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Early CAD Panning and Zooming?

Discussion in 'CAD' started by Greg, Jan 26, 2005.

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  1. Greg

    Greg Guest

    Does anyone know which CAD programs were the first to offer panning and
    zooming? This may even be entering in different coordinates for a
    different view. It does not have to be "smooth panning."

    I found a great article on it here:

    I am wondering if Romulus in December 1983 was the first place you
    could do that.

    Thank you,

  2. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hi Greg,

    Not sure if you include electronic CAD here but my old Orcad from the
    mid 80's could do that. The first CAD system I ever used was Futurenet
    Dash, I believe early 80's, and as far as I can remember it zoomed and
    panned as well. Otherwise we couldn't likely have designed large boards
    on IBM-XT standard CGA screens.

    Regards, Joerg
  3. Greg

    Greg Guest


    I would certainly be interested in electronic CAD as well as
    mechanical/architectural. I have been reading about early CAD programs
    generally recently and I am fascinated by the early work.

    Do you have a link to something that might list the different versions
    of Futurenet Dash or perhaps even the capabilities of each version?
    Thank you,

  4. Dave VanHorn

    Dave VanHorn Guest

    The DOS orcad that I used, even the first version I had in '86 or
    thereabouts, did panning very nicely. Unfortunately the current windows
    version dosen't, as they've "improved" it.
  5. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    Yep. I was an OrCAD fan until they went with their own Windows "ESP"

    Now. If OrCAD ever drops the ability to use PSpice Schematics as a
    front-end and tries to force Capture down my throat I'll be history
    and their most reputable bad-mouther ;-)

    ...Jim Thompson
  6. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hello Greg,
    Unfortunately no and a Google entry came up rather dry for the older
    Dash versions. As far as I can remember it was sold to us by Data-IO. If
    you are doing a serious history search they might be able to dig
    something up.

    It was great software. It never crashed on me, not once. Well, neither
    did DOS. OrCAD SDT, also a pretty old editor, was rock solid as well.
    With anything after that I had crashes galore.

    After a few days of 'boiler room style' schematic entry on Dash the
    displays became hazy. Then we had to get some stuff from the janitor's
    room and clean the nicotine/tar layer off the monitors because these
    were the days when some of the engineers chain smoked when having to
    concentrate. I never figured out how they managed to smoke and edit at
    the same time...

    Regards, Joerg
  7. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hi Jim,
    So what is your normal tool sequence from PSpice Schematics through
    sending it all off to the chip layouter?

    I recently went Cadsoft/Eagle for schematics. It's really nice for
    RF/analog and has a powerful user language and scripting in case I have
    to do 'crazy stuff'. Cost is reasonable, too.

    Regards, Joerg
  8. qrk

    qrk Guest

    ESP is not needed. It was only a "convienient" front-end for the
    regular tools. I've always deleted the ESP crap.

  9. John Strupat

    John Strupat Guest

    I can say that Omation's SCHEMA III was incredibly fast for panning and
    zooming in the early 1980's, even on a 286 running DOS.
    Since screen resolution was shabby back then, it was vital to be able to pan
    across larger sheets.
    Nothing else in my expereince could match it until much more computer power
    became available.

    On the other hand, creating new components was always an interesting

    Seems to me that Accel or Tango bought Omation and took this package off the
    I remember speaking to the sole remaining Omation support person a few times
    before the package faded away.

    B.T.W. I offer a service to convert Omation schematic files into other CAD
    formats, PDF's or hardcopy outputs.

    John Strupat

    JST Limited
    77 Elmwood Avenue East
    London, ON
    CANADA N6C 1J4

    Tel. 519-857-8504
    FAX 519-857-8624

    for schematic capture on
  10. Dave VanHorn

    Dave VanHorn Guest

    I did autorouting on a board once, while driving from LA to Vancouver BC, on
    a Toshiba 1000 laptop.. Took same computer out in a rowboat, and routed
    another board while floating exactly on the international border, about a
    mile off point roberts Wa.

