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EDA => Altium Designer => Topic started by: Strube09 on April 05, 2011, 12:42:29 pm

Title: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: Strube09 on April 05, 2011, 12:42:29 pm
Disappointed in Altium:

http://www.noodls.com/view/35AEF71FED0C4035C1F9EA872525988B2CCC323E (http://www.noodls.com/view/35AEF71FED0C4035C1F9EA872525988B2CCC323E)

Strube


Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: Zad on April 05, 2011, 03:34:12 pm
Hell yes, that is one huge mother of a mistake. A bit of a bugger for Dave too. Hope there was a bloody good redundancy.

I wonder if they are owned by a Chinese company or something now? There is this impression that China is now the centre of the world's economy and has suddenly acquired all the skills it needs for future growth. It is cheap right now, but sure as eggs is eggs, inflation will hit eventually, and there will be a shortage of trained and skilled people to do the jobs. Great at production, not so great at innovation.

I really hope a group of the ex-Altium guys get together and produce a competitor. I'm afraid over the last few years they rather took their eye off the ball and Creeping Featurage took over. The low and middle end of the market is huge and devoid of a decent product. Eagle is far from easy to use, and DesignSpark also feels like a product for amateurs.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: implor on April 05, 2011, 03:49:27 pm
Maybe this is why Dave said that he will do the show full time - for a while.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: allanw on April 05, 2011, 04:21:18 pm
Well, I've heard that Altium hasn't been that profitable. From a business perspective, this makes sense.

Of course, it's still unfortunate for the current employees:

Quote
The first stage of the move will involve a reorganization of the Sydney office operations including a significant reduction in staff.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: Alex on April 05, 2011, 04:26:54 pm
They probably saw China as a platform 'in the making' where groundbreaking thinking can be adopted more easily. Same story with renewables.
I dont see why the execs needed to move to China to do this though, leaving behind the rest. Let them go and enjoy their Bejing duck, they will come back after dinner.

Cadence OrCAD is the standard for bigger companies (Intel) and Altium Designer has been traditionally used by smaller/niche companies.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on April 05, 2011, 04:32:09 pm
For a company whose main business is complex software that needs a high level of support my feeling is it's potentially suicidal.
When did you last see software from China that was well-designed, fully documented and bug-free..?
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: Alex on April 05, 2011, 04:40:15 pm
They will probably need to bring new people on the R&D team; I don't think most aussies were very excited about relocating to China...

Oh, here it is:

Quote
Altium plans to expand its R&D team over time by drawing on the talent pool in China.

I dont think support will be an issue as they are keeping their global support centres. They probably want to make business partners in China and get China to use the new versions of Altium.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: RayJones on April 05, 2011, 07:50:58 pm
Bang!

Whoops where did my foot go?

Obviously been poisoned by the big dollar.
They were real good when they were the small Protel startup in Tasmania.
Then they bought into America and that was when the price hikes started and changed to Altium.
Now they're in China - well I can already see it now overpriced Chinese junk.

Oh well, Protel 99SE still is a damn good tool!
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: Mechatrommer on April 05, 2011, 07:57:27 pm
i think this may means getting cheaper labour cost in R&D, but keep curtomer support from "english or multilingual people" which doesnt require high education level. the same to manager which only very few to pay (maybe 1 or 2 people only), they need to keep the quality and standard in order among Chinese labour (another win for chinese people, they are going to learn how 1st world standard works). the lower the labour (in-house) cost, hence can sell their product at more competetive price. Since (if i'm not mistaken) Dave worked in "Altium Competitor" company, the Giant Altium decision will influence the company so badly. and i guess any competitors should restructure as well, to keep up with the race.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: EEVblog on April 05, 2011, 09:02:26 pm
The low and middle end of the market is huge and devoid of a decent product.

I agree. There really not not much choice out there, and Altium know this.
They could easily have OWNED the low, mid, and high end spaces but they sadly did not chose to do so.

Dave.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: EEVblog on April 05, 2011, 09:05:35 pm
Since (if i'm not mistaken) Dave worked in "Altium Competitor" company

No, I worked at Altium designing the Nanoboard hardware.

