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'[EE] Designspark v2.0'
2011\03\19@152815 by Oli Glaser

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Just curious, has anyone here been using Designspark much?
I noticed they released a new version (apparently with new 3D visuals):
http://www.designspark.com/pcb
I downloaded and installed it when it came out, but haven't got round to trying it out yet.

2011\03\19@155457 by Carl Denk

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When I visited the site minutes ago, Firefox Noscript asked to allow "xg4ken.com". Per:
http://google.com/safebrowsing/diagnostic?site=xg4ken.com/

"The last time Google visited this site was on 2011-03-19, and the last time suspicious content was found on this site was on 2011-02-03."

Seems needs caution as least. :(

Allowing the designspark.com site, and playing the video, resulted in "an error occurred, please try later". I'm not going further. :)

I have been using FreePCB.com for several years, support is great and like it, somewhat reluctant to change for the little of that I do, maybe 1 or 2 boards a year.


On 3/19/2011 3:27 PM, Oli Glaser wrote:
> Just curious, has anyone here been using Designspark much?
> I noticed they released a new version (apparently with new 3D visuals):
> http://www.designspark.com/pcb
> I downloaded and installed it when it came out, but haven't got round to
> trying it out yet.
>
>
>

2011\03\19@160250 by Mike Hord

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Interesting.

Designspark is BIG- sponsored by RS/Allied, not some shadowy cadre of
unknowns.

That said, I've been using DesignSpark for a week or so, and I'm VERY
pleased. On a usability level, I'm finding it exceeds pretty much any other
application I've tried.

I certainly don't think it's ready to roll with the big players, at least as
far as
PCB design goes, but for schematic capture and the simple boards I will
use it for, it's probably going to edge out Proteus as my design tool of
choice.

If your desired pricepoint is $0, I don't think you'll find better anywhere..

Mike H

On Sat, Mar 19, 2011 at 2:54 PM, Carl Denk <spam_OUTcdenkTakeThisOuTspamwindstream.net> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

>

2011\03\19@164616 by Oli Glaser

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On 19/03/2011 20:02, Mike Hord wrote:
> Interesting.
>
> Designspark is BIG- sponsored by RS/Allied, not some shadowy cadre of
> unknowns.

Indeed, I assumed so too given the RS connection - I got no warning (using Chrome with Norton 360, but I do have script enabled)

{Quote hidden}

Useful information, thanks.
As far as price goes, I think everyone's "desired" pricepoint is $0 :-)
Certainly I don't mind spending money for quality software (and expect to) but if I can find the same performance for free the choice is an easy one. It's whether it's worth the time spent to move across, you have to be sure it's reasonably stable, compatible (apparently you can import Eagle designs now) development will continue, it will remain free and so on.
It is not open source but some may see that as a plus for such complex software (I think the same people behind EasyPCB or some other free package?)
On the question of it stopping being free once enough people start to use it, I saw this asked on the site and there was a very confident response that this will not be the case...
Overall I get the impression it may do well, I have been considering a free package for a while (now things seem to be improving somewhat with Kicad, GEDA, etc) but not been convinced to stop spending money yet :-)
I think I will try it out with a couple of personal projects, see how it compares.

2011\03\19@185531 by Peter Loron

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It does look nice. The main problem (for me) is that it is Windows-only.

-Pete On Mar 19, 2011, at 1:02 PM, Mike Hord wrote:

{Quote hidden}

>> -

2011\03\19@191946 by Michael Watterson

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On 19/03/2011 22:55, Peter Loron wrote:
> It does look nice. The main problem (for me) is that it is Windows-only.
>
kicad and Eagle work on Linux.

Apple really poor for Engineering/CAE/CAD software compared to Windows and Linux

2011\03\19@231625 by Sean Breheny

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I began using Kicad about a year ago and I have so far done 2 PCB
designs, all the way to fab/population/testing and I've been very
impressed. While it does not have all the features of Orcad or PADS
(which I use at work), it is just as bug free as those packages (in
other words, all three have about the same level of quirks), so I
think it is awesome for free software.

