Author Topic: Ltspice is a big dissapointment !  (Read 10933 times)

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Online DimitriP

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Re: Ltspice is a big dissapointment !
« Reply #25 on: March 25, 2023, 06:26:26 am »
The sad part about this conversation is that if LTSPICE was a program that was sold,  and a company was dependent on its "appeal" for continued sales, it would have been "revamped" a few times by now.
Like so many other "commercial" products that while still doing the same thing, the interface gets switched around for the sake of "change" in order to sell the new version and differentiate it from the "old" version.
I just know there are some of you out there that are super excited about windows 11 :) 



   If three 100  Ohm resistors are connected in parallel, and in series with a 200 Ohm resistor, how many resistors do you have? 
 
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Offline james_s

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Re: Ltspice is a big dissapointment !
« Reply #26 on: March 25, 2023, 06:30:50 am »
I consider it a feature when software is stable, mature and rarely changes. I still use Office 2003 on my Windows machine, 20 years old now and it does way more than I need a word processor and spreadsheet to do. Best part is it doesn't have that stupid ribbon.
 
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Online DimitriP

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Re: Ltspice is a big dissapointment !
« Reply #27 on: March 25, 2023, 06:36:07 am »
I consider it a feature when software is stable, mature and rarely changes. I still use Office 2003 on my Windows machine, 20 years old now and it does way more than I need a word processor and spreadsheet to do. Best part is it doesn't have that stupid ribbon.

So...there are two of us!
   If three 100  Ohm resistors are connected in parallel, and in series with a 200 Ohm resistor, how many resistors do you have? 
 

Offline iMo

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Re: Ltspice is a big dissapointment !
« Reply #28 on: March 25, 2023, 08:53:24 am »
https://ltwiki.org/index.php?title=LTspice_Genealogy_-_The_Heritage_of_Simulation_Ubiquity

Btw I used to use the Spice (3G5 afaik) in 1987 (or 88) on my Atari520 (1MB dram), CLI only, no GUI. The binary size was around 350kB.. I wrote an app in Basic for generating nice graphs out of the text outputs later on..
« Last Edit: March 25, 2023, 09:00:59 am by imo »
 

Online PlainName

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Re: Ltspice is a big dissapointment !
« Reply #29 on: March 25, 2023, 03:28:35 pm »
Quote
The fact that you don't know how to use a professional tool meant for professional engineers doesn't mean there's anything wrong with the tool.

Regardless of whether it's 'professional' or whatever, a tool works best when it is made to fit the user, not vice versa. Making it easier to use doesn't make it 'unprofessional' or a toy, it just makes things more efficient, less error prone and allows the user to focus on the result rather than the journey.

And, for that matter, just because user interface elements are new doesn't mean they are bad. Over time we learn what works well (and doesn't) and new ways to do things. Obviously, stuff made before these elements were available can't use them, but that doesn't automatically mean the old stuff is somehow better. Or that you have to suffer in order to be a 'professional' user.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Ltspice is a big dissapointment !
« Reply #30 on: March 25, 2023, 06:06:35 pm »
And, for that matter, just because user interface elements are new doesn't mean they are bad. Over time we learn what works well (and doesn't) and new ways to do things. Obviously, stuff made before these elements were available can't use them, but that doesn't automatically mean the old stuff is somehow better. Or that you have to suffer in order to be a 'professional' user.

The reverse is also true, just because interface elements are new doesn't mean that they're better, or that older ones are bad. I'm not arguing that the older stuff is magically better, only that it is not automatically worse. LTSpice is a popular tool that works very well for its intended users, there's always room for improvement, but that will require somebody who thinks that improvement is worth the cost of doing it and the risk of breaking something else, which is virtually inevitable in software development.
 
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Offline tchiwam

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Re: Ltspice is a big dissapointment !
« Reply #31 on: March 25, 2023, 07:34:35 pm »
I am warming up to Kicad + NGspice ...  Not perfect but somewhat usable and less frustration than typing everything or converting the netlist.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Ltspice is a big dissapointment !
« Reply #32 on: March 25, 2023, 08:23:28 pm »
I consider it a feature when software is stable, mature and rarely changes. I still use Office 2003 on my Windows machine, 20 years old now and it does way more than I need a word processor and spreadsheet to do. Best part is it doesn't have that stupid ribbon.