Dave.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: Ronnie on April 06, 2011, 12:07:29 am
There is this impression that China is now the centre of the world's economy and has suddenly acquired all the skills it needs for future growth.

Looks like China's economy will overtake the US by the end of 2020?    ???
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: EEVblog on April 06, 2011, 12:32:52 am
The Altium move was discussed to todays AmpHour we just recorded.
So if you want some further details, be sure to tune in to this weeks episode.

Dave.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: mikemxyzzy on April 06, 2011, 01:14:52 am
Didn't Altium have problems with their Chinese VAR in 2005 or so? I seem to recall seeing an article about it.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: AdShea on April 06, 2011, 03:04:40 am
Well, I don't expect it to stay better than OrCAD for much longer now.  Time to work on gEDA I guess.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: slburris on April 06, 2011, 03:32:25 am
Hell yes, that is one huge mother of a mistake. A bit of a bugger for Dave too. Hope there was a bloody good redundancy.

This doesn't translate well for me here in the US.  Does redundancy
mean severance package?  "Bloody good" translates just fine though!

Scott
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: EEVblog on April 06, 2011, 04:52:49 am
Yes, redundancy means severance package.

Dave.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: george graves on April 06, 2011, 06:29:22 am
Ohh - theamphour show is up!  Great - Listening now.



Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on April 06, 2011, 08:05:55 am
Quote
I agree. There really not not much choice out there, and Altium know this.
They could easily have OWNED the low, mid, and high end spaces but they sadly did not chose to do so.
I wonder if a group of ex-Altiummers will set up to go after this market....

I still use PCAD2006, which is one of the only PCB packages designed from scratch to use normal Windows conventions, and so has a very easy learning curve. It also has an open & documented file format so easy to write translators - if marketed at the right price it could have easily killed Eagle stone dead.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: Hypernova on April 06, 2011, 08:49:19 am
They probably want to make business partners in China and get China to use the new versions of Altium.

Oh the Chinese will use it don't you worry.

Tricky part is getting them to pay for it  ;)
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: McPete on April 06, 2011, 09:03:44 am
Damn, that sucks... What'll be left in Australia now? Sales and not a whole lot else? Execs with dollars-in-eyes at work here, by the sound of it.

My TAFE still teaches Protel 99SE... is that indicitave of industry in this country, or the way TAFE is funded?

Best of luck to you and your colleagues job-hunting Dave. I'm sure people of your experience will be snapped up by other employers.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: EEVblog on April 06, 2011, 12:36:08 pm
Quote
I agree. There really not not much choice out there, and Altium know this.
They could easily have OWNED the low, mid, and high end spaces but they sadly did not chose to do so.
I wonder if a group of ex-Altiummers will set up to go after this market....

I still use PCAD2006, which is one of the only PCB packages designed from scratch to use normal Windows conventions, and so has a very easy learning curve. It also has an open & documented file format so easy to write translators - if marketed at the right price it could have easily killed Eagle stone dead.

Altium could kill Eagle stone dead within months and nab the entire hobbyist/hacker/maker/low cost market.
They chose not to because they can't see down to earth through the cloud....

Dave.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: EEVblog on April 06, 2011, 12:39:18 pm
Damn, that sucks... What'll be left in Australia now? Sales and not a whole lot else? Execs with dollars-in-eyes at work here, by the sound of it.

My TAFE still teaches Protel 99SE... is that indicitave of industry in this country, or the way TAFE is funded?

Both. TAFE stupidly underfunded.
I know many companies still using 99SE because it did the job.
That version is/was also the standard in China, except that few actually paid for it.

Dave.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: Mechatrommer on April 06, 2011, 02:21:01 pm
i've been in delusion with A!tium filter all this time. so now i can hear the true story. i just wish you luck dave.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: shadewind on April 06, 2011, 06:54:56 pm
Well... I wonder what the future of hobbyist and semi-pro PCB software holds. I tried using EAGLE a bit but it's a very archaic program which is completely unintuitive...
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: Sal Ammoniac on April 06, 2011, 09:03:40 pm
Well... I wonder what the future of hobbyist and semi-pro PCB software holds. I tried using EAGLE a bit but it's a very archaic program which is completely unintuitive...