Sean


On Sat, Mar 19, 2011 at 7:19 PM, Michael Watterson <mikespamKILLspamradioway.org> wrote:
> On 19/03/2011 22:55, Peter Loron wrote:
>> It does look nice. The main problem (for me) is that it is Windows-only.
>>
> kicad and Eagle work on Linux.
>
> Apple really poor for Engineering/CAE/CAD software compared to Windows
> and Linux.
>

2011\03\20@100544 by Isaac Marino Bavaresco

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Em 20/3/2011 00:16, Sean Breheny escreveu:
> I began using Kicad about a year ago and I have so far done 2 PCB
> designs, all the way to fab/population/testing and I've been very
> impressed. While it does not have all the features of Orcad or PADS
> (which I use at work), it is just as bug free as those packages (in
> other words, all three have about the same level of quirks), so I
> think it is awesome for free software.


Having you mentioned PADS, I would like to know how do you like it.
I once tried to use it and found it awful. To me, Its UI lacks a lot of
important menu options and dialog boxes.
For instance, the only way I found to show/hide layers was in the dialog
box to choose layer colors, very unfriendly and inefficient.
P-CAD has two-key shortcuts to enable/disable up to 10 (customizable)
groups of layers.


Best regards,

Isaac

2011\03\20@143634 by Peter Loron

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Yeah, I have used KiCAD and Eagle. The current tool is KiCAD in Windows in a VM...what a pain.

-Pete

On Mar 19, 2011, at 4:19 PM, Michael Watterson wrote:

> On 19/03/2011 22:55, Peter Loron wrote:
>> It does look nice. The main problem (for me) is that it is Windows-only.
>>
> kicad and Eagle work on Linux.
>
> Apple really poor for Engineering/CAE/CAD software compared to Windows
> and Linux.
> -

2011\03\20@161137 by William \Chops\ Westfield

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On Mar 20, 2011, at 11:36 AM, Peter Loron wrote:

> The current tool is KiCAD in Windows in a VM...what a pain.

So you're a Mac user?  Have you kept up with the status of
KiCAD on Mac?  It supposedly compiles and runs, and the last
binary I tried "worked", but the GUI performance was so laggy
that I gave up pretty quickly...

BillW

2011\03\21@110008 by Mike Hord

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I've used PADS a bit- very little- and I've been very unhappy with it.

It was (and remains) utterly unintuitive to me- I demand that software
be at least somewhat usable without a huge tutorial or class. I found
PADS to be utterly inscrutable at first use.

No doubt there will be a chorus of RTFM after this, but I maintain that
good software ought to be at least approachable sans-documentation.

Mike H


> Having you mentioned PADS, I would like to know how do you like it.
> I once tried to use it and found it awful. To me, Its UI lacks a lot of
> important menu options and dialog boxes.
> For instance, the only way I found to show/hide layers was in the dialog
> box to choose layer colors, very unfriendly and inefficient.
> P-CAD has two-key shortcuts to enable/disable up to 10 (customizable)
> groups of layers.
>

2011\03\21@134918 by Peter Loron

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On 03/20/2011 01:11 PM, William "Chops" Westfield wrote:
> On Mar 20, 2011, at 11:36 AM, Peter Loron wrote:
>
>> The current tool is KiCAD in Windows in a VM...what a pain.
> So you're a Mac user?  Have you kept up with the status of
> KiCAD on Mac?  It supposedly compiles and runs, and the last
> binary I tried "worked", but the GUI performance was so laggy
> that I gave up pretty quickly...
>
> BillW
>

Yes, although I do also have Linux and Windows machines in the house. I also have found KiCAD on the Mac to be unusable. So, given that my current solution is KiCAD running in a Windows VM, I may give DesignSpark a shot...

-Pet

2011\03\22@093343 by Olin Lathrop

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Mike Hord wrote:
> No doubt there will be a chorus of RTFM after this, but I maintain
> that good software ought to be at least approachable
> sans-documentation.

That is desirable in isolation, but unfortunately it usually comes at a cost
back here in the real world.  Such software often has little depth and is
more annoying to use once you have bothered to learn it.  For software I use
lightly and that isn't a important part of my main job, I may prefer easy to
pick up.  But software that I will use heavily, like EECAD, I don't care
much about the learning curve but rather want something that I can
eventually use effectively the way I like to use software.

