Author Topic: Free Altium is Coming  (Read 297493 times)

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Offline Spikee

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #50 on: September 07, 2014, 12:36:30 pm »
I'm wondering when this free version is due.
Maybe at electronica 2014 in november?
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Offline zapta

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #51 on: September 07, 2014, 05:41:07 pm »
Every effort catering for a feature that I don't is effort that could be put into making the features that I use better.

Cross platform is just another feature. Some use it, some not.

To a point... You can't put 1,000 people on a single feature and expect anything to get done, ...

Where did this adding 1000 people thing came from?

My point was that every user prefers investment in features they use and non investments in features they don't use.

Cross platform is just anohter feature and is important for me because I will use it.  It's a matter of feature prioritization.

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Offline Rigby

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #52 on: September 07, 2014, 08:25:18 pm »
The 1000 people thing is to show, via exaggeration, that there IS a number where adding additional people to a project creates a negative effect, rather than positive.

If I had said 3 people would make things worse, anyone with a brain would have argued that. 

If you imagine 1000 people working on a single feature, the point that adding more workers to a project does not necessarily produce benefit is clear. 

That's all.
 

Offline ehughes

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #53 on: September 09, 2014, 03:28:40 pm »
I'm wondering when this free version is due.

https://makerfaire.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/mf14ny_program_lores.pdf

See the last Page.  They are a sponsor.   
 

Offline ehughes

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #54 on: September 09, 2014, 03:56:43 pm »


Virtually all of the Altium functionality is executed behind the scene via a hierarchy of objects that can be easily instantiated in the application code    It is actually quite easy to write custom Altium plugins/extensions using the platform.

They would be absolutely insane to not use the existing infrastructure.  The new tool will probably just be a simpler GUI in front of the existing code base.   

The goal of a design tool is to get work done,  not make a political statement.   It just needs to work on one platform well.   I wouldn't put it past Altium to make a decision to throw away money at a cross platform version but it would be very, very dumb.





 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #55 on: September 13, 2014, 12:40:34 am »
The goal of a design tool is to get work done,  not make a political statement.   It just needs to work on one platform well.   I wouldn't put it past Altium to make a decision to throw away money at a cross platform version but it would be very, very dumb.

They have told me that it will be Windows only. They don't have the need (and maybe resources) to compile for another platform yet, they said it's a lot of work.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #56 on: September 13, 2014, 12:41:11 am »
I'm getting another demo early next week.
Anything you want me to specifically ask them?
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #57 on: September 13, 2014, 12:42:55 am »
I'm wondering when this free version is due.
https://makerfaire.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/mf14ny_program_lores.pdf
See the last Page.  They are a sponsor.   

For those thinking about going, I'd recommend seeking out the Altium booth...
 

Offline tautech

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #58 on: September 13, 2014, 12:53:42 am »
I'm getting another demo early next week.
Anything you want me to specifically ask them?
# PCB layers?
# components?
Max PCB size?
File interchangeability/compatibility to existing Altium versions? (sch & pcb)
Compatibility with existing Altium libraries?
BOM?

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Online T3sl4co1l

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #59 on: September 13, 2014, 01:22:24 am »
Compatibility with existing Altium libraries?
BOM?

And what libraries are included, existing from corporate database or ???, and are they any better (the public AD09 libraries are crap for the most part, goofy outlines and no mechanical layers or 3D -- any of that improved)?

Supplier linking, different at all?  PCB mfg shortcuts as others have inquired about?

Simulation -- present?  Improved?

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Offline Zad

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #60 on: September 13, 2014, 01:25:00 am »
Off the top of my head:

What are the constraints in Altium Free?
Why use your product instead of Eagle or KiCad?
Is it all-new code, or does it contain source from Altium's mainstream product?
Will Altium be publishing "hooks" to allow third party innovators (which their users inherently are) to add functionality?
Are files stored locally (i.e. on the user's own machine) or in the "cloud"?
If locally: Is the file format public?
If not locally: Why should we trust you not to walk away from this, or sell off the product to another company, leaving our designs lost or at potential of intellectual property theft?
Will users be able to create and share content (component libraries etc) outside of any Altium "sandbox"?
Presumably Gerbers can be generated locally, unless you are locked into specific board houses?
Will the user be able to create commercial (i.e. professional paid-for) designs?
If this product is of good enough quality, why would users ever spend money on a paid Altium product?


Offline EEVblog

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #61 on: September 13, 2014, 01:41:58 am »
Will the user be able to create commercial (i.e. professional paid-for) designs?

Yes, the free version can be used for commercial use.

Quote
If this product is of good enough quality, why would users ever spend money on a paid Altium product?

You pay for better functionality in this one too. It's not just free and then $10K for Altium Designer.
 

Offline DerekG

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #62 on: September 13, 2014, 01:43:13 am »
I'm getting another demo early next week.

Dave, with all the cr*p you have dealt out to Altium in recent times, I'm surprised they are even talking to you.

Perhaps they are actually sending you a copy of Cadence in the hope you will move over & leave them alone.
I also sat between Elvis & Bigfoot on the UFO.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #63 on: September 13, 2014, 01:44:31 am »
Dave, with all the cr*p you have dealt out to Altium in recent times, I'm surprised they are even talking to you.