I use KiCad, which is a free, open source program. Its user interface is not perfect, and there are some annoyances (the biggest being no link between schematic symbols and PCB footprints), but it also has no artificial limits like the free version of Eagle does. Want a 14 layer board 1m x 2m in size? No problem. Don't like Windows? No problem--it runs on Linux, FreeBSD, and Mac OS X.

I don't think it has an autorouter (never looked), but Real PCB Designers(TM) don't autoroute.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: AdShea on April 07, 2011, 02:42:39 am
KiCAD has some weird way to export to an autorouter.  Really I want to get the toporouter ported over from gEDA.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: Zero999 on April 07, 2011, 06:16:53 pm
Damn, that sucks... What'll be left in Australia now? Sales and not a whole lot else? Execs with dollars-in-eyes at work here, by the sound of it.

My TAFE still teaches Protel 99SE... is that indicitave of industry in this country, or the way TAFE is funded?

Both. TAFE stupidly underfunded.
Altium are stupid for not offering their software to colleges for free or a nominal fee. The more students who use it, the more employers will.

Quote
I know many companies still using 99SE because it did the job and DXP was a nightmare.
That version is also the standard in China, except that nobody pays for it, and likely never will.
I have a p1r8 copy somewhere but don't have it installed. I prefer lighter software and don't do any large/complex boards so even Protel is overkill for me.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: chscholz on April 07, 2011, 06:42:11 pm
Some of the best (most innovative/creative/efficient successful) engineers I know are PRC born Americans.

[...]
 It is cheap right now, but sure as eggs is eggs, inflation will hit eventually, and there will be a shortage of trained and skilled people to do the jobs. Great at production, not so great at innovation.

[...]
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: Mechatrommer on April 07, 2011, 07:10:38 pm
Some of the best (most innovative/creative/efficient successful) engineers I know are PRC born Americans.
same here. i think their genetic is trained to be highly independent and adaptable so they can be succesfull if you dump them anywhere on earth... except at their own country i think.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: Zad on April 07, 2011, 07:21:51 pm
Genetic ethnicity has very little to do with it. What matters most is the culture and background where you were brought up and where you live. I can't see the current situation in China promoting innovative thinking and being outside the mainstream in the same way that Europe and North America does. Equally, I think that if you put innovative people in China, you stifle their talent.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: Strube09 on April 07, 2011, 07:29:58 pm
I have found with my Chinese vendors that they are not very innovative. It seems in school they teach them how to do what is told and repeat.... Aka copy other's work.

Strube
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: Simon on April 07, 2011, 07:46:30 pm
Well... I wonder what the future of hobbyist and semi-pro PCB software holds. I tried using EAGLE a bit but it's a very archaic program which is completely unintuitive...

I use KiCad, which is a free, open source program. Its user interface is not perfect, and there are some annoyances (the biggest being no link between schematic symbols and PCB footprints), but it also has no artificial limits like the free version of Eagle does. Want a 14 layer board 1m x 2m in size? No problem. Don't like Windows? No problem--it runs on Linux, FreeBSD, and Mac OS X.

I don't think it has an autorouter (never looked), but Real PCB Designers(TM) don't autoroute.

it can plug into a free online service that autoroutes, A bit long winded but good for quike jobs
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: Ronnie on April 08, 2011, 02:42:08 am
Quote
I prefer lighter software and don't do any large/complex boards so even Protel is overkill for me.

I think discrete audio design there is no need for software unless you plan to mass produce the circuit.    8)
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: the_raptor on April 08, 2011, 10:35:38 am
Wait, since when has China produced good software*? Why would you even choose it over India which at least has a high degree of English fluency and a more Western culture?

I also hope the executives and management like living in China because outsourcing complex software doesn't work most of the time (which is why India has been regulated to cheap and nasty development mostly).

Smells like a stock pump and dump to me. Is the CEO about to have a whole bunch of shares released for sale?