Too many software designers cater to the mindless masses who are allergic to
manuals and buy on first impressions.  This means lots of hold-your-hands
GUIs and clickety click interfaces.  That by itself would be OK if the GUI
was layered on a scriptable command engine with flexible hot key assignments
and the like, but all too often it isn't.  Once you get to know the
software, all the nannyware gets in the way and slows down the process.
It's not that hard to make software work both ways, but too many software
engineers grew up with clickety-click GUIs and have not been exposed to the
power of scriptable command engines.  Or, they are only pushed by marketing
for the GUIs.

This is one thing Eagle gets right.  Clickety-click interfaces when they
appear are largely layered on the underlying command engine.  Microsoft used
to be better than most at this too.  They didn't always have a accessible
underlying command layer, but they were generally good about everything
being doable from a menu entry, usually with a shortcut key, and didn't make
a toolbar icon or a right-click menu the only way to do something.
Unfortunately, they have decended into the only placating the morons instead
of supporting both the morons and the power users.


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(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000

2011\03\22@115634 by Ariel Rocholl

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2011/3/21 Olin Lathrop <.....olin_piclistKILLspamspam.....embedinc.com>


> Microsoft used
> to be better than most at this too.  They didn't always have a accessible
> underlying command layer, but they were generally good about everything
> being doable from a menu entry, usually with a shortcut key, and didn't
> make
> a toolbar icon or a right-click menu the only way to do something.
> Unfortunately, they have decended into the only placating the morons
> instead
> of supporting both the morons and the power users.
>

Do you actually have an specific example in mind? In my experience, this is
quite the opposite. MS is adding more features to the power users than ever
before. Take PowerShell, or take MS Office 2007 or 2010 for instance, I
don't like the ribbon stuff and new GUI, but the menu shortcuts are more
powerful than ever. Click on [Alt] key in MS Word and you will get a very
clever implementation on visible shortcuts.

-- Ariel Rochol

2011\03\22@121540 by Gerhard Fiedler

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Ariel Rocholl wrote:

> 2011/3/21 Olin Lathrop <EraseMEolin_piclistspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTembedinc.com>
>
>> Microsoft used to be better than most at this too.  They didn't
>> always have a accessible underlying command layer, but they were
>> generally good about everything being doable from a menu entry,
>> usually with a shortcut key, and didn't make a toolbar icon or a
>> right-click menu the only way to do something. Unfortunately, they
>> have decended into the only placating the morons instead of
>> supporting both the morons and the power users.
>
> Do you actually have an specific example in mind? In my experience,
> this is quite the opposite. MS is adding more features to the power
> users than ever before. Take PowerShell, or take MS Office 2007 or
> 2010 for instance, I don't like the ribbon stuff and new GUI, but the
> menu shortcuts are more powerful than ever. Click on [Alt] key in MS
> Word and you will get a very clever implementation on visible
> shortcuts.
Two examples, one rather old, one new.

The old one is the calendars on some Outlook forms (tasks, for example);
they appear at first like combo boxes. While you can of course type a
date (like you can with a normal combo box), you can't get to the
calendar from there with the keyboard. But there isn't really a reason
why you shouldn't be able to open the calendar with the Alt-Down (like
in a normal combo box) and then move around in the calendar with
(possibly modified) cursor keys.

The now one is the ribbon bar and its shortcuts. I use "paste special" a
lot (pasting HTML or RTF directly is often a pain; the font size doesn't
match, it modifies the paragraph layout, and other crap), and it is
available in a reasonable form from the ribbon bar -- but the key
sequence changes with the specific window you're in. In an Outlook task
it's Alt-ovs, while in an Outlook message and in Word it's Alt-hvs. This
is a real pain.

Gerhar

2011\03\22@122749 by Olin Lathrop

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Ariel Rocholl wrote:
> Do you actually have an specific example in mind? In my experience,
> this is quite the opposite. MS is adding more features to the power
> users than ever before. Take PowerShell, or take MS Office 2007 or
> 2010 for instance, I don't like the ribbon stuff and new GUI, but the
> menu shortcuts are more powerful than ever. Click on [Alt] key in MS
> Word and you will get a very clever implementation on visible
> shortcuts.

