Author Topic: EEVblog #527 - Altium Entry Level PCB Tool Rant  (Read 110300 times)

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Online EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #527 - Altium Entry Level PCB Tool Rant
« Reply #350 on: August 20, 2014, 01:37:05 pm »
Then the target market they are looking to "pilfer" will be Eagle (Element 14/Farnell Components) & Design Spark (RS Components).

Yes, of course, that was their stated aim since the original investor presentation.
Nobody uses Design Spark, it has bugger-all market, but is still a threat because it is a full package for free.

Quote
DipTrace probably does not have a very large user base.

Correct, it's not even on their radar.

Quote
Which other low cost PCB design programs have a large user base?

None really that I know of. Eagle and KiCAD own the hacker/maker space Altium are targeting.
 

Offline djacobow

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Re: EEVblog #527 - Altium Entry Level PCB Tool Rant
« Reply #351 on: August 20, 2014, 08:07:34 pm »
Then the target market they are looking to "pilfer" will be Eagle (Element 14/Farnell Components) & Design Spark (RS Components).

They are definitely taking a risk. To capture the EAGLE market, the tool will have to be better than EAGLE (or cheaper) and for a few AD users, that might prove to be good enough. So they are betting they are going to capture one market without cannibalizing their own existing high-end product. AD users pay a lot for the privilege, so if you lose one potential AD license for every 20 EAGLE users you pick up, you might not be doing well overall.

This is a common problem for companies that sell top-end stuff. Scrappy newcomers show up with clearly inferior -- but potentially "good enough" products for much less money.  High end company can either compete at that level and cannibalize their own stuff over time, or run to ever more premium products (with fewer users) while the inferior stuff picks up the more and more.

Of course that theory depends on the low-end stuff always getting better, and honestly, EAGLE is not getting better very fast. Yes, it gets the job done, but I don't see how anyone can not see that it's a dreadful piece of SW.

 

Offline nixfu

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Re: EEVblog #527 - Altium Entry Level PCB Tool Rant
« Reply #352 on: August 20, 2014, 08:11:53 pm »
I have been going through all the KiCAD videos that Chris has been posting on youtube and frankly I am quite impressed with it compared to Eagle.
https://www.youtube.com/user/contextualelectronic/playlists

BTW. Thanks Chris!  @ChrisGammell

Whatever they come up with will have to be better than BOTH Eagle and KiCAD.

 

Offline DerekG

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Re: EEVblog #527 - Altium Entry Level PCB Tool Rant
« Reply #353 on: August 20, 2014, 09:42:32 pm »
Whatever they come up with will have to be better than BOTH Eagle and KiCAD.

Fully agree. But will it be better than Proteus & DipTrace?

Presumably the new Altium Package (fully optioned) will need to be priced competitively against Eagle. This will bring it into the price realm of Proteus & DipTrace & so it will need to also be better than these.

And ................ it will need to contain fewer bugs than AD has suffered over the years. We all read how the hacker/maker users whinge heaps about Eagle ........... too many bugs in this new package could see AD's image tarnished as well.
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Offline c4757p

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Re: EEVblog #527 - Altium Entry Level PCB Tool Rant
« Reply #354 on: August 20, 2014, 09:53:05 pm »
Whatever they come up with will have to be better than BOTH Eagle and KiCAD.

Shouldn't be difficult. Though, if it doesn't crash every hour I might not feel quite at home using it...
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Offline tsra

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Re: EEVblog #527 - Altium Entry Level PCB Tool Rant
« Reply #355 on: August 21, 2014, 12:35:12 pm »
But the UI has been completely re-done to make it easier for first time users.

At some point I received "free" Photoshop Elements with camera. At that point I was already used to full Photoshop's shortcuts, and for whatever reason Adobe chose to change every single one of those, making the damn elements completely useless for me (shame, since it would've been kinda handy to have even lite version on "secondary" computer for light work).

What would've happened if that had been other way around? Get used to lite controls and then hate full version when everything is different (and thus returning it, never to look at it again)? I'd say that's very likely.

I certainly hope Altium won't be that stupid, change everything so when time comes to switch to full version, users can't just because it's too different and re-learning everything is too much pain for too little gain.
 

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Re: EEVblog #527 - Altium Entry Level PCB Tool Rant
« Reply #356 on: August 21, 2014, 12:40:34 pm »
Whatever they come up with will have to be better than BOTH Eagle and KiCAD.

From a functional perspective, it should be. The intention is the have close to the functionality of AD, but with restrictions and an easier to us interface.
 

Offline RiverTown

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Re: EEVblog #527 - Altium Entry Level PCB Tool Rant
« Reply #357 on: August 21, 2014, 01:18:24 pm »
But the UI has been completely re-done to make it easier for first time users.
I certainly hope Altium won't be that stupid, change everything so when time comes to switch to full version, users can't just because it's too different and re-learning everything is too much pain for too little gain.

