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DOS OrCAD gray market (was: ORCAD vs EAGLE)

Discussion in 'CAD' started by JeffM, Nov 6, 2006.

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  1. JeffM

    JeffM Guest

    Was there any DRM / copy protection / dongle
    associated with DOS OrCAD?

    Considering the use of its name in some circles
    as a generic term for "ECAD" (Velcro, Styrofoam, Kleenex),
    I assume there is an underground market for DOS OrCAD.

    Since it is abandonware, is there a host of folks
    who have never used it before and who are still seeking it out?
    Is there an established gray market to meet such a need?
  2. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hello Jeff,
    In some countries they sold the with dongles, in others without. But
    these were the days when CAD costs were much more reasonable than today.
    I paid $500 for my license about 15 years ago.

    I doubt it. The main reason why I stopped using DOS OrCad was the
    increasing difficulty to adapt to new printers. It was still IMHO the
    best schematic capture program ever.

    No idea whether there is. Yahoo has a DOS-OrCad forum but it's rather
    quiet there.
  3. qrk

    qrk Guest

    Funny, the EDA guys that sell Orcad jokingly said something
    disparaging about my "illegal" copy of Orcad SDT 386+. Joke is on
    them, it's a legal copy.

    The OldDosOrcad Yahoo group has 137 members, some who are very
    knowledgable about SDT and PCB.

    The European versions had a dongle. The American version was
    unprotected. The 'merican version can still be found floating about if
    you are resourceful enough. Some scanned manuals can be found.

    DOS Orcad schematic program is still actively being used by a handful
    of us. New high-resolution (up to 1600x1200) VESA video drivers have
    been released by a very talented DE hacker so you can use your spiffy
    LCD monitor at its native resolution. Modified utilities are also
    available which allow you to stack power pins on top of another (saves
    space on the symbol), HP PCL printer drivers going up to 600 dpi for
    B-size paper, and a utility to convert PCL to PCX. You can also find
    parts libraries from various users. There are folks out there that
    still use the old DOS Orcad PCB program. Stable as a rock!

    SDT is still a very usable program. Very stable, no bugs, and fast.
    Although, I do miss some of the features Capture has. I use SDT for
    100% of my projects which range from analog stuff with lots of parts
    (+1500 per board) to digital stuff using 950+ pin FPGAs. If customers
    want a Capture compatible schematic, the modern Capture can convert an
    old SDT schematic without problem.

    Recommended that you run DOS Orcad products under Virtual PC which is
    now free from Microsoft.
  4. Chuck Harris

    Chuck Harris Guest

    Actually, the whole '386 suite runs perfectly under dosemu, and freedos,
    using linux. Traceback's vesa drivers are needed for this to work at more
    than 800x600 resolution.

    -Chuck Harris
  5. Frank Miles

    Frank Miles Guest

    If you have a version of OrCAD that supports a "generic" PostScript printer,
    it works even today.

  6. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hello Frank,
    Yeah, it does, kind of. But I had printers lock up on it. On the little
    HP 5L this means reaching in back to pull the power cord since they
    failed to provide a reset button. Not even a power switch :-(

    Here it has to be said that my Eagle version has a glitch as well. Often
    nothing will happen after print. Then I have to de-select and re-select
    the printer and it'll work. Doesn't happen with any other program. But
    at least it won't lock up the printer.
  7. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hello Mark,

    Sweet. Thanks for the hint, didn't know that. So I could use the old SDT

    Agree. SDT has never crashed on me. Not once.

    Yes, but I found it a problem that I could not read anything back from
    clients after they ever so slightly touched the schematic with a new
    version. I guess that's part of the "upgrade strategies" these days.
  8. Just to put my two cents in, but didn't SDT not have a zoom in feature
    beyond it native resolution? (you think I should know for sure, but I
    haven't used it for 15 years...) I remember finding it pretty unusable
    for any resolution beyond 800x600...

  9. qrk

    qrk Guest

    The VESA drivers and other utilities are in the files section of .
    Modern Capture can save to a version 7.2 format. Any of the newer
    versions can read 7.2. Have your clients do a "save as" to 7.2.
  10. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hello Charlie,
    Mine sure could. It allowed factors of 2, 5, 10 and 20 which I found
    plenty sufficient.
  11. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hello Mark,
    But my SDT is the great-great-grandfather of 7.2 :-(
  12. Chuck Harris

    Chuck Harris Guest

    Yes, but all of those sizes made the text and sheet -smaller. What if it
    is already too small for your tired eyes to read, and it it 1:1 ?

    This wasn't much of a problem in days of yore but as the screen resolution
    took great leaps, it becomes a problem.

  13. Exactly. You could zoom out, but not in. I couldn't see my part
    numbers or other attributes they were so small.

  14. Joel Kolstad

    Joel Kolstad Guest

    Ah... so THAT'S (probably) why even the current version of ORCAD doesn't let
    you zoom in particularly far!

    It can be annoying on a 1600x1200 or higher resolution monitor to see all the
    fine detail; I've always felt that ORCAD's "zoom in" feature stopped at an
    artificially low point.
  15. qrk

    qrk Guest

    I use SDT at 1024x768 resolution under Virtual PC. Easy to read all
    the text. SDT at 1280x1024 is perfectly usable on a 19" LCD monitor.
    SDT has a super zoom feature only in the library editor that I know
    of. 1600x1200 on a 20" monitor is to small for my eyes, plus, redraw
    time starts getting poky.
  16. qrk

    qrk Guest

    There are ways of upgrading you to cutting-edge mid-90s DOS software
    (SDT 386+)! I believe that would update you to großpapa.
  17. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hello Mark,

    My old SDT is version 3.22 but I guess any update to the last DOS
    version would have to be from the gray market. If there is a legal path
    that would be ok. So far I have kept all SW legit, biz as well as
    personal, and I want to keep it that way until I keel over.
  18. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hello Chuck,
    Well, I can't really tell because I was never a fan of pushing the
    screen resolution to the limits. Even today I prefer 800*600. It's
    enough of a challenge that parts become smaller. On my last designs they
    were 90% 0402 sizes. The eyes don't exactly become better with age ;-)
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