* Which as others have said has nothing to do with the people and everything to do with the culture.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: gxti on April 12, 2011, 06:33:10 am
I've been hooked on a "borrowed" copy for the past few months but this is making me think even harder about my future design tools. Cloudifying everything in version 10 to the point where there are no longer any nontrivial parts shipped on the DVD and everything is through a subscription does not help either, because now I'm stuck with what the previous version shipped, forever. Oh well, I don't mind making parts anyway.

So that leaves Eagle, which is the de-facto standard for open-source hardware (mmm, irony). Or open-source KiCAD, which is of the same ancient technology as Eagle but at least has future prospects. It'll be hard going back, that's for sure.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: johnboxall on April 12, 2011, 10:35:49 am
I have found with my Chinese vendors that they are not very innovative. It seems in school they teach them how to do what is told and repeat.... Aka copy other's work.

Strube


Altium can wave goodbye to any and all IP once the local R&D people start working for them. If some government technical people find out that Altium has something interesting and proprietary going on, it will only take a couple of CCP stooges to force the local R&D people to hand over the details.

And if any Altium Australians in China find something local a bit too interesting, it's suddenly espionage and they disappear for a while.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: tinhead on April 12, 2011, 10:41:12 am
I've been hooked on a "borrowed" copy for the past few months but this is making me think even harder about my future design tools. Cloudifying everything in version 10 to the point where there are no longer any nontrivial parts shipped on the DVD and everything is through a subscription does not help either, because now I'm stuck with what the previous version shipped, forever. Oh well, I don't mind making parts anyway.

borrowed aha, anyway, you can download all v10 parts libs from altium wiki and for sure you can still use v9 parts libs.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: the_raptor on April 12, 2011, 02:47:05 pm
And if any Altium Australians in China find something local a bit too interesting, it's suddenly espionage and they disappear for a while.

This generally only happens if they have dual Australian/Chinese citizenship. If they aren't ethnic Chinese the PRC normally just threatens them a bit, and kicks them out. Still better then pissing off the wrong person in the UAI.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: tycz on April 12, 2011, 05:16:48 pm
I know many companies still using 99SE because it did the job.
That version is/was also the standard in China, except that few actually paid for it.

It's still the case, I beleive. I was in Shenzhen's Book City about this time last year and found a lot of books on Protel '99 in the electronics section. There was even a video tutorial set spanning 12 VCDs. I checked publication date on one of the Protel books and was surprised to find it less than a year old!
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: Mechatrommer on April 12, 2011, 08:16:40 pm
Protel '99... does anyone still have a copy of it? or somewhere to download? ;D
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: Frangible on April 12, 2011, 08:18:04 pm
With China's latest crackdown on everybody who might even have a wiff of political opposition, it seems all the more regrettable that a company from a democracy would relocate there.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: Simon on April 12, 2011, 08:19:58 pm
money makes the world go round. No matter what bullshit a company tells you about commitment to customers and quality all they really care about is how much they can make
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: EEVblog on April 13, 2011, 05:06:57 am
money makes the world go round. No matter what bullshit a company tells you about commitment to customers and quality all they really care about is how much they can make

Almost every "visionary" scheme they have ever tried has failed to work as a commercial success, and they continue to limp by on their core PCB/SCH tool.
It's rather sad, because when you have the world's best all-round EDA software (IMO), making money and taking over the world should be easy, real easy.
Yet, somehow they find every possible way of avoiding that  ::)

Dave.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: Simon on April 13, 2011, 05:33:17 am
sounds like the place where I work. Usually called: "pennies wise - pounds foolish" and just too damned stupid to see the obvious and take "risks" that are not even risks
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: Bored@Work on April 13, 2011, 04:45:26 pm
If Altium decision makers wouldn't all be so fine upstanding citizens then my first guess would have been that someone has a Chinese mistress and wants to be closer to her for a daily screw. Because that would make the most sense for me.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: Zero999 on April 13, 2011, 04:48:33 pm
Oh well, it could be worse, they could be selling out to Microsoft. I'd hate to see what M$ would do to it.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: Simon on April 13, 2011, 04:52:37 pm
I bet M$ would not even know what to do with it
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: Hypernova on April 13, 2011, 05:55:44 pm
Speaking of which, what package does MS use?
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: Simon on April 13, 2011, 06:01:06 pm
Speaking of which, what package does MS use?