I like to think it's constructive criticism  ;D
But yeah, I was very surprised too.
I'm still banned from their forum...
 

Offline DerekG

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #64 on: September 13, 2014, 01:52:30 am »
I like to think it's constructive criticism  ;D

I would agree that it has. Altium (especially under previous CEO & founder Nick Martin) were/are bloody minded about so many things.

They actually needed someone to stand up publicly in the early 2000's to give them a good kick in the right direction.

Quote
But yeah, I was very surprised too.
I'm still banned from their forum...

No loss. Altium does not take criticism well. It's just that they know you get more visitor numbers to your blog everyday than they do. It's called "power of the people".
I also sat between Elvis & Bigfoot on the UFO.
 

Offline timb

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Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #65 on: September 13, 2014, 01:55:46 am »
The goal of a design tool is to get work done,  not make a political statement.   It just needs to work on one platform well.   I wouldn't put it past Altium to make a decision to throw away money at a cross platform version but it would be very, very dumb.

They have told me that it will be Windows only. They don't have the need (and maybe resources) to compile for another platform yet, they said it's a lot of work.

It's not "a lot of work" if you write clean, well commented code that follows standards.

If this were a new program written from scratch, you'd think that would be the case. So this tells me it's most likely heavily based on their legacy code.


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Offline timb

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #66 on: September 13, 2014, 02:00:28 am »

Will the user be able to create commercial (i.e. professional paid-for) designs?

Yes, the free version can be used for commercial use.

Quote
If this product is of good enough quality, why would users ever spend money on a paid Altium product?

You pay for better functionality in this one too. It's not just free and then $10K for Altium Designer.

Will this be replacing Altium Designer in the future perhaps?

They could have one basic free program and then you pick the features you need ala carte. Don't need Simulator? Don't pay for it.

Though I can see them fucking it up and charging $$$ to unlock shit like exporting Gerbers or 3D functionality...


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Offline Zad

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #67 on: September 13, 2014, 02:52:08 am »
Here is a sensitive question, and one that you may not want to ask, or may want to explicitly state has come from a forum member:

Background: Many users will be coming not from a background of professional use, or even from being an electronics student, but rather from the Arduino community. They might know something about electronics in very general terms, but probably won't know anything about designing PCBs. In order to "bootstrap" the product and gain market penetration, there will need to be at least some training, which will then encourage keen YouTube content providers to make more material.

Question: What sort of training materials will be available? (If they have videos locked down on their site and not public on YouTube then you know the leopard hasn't actually changed it's spots.)

Question (Marketing man's delight): In light of the information that the product is a ladder of products (presumably like Eagle), what are the different features, limitations, and costs?

Question: Many users will be radio amateurs (hams) to whom RF is important. Does the product have impedance control (design) tools?

Question: Will you be working with PCB houses and perhaps component suppliers to provide a value added product? (As an aside this would be a good ongoing revenue generator for Altium, if the partners feed back a percentage of the fees, as is often the case with loyalty schemes.)


Offline Psi

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #68 on: September 13, 2014, 03:47:52 am »
It's not "a lot of work" if you write clean, well commented code that follows standards.

If this were a new program written from scratch, you'd think that would be the case. So this tells me it's most likely heavily based on their legacy code.

Altium used to be all Delphi code but i believe they have moved most, if not all, to another C based platform. So it has been re-written, or at least ported, relativity recently.

Ironically, since they did that, the new versions of Delphi have added good cross platform support for windows, mac-os, android and IOS. And Linux is in the pipeline.

However, Alium Designer running on your Phone is probably not that useful :P
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Offline zapta

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #69 on: September 13, 2014, 05:44:14 am »
But yeah, I was very surprised too.

You have audience and they are smart to recognize it. 

They get free (I assume) buzz for their new product launch and you get an early look at it. It's a win/win.
Drain the swamp.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #70 on: September 13, 2014, 07:22:23 am »
They get free (I assume) buzz for their new product launch and you get an early look at it. It's a win/win.

Yeah, they aren't entirely dumb. They said they knew I'd review it anyway, and that my video made them stop release and reconsider what they were doing. So they wanted my reaction before they announcement it this time. I guess using me as kind of a community barometer.
 

Offline ludzinc

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #71 on: September 13, 2014, 08:03:47 am »
I'm getting another demo early next week.
Anything you want me to specifically ask them?

What's the release date?
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #72 on: September 13, 2014, 08:13:59 am »
What's the release date?

"By the end of the year".
They want to go into beta testing first with a new bunch of target market beta testers, not their existing pro user beta testers.
Within the next week they will be talking publicly about it.
 

Offline mrpackethead

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #73 on: September 13, 2014, 08:53:22 am »
Believe it when we see it.   I'll be grumpy though if "free" pretty much is what i needed, and i have just forked out to buy several seats.
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Offline miguelvp

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #74 on: September 13, 2014, 09:00:11 am »
I will assume that the free version is not for commercial applications, so if you had to add several seats you are probably a commercial entity therefore you don't want to use the cheap stuff because the bottom line rides on it.
 


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