So...there are two of us!
No, three!
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 
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Online Messtechniker

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Re: Ltspice is a big dissapointment !
« Reply #33 on: March 25, 2023, 08:54:23 pm »
Make that four!
Agilent 34465A, Siglent SDG 2042X, Hameg HMO1022, R&S HMC 8043, Peaktech 2025A, Voltcraft VC 940, M-Audio Audiophile 192, R&S Psophometer UPGR, 3 Transistor Testers, DL4JAL Transistor Curve Tracer, UT622E LCR meter
 
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Offline sb4

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Re: Ltspice is a big dissapointment !
« Reply #34 on: May 07, 2024, 05:29:00 pm »
I agree that the user interface is so non-standard that unless I use it daily, I have to relearn its quirks which takes time.  Example: I wanted to do a quick sim of a simple circuit as a proof-of-concept.  I first used the online version of Circuitlab which I've never used before.  In about 10 minutes I had an answer.  The interface is so intuitive that I was able to draw and simulate without referring to documentation.  I think the software also has "smarts" that helps get to an answer.

I really liked the pallet of "reference parts" on the left, which seem to be standardized parts that are typical.  One part I needed is a bridge rectifier module.  I have not yet found such a part in LTspice as installed.  It was easy to place parts, connect them, and run a basic transient simulation.

Because Circuitlab requires a subscription to save your circuits, I decided to do the same thing with LTSpice, which I used extensively years ago.  Immediately I hit frustration as I could not remember the quirky GUI.  I wanted to select a part to rotate it, but there is no generic select tool.  You need to use the "move" hand-shaped cursor, and then press ctrl-R.  I doubt I would have discovered that by trial and error, I had to google.  The lack of a general select tool constantly stumps me.  You have to use a "scissors" tool to delete a part, etc.  I am also flummoxed by the lack of scroll bars on the schematic window.  You can zoom in and out, but your schematic may drift out of view.  Until I know better, I end up zooming out and trying to move the entire schematic into the center of the window, then zooming back in. 

Selecting parts can be daunting since rarely used parts and popular parts are lumped into long lists.  Very often we just want to grab a typical reference part with wide specs to check proof-of-concept of a circuit.  There may be a way to set that up in LTspice, but it doesn't jump out at you.  Circuitlab just has a nice common list of parts visible from the get-go.

I have a lot of confidence that LTspice simulations are well designed, fast, and accurate, though you may have to research how to tweak parameters for best performance.  So I'm mainly complaining about the GUI.  I'm aware that the guy who has been maintaining LTspice has left and now is maintainint QSpice, which is his complete rewrite of LTspice and supposedly has much better code.  On first look, the GUI isn't any more friendly.  However, perhaps now we can put in requests for improvement to the LTSpice GUI and get more response.  An alternate GUI option like Circuitlab's would be my suggestion.  Keep the original, but have an option to select the alternate.
 
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Offline Doctorandus_P

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Re: Ltspice is a big dissapointment !
« Reply #35 on: May 10, 2024, 06:56:35 am »
I understand "professionals" put up with all sorts of quirkiness, as long as they get paid to spend time on such software. But for me as a hobbyist I could never get used to ltspice. I also don't like having to run it under wine.

The integration of ngSpice in KiCad is getting better each year though. A big advantage for me is that I don't have to get used to how most of the program (schematic entry) works, because I already know KiCad, and it's schematic entry is also pretty intuitive. But using ngSpice has it's speed bumps too. Getting models that are compatible is a big nuisance for example. Another (small) nuisance is pin remapping. For some reason, pin numbers in spice models do not always agree with pin numbers on IC packages. There is a pin remapping function built in, but if your simulation does not run, then it is just one extra thing that adds to your headaches. Especially for beginners getting a simulation to run is a bit of a challenge.

I don't use circuit simulation much, but if I do, it is KiCad / ngSpice. Partly because I already have it installed, it's one of the very few up to date packaged that run natively under Linux, and it's Open Source, which is also an important factor for me.
 

Offline QOTF-Alexi

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Re: Ltspice is a big dissapointment !
« Reply #36 on: May 10, 2024, 07:11:31 am »
I've tried to switch to the simulation in Altium Designer, but it's honestly quite terrible if you don't have your own models. SIMetrix/SIMPLIS Elements is free to use, but you do get a popup every time you open it, begging you to buy the full thing. Works fine though. But you can't just place a probe and keep it there forever, since the graph does not seem to update when you re-run a simulation when you changed, say, a resistor value. It would probably work better if I had the full edition, since that integrates into AD with a (to those with a student license free) extension. But as a hobbyist user it's not worth it buying that software.
 

