Author Topic: EEVblog #965 - The (Autodesk) Eagle Has Crashed  (Read 22565 times)

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Offline EEVblog

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EEVblog #965 - The (Autodesk) Eagle Has Crashed
« on: January 21, 2017, 12:55:15 am »
Eagle PCB CAD software, now owned by Autodesk have moved to a subscription model. No internet = No Eagle for you!
This is likely not going to end well for Eagle.
There is also a new pricing model.

If you want to move to KiCAD and need a tutorial course check out:
https://contextualelectronics.com/learning/getting-to-blinky-4-0/

 
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Offline nuclearcat

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Re: EEVblog #965 - The (Autodesk) Eagle Has Crashed
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2017, 01:34:55 am »
It is a trend, but i believe this "cloud subscription fashion" is EPIC failure, unless software makers will bear reasonable responsibility for support quality and provide feasible development roadmaps. Many of them just consider, hey, let's make this monthly payments and we will get rich and easily cover our monthly expenses without doing/changing anything, and we make sometimes new versions and fix some very noise bugs, but thats it.
Additionally it might work with some things that are needed "on-demand", like for example photo processing in photostudio, that are additionally also "short-shelf-life", he gets money from customer, he pays for subscription. Or let's say some "home accounting", that has tiny price, tiny demands and data wont be kept for long, and might be exported.
But circuit development... as Dave said project might have 10-20 years support life, and keeping subscription active just for that and keeping in mind that you might face issues with new versions (and often this days there is another trend - or update, or your license will stop) - will make price of support for such projects too huge on this specific software.
So, wont work, it will (and does that already) kill a lot of commercial software and gives green light for opensource solutions, like KiCAD.?
For me it is great opportunity to move colleagues to kicad.
 

Offline mjs

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Re: EEVblog #965 - The (Autodesk) Eagle Has Crashed
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2017, 01:43:13 am »
Great timing. I was just about to buy licenses for our design team and had even a budget for it. While trying to do this, I found out that they're no longer selling licenses.

Fortunately we've got one team member fluent in KiCAD. I already asked him to give us a crash course on it. Maybe I'll just donate the budget money to KiCAD project..



 
 
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Offline nuclearcat

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Re: EEVblog #965 - The (Autodesk) Eagle Has Crashed
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2017, 01:47:59 am »
Great timing. I was just about to buy licenses for our design team and had even a budget for it. While trying to do this, I found out that they're no longer selling licenses.

Fortunately we've got one team member fluent in KiCAD. I already asked him to give us a crash course on it. Maybe I'll just donate the budget money to KiCAD project..
Or you can simply pay some developer to implement in kicad features that you might need, and it is a win-win scenario, you get what you need, kicad gets contributed code.
 
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Offline LoyalServant

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Re: EEVblog #965 - The (Autodesk) Eagle Has Crashed
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2017, 01:49:03 am »
More like the eagle has taken a dump on it's userbase.

No, I don't think it will end well.
I got pushed into KiCad hard several months back and it's probably a good thing that happened.
 

Offline imajeenyus

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Re: EEVblog #965 - The (Autodesk) Eagle Has Crashed
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2017, 01:59:59 am »
Dammit. Dammit. Dammit.

Like another user here, I had been on the point of buying a pro license for the software, for the few times I needed to do large boards. I cannot justify the subscription cost
of the pro version, just in the offchance I might want to make a large board occassionally, unless, as Dave mentioned, it's possible to just upgrade for a month. But what
happens if I need to then edit the board later? Another change to the subscription? Also, given that Autodesk use the cloud in their other products (e.g. Fusion360, which
I use), it's just a matter of time before they think on doing that with Eagle, in my opinion.

One point, and a question. The Cadsoft FTP server is still available here: ftp://ftp.cadsoft.de/eagle/ with all the Eagle program files and ULPs.

Now, does anyone know what happened to the (extremely useful) listing of ULPs and scripts that used to be on Cadsoft's download page? The page on Autodesk's site
(http://eagle.autodesk.com/eagle/ulp) doesn't list anything at all. I really hope they haven't screwed that up as well - I often referred to that list to find helpful scripts.

 

Offline chris77

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Re: EEVblog #965 - The (Autodesk) Eagle Has Crashed
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2017, 02:01:47 am »
The 6->2 Layers and needing to get it online is a show-stopper for machines that do not get windows-updates and staid offline. The old standard version was at around 500€ and, doing 4-layers, now we need to pay that every year plus get the production environment connected to the internet.  :--
 

Offline jpanhalt

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Re: EEVblog #965 - The (Autodesk) Eagle Has Crashed
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2017, 02:14:45 am »
One point, and a question. The Cadsoft FTP server is still available here: ftp://ftp.cadsoft.de/eagle/ with all the Eagle program files and ULPs.