to do what ? as far as i know they don't make hardware. Anything with their name on is certainly outsourced
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: Alex on April 13, 2011, 07:46:58 pm
Protel '99... does anyone still have a copy of it? or somewhere to download? ;D

It really is outdated and cumbersome in its use. If you want to learn Altium you should focus on later editions, eg. Summer 08 and after. Otherwise Eagle, Ki-Cad, gEDA, DesignSpark, Splan/Slayout should cover most of the hobbyist projects depending on your requirements.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: Mechatrommer on April 13, 2011, 08:22:38 pm
so when the next rant video will be? its been long dave only made too formal and technical video ;D
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: Sal Ammoniac on April 13, 2011, 08:24:28 pm
I've been hooked on a "borrowed" copy for the past few months

"Borrowed"? Hmmmm... I know a guy that's too cheap to buy any software. He just downloads the free 30 day trial of whatever he needs, installs it, and images the system disk. Every 30 days he simply re-images the system disk and keeps running the trial stuff forever.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: EEVblog on April 14, 2011, 12:08:56 am
Speaking of which, what package does MS use?
to do what ? as far as i know they don't make hardware. Anything with their name on is certainly outsourced

Microsoft have made hardware products from the very early 80's.

Dave.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: Hypernova on April 14, 2011, 12:32:48 am
Speaking of which, what package does MS use?

to do what ? as far as i know they don't make hardware. Anything with their name on is certainly outsourced

I would think that the xbox teams are internal?
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: trentland on April 14, 2011, 02:11:20 am
http://www.z80.eu/ad_of_z80card.jpg (http://www.z80.eu/ad_of_z80card.jpg)
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: mikemxyzzy on April 14, 2011, 02:23:16 am
Yes the xBox team is internal. It is in Mountain View, CA. As far as I know they use Cadence Allegro for board layout.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: Simon on April 14, 2011, 05:49:22 am
oh right yes of course they do the xbox - ok taken back  :)
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: shadewind on April 14, 2011, 12:21:32 pm
Yes the xBox team is internal. It is in Mountain View, CA. As far as I know they use Cadence Allegro for board layout.
It seems like Cadence products are used a lot in the very high end of PCB design. Is there something about them that makes them more appropriate for this than Altium or is it just for historical reasons?
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: chscholz on April 14, 2011, 03:42:35 pm
Some folks, notably the US secretary of Energy Steven Chu, the US National Science Foundation, etc. are quite concerned about China being on a trajectory of becoming a powerhouse of innovation.

Some sound-bites from Dr. Chu's presentation:
• In 2009, 51% of U.S. patents were awarded to non-U.S. companies. China has gone from 15th place to 5th in international patents. 
• The World Economic Forum ranks the U.S. 48th in quality of mathematics and science education. Source: Rising Above the Gathering Storm, Revisited, 2010
• In less than 15 years, China has moved from 14th place to 2nd place in published research articles (behind the U.S.).
• China’s Tsinghua and Peking Universities are the two largest suppliers of students who receive PhD’s - in the United States.
• Eight of the ten global companies with the largest R&D budgets have established R&D facilities in China, India or both. In a survey of global firms planning to build new R&D facilities, 77 percent say they will build in China or India.
• An American company recently opened the world’s largest private solar R&D facility . . . in Xian, China

In my very limited experience, one of the nice things about China is that you don't need to look hard to find evidence to prove your point, whatever that may be. Then you turn around and find exactly the opposite.