Offline Zero999

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Re: Ltspice is a big dissapointment !
« Reply #37 on: May 10, 2024, 08:14:19 am »
I consider it a feature when software is stable, mature and rarely changes. I still use Office 2003 on my Windows machine, 20 years old now and it does way more than I need a word processor and spreadsheet to do. Best part is it doesn't have that stupid ribbon.

So...there are two of us!
No, three!
Yes, I wish developers wouldn't change the GUI, just to appar trendy or pretend they've improved the software to encourage sales. One of the reasons why I use LibreOffice is so I can escape the crappy Ribbon interface of MS Office. Although I'm fine with the LTSpice GUI, I can sympathise, mainly because I hate MS Office.


F9 is undo. There are dozens of various switches, you have to download and install libraries.
https://groups.io/g/LTspice
LTSpice is not an interactive toy, you have to program the behavior of the switches.
When you name a wire "base" you can easily probe it..
I never had a problem with copy/paste something off the results windows in LTSpice..
Get a little bit familiar with the LTSpice, it is a great tool..
The downside is, opening the file on another install without the switch symbols will break the schematic.

I prefer to use the current controlled switch. Here's an example of using a voltage source to control the switch. The internal resistance is set to 1R and voltage 1V, so the short circuit current is 1A. The CSW model has been set so it transitons smoothly, which can help to avoid convergence errors.
 

Offline JPortici

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Re: Ltspice is a big dissapointment !
« Reply #38 on: May 10, 2024, 08:26:06 am »
Yes, I wish developers wouldn't change the GUI, just to appar trendy or pretend they've improved the software to encourage sales. One of the reasons why I use LibreOffice is so I can escape the crappy Ribbon interface of MS Office. Although I'm fine with the LTSpice GUI, I can sympathise, mainly because I hate MS Office.
i see you haven't installed LibreOffice 24 then

(yes, it's optional - for now. - but it's already the default)

re: thread i greatly appreciated the UI revamp in the newer LTSpice 24, works much better for me, with all the changes in shortcuts and feel i never bothered making
 

Offline shapirus

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Re: Ltspice is a big dissapointment !
« Reply #39 on: May 10, 2024, 09:29:07 am »
The integration of ngSpice in KiCad is getting better each year though. A big advantage for me is that I don't have to get used to how most of the program (schematic entry) works, because I already know KiCad, and it's schematic entry is also pretty intuitive. But using ngSpice has it's speed bumps too. Getting models that are compatible is a big nuisance for example. Another (small) nuisance is pin remapping. For some reason, pin numbers in spice models do not always agree with pin numbers on IC packages. There is a pin remapping function built in, but if your simulation does not run, then it is just one extra thing that adds to your headaches. Especially for beginners getting a simulation to run is a bit of a challenge.
Another big source of frustration with ngspice is its very, very poor ability to converge with anything even remotely complex (in transient sims). Timestep too small, my ass. And try to guess where the problem exactly is, it will never tell you. First it's one branch, often totally unrelated (e.g. not even energized at the time), then you adjust a sim parameter or a value of some capacitor or whatever, and it fails again, but this time complaining for a totally different branch.

Sometimes I have to resort to setting reltol to as high as 0.2 (!) to finally make it pass a certain stubborn point. Sometimes even that doesn't help. Fast transients are a problem? Yes they can be. Good luck finding where it might be when you have a dozen logic gates and whatnot. And the funny thing is that it often works when you simulate them separately as individual functional blocks, but fails when you enable all of them at once -- and it never tells you why, at least in terms that can be understood by someone who has no experience of writing their own spice engine as part of their university course.

Sometimes it's possible to guess what's going on if it fails at a point when a certain event is expected to happen, but sometimes it fails in the middle of nowhere when everything should be stable or changing slowly.

To put it in a different perspective, it's a PITA when you try to use it to simulate whole circuits. It's better when you can divide your whole circuit into separate blocks and simulate them one by one. But if you ask me, that's nothing else than just a workaround for a poorly working software. Both good and bad software can fail, I'm not blaming it for failing. But the difference between good and bad software is how they fail. Good error messages that make troubleshooting easy are essential.

