Author Topic: Free Altium is Coming  (Read 297316 times)

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Offline ludzinc

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Free Altium is Coming
« on: August 27, 2014, 07:55:23 am »
So after this post:

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/altium/sequentially-numbered-multi-channel-design/msg502524/#msg502524

.. and catching up with the Amp Hour today, it got me thinking:

What features do you think Altium should not include in their free version?

What deal breakers are there for you to *not* want to try their free version?

I'll start:

Not Needed:

o  Rooms
o  Auto Router
o  Templates and Wizards

Deal Breaker

o  No 3D
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2014, 07:58:56 am »
It's got 3D.
In fact, its supposed to have most stuff you are used to.
The idea is not to limit the actual functionality.
 

Offline Ribster

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2014, 09:34:54 am »
Not Needed:

Rooms

That one i find quite usefull actually..
When you are laying out a driverboard with x outputs, you only have to draw one.
I never use autorouter, but i don't like to do things twice..
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Offline Mechatrommer

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2014, 11:53:53 am »
i feel something is terribly wrong. did you miss the word "trial" or "30 days evaluation"?, or simply Altium is closing down?
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Offline charlespax

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2014, 01:04:39 pm »
i feel something is terribly wrong. did you miss the word "trial" or "30 days evaluation"?, or simply Altium is closing down?
Now talking about the evaluation. Dave mentioned Altium is releasing a free version. Light on details right now.
 

Offline DerekG

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2014, 02:22:46 pm »
It's got 3D.
In fact, its supposed to have most stuff you are used to.
The idea is not to limit the actual functionality.

So maybe Altium will lock the ability to export gerbers to a maximum size & maybe this version will have a different file format that will be limited in some way unless you part with more $$.
I also sat between Elvis & Bigfoot on the UFO.
 

Offline DerekG

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2014, 02:33:42 pm »
What features do you think Altium should not include in their free version?

What deal breakers are there for you to *not* want to try their free version?

I'll start:

Not Needed:

o  Rooms
o  Auto Router
o  Templates and Wizards

Deal Breaker

o  No 3D

I actually think that not including the auto-placer & auto-router would be a deal breaker for me.

Hell, DipTrace does a great job of doing both of these complex tasks if you spend a few minutes to set them up properly.

The Altium auto-placer works very well, but the auto-router doesn't do as good a job as using Electra professional with DipTrace.

Even the standard DipTrace autorouter does a reasonable job. Even after spending some time cleaning the tracks up, it is still MUCH faster than routing complex boards manually.
I also sat between Elvis & Bigfoot on the UFO.
 

Offline tszaboo

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2014, 03:04:47 pm »
I hope they exclude the fpga/Embedded stuff, together with the C compiler.  Simulation can go, its cumbersome anyway. Keep all functions in schematic/PCB. 3D is a must.
I would be perfectly fine if they would limit it to 6 layers or number of components to some 2-3000. And no vault. Maybe even the Gerber editor could go, it is FUBAR anyway, if they would keep (and improve) the viewing.
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Offline zapta

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2014, 07:32:54 pm »
Windows only? No love here. :--

Will be interesting to see if the Maker vendors such as Sparkfun and Adafruit will standardize on a Windows only program.
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Offline 8086

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2014, 07:38:32 pm »
So it has features. But now I'm starting to worry about how they've crippled it to make people want to upgrade...
 

Offline marshallh

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2014, 10:10:04 pm »
I predict it will be limited enough that it won't be a "must-use" for most folks. There will still be enough reasons to ditch it and use full DXP.

And the open sores crowd will continue using kicad/eagle because it's cross platform.
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Offline Cside

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2014, 10:54:50 pm »
Make the full version free without caveat. Those who want to support it can and will. Those who cannot afford will do so latet add their business grows. Those who are just hobbies shouldn't have to pay and those who are psychopathic were always going to pirate it anyway.
 

Offline timb

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2014, 01:19:10 am »
Free for non-commercial use I'd guess. Maybe a 4 signal/2 power layer limit. Limiting size and connections is kind of dumb.