+1
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: EEVblog #527 - Altium Entry Level PCB Tool Rant
« Reply #358 on: August 21, 2014, 02:27:26 pm »
I wonder if it might be based on PCAD2006 - this is something they already have gathering dust on the shelf, very stable & solid, and  easy to use.

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Offline DerekG

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Re: EEVblog #527 - Altium Entry Level PCB Tool Rant
« Reply #359 on: August 21, 2014, 02:40:07 pm »
I wonder if it might be based on PCAD2006 - this is something they already have gathering dust on the shelf, very stable & solid, and  easy to use.

+1

Many users felt that instead of grandfathering PCAD in favour of Altium Designer, they should have grandfathered Altium Designer in favour of PCAD.
I also sat between Elvis & Bigfoot on the UFO.
 

Offline Rigby

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Re: EEVblog #527 - Altium Entry Level PCB Tool Rant
« Reply #360 on: August 21, 2014, 02:55:35 pm »
Seems silly to speculate at this point, but I'll toss my hat into the silly random guess stupidity:

It'll be based on KiCad but use Altium libraries.  Also, it'll destroy all the hard drives on your computer, and all your family's computers, remotely, too, if you don't design an Arduino shield in the first 30 days.
 

Offline george graves

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Re: EEVblog #527 - Altium Entry Level PCB Tool Rant
« Reply #361 on: August 22, 2014, 10:31:22 am »
Also, it'll destroy all the hard drives on your computer, and all your family's computers, remotely, too, if you don't design an Arduino shield in the first 30 days.

Clever.  Wait - No...not really.

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Re: EEVblog #527 - Altium Entry Level PCB Tool Rant
« Reply #362 on: August 22, 2014, 12:19:11 pm »
I wonder if it might be based on PCAD2006 - this is something they already have gathering dust on the shelf, very stable & solid, and  easy to use.

I don't know, but I greatly doubt it.
As not only have none of the developers touched that code in 8 years, it's gotta at least look and work like AD, so that means reusing AD code. e.g. the entire 3D engine, routing engines etc etc.

But lets just say the new name is a blast from the past...
 

Offline DerekG

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Re: EEVblog #527 - Altium Entry Level PCB Tool Rant
« Reply #363 on: August 22, 2014, 12:31:03 pm »
But lets just say the new name is a blast from the past...

Well, I doubt it will Autotrax as this is already being used by a competitor.

This leaves:
EasyTrax
Protel
DXP

Anyone else have any other suggestions?
I also sat between Elvis & Bigfoot on the UFO.
 

Offline mrflibble

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Re: EEVblog #527 - Altium Entry Level PCB Tool Rant
« Reply #364 on: August 22, 2014, 01:07:42 pm »
This leaves:
EasyTrax
Protel
DXP

Well, EasyTrax has a nice entry level ring to it.
 

Offline Kjelt

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Re: EEVblog #527 - Altium Entry Level PCB Tool Rant
« Reply #365 on: August 22, 2014, 03:42:01 pm »
Sounds more like a cheap broad then a nice pcb program.
 

Offline mrflibble

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Re: EEVblog #527 - Altium Entry Level PCB Tool Rant
« Reply #366 on: August 22, 2014, 05:15:26 pm »
So like I said, has a nice entry level ring to it. ;D
 

Offline Kjelt

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Re: EEVblog #527 - Altium Entry Level PCB Tool Rant
« Reply #367 on: August 22, 2014, 09:33:41 pm »
 ;D
 

Offline DerekG

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Re: EEVblog #527 - Altium Entry Level PCB Tool Rant
« Reply #368 on: August 23, 2014, 12:45:22 am »
Sounds more like a cheap broad then a nice pcb program.
Believe it or not "EasyTrax" was the bottom end PCB design software that Protel released in the late 1980's. It is the program that I migrated to after smARTworks. After several years I then moved onto AutoTrax, Protel's flagship software.

All ran on DOS, but hey I guess you have to start somewhere.

.............. and then they went public & changed their name to Altium ............. & then the price was increased heaps to pay for all those hangers-on called shareholders ..................... and all the bugs developed ................. and I began to dislike their software & Altium as a company. Such a shame!
I also sat between Elvis & Bigfoot on the UFO.
 

Offline zapta

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Re: EEVblog #527 - Altium Entry Level PCB Tool Rant
« Reply #369 on: August 23, 2014, 12:23:06 pm »
Dave, since you know the product, the corporation and the market, what's your prediction, will they take a significant chunk of the low end market?
Drain the swamp.
 

Offline Rigby

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Re: EEVblog #527 - Altium Entry Level PCB Tool Rant
« Reply #370 on: August 27, 2014, 08:41:38 pm »
Also, it'll destroy all the hard drives on your computer, and all your family's computers, remotely, too, if you don't design an Arduino shield in the first 30 days.

Clever.  Wait - No...not really.
Yeah it was a joke based very loosely on a "Weird" Al Yankovic song that is pretty good, IMHO.
 


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