weeks at a
>time, I'd want my money back.

In 2005, yes, but in 1945? Cars are more reliable than computers simply
because they've been around longer. It took round about 50 years to get
to 1945 level of reliability. Complain in 2030 if your computer is then
not as reliable as your car is now.

Jeroen Belleman

unread,
Sep 14, 2005, 11:31:09 AM9/14/05
to
John Woodgate wrote:
> I read in sci.electronics.design that Ken Smith
> <kens...@green.rahul.net> wrote :

>> Ummm..... which is it "they are very reliable" or "seem to run fine
>> for weeks at a time". If I had a car that only ran fine for weeks at
>> a time, I'd want my money back.
>
> In 2005, yes, but in 1945? Cars are more reliable than computers simply
> because they've been around longer. [...]

*Computers* are reliable enough. It's some *operating systems* that aren't.
And it's not that it's impossible to do better either. It makes people
come back for the next version. It makes perfect economic sense.

Jeroen Belleman

Joerg

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Sep 14, 2005, 11:51:49 AM9/14/05
to
Hello Jim,

> When I last bought PC's, 3 last summer, they only offered XP. I chose
> NONE for OS, and put Win2K on all three ;-)

With desktops you can often do that as you are usually free to configure
them. Graphics cards etc. With laptops and their built-in HW there comes
a point where a certain piece of HW in there just won't have any
available NT driver. Then you are stuck with XP.

One would probably be fine if, say, the modem didn't work under NT. But
for those rare cases where the ISP link goes down it's nice to be able
to dial in and transmit that critical file to the client in time.

Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com

Paul Burke

unread,
Sep 15, 2005, 2:59:03 AM9/15/05
to
John Woodgate wrote:
> Ken Smith
> >If I had a car that only ran fine for weeks at
>> a time, I'd want my money back.
>
>
> In 2005, yes, but in 1945? Cars are more reliable than computers simply
> because they've been around longer.

Not to mention that a Ford Popular cost £390 in 1953, or about
three-quarters of a year's wages for a craftsman. A corresponding car
today costs about £8000 (Ford Fiesta, list price), or about a third of a
craftsman's wages.

Computers on the other hand have plummeted in price over the period
since the PC was introduced, from about half a junior engineer's annual
wages to a tolerable night out at a halfway decent restaurant (well,
slight exaggeration).

It's not surprising that quality and durability have not been priorities
under such circumstances.

Paul Burke

John Woodgate

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Sep 15, 2005, 3:49:47 AM9/15/05
to
I read in sci.electronics.design that Paul Burke <pa...@scazon.com> wrote
(in <3osl58F...@individual.net>) about 'best schematic capture/board
editor program to learn for professional', on Thu, 15 Sep 2005:

>John Woodgate wrote:
>> Ken Smith
>> >If I had a car that only ran fine for weeks at
>>> a time, I'd want my money back.
>> In 2005, yes, but in 1945? Cars are more reliable than computers
>>simply because they've been around longer.
>
>Not to mention that a Ford Popular cost £390 in 1953, or about
>three-quarters of a year's wages for a craftsman. A corresponding car
>today costs about £8000 (Ford Fiesta, list price), or about a third of
>a craftsman's wages.

That's because people in the First World have become almost too costly
to employ.


>
>Computers on the other hand have plummeted in price over the period
>since the PC was introduced, from about half a junior engineer's annual
>wages to a tolerable night out at a halfway decent restaurant (well,
>slight exaggeration).
>
>It's not surprising that quality and durability have not been
>priorities under such circumstances.
>

Durability probably isn't a prime requirement, in view of the rate of
innovation. But the point was well-made that the hardware is, by and
large, far more reliable than the software. I do wonder whether this is
partly due to the basic incomprehensibility of high-level languages.

Robert Latest

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Sep 17, 2005, 3:45:32 AM9/17/05
to
On 2005-09-14, John Woodgate <j...@jmwa.demon.contraspam.yuk> wrote:

> In 2005, yes, but in 1945? Cars are more reliable than computers simply
> because they've been around longer. It took round about 50 years to get
> to 1945 level of reliability. Complain in 2030 if your computer is then
> not as reliable as your car is now.