    Autorouting on a slow 286... :)
  11. john jardine

    john jardine Guest

    Joerg ... One of the big big annoyances I had with Eagle was that the
    component-power-pins were not accessible. The proggers seemed to assume that
    all designers were locked in a 1970's timewarp and designed wholly using 5V
    rails. This meant ugly dismantling (invoking?) of every component. I packed
    it in because of this and their libraries abortion.
    You've given Eagle a thumbs up. I've respect for your opinion. does this
    mean this kind of thing is no longer a problem?.
  12. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    "Layouter" uses my schematics to do the layout, and I generate an LVS
    netlist (connect-up, but no strays) that the "Layouter" imports to
    compare to the netlist from the layout tool.

    I often use the "Layouter's" extracted netlist to re-run a simulation

    ...Jim Thompson
  13. matt

    matt Guest

    I used an ancient version of Racal-Redac in 1982 that was panning and
    zooming . Ran on an equally ancient IBM XT .
    best regards,
    Matt Tudor

    Greg wrote in message
  14. Chaos Master

    Chaos Master Guest

    In sci.electronics.cad, john jardine wrote:

    EAGLE still has this problem... this is one thing I don't like on it.
    Otherwise, EAGLE is rather good.

    Chaos Master®, posting from Canoas, Brazil - 29.55° S / 51.11° W / GMT-
    2h / 15m

    "He [Babya] is like the Energizer Bunny of hopeless newsgroup
    posting....or should that be Energizer bBunny"
    - "ceed" on alt.comp.freeware, 24/1/2005

    (to some groups: Yes, I use Windows and MS Office. So what?)
  15. Paul Burke

    Paul Burke Guest

    Presumably you could just lie, and put your 3.3V or whatever rails in
    just as pins?

    Paul Burke
  16. Paul Burke

    Paul Burke Guest

    I got given a version of that free at a show in about 1987/8. Never did
    use it, though, sadly. The operation manual seemed to have been written
    by an army drill sergeant.

    Paul Burke
  17. Greg

    Greg Guest

    All of this is very helpful.

    If any of you have an old manual or other documents, I would gladly
    compensate you for shipping and digging it out of the garage. Send me
    an email if you think you might have anything like that from before

    Thank you,

  18. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hello John,
    I believe it still is but there were quite a few threads about this on
    the Eagle newsgroups along with some work-arounds. I don't remember how
    it went but Eagle has a pretty powerful user language programming
    capability, you can coax it into doing almost anything. Usually someone
    else already has and posted the respective ULP file. I haven't yet
    checked for that though because I design analog circuitry, mostly at the
    transistor level.

    Sometimes you may have to ignore a few ERC squawks regarding power pin
    names on different nets but I have experienced that in most CAD
    programs. My logic stuff typically goes onto the same rail, except for
    parts that I use in a more analog fashion and there you can create
    another part with separate supply pins. One example would be the
    CD4007UBE. Not nice but as long as it works, oh well.

    My biggest gripe with Eagle is the inability to create a hierarchical
    sheet structure. This is almost a must in a heavily regulated
    environment such as med electronics. So for now you have to create a top
    layer sheet that is structurally separate from the sublayer sheets.
    Several of us placed it on the wish list. After all, Christmas will be
    here again in another 11 months ;-)

    Library part generation also isn't quite as easy as with OrCad. I am
    sorely missing the non-graphical part generation. But after some
    pondering and considering the high cost of most other editors I decided
    to go for Eagle.

    If you need Spice fully integrated with your editor like Jim does, Eagle
    may not be the ticket. But for non-IC level designs, running Spice
    separately isn't a big deal. Sometimes I catch myself writing the Spice
    file on MS-Word. Oh, now I gave away my age....

    Regards, Joerg
  19. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hello Matt,
    Yes, I remember that one. But ours was a bit more ancient, it ran on a
    mainframe that filled a space the size of a corporate board room. Very
    rugged software, no crashes. As long as nobody bumped into the 'platter
    box', a hard disk the size of a Maytag washer.

    As someone mentioned before zooming and panning were absolutely
    necessary with these early programs simply because of the very limited
    resolution of the screen. My first laptop, afair, 'boasted' 200 pixels
    vertically. No backlight but many hours of battery life. I designed
    dense boards the size of a B size sheet on it.

    Regards, Joerg
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