Altium designer 09 Issue!

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by odinaustin, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. odinaustin

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 2, 2011
    I have a very strange issue about using Altium designer 09.

    When I do copying components in schematic sheet mode, the software just suddenly halted and I can do anything with that. I have to close it in task manager and reopen it.

    I am using Windows XP SP3 system with a good graphic card.

    Is someone having same problem? Does anyone know the solution to it?

    Thank you very much for your reply!

  2. BillB3857

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 28, 2009
    Glad to see at least one other person on this forum "trying" to use Altium. We bought it to replace Circuit Maker 2000, and what an overkill. Can't believe that their sample 555 circuit won't even run in simulation mode. Obviously, I don't know how to use it.
  3. marshallf3

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2010
    In this case I'd write the company and ask, could just need to be a .dll file that needs updating.
  4. t06afre

    AAC Fanatic!

    May 11, 2009
    How do you mean not run?
  5. rapidcoder


    Jan 16, 2011
    It looks like most of that schematic software is created by some students. All the schematic capture software I used (TopSpice, PSpice, NL5, KiCad) have GUIs like in beginning of 90's, which look bad, are clumsy and unintuitive. For example, can you show me a program with a decent part searching capability? Not just by part names and not a flat list of all 20000 parts from the library put into a single dialog. I want to query for a "high frequency low power bipolar transistor" and get the list of parts matching my query. Or I want to perform thing like "find similar parts to this one". Or install components from the Internet directly just like Firefox plugins, without first downloading them manually, placing somewhere, then registering etc. Even such a basic thing like placing wires need clicking a button in most of those apps. Or placing a resistor requires opening a separate dialog just to select that f**ing resistor. Wake up guys, don't you have any usability engineers there?

    Is it really that hard to create something that is easy to use and fast to work with? Why do these guys still use 70's technology to create those things - I mean, C or C++ language? Maybe this is the problem (especially for the stability issues)? Why won't they take C#, Python, whatever managed, to make development 5x or faster, add more features, get the final quality higher and make prices lower?
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2011
  6. BillB3857

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 28, 2009
    I'm not at work due to weather, but it pops up at least two red flag errors and at least two yellow flag errors.. Can't recall the exact terminology. I'll post exact list later. We had been using Circuit Maker 2000 for several years and found the component library becoming more and more behind the times. That was the reason for the "upgrade".
  7. tom66

    Senior Member

    May 9, 2009
    This would be a nice feature in many programs but most of your questions can be answered using Google, or a distributor's website, like Farnell. Problem is here, what counts as high frequency? A humble 2N2222 will easily manage 150MHz+.

    In gEDA's schematic editor (gschem) you can place symbols into a local folder on your drive and use them, but there is no native interface; you are correct.

    I'm a fan of gschem here, you can press n to draw nets. There's no key shortcut for resistors or other passives: Generally, I place a single component and copy-n-paste - gschem has like 10 copy-paste buffers, so you can assign the keys to resistors and capacitors, if you like. It's certainly not as intuitive as it could be.

    Why not Scala? (kidding) Altium is written in Delphi AFAIK. A large program like that must be difficult to manage no matter what language is used.
  8. rapidcoder


    Jan 16, 2011
    Oh, actually, why not? :D

    Of course, you are right that one may get used to not-so-good GUI, however the initial experience is really bad. E.g. LTSpice does almost everything the other way round - like having undo under F9 and not Ctrl-Z, or requirement to first select "cut" command and then the element, not as I'm used to in almost all editing software, not only EDA (selecting element and pressing Del).

    High frequency is a fuzzy term, but selecting the ones that are faster than the median in the database, would be ok. Anyway, it was just an example. Google is not as good for that, because besides returning many irrelevant pages, it could give me elements not present in my model database. And then I'd have to search google again for the correct model. And find the model exactly for my simulator. And manually download it. And then ask allaboutcircuits why my simulator can't see it or freezes on it... I wonder how many hobbyists are put away from using simulators by that usability problems.

    True, but some languages make it extremely difficult. E.g. Delphi (not any better than C++, except the drag & drop GUI builder it has) :D
  9. nanovate

    Distinguished Member

    May 7, 2007
    Altium actually will do a search in Digikey for parts in your schematic. You can also query libraries by parameter using "Find Matching" or by creating a query. It also has methods to connect to any component database that supports ODBC.