Link to Kevin Chu's presentation:
http://www.energy.gov/news/documents/Chu_NationalPressClub112910.pdf (http://www.energy.gov/news/documents/Chu_NationalPressClub112910.pdf)




Genetic ethnicity has very little to do with it. What matters most is the culture and background where you were brought up and where you live. I can't see the current situation in China promoting innovative thinking and being outside the mainstream in the same way that Europe and North America does. Equally, I think that if you put innovative people in China, you stifle their talent.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: firewalker on April 14, 2011, 03:55:36 pm
The only reason some specialists in U.S.A. worry about China is that a war against China won't be viable.  :P :P :P
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: Simon on April 14, 2011, 04:44:40 pm
well they'll soon be the richest nation and can buy weapons with it
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: Zero999 on April 14, 2011, 04:58:45 pm
Why on earth would China go to war with the US? The US has many allies, China depends on them for trade and if it wasn't for the US, China wouldn't be as rich as it is, so they'd have far more to loose than gain from war. The only chance of war is if some nutter rises to power but that's unlikely.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: Simon on April 14, 2011, 05:18:58 pm
true they have no reason to invade. But you never know what people are going to do
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: Bored@Work on April 14, 2011, 08:25:47 pm
well they'll soon be the richest nation and can buy weapons with it

20 years ago they would have thought about buying weapons. These days they are rapidly excelling their own production. Check http://www.sinodefence.com/ (http://www.sinodefence.com/) for a lot of information.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: Bored@Work on April 14, 2011, 08:30:52 pm
Why on earth would China go to war with the US?

Read about Taiwan, who is protecting them, about the Taiwan Relations Act, and who thinks who owns Taiwan. Then you might understand.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: firewalker on April 14, 2011, 08:42:23 pm
Why on earth would China go to war with the US? The US has many allies, China depends on them for trade and if it wasn't for the US, China wouldn't be as rich as it is, so they'd have far more to loose than gain from war. The only chance of war is if some nutter rises to power but that's unlikely.

I meant the opposite. US to declare war on China. It is a common practice for US. If China wasn't so powerful NATO would love to send "Democracy" to China.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: Zero999 on April 14, 2011, 08:54:39 pm
Read about Taiwan, who is protecting them, about the Taiwan Relations Act, and who thinks who owns Taiwan. Then you might understand.
I don't see how Taiwan is important enough to China for them to sacrifice all the trade and investment they receive from the US and it's allies and even from Taiwan itself? Taiwan is tiny compared to China. Again the Chinese loose more than they'll gain from conflict and the CCP know this which is why they haven't done anything about it.

There are other resource rich countries which the PRC could probably take, if they want to but they know they best way is to invest, in them so they sell out, rather than war; look at how much money China is investing in Africa, it's supposed to be aid but it's obvious they want something in return.

I meant the opposite. US to declare war on China. It is a common practice for US. If China wasn't so powerful NATO would love to send "Democracy" to China.
Same question again: the US benefit a lot from trade with China and if they can't even tackle Afghanistan then they must know China is out of the question.

Again there are other resource rich countries which the US could probably take, if they want to. Unfortunately the US doesn't seem to be so smartly investing in Africa as China.

The pattern is the same all over the world, once there's trade, communication and diplomacy, there's less chance of war which is why conflict is more common in countries with governments who don't get on with their neighbours.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: Mechatrommer on April 15, 2011, 02:25:00 am
invasion can take many forms nowadays. paradigm is one example of a tricky way.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: vr2whf on April 20, 2011, 02:31:22 pm
I think the electronics R&D is diminishing in Australia.  I don't see much opportunity in Australia for the R&D engineer, especially in the field of electronics.
One of the classic example is the NEC Australia in Melbourne (near the lovely Monash Uni Clayton campus, my wife graduated there).  They were inventing some of the great things like broadband network equipement, set top box, 3G phone, but now they were all gone.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: Mechatrommer on April 28, 2011, 11:03:08 pm
not just the altium, nokia and panasonic experiencing the same "China's wave" condition (job cut), so its been a bad industry (someone may already aware):
EETimes - Nokia to shed 7,000 jobs, jettison Symbian (http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4215536/Nokia-to-shed-7-000-jobs--sells-Symbian?cid=NL_EETimesDaily)
EETimes - Panasonic to cut 17,000 jobs (http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4215573/Panasonic-to-cut-17-000-jobs?cid=NL_EETimesDaily)
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: DrGeoff on June 01, 2011, 02:32:01 am
Hell yes, that is one huge mother of a mistake. A bit of a bugger for Dave too. Hope there was a bloody good redundancy.