Now, does anyone know what happened to the (extremely useful) listing of ULPs and scripts that used to be on Cadsoft's download page? The page on Autodesk's site
(http://eagle.autodesk.com/eagle/ulp) doesn't list anything at all. I really hope they haven't screwed that up as well - I often referred to that list to find helpful scripts.

I downloaded 7.7.0 early in January, but didn't install it.   Today, I installed it, and my code for 7.0 worked just fine.  I could not find several things that used to be on Cadsoft's page, such as a listing of changes by version number, user contributed ulp's and libraries.

Based on about 15 minutes of use, I have only noticed 3 changes in version 7.7.0, but suspect there are more:
1) A new header "Documentation" is added to the opening window in addition the usual six;
2) Additional layers and colors are added; and
3) The ulp I use frequently to import DXF  (i.e., import-dxf-1_6.ulp) is not there, but there is "import-dxf.ulp" instead.  As an optimist, I hope they are the same.

If I find any serious changes, I will post.  So far, so good.

John
« Last Edit: January 21, 2017, 02:20:46 am by jpanhalt »
 

Offline jpanhalt

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Re: EEVblog #965 - The (Autodesk) Eagle Has Crashed
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2017, 02:17:31 am »
deleted -- quoted myself by accident
« Last Edit: January 21, 2017, 02:19:20 am by jpanhalt »
 

Offline iaeen

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Re: EEVblog #965 - The (Autodesk) Eagle Has Crashed
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2017, 02:57:17 am »
Yep, this is why I tend toward open source alternatives when they are available. I would rather deal with a clunky UI/other quirks than have a company pull the rug out from under me.

As a software consumer, I always consider a subscription license to be a mechanism to get more of my money without adding value. Maybe I just don't consider upgrading to be all that valuable, but I think buying a license outright is better even if it costs more to stay on the most recent version. If you ever decide you don't want to buy the newest version, you can keep the old version going for a long time after the new version is released. It's like the old 80s era test equipment that I have been buying for my lab. They are clearly obsolete even by the most generous interpretation of the word, but I don't care since they serve my purposes.

In any case, I made the decision to go with KiCAD a while ago since I didn't even like the old pay-for-board-area/layers model... glad I dodged a bullet there.
 

Offline Razor512

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Re: EEVblog #965 - The (Autodesk) Eagle Has Crashed
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2017, 02:57:59 am »
The issue with subscriptions is that no one can predict the future. One moment your business can be experiencing explosive growth, and the next, you can be a billion dollars in debt.

The problem is that for programs which are not reliant on a DRM server, if something like that happens, the product is still functional, it doesn't die when the CEO decides to blow all of the company's funds at a casino.

Another issue with subscriptions is that sometimes you don't need the latest version (if nothing that benefits your specific workflow is improved, then it is cheaper to stick with the non-subscription model) for . As seen with other programs that have moved to subscription such as the adobe creative cloud, the year to year changes have gotten smaller than before they moved to the creative cloud. Since they get continuous income regardless of what new features they add, they have mostly made tiny changes to lesser used functions, where in the past you would see large changes to many areas as they had to have at least some improvement for all of the most common workflows in order to convince people to buy an upgrade license.


The only time when these subscriptions become cost effective, is when each and every update improves your workflow, but even then they can just sell upgrade licenses that people can purchase each year, thus if the company goes under (no company will last for ever), it will just mean that next year's version of the software will not come out, but all of the old versions will still be fine, thus in 30 years someone needs to look at some archived work for whatever reason, they can do so without experiencing additional costs.
 

Offline electronic_eel

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Re: EEVblog #965 - The (Autodesk) Eagle Has Crashed
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2017, 03:07:05 am »
Dave,

in your video you compare the old prices for the perpetual license directly to the yearly prices of the new pro subscription.

I think you forgot to clearly point out that you could always leapfrog a few versions with the old pricing (e.g. go from v5 to v7) and only upgrade when there where enough new features relevant for you. Also they had discounts for existing customers upgrading to a new version.

Now you have to pay continuously, regardless of what new stuff they are developing.

So I think for a great number of users it has gotten much more expensive with the subscription.
 

