Author Topic: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!  (Read 44741 times)

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Online EEVblog

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Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
« Reply #75 on: June 01, 2011, 04:37:39 am »

Note the recent surge in the buying pressure that hasn't been seen since the peak in mid 2007.

Dave.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2011, 04:48:38 am by EEVblog »
 

Offline DrGeoff

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Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
« Reply #76 on: June 01, 2011, 04:59:23 am »
I remember back when those shares were worth around $5 and several engineer colleagues were buying up. Tech bubble maybe? AFAIK they have never reported a dividend. Market cap is only around 10mill these days, and yet notice how the buying pressure has not had any real effect on share price. Reminiscent of AWA. I wonder if the surge is the result of someone collecting stock, or maybe a fund manager on a speculative hunch.
Was it really supposed to do that?
 

Offline Zad

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Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
« Reply #77 on: June 01, 2011, 06:33:37 pm »
Given that information, I predict that a buyout bid will be made before long, and they will be absorbed into Won-Kok Manufacturing Co, firing their existing (expensive) ex-Aussie engineers and managers, and putting their own people in. As it is right now, it seems pretty close to an exercise in asset stripping.

Offline DrGeoff

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Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
« Reply #78 on: June 01, 2011, 10:29:03 pm »
Altium's primary asset is its one flagship software product, the IP of which is probably in the heads of about half a dozen core developers. The company appears to have suffered from poor direction and mismanagement as well as incompetent marketing. Having used many CAD packages over the years (from SmartPCB, orcad, cadstar, pads, protel, mentor etc) I believe their schematic capture and pcb layout tools are excellent.
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Online EEVblog

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Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
« Reply #79 on: June 02, 2011, 12:34:17 am »
Quote
The company appears to have suffered from poor direction and mismanagement as well as incompetent marketing. Having used many CAD packages over the years (from SmartPCB, orcad, cadstar, pads, protel, mentor etc) I believe their schematic capture and pcb layout tools are excellent.

Yes, the tool is excellent and deserves to own the market. But they seem to be doing everything possible to not make that happen. It's sad.

Dave.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2011, 04:49:18 am by EEVblog »
 

Offline DrGeoff

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Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
« Reply #80 on: June 02, 2011, 09:55:05 pm »
Yes, the tool is excellent and deserves to own the market. But they seem to be doing everything possible to not make that happen. It's sad.

Dave.

The market is ripe for picking. If Altium don't do it then another package will become defacto standard in this market. A low cost schematic capture and PCB layout system with the option of purchasing plugins (like simulator, PLD/VHDL etc) could move into the market and capture it. Capturing hobbyists and students early is key to having them push the same tools in the organisations that they work for.

Maybe the Altium developers will split from the company and create a startup to do this. Won't be the first time it has happened.
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Online EEVblog

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Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
« Reply #81 on: June 03, 2011, 03:57:17 am »
Unfortunately good ECAD software is quite complex and time consuming to write from scratch.
I suspect it would take years to get a new package up off the ground.

Dave.
 

Offline Mechatrommer

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Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
« Reply #82 on: June 03, 2011, 05:11:13 pm »
Unfortunately good ECAD software is quite complex and time consuming to write from scratch.
I suspect it would take years to get a new package up off the ground.
Dave.
and require many genius too in every discipline. forget it if its a one man show.
It's extremely difficult to start life.. one features of nature.. physical laws are mathematical theory of great beauty... You may wonder Why? our knowledge shows that nature is so constructed. We simply have to accept it. One could describe the situation by saying that... (Paul Dirac)
 

Offline Zero999

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Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
« Reply #83 on: June 03, 2011, 05:19:30 pm »
If Altium dies, people will just pirate it more, especially if there's no one to sue them.
 

Offline Zad

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Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
« Reply #84 on: June 03, 2011, 07:03:57 pm »
If a company disappears, their software doesn't suddenly float around without an owner. What usually happens is that there is an auction of assets (often for a fraction of their previous value) which includes intellectual property. Sometimes the result can be that one person owns the name, while another owns the product rights. Sometimes they can go through a pre-packaged buy-out, which almost inevitably means the previous owners buying out their own company, minus debts, staff pension fund responsibilities, and property rental contracts which they would otherwise have had to pay off. Hey presto, Daves-Magic-PCB-Co(2001) Ltd becomes Daves-Magic-PCB-Co(2011) Ltd, with little debt, no big financial responsibilities, and they lost all the expensive staff overheads.

Offline Zero999

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Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
« Reply #85 on: June 03, 2011, 07:39:32 pm »
But what if:

the debt exceeds the assets?

several different people own different parts of the intellectual property i.e. Dave owns the component library, John owns the autorouter, Pete owns the GUI etc?