I remember a few years ago having to use the then new version of Word on one
computer while using the older Word 2000 on other computers.  There was a
large difference.  There were more right click context menus in the new word
that I couldn't find regular menu entries for or other workarounds.  It
seemed you were forced to use the mouse a lot more, which I found annoying.
Maybe there was more stuff buried in the new version that I didn't get
around to learning (I use Word infrequently and just needed to get a
particular job done).  It did seem like they changed things for the sake of
changing things.


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(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000

2011\03\22@123012 by Ariel Rocholl

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2011/3/22 Gerhard Fiedler <listsspamspam_OUTconnectionbrazil.com>

>
> Two examples, one rather old, one new.
>
>
The "old" doesn't apply to "Microsoft used to be better...", regardless I
would agree the custom draw combo should work the same as standard combo.


> The now one is the ribbon bar and its shortcuts. I use "paste special" a
> lot (pasting HTML or RTF directly is often a pain; the font size doesn't
> match, it modifies the paragraph layout, and other crap), and it is
> available in a reasonable form from the ribbon bar -- but the key
> sequence changes with the specific window you're in. In an Outlook task
> it's Alt-ovs, while in an Outlook message and in Word it's Alt-hvs. This
> is a real pain.
>
>
But as a power user, you really have an easy fix for that, right? Just add
it to the "quick toolbar" and that will be now a simple Alt-6 (or any other
ordinal based on your configuration). You can easily do that for both Word
and Outlook. This is what a quick-toolbar is.

PS: I have no direct relationship with Microsoft.

-- Ariel Rochol

2011\03\22@123357 by Ariel Rocholl

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2011/3/22 Olin Lathrop <@spam@olin_piclistKILLspamspamembedinc.com>

{Quote hidden}

I think is a wrong perception. There are more and more buried things that
may require deeper knowledge to use properly, but that doesn't mean they are
not actually there. They do change the Office GUI a lot, I suppose to
justify you are paying for a new piece of software that does basically the
same as the previous one, but at the same time the power user can do more
and more things if you care to learn it.

-- Ariel Rochol

2011\03\22@125903 by Oli Glaser

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On 22/03/2011 15:56, Ariel Rocholl wrote:
> Do you actually have an specific example in mind? In my experience, this is
> quite the opposite. MS is adding more features to the power users than ever
> before. Take PowerShell, or take MS Office 2007 or 2010 for instance, I
> don't like the ribbon stuff and new GUI, but the menu shortcuts are more
> powerful than ever. Click on [Alt] key in MS Word and you will get a very
> clever implementation on visible shortcuts.
>

While I get what Olin's on about, I think MS still do a pretty good job with their software. I also didn't like the new MS Office GUI, but the shortcuts are nice; you can get things done very quickly just using the keyboard, which is my preferred mode of operation for any software I use regularly.
Visual Studio is similar in that it caters pretty well both for beginners and experienced users. As long as I can actually turn off annoying features, such as the assistant paperclip that used to pop up in MS Word all the time, things like "tip of the day", or my Norton antivirus trying to "help" me every time my connection drops for 2 seconds (whether intentional or not..) then I am okay with them being there..

2011\03\22@131224 by RussellMc

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I've been of the impression that "old" sequences are vanishing and
also that time honoured shortcuts are being changed apparently
arbitrarily.

For some decades you could still use many of the (brilliant) Wordstar*
left handed sequences but they were slowly eroded and now largely
gone.

I seem to recall that a key layout  change also made these less
mechanically useful compared to originally. If so that would have been
"a while ago" [tm] :-). Maybe with the change to AT keyboards? :-)

I found an application recently that ignored Alt-F4 when I think an
earlier version of it was OK.
EVERYTHING should honour Alt-F4!!!

For the not-ancient - Wordstar is to Word Perfect what Word Perfect is to Word.
For the rather young, Word Perfect is ..., oh, never mind.
Anyway, anything that steels F1 deserves to die.



           Russell



> >> Microsoft used to be better than most at this too.  They didn't
> >> always have a accessible underlying command layer, but they were
> >> generally good about everything being doable from a menu entry,
> >> usually with a shortcut key, and didn't make a toolbar icon or a
> >> right-click menu the only way to do something. Unfortunately, they
> >> have decended into the only placating the morons instead of
> >> supporting both the morons and the power users.
> >
> > Do you actually have an specific example in mind? In my experience,
> > this is quite the opposite.

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