In its present state, ngspice, even though it's actually pretty usable, with some limitations, still looks more like an academical project developed by a team of scientists (and it's good at that!) who don't care about its suitability for practical real world usage.


p.s. on topic... LTSpice? Seem better suited for real life, even though the UI is weird. Much faster than ngspice. Huge number of available models. Too bad there's no native integration with kicad. I wonder if it's not as brittle in terms of convergence on complex circuits as ngspice, haven't had much experience with it.
 

Offline Zero999

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Re: Ltspice is a big dissapointment !
« Reply #40 on: May 10, 2024, 10:08:00 am »
Yes, I wish developers wouldn't change the GUI, just to appar trendy or pretend they've improved the software to encourage sales. One of the reasons why I use LibreOffice is so I can escape the crappy Ribbon interface of MS Office. Although I'm fine with the LTSpice GUI, I can sympathise, mainly because I hate MS Office.
i see you haven't installed LibreOffice 24 then

(yes, it's optional - for now. - but it's already the default)
No, I haven't.

I'm not entirely against the concept of tabbed toolbars. It's just how it has been implemented in MS Office and the fact they changed it, without the ability to go back, for no reason.

I suppose LibraOffice will have to change to make it more familiar to MS Office users. If it's bad, then I can disable it. If they make it mandatory, I can just use the older versons and no doubt it'll annoy enough people, someone will fork it and create a version with the traditional UI.

Quote
re: thread i greatly appreciated the UI revamp in the newer LTSpice 24, works much better for me, with all the changes in shortcuts and feel i never bothered making
That's how changes in the UI should be done: introduce improvements and features, without revamping everything, just because.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2024, 11:01:18 am by Zero999 »
 

Offline Rafiki

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Re: Ltspice is a big dissapointment !
« Reply #41 on: May 10, 2024, 11:58:58 am »
Quote
I suppose LibraOffice will have to change to make it more familiar to MS Office users. If it's bad, then I can disable it. If they make it mandatory, I can just use the older versons and no doubt it'll annoy enough people, someone will fork it and create a version with the traditional UI.
You can always use the other branch which evolved from StarOffice (as LibreOffice did) - Apache OpenOffice. AOO does not update that often which is sometimes advantages sometimes disadvantages. But the AOO developer obviously don't follow the crowd with these ribbon sh...  but still use standard CUA instead.
 

Online temperance

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Re: Ltspice is a big dissapointment !
« Reply #42 on: May 10, 2024, 12:27:53 pm »
@ eTobey

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/sds800x-hd-featureimprovment-disscusions/75/

Why is it that you are bashing everything? In fact we are all pretty spoiled.

-Free circuit simulators and not just toys.
-Ultra low cost but extremely capable micro controllers
-Transistors, op amp, and just about anything you can imagine for peanuts
-Full fledged in circuit emulators for €10
-Programmable logic in all flavors for peanuts including extremely capable tools
-Free CAD software

You want people of my age to write you rants about the tools we played with about 25 years ago? Of course I hated erasing EPROM's if it didn't work again and again. Was the EPROM at fault? No, not at all. I felt more frustration about my own capabilities and shortcomings and I still do so today. If something doesn't work or doesn't perform as I think it would, I rather question myself and investigate the problem and search for answers in a meaningful way. Researching a problem has become very easy with the internet as a resource. This statement doesn't state all manuals and everything is always correct. Manuals, app notes,...are all written by people writing from their own perspective and they make mistakes.

If remembering Ctrl+r frustrates you then maybe you are pursuing the wrong hobby or career if putting in your own effort to understand something is too much for you.

EDIT: some LT spice tutorials: (the links point to playlists on YT)

A tutorial by the man behind LTspice himself:


FEZ Electronics


Does it still disappoint you after watching all this?


EDIT:
Quote
Like so many other "commercial" products that while still doing the same thing, the interface gets switched around for the sake of "change" in order to sell the new version and differentiate it from the "old" version.

Confirmed, some pretty expensive software just rearrange old bugs in a different way.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2024, 08:19:18 pm by temperance »
 
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Online SiliconWizard

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Re: Ltspice is a big dissapointment !
« Reply #43 on: May 11, 2024, 04:50:53 am »
I personally don't care about the UI, LTSpice is free and the fastest free Spice simulator out there. It was already faster on most simulations than ngspice before version 24, but with the speed improvements of v24, it just beats its pants badly in terms of sim speed, to the point of making ngspice extremely frustrating.

I still use ngspice when LTSpice doesn't cut it, but clearly its simulation speed is becoming a problem.