Worse still, Paul claims he owns the component library, Fred thinks he owns the autorouter and Tony believes he owns the GUI so they take each other to court wasting more money on lawers?


Things get tricky when software gets abandoned.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abandonware
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
« Reply #86 on: June 03, 2011, 11:30:49 pm »
Unfortunately good ECAD software is quite complex and time consuming to write from scratch.
I suspect it would take years to get a new package up off the ground.
Dave.
and require many genius too in every discipline. forget it if its a one man show.

Not really, you just need enough patience!
One guy wrote AutoTrax (not to be confused with Altium/Protel AutoTrax!, Altium never registered the trademark, so he grabbed it)
http://www.kov.com/

Dave.
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
« Reply #87 on: June 03, 2011, 11:38:35 pm »
If a company disappears, their software doesn't suddenly float around without an owner. What usually happens is that there is an auction of assets (often for a fraction of their previous value) which includes intellectual property.

Yes, Altium will never just fold and close the doors, products like this with so many users in a niche market are too valuable and will always be bought by someone else before that happens.
Of course it's not uncommon for the buying company who have a similar product to then phase out the product and push you over to their solution. Altium themselves are famous for this after buying companies (PCAD, CircuitMaker, Tasking et.al). The only reason Altium still tolerates having Tasking in their product portfolio, is because many huge auto makers use it, and I believe there were some form of clauses in the contracts that means they have to keep supporting it. So you can buy Tasking if you really really want it, but Altium sales people are not allowed to actively push it.

Dave.
 

Offline Mechatrommer

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Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
« Reply #88 on: June 04, 2011, 03:42:52 am »
and require many genius too in every discipline. forget it if its a one man show.
Not really, you just need enough patience!
One guy wrote AutoTrax (not to be confused with Altium/Protel AutoTrax!, Altium never registered the trademark, so he grabbed it)
http://www.kov.com/
Dave.
yes, patience. i was talking about me. the thing can eat up the time like we try to search the solution for quantum mechanics. the most difficult part i can see is doing better ai auto-routine stuffs. autorouting, autoplacement etc. i could use the time for other more usefull stuffs, just me.
It's extremely difficult to start life.. one features of nature.. physical laws are mathematical theory of great beauty... You may wonder Why? our knowledge shows that nature is so constructed. We simply have to accept it. One could describe the situation by saying that... (Paul Dirac)
 

Offline lecroy

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Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
« Reply #89 on: July 03, 2011, 07:10:37 am »
G'day

I'm not surprised, Altium Sales bugged me to no end to renew our support license, I kept telling them the new version had nothing interesting for us. We just want very strong schematic and PCB design. The autorouter is still very stupid and doesn't follow half the rules it should, they just take effect in the DRC. If you have ever seen  top-end autorouters (Mentor, Cadence) you will understand  what I mean.
Instead they keep working on these Cloud ideas, changing the storage format over and over again and don't get me started on the nano boards. I'm sure students love them but I can't see how you can use them in industry.
As for moving to China, this makes sense guys, with recruitment agencies ringing me up asking if I want to hire a EE with 2 years experience for "only" 80K/yr + super the AU labour market is complete nonsense. In china a senior engineer is $10K/year. Altium are here to make money so for the price of 1 engineer in AU I get 8 in China.

Nik

 

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Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
« Reply #90 on: July 03, 2011, 07:29:15 am »
I'm not surprised, Altium Sales bugged me to no end to renew our support license, I kept telling them the new version had nothing interesting for us. We just want very strong schematic and PCB design.

That's what about 95% of their customers says. They think we all just "don't get it".

Quote
Instead they keep working on these Cloud ideas, changing the storage format over and over again and don't get me started on the nano boards. I'm sure students love them but I can't see how you can use them in industry.

You would really. Although that was clearly the concept with the industrial enclosures available.

Quote
As for moving to China, this makes sense guys, with recruitment agencies ringing me up asking if I want to hire a EE with 2 years experience for "only" 80K/yr + super the AU labour market is complete nonsense. In china a senior engineer is $10K/year. Altium are here to make money so for the price of 1 engineer in AU I get 8 in China.

From what I've been hearing in the industry, the difference in practice isn't really that great, and the churn rate can be quite high in Shanghai. I hope they can retain staff and keep the (code) quality up at the same time.

Dave.
 

Offline lhc

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Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
« Reply #91 on: July 03, 2011, 04:51:34 pm »
Unfortunately good ECAD software is quite complex and time consuming to write from scratch.
I suspect it would take years to get a new package up off the ground.
Dave.
and require many genius too in every discipline. forget it if its a one man show.

Not really, you just need enough patience!
One guy wrote AutoTrax (not to be confused with Altium/Protel AutoTrax!, Altium never registered the trademark, so he grabbed it)
http://www.kov.com/

Dave.