Offline StuB

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Re: EEVblog #965 - The (Autodesk) Eagle Has Crashed
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2017, 03:51:58 am »
With regard to pricing, I also think that the loss of the Light license was glossed over a little too readily.  As mentioned in the video, most professional design studios aren't going to be the ones that use Eagle.  So who does use Eagle?  As mentioned "Most of the majority of their business is going to be that small, hobbyist hacker, one man band, 5 person company, whatever, they have them doing smallish stuff."

What sort of boards were those hobbyist hackers most likely to produce?  Small, two layer, and no need for anything too fancy?  Yes, and that's exactly where the Light version fit the bill - and it fit the bill for only $69 for a perpetual license

What does $69 get those people now? $69/15 = 4 months.  Sure, now they can have 99 schematic sheets - but if they got by with 1 before, then what are they going do with the other 98?  Double the board space - great, but if what they were designing before fit the 100x80 area, then the other 100x80 they gain is just a waste.

For that "hobbyist hacker", this is absolutely a price increase - and a steep one at that.  Where before a one-time investment of $69 was all they needed and they could probably make that back off of your Tindie/e-bay/whatever sales pretty quickly, now it becomes an ongoing cost that will always have to be factored into current and future products.  For people not selling at all, it goes from a $69 payment for something that they might use pretty regularly or get to use whenever they feel like it, to something that - hopefully - they realize will cost them continually or incidentally.

I'm not saying there aren't advantages - for the latter point: the documentation is always up-to-date, they add new tips and tricks, etc. - but for that hobbyist hacker, Eagle is looking rather bleak and I can fully understand why they might look at some of the alternatives.
 

Offline iaeen

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Re: EEVblog #965 - The (Autodesk) Eagle Has Crashed
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2017, 04:13:13 am »
With regard to pricing, I also think that the loss of the Light license was glossed over a little too readily.  As mentioned in the video, most professional design studios aren't going to be the ones that use Eagle.  So who does use Eagle?  As mentioned "Most of the majority of their business is going to be that small, hobbyist hacker, one man band, 5 person company, whatever, they have them doing smallish stuff."

What sort of boards were those hobbyist hackers most likely to produce?  Small, two layer, and no need for anything too fancy?  Yes, and that's exactly where the Light version fit the bill - and it fit the bill for only $69 for a perpetual license

What does $69 get those people now? $69/15 = 4 months.  Sure, now they can have 99 schematic sheets - but if they got by with 1 before, then what are they going do with the other 98?  Double the board space - great, but if what they were designing before fit the 100x80 area, then the other 100x80 they gain is just a waste.

For that "hobbyist hacker", this is absolutely a price increase - and a steep one at that.  Where before a one-time investment of $69 was all they needed and they could probably make that back off of your Tindie/e-bay/whatever sales pretty quickly, now it becomes an ongoing cost that will always have to be factored into current and future products.  For people not selling at all, it goes from a $69 payment for something that they might use pretty regularly or get to use whenever they feel like it, to something that - hopefully - they realize will cost them continually or incidentally.

I'm not saying there aren't advantages - for the latter point: the documentation is always up-to-date, they add new tips and tricks, etc. - but for that hobbyist hacker, Eagle is looking rather bleak and I can fully understand why they might look at some of the alternatives.

The lower tier subscription does seem engineered to force an upsell. If you used to be on the lite license, you now have to pay for extra area that you probably don't need, and if you used to be on the standard license, you probably have to go for the pro tier since you would otherwise lose the extra layers.

I think it was too generous of Dave to compare the lower tier to the standard license (even though he did call out the downgrade),
 

Offline michelinux

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Re: EEVblog #965 - The (Autodesk) Eagle Has Crashed
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2017, 04:21:58 am »
For a step-to-step tutorial guide with KiCad, I suggest:


Part 1/12 - Installing Kicad:


Part 2/12 - Creating a Schematic:


Part 3/12 - Custom Schematic Components:


Part 4/12 - Finishing the Schematic Design:


Part 5/12 - Associating Components with PCB Footprints:


Part 6/12 - Laying out a PCB (1 of 3):


Part 7/12 - Custom PCB Footprints:


Part 8/12 - Laying Out a PCB Continued (2 of 3):


Part 9/12 - Iterative Schematic Changes:


Part 10/12 - Laying Out a PCB Continued (3 of 3):


Part 11/12 - Copper Filling a PCB:


Part 12/12 - Exporting Files for Manufacture:
« Last Edit: January 21, 2017, 04:24:50 am by michelinux »
 

Offline StuB

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Re: EEVblog #965 - The (Autodesk) Eagle Has Crashed
« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2017, 04:53:58 am »
I just read the hackaday article as well, and they point to Garrett Mace's tweet;
https://twitter.com/macegr/status/821847340201848832

There's some real gems in there  :-\

ADSK: New pricing includes access to the latest software and offers flexibility.
GM: It included a purchase of Eagle 5.6 PCB+Layout (I don't autoroute), and an upgrade to Eagle 7.