I wonder if they are owned by a Chinese company or something now? There is this impression that China is now the centre of the world's economy and has suddenly acquired all the skills it needs for future growth. It is cheap right now, but sure as eggs is eggs, inflation will hit eventually, and there will be a shortage of trained and skilled people to do the jobs. Great at production, not so great at innovation.

Altium is a public company and will have to answer to its shareholders at the next AGM.
Hopefully questions will be asked as to the strategy.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: DrGeoff on June 01, 2011, 02:35:07 am
well they'll soon be the richest nation and can buy weapons with it

Their economic policies are currently a very powerful weapon.
Once you destroy the manufacturing capability of other nations and, after a generation, the skills are completely lost, you are left holding all the cards in the game.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: EEVblog on June 01, 2011, 03:04:59 am
Altium is a public company and will have to answer to its shareholders at the next AGM.
Hopefully questions will be asked as to the strategy.

The shares have practically all but stopped trading these days.
It wouldn't surprise anyone if they tried to take the company private again given the record low share price of around 10 cents.

Dave.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: DrGeoff on June 01, 2011, 03:16:39 am
Altium is a public company and will have to answer to its shareholders at the next AGM.
Hopefully questions will be asked as to the strategy.

The shares have practically all but stopped trading these days.
It wouldn't surprise anyone if they tried to take the company private again given the record low share price of around 10 cents.

Dave.

That explains it. Their employee share scheme and stock options must be looking dismal then.
I wonder if the directors are purposely driving the share price low in order to create favourable conditions for a buy-back?

Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: EEVblog 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.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: DrGeoff 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.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: Zad 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.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: DrGeoff 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.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: EEVblog 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.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: DrGeoff 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.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: EEVblog 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.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: Mechatrommer 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.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: Zero999 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.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: Zad 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.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: Zero999 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 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abandonware)
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: EEVblog 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/ (http://www.kov.com/)

Dave.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: EEVblog 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.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: Mechatrommer 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/ (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.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: lecroy 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

Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: EEVblog 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.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: lhc 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/ (http://www.kov.com/)

Dave.

Did you try AutoTRAX EDA Dave? It's only 200$ for a full version.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: EEVblog 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.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: lhc 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  )?
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: DrGeoff 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.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: Frant 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.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: DrGeoff 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!
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: EEVblog 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.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: DrGeoff on July 05, 2011, 03:11:40 am
Found a list of tools here: http://www.olimex.com/pcb/dtools.html (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).

Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: Iliya 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?
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: Richard Crowley on July 21, 2015, 12:31:09 am
I wouldn't use a package that is written by and relies on one person, and is not open source.
Why?
For the obvious reason: it is too vulnerable and dependent on one person. If anything ever happens to that one person, the product is toast, and all your investment in designs is in jeopardy.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: nixfu on July 25, 2015, 03:52:56 pm
*chough* *cough* *sneeze*

Holy cow, who got this dusty old thread off the shelf?
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: Zman on August 02, 2015, 07:38:39 am
should be renamed to 'Altium moves to California!' :)
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: EEVblog on August 02, 2015, 09:44:42 am
I wouldn't use a package that is written by and relies on one person, and is not open source.
Why?
For the obvious reason: it is too vulnerable and dependent on one person. If anything ever happens to that one person, the product is toast, and all your investment in designs is in jeopardy.

Exactly that.
Sorry Iliya, as much as I am in awe of you ability to create such a product yourself, that's just a cold hard reality for most people including myself.
At least something KiCAD has the backing of many developers and CERN.
Choosing a PCB package requires a lot of time, effort, and commitment, and it is the main tool a design engineer uses. To trust that all to a single developer is a tough ask of anyone.
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: c4757p on August 02, 2015, 10:31:30 am
Bus factor (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bus_factor).
Title: Re: Tisk Tisk - Altium moving to China!
Post by: EEVblog on August 02, 2015, 02:17:29 pm
Bus factor (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bus_factor).

That's a very real concern in a lot of companies. They will have policy in place that actually says certain people (or numbers of) can't fly on the same plane etc.