I don't expect a Spice simulator to be a nice and full-fledged schematic editor, but to each their own. LTSpice can also take Spice text directly, and I believe it can be run on the command-line as well, although I've rarely used it that way.
 
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Offline amaschas

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Re: Ltspice is a big dissapointment !
« Reply #44 on: June 02, 2024, 04:35:45 pm »
I will be honest, as a hobbyist LTSPice is totally impenetrable. I've tried it a half dozen times, given up and just constructed my circuit on a breadboard and used a oscilloscope to figure out what was going on.
 

Online Wolfgang

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Re: Ltspice is a big dissapointment !
« Reply #45 on: June 02, 2024, 04:55:58 pm »
Some side facts about LtSpice.

- it was (and is) a free tool, once developped by Mike Engelhard at Linear tech to support the design of switching power supplies using Lts IC portfolio.
- LtSpice (once SwitcherCad) is more than 20 years old.
- Focus was on convergence and stable math, not so much on a fancy user interface.
- The USP of LtSpice is speed. In fact, it creates machine language programs from you spice plans and runs them im parallel on Intel CPUs. Normally beats other spices by a factor of 5..100.
- The inventor of LtSpice is a Klingon that has no compassion for beginners. I guess that people complaining about the GUI and some Spice handling issues can just go to hell (he has put this more politely).
  Read the manual, search the net, learn the ropes, look at a lot of examples and user forums - ... only *then* write him an email. He *is* responsive is your problem is something "real", however.
- There are a lot of "toy" spices around. I personally used 5Spice quite some time ago.
  Simple, easy to use, better graphics - but it was slow, did not converge in many cases, did not allow model creation, and was not even free ... crippleware compared to LtSpice.
  I used foul language a lot for about a week when I switched to LtSpice, but in the end, wow, what an improvement!

IMHO, you are out of luck if your Spice needs are serious. LtSpice downloads *per day* are a few thousands, more any the total of any other spices combined. LtSpice *owns* the market,
so you need to get used to them instead of LtSpice will change to what you want, sorry.
 
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Online tszaboo

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Re: Ltspice is a big dissapointment !
« Reply #46 on: June 02, 2024, 05:34:55 pm »
Some side facts about LtSpice.
What you describe is complacency.
I never liked LTSpice. It's somehow simultaneously too simple and too complicated. The whole electronics simulator market feels like 1990s with bad UI, incompatibilities, software written in archaic languages, bad scripting, bad output formats. Freeware that is operated as a walled garden.
Nobody cares how much time a simulation takes. What I care about is how much time completing a task takes, and that's a long time because the software needs serious UI improvements.
 

Offline shapirus

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Re: Ltspice is a big dissapointment !
« Reply #47 on: June 02, 2024, 05:43:54 pm »
I never liked LTSpice. It's somehow simultaneously too simple and too complicated. The whole electronics simulator market feels like 1990s with bad UI, incompatibilities, software written in archaic languages, bad scripting, bad output formats. Freeware that is operated as a walled garden.
Nobody cares how much time a simulation takes. What I care about is how much time completing a task takes, and that's a long time because the software needs serious UI improvements.
That's just how it goes. You have to be a scientist to create and maintain software like this. But when you're a scientist, you don't care about that earthly nonsense such as UI or fancy bleeding edge technologies.

Besides, just remember when spice was first created. We must feel lucky that netlists are at least plain text files and not some binary code.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2024, 05:45:42 pm by shapirus »
 
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Offline Bud

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Re: Ltspice is a big dissapointment !
« Reply #48 on: June 02, 2024, 06:43:07 pm »
Sorry but this is BS. Take Electro Magnetic simulators - they employ much more complex science but also have decent UI and plotting capabilities.
Facebook-free life and Rigol-free shack.
 

Online Wolfgang

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Re: Ltspice is a big dissapointment !
« Reply #49 on: June 02, 2024, 06:53:41 pm »
Some side facts about LtSpice.
What you describe is complacency.
I never liked LTSpice. It's somehow simultaneously too simple and too complicated. The whole electronics simulator market feels like 1990s with bad UI, incompatibilities, software written in archaic languages, bad scripting, bad output formats. Freeware that is operated as a walled garden.
Nobody cares how much time a simulation takes. What I care about is how much time completing a task takes, and that's a long time because the software needs serious UI improvements.

Yup. They not feel the need to change a lot for casual users. They are undisputed number one, so ... Maybe YOU can write a better LtSpice, they wont. Much luck, BTW.
 


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