Did you try AutoTRAX EDA Dave? It's only 200$ for a full version.
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
« Reply #92 on: July 03, 2011, 10:56:06 pm »
Did you try AutoTRAX EDA Dave? It's only 200$ for a full version.

I wouldn't use a package that is written by and relies on one person, and is not open source.

Dave.
 

Offline lhc

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Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
« Reply #93 on: July 04, 2011, 07:45:00 pm »
Did you try AutoTRAX EDA Dave? It's only 200$ for a full version.

I wouldn't use a package that is written by and relies on one person, and is not open source.

Dave.

I'm a professional IT guy and I can assure you that being open source absolutely does not guarantee that the software will be developed after the creator abandons it - if that is the reason why you want it to be open source.

The part about it being developed by one person - that is a valid reason.

So do you have any propositions for something not so expensive yet working good?
I don't like Eagle so much (it's not THAT bad but the nice versions are too expensive for what it is) and currently I'm checking KiCAD.
May i know what you will be using now for your projects (other than DaveCAD that is  ;D  )?
 

Offline DrGeoff

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Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
« Reply #94 on: July 04, 2011, 10:32:45 pm »
That's what about 95% of their customers says. They think we all just "don't get it".

Which just shows how incompetent their marketing people are.
Either they have failed to educate their market or they are trying to sell to a non-existent market.

Quote
As for moving to China, this makes sense guys, with recruitment agencies ringing me up asking if I want to hire a EE with 2 years experience for "only" 80K/yr + super the AU labour market is complete nonsense. In china a senior engineer is $10K/year. Altium are here to make money so for the price of 1 engineer in AU I get 8 in China.

From what I've been hearing in the industry, the difference in practice isn't really that great, and the churn rate can be quite high in Shanghai. I hope they can retain staff and keep the (code) quality up at the same time.

And should the political climate change in China (as it is prone to do) then they also risk losing a great deal.
Was it really supposed to do that?
 

Offline Frant

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Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
« Reply #95 on: July 05, 2011, 12:25:08 am »
That's what about 95% of their customers says. They think we all just "don't get it".

Which just shows how incompetent their marketing people are.
Either they have failed to educate their market or they are trying to sell to a non-existent market.


I know several engineers who still use the good ol' Protel 99SE. It's good enough for a majority of small (and not so small) projects people typically do. It's fast, simple, reliable and somehow relaxing. It uses a database format so the whole project can be kept in one file. I believe that the market exists for quite a similar product, but updated and at a reasonable price. Altium is just too big, too cluttered, too hardware demanding, and yes, too expensive for small businesses and enthusiasts.
 

Offline DrGeoff

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Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
« Reply #96 on: July 05, 2011, 12:58:02 am »
Protel 99SE works for me, although it is getting a bit dated and cracks appeared under Win7-64 which required a bit of jiggerypokery to get the libraries to load.
You are right, an updated and maintained version of this fine tool to bring it into this century would be perfect for the small business or individual who requires schematic capture and PCB layout.

I had to laugh when I saw Altium's promo video for the future of electonic design. It assumed that all electronic design is digital. More goofy marketing from the clowns department!
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Online EEVblog

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Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
« Reply #97 on: July 05, 2011, 02:40:27 am »
I'm a professional IT guy and I can assure you that being open source absolutely does not guarantee that the software will be developed after the creator abandons it - if that is the reason why you want it to be open source.

Sure, but at least it has more chance of being taken up by someone else, or even yourself if you are so keen. And big open source stuff like that generally has more than one person working on it anyway.

Quote
The part about it being developed by one person - that is a valid reason.

So do you have any propositions for something not so expensive yet working good?
I don't like Eagle so much (it's not THAT bad but the nice versions are too expensive for what it is) and currently I'm checking KiCAD.
May i know what you will be using now for your projects (other than DaveCAD that is  ;D  )?

Well, I still have Altium, but I am starting to actively look at other packages now.
I just don't know though, I have not really touched the other packages yet.

Yes, the Eagle pricing plans leave a lot to be desired.

Dave.
 

Offline DrGeoff

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Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
« Reply #98 on: July 05, 2011, 03:11:40 am »
Found a list of tools here: http://www.olimex.com/pcb/dtools.html
I used PADS back in the early 90's, which wasn't too bad and was affordable (about $500 for scm+pcb packages). Looks like Mentor have acquired them so I don't know what the pricing is like now, probably many $k and maintenance contracts (which Mentor used to love).

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Offline Iliya

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Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
« Reply #99 on: July 20, 2015, 11:27:36 pm »
Did you try AutoTRAX EDA Dave? It's only 200$ for a full version.

I wouldn't use a package that is written by and relies on one person, and is not open source.

Dave.

Why?
 


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