The reliability of cars has been declining for quite a while due
to the increase of on-board electronic and computer systems.

robert

PeteS

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Sep 17, 2005, 8:38:48 AM9/17/05
to
<< The reliability of cars has been declining for quite a while due
to the increase of on-board electronic and computer systems. >>

I just had some new equipment installed in a very late model truck. All
system controls are electronic. Brakes, engine, gears - even the power
windows are controlled through a CAN bus. That's to say nothing of the
hydraulic systems for the trailer and so forth. That particular model
has 9 separate internal CAN busses and a gateway that I attach my
equipment onto (read only, thank you. I can live without the liability
issues).

The reason for the manufacturer (apart from the marketing hype) is easy
- the newer trucks have 2/3 less wiring, to say nothing of the fact
that the only way it can be diagnosed is with manufacturers equipment
(thus increasing their profit) and at a (usually) approved dealership.
I know there's a bill wending it's way through the US congress to force
all manufacturers to supply standard information for debug, but it's
being fought tooth and nail by the manufacturers.
That said, a fault in the onboard systems can cause major problems. I
was watching a truck being moved into a service bay (engine dead, so it
seems) that also had an air leak. The 'fail-safe' meant the brakes were
locked, and they couldn't move the vehicle until they got out the HP
air hose to keep some pressure in the system.

There *are* very stringent specs for automotive software, but whether
they are sufficient is not something I am knowledgeable on.

Cheers

PeteS

Robert Latest

unread,
Sep 17, 2005, 11:02:08 AM9/17/05
to
On 17 Sep 2005 05:38:48 -0700,
PeteS <p...@fleetwoodmobile.com> wrote
in Msg. <1126960728....@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>

> There *are* very stringent specs for automotive software, but whether
> they are sufficient is not something I am knowledgeable on.

Spare parts is a whole 'nother issue. People will get really pissed if
they have to scrap their mechanically perfect 10-year-old car only
because the computer "decided" it won't run any more due to a hardware
failure and a new chip isn't available any more. Like inkjet cartridges
"decide" nowadays that the cartridge is empty.

robert

PeteS

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Sep 17, 2005, 11:56:21 AM9/17/05
to
<< People will get really pissed if they have to scrap their
mechanically perfect 10-year-old car only because the computer
"decided" it won't run any more due to a hardware failure and a new
chip isn't available any more.>>

Couldn't agree more. That's one of the reasons the manufacturers are
fighting so hard to retain all their 'proprietary data' within their
own systems. It forces people to get a new vehicle and the tradein
value is close to zero unless the 'manufacturer's dealers' offer
something. It's awfully close to deceptive practises, in some ways.
Some years ago, the Ford Tempo (I think it was the 85 or 86 model year)
would bring up the engine warning at 30,000 miles, because Ford had
decided that the EGR valve should be changed then (nothing in the
manual about it though). Of course, the majority of people took their
cars in because they thought they had a serious problem, instead of a
non-issue.

After getting a lot of complaints and 'investigated' by the FTC, Ford
'offered' to fix the issue (and refund money) and not just put the
engine warning light on simply to get people to go into their
dealerships (and spend money) for no actual reason.

It'll be a while, but perhaps we'll see the various controllers in
vehicles become commodities - maybe, maybe not.

Cheers

PeteS

John Woodgate

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Sep 17, 2005, 12:09:24 PM9/17/05
to
I read in sci.electronics.design that PeteS <p...@fleetwoodmobile.com>
wrote (in <1126972581.8...@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>) about
'best schematic capture/board editor program to learn for professional',
on Sat, 17 Sep 2005:

>It's awfully close to deceptive practises, in some ways.

In other ways, it's not only close to, it IS, criminal extortion. Just
like the 'company store' scam. The link between manufacturers and
dealerships has to be broken.

JosephKK

unread,
Oct 29, 2005, 1:17:31 AM10/29/05