Exactly.  Previously you had access to the latest software if you wanted to upgrade to it.  If not, you had the flexibility of just skipping a version or two.  The flexibility that the subscription offers is only ever the latest version ( I should know - per their licensing, I'm no longer allowed to use an older version of one of their products.  A 4-digit-starts-with-a-3 product.  Yes, that means I can no longer work on those files and save them with that version (meaning anybody sending me a file is forced to use latest version as well.)  They actually e-mailed me and wanted to give me a call to work with me on making sure that I'm being compliant.  No, not a joke.  Yes, very sad. ), and at a higher cost unless it's highly incidental use.  By which I mean, a maximum of four months.

GM: an you elaborate on the flexibility? I use Eagle for business, I will never downgrade/lapse my main tools.
ADSK: You are now able to access EAGLE anywhere by using an Autodesk account. No need for installing and licensing on new machines.

So, it is a web tool now (like their "123D Circuits" - wait, where does that fit in with all this anyway?), or did ADSK goof up in that reply?  Unless it's a web tool, you do need to download on new machines.  At which point, licensing wasn't that much of a pain. 
On top of that: I can already access Eagle anywhere - it's on my laptop.  It's like this computer that I can just carry around with me anywhere - in the passenger seat, on a bus, on a plane or on a train, in America, in China, in Brazil and even in Spain.  Are they even familiar with remote desktop tools?  Even if I didn't have my laptop with me, I can connect to my laptop through e.g. TeamViewer.  It's not like a twitchy first person shooter, and working across it is just fine.  I can even use my mobile phone for the job if I wanted to torture myself (and I have used it as such to retrieve an account number from an archived e-mail one time when prompted for it at a desk.)

ADSK: revious pricing does not reflect our current speed of development under Autodesk.
GM: The feeling is that higher speed of development comes at the cost of Obsolescence As A Service.

My feeling is that the higher speed of development and associated costs is to try and fund development of Eagle into a contender with professional EDA tools, thus eschewing the "hobbyist hacker" entirely.  I never asked for a better autorouter, or BGA fanouts (not like it was impossible before - just tedious - but most hobbyist hackers would steer well clear of fine pitch BGA in the first place).  To me, the writing is on the wall for Eagle as a "hobbyist hacker" tool if they continue not just the trend of the subscription model, but their apparent approach to the development of Eagle in general.  In essence, those saying that Autodesk is about to lose nn% of their target audience: not really, because that nn% is apparently no longer their target audience.
 

Offline CJay

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Re: EEVblog #965 - The (Autodesk) Eagle Has Crashed
« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2017, 05:11:22 am »
Nice, I was just wondering if I should persist with or abandon Designspark and start with Eagle or some other package, this at least narrows my choice if I do decide to give up on Designspark.

One question though, what happens to all the PCB and schematic files that are kicking around on the web, can they be imported into something else or are they essentially now useless?

M0UAW
 

Online PedroDaGr8

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Re: EEVblog #965 - The (Autodesk) Eagle Has Crashed
« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2017, 05:26:26 am »
Every day I am more and more glad I learned DipTrace instead of Eagle.
The very existence of flamethrowers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, "You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I'm just not close enough to get the job done." -George Carlin
 

Online nctnico

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Re: EEVblog #965 - The (Autodesk) Eagle Has Crashed
« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2017, 05:36:19 am »
They should at least keep one perpetual license option open. For me using software with a subscribtion model is a no-go because:
- Sometimes I'm not using software for months so I miss the messages the license is going to run out and therefore the software doesn't work when I need it most.
- Renewing licenses is extra administrative work which I'd like to minimize
- I need to be able to support projects for at least a decade so the software used for those projects must work as well
- Companies may go belly-up and/or abandon the software package which leaves the software inoperative

IMHO what Autodesk fails to see is there really is no reason to use a cloud based subscription model because people invest in CAD tools by creating projects, libraries and take the time to learn it. Ofcourse they could rent add-ons like an autorouter, advanced footprint creator, matched impedance router and that sort of stuff you may not need every day (just like you rent a big jack hammer to get rid of a slab of concrete in the garden) but the basic tools should always be available in order to be useful.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2017, 06:38:09 am by nctnico »
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Offline kicken

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Re: EEVblog #965 - The (Autodesk) Eagle Has Crashed
« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2017, 06:54:57 am »
Jetbrains did this to me with their PHPStorm software not long ago.    I was a bit annoyed, I would much rather just buy one version of any given software and be able to use it indefinitely.  Their model isn't too terrible though because they do at least let you keep a perpetual licence after you've had the subscription for a year.   Every 12 months you can get a new perpetual license that lets you use any version that was available at that time indefinitely.  That's a much more reasonable model imo.