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Offline EEVblog

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2014, 01:23:36 am »
maybe this version will have a different file format that will be limited in some way unless you part with more $$.

Of course it will be limited in some way, and of course you have to part with $$ to get more.
Altium are a commercial PCB tool developer, they have a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders to make money.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2014, 01:24:09 am »
Free for non-commercial use I'd guess.

Nope!
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2014, 01:25:53 am »
And the open sores crowd will continue using kicad/eagle because it's cross platform.

No, that will have little to do with why people will continue to use them. People stick with programs because they are invested in them.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2014, 01:27:25 am »
I hope they exclude the fpga/Embedded stuff, together with the C compiler.

Your wish may be granted there.
This will be a PCB/schematic focused tool, as Altium have publicly promised the focus of the company will be on.

 

Offline timb

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2014, 01:27:56 am »

Free for non-commercial use I'd guess.

Nope!

Huh. From the details you're giving, I can say for certainty that this is either going to be an industry game changer or a completely mismanaged flop.


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Offline snoopy

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2014, 01:28:41 am »
I hope they exclude the fpga/Embedded stuff, together with the C compiler.  Simulation can go, its cumbersome anyway. Keep all functions in schematic/PCB. 3D is a must.
I would be perfectly fine if they would limit it to 6 layers or number of components to some 2-3000. And no vault. Maybe even the Gerber editor could go, it is FUBAR anyway, if they would keep (and improve) the viewing.

Yes keep all of the schematic and pcb stuff as it is and get rid of the FPGA/C-compiler stuff that nobody ever uses ;)

cheers
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2014, 01:30:33 am »
Huh. From the details you're giving, I can say for certainty that this is either going to be an industry game changer or a completely mismanaged flop.

Yep, I was excited by what I heard and saw.
Like I've said, there were few things that made me think they are headed in the wrong direction here.
Doesn't mean they can't completely screw it up in true Altium tradition though  ;D
 

Offline DerekG

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #20 on: August 28, 2014, 01:40:07 am »
I hope they exclude the fpga/Embedded stuff, together with the C compiler.

Fully agree.

Another take could be that the cut down version will only export an encrypted file that is then sent to board shops who team up with Altium. These board shops then add on a margin to each job which is paid to Altium for the decryption tool.

So the design software is free but you pay more for your pcbs.

This concept is not new:

http://www.sunstone.com/pcb-products/pcb123

http://www.fabstream.com/how-much-it-costs.php

Altium would then promote these "Board Shop Partners" within this software package. You could send your design away to (say) 4 specified vendors for quoting. All this can be built into the software so that it is simply "Click for Quote".

This could/would be a good model for Altium & I suspect this is the track they are going down with this new version.
I also sat between Elvis & Bigfoot on the UFO.
 

Offline Cside

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #21 on: August 28, 2014, 01:43:53 am »
maybe this version will have a different file format that will be limited in some way unless you part with more $$.

Of course it will be limited in some way, and of course you have to part with $$ to get more.
Altium are a commercial PCB tool developer, they have a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders to make money.

Mustn't upset the precious shareholders.

 

Offline zapta

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #22 on: August 28, 2014, 02:05:25 am »
No, that will have little to do with why people will continue to use them. People stick with programs because they are invested in them.

I would give it a try if it would run natively on my Mac OSX.
Drain the swamp.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #23 on: August 28, 2014, 02:07:54 am »
Another take could be that the cut down version will only export an encrypted file that is then sent to board shops who team up with Altium. These board shops then add on a margin to each job which is paid to Altium for the decryption tool.

Nope, that's not the direction they are headed.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Free Altium is Coming
« Reply #24 on: August 28, 2014, 02:11:38 am »
Mustn't upset the precious shareholders.

Well, the fact is Altium is a publicly listed company, and they do have a legal fiduciary responsibility as a public company to make a profit for their shareholders.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiduciary
Many people forget this.
If they were a charity, they would be registered as a charity, not a public company.
 


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