Good thing I decided to go the KiCad route I guess when I first got into this hobby, don't have to worry about this :)
 

Offline electroworm

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Re: EEVblog #965 - The (Autodesk) Eagle Has Crashed
« Reply #20 on: January 21, 2017, 07:12:43 am »
Dave,
your price comparision doesn't take into account the old update policy of cadsoft. I bought my first full pro all included licence back in 2001 (version 4.10) and updated in 2008 to version 5 and in 2011 to version 6. The last update to V7 in 2014 I skipped due lack of useful new features.

The price in 2001 was about 610,- EUR. Updates had a 50% discount to full licences, I paid in 2008 280,- EUR and in 2011 460,- EUR (all excl. VAT). So I had to spent 1.350,- EUR (that's about 1,500.- US$) in total for a period of 13 years "newest version". Now Autodesk want to have 6,500.- US$ for that period of time.

Even if the price was getting higher and higher in the past, this is a huge step forward.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2017, 07:18:45 am by electroworm »
 

Offline Ontaelio

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Re: EEVblog #965 - The (Autodesk) Eagle Has Crashed
« Reply #21 on: January 21, 2017, 07:44:10 am »
I have a feeling of deja-vu.
I used to freelance copywrite for ADSK (still do sometimes), and I remember hearing almost the same arguments a couple of years ago when they moved their own software to subscription. 'They're robbing me! I will switch to ArchiCAD!' / 'They killed 3ds max! I'll move to that buggy open-source 3D stuff I heard about!' and all that. Well, did ADSK suffer losses? Did they lose their market shares? Nope. It's Autodesk, after all.
Same here. The fact that EAGLE is not a requirement for a job is, actually, something ADSK won't tolerate and will do their best to change. Will that mean that hobbyists will have to find some other tool? Maybe, maybe not. Solo architects working on small projects like cottages actually liked the subscription model (at least here in Russia, where they finally were able to ditch the pirated versions and stop worrying about lawsuits).
But the thing is, Autodesk seems to really intend to improve EAGLE. If (or, more correctly, when) they do, all will be forgotten and forgiven. Integration with Fusion, Inventor, Simulation, anyone? Yes, certainly not a hobbyist market, but a true path to that job requirement for sure.
So, as much as you may feel cheated, ADSK knows what it's doing. Is there a possibility of EAGLE failing and ceasing to exist in the future? Yes. Is it likely? In my opinion, not really. ADSK is no Google, after all. They moved towards circuit design for a long time, they didn't buy EAGLE on a whim, and they will follow their plan no matter what, so better relax and see where it's leading.
 

Offline johnmosborneuk

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Re: EEVblog #965 - The (Autodesk) Eagle Has Crashed
« Reply #22 on: January 21, 2017, 08:07:31 am »
I wouldn't be half as annoyed had I not just paid for the 'Maker' license on December 29th  >:(

No indication whatsoever from Autodesk that Version 8 was due to release with this new model! so 3 weeks later and likelihood is that there'll be no more version 7 updates  >:(

It's likely that the maker community will now largely ditch Eagle in favour of other products so the community effort creating libraries will slow down :(
 

Offline f4eru

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Re: EEVblog #965 - The (Autodesk) Eagle Has Crashed
« Reply #23 on: January 21, 2017, 09:02:56 am »
Yeah. Kicad has really taken giant steps and is far far ahead of eagle.
it's useful for a pro environment even ! For Free.
So RIP Eagle.
 

Offline f4eru

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Re: EEVblog #965 - The (Autodesk) Eagle Has Crashed
« Reply #24 on: January 21, 2017, 09:16:15 am »
Dave, concerning the what you said : "profesionnal don't use eagle" is quite wrong
I saw two use cases :
1) 100 people company doing very good and complex pro equipment, ca. 7 electronics developer in Germany : 100% eagle
2) in biiiig companies with zuken or equivalent, HW designers often do quick things that don't land in production in eagle to not have to deal with the trouble to go to the CAD specialized colleagues
 


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