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How to kill ORCAD 10.5 Capture in three operations

Discussion in 'CAD' started by Joel Kolstad, Oct 27, 2005.

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  1. Joel Kolstad

    Joel Kolstad Guest

    We've just upgraded from ORCAD 9.2 to ORCAD 10.5 and, while I'm finding some
    improvements I like, I'm always dismayed when I can manage to crash a new
    application within 5 minutes of use. Has anyone else observed this?

    Perform the following (Windows XP SP2, Pentium IV PC):

    1) Start ORCAD 10.5 Capture
    2) Hit F1 for help
    3) Click on the "Index" table in the help window

    Crash!!!!! (You're given a chance to save your work but then ORCAD is
    unceremoniously shutdown.)

    I've observed this on my own system and that of a co-worker. I wouldn't be
    surprised if this is due to ORCAD's installation routine overwriting some DLL
    that it shouldn't be... in ORCAD 9.2, after installation Microsoft's MSDN
    would never work and we eventually traced the problem to the installation
    program registering an old version of hhctrl.ocx (without bothering to check
    if the already installed version was newer) :-( .

    I'll shortly report this to Cadence but my experience is that results often
    happen a lot faster on Usenet...

    ---Joel Kolstad
  2. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    He who uses Capture deserves it ;-)

    ...Jim Thompson
  3. Joel Kolstad

    Joel Kolstad Guest

    Probably so! I'm constantly amazed just how BAD things have to be to get
    companies to switch products, however -- them seem to seroiusly overestimate
    the cost of changing to a better product vs. the ongoing cost of using a
    mediocre product!

    One of these days you should try out SIMetrix SPICE (either standalone with
    their own schematic capture front-end or embedded within Pulsonix or
    EasyPC)... you might like it! :)
  4. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    I still use the old original MicroSim Schematics... works great.

    ...Jim Thompson
  5. nyffeler

    nyffeler Guest

    I did the three steps without crashing.
    Bevor I installed OrCad 10.5, I removed the old Version (10.3) and did a
    registry cleaning.

    OK I don't like OrCad very much, but the others I had a look at didn't
    convince me either. The easiest to work with was Wintek's HiWire II, but this
    was in an other century.
  6. Fred Bartoli

    Fred Bartoli Guest

    Agree for simulation. It has nothing to do there.
    But I use it for PCB schematics entry since many years with almost no pb. At
    least not more than with other packages.

    Apart some limitations, I've always wondered why everybody's bitching about
  7. Joel Kolstad

    Joel Kolstad Guest

    Capture 10.5 has some noticeable improvements over 9.2. IMO, the reason a
    bunch of people (including me) bitch about it is because they've used other
    tools that are simply more "expert friendly." That is, once you've gotten
    used to work with the tool on a regular basis, are you able to become more
    productive by being able to customize the tool to work exactly the way you
    think? Capture doesn't do so well in this respect. Witness:

    Symbol Editing:

    Tab+click works to select one of multiple overlapping objects, but this
    doesn't work in conjunction with multiple select (ctrl-click).
    For very small objects, trying to click and drag to move the object
    always seems to try to resize the object instead.
    Maximum zoom level is artifically low (i.e., you can't take a 0.1" wide
    line and make it occupy half the screen)
    One can't set the pick radius for selection!

    Pins have to be placed strictly around a bounding box perimeter rather
    than just letting you place pins wherever you like.
    Pin styles are limited (e.g., no indepedent selection of pin length)

    Can't turn off the display of their names on a pin-by-pin basis
    The same line style applied to different objects is not actually the
    same width


    No ability to change or add keyboard mappings
    No macro that performs some desired actions, i.e., one to merely _start_
    commands such as "Zoom Area" (using ZoomArea in a macro requires specifying
    the exact coordinates of the area to zoom).
    Rotate, mirror, and similar commands don't work while pasting a copied

    When drawing a polyline, there's no way to delete just the last segment
    "Properties" command doesn't work while drawing some objects (e.g.,
    boxes or circles or lines), nor immediately after placement... yet it does
    work with others (e.g., while placing pins)!

    Line styles are limited (e.g., no independent selection of line width,
    no lines with built-in arrows)
    There's no area DE-select option.
    Toggling from area select of 'everything TOUCHING the selection box' to
    'everything strictly INSIDE the box' can't be done from keyboard.

    When you click on a wire, there's no display in, e.g., the status line
    to tell you the net's name. (Must specifically ask for properties)
    A bus can only contain an array of a single net name, e.g., DATA[0:7] --
    very limiting.

    These are all features that many other programs have that ORCAD doesn't.
    Here's a few desirable features that, while less common in general and hence
    not really what I'd consider "expected" these days, do exist in other packages
    and would be nice additions to ORCAD:

    Tabbed window view

    Multiple physical pins on part (e.g., all Gnds on an FPGA) can be
    represented by one symbol pin
    Multiple physical parks can be represented by one symbol (e.g., 24
    decoupling capacitors)
    Automatically uses different grids for different objects (e.g.,
    components and wires)

    Can select items within an arbitrarily drawn outline

    I'm not suggesting that "ORCAD sucks"; it is a powerful tool that doesn't have
    any truly "severe" limitations. The database integration is also a notably
    good feature that many other tools lack or don't perform nearly as well. I'm
    mainly disappointed to see the lack of new development being put into Capture
    these days, especially when you look at the not-at-all cheap price tag that
    Cadence gets for the thing.

  8. Joel Kolstad

    Joel Kolstad Guest

    I did the three steps without crashing.
    Thanks, that's what I "wanted" to hear -- it must be an incompatibility
    between ORCAD and something else we all seem to have installed on our systems.
  9. Joel Kolstad

    Joel Kolstad Guest

    I did a little exploration and found that this particular problem appears to
    caused by ORCAD's installation overwriting hhctrl.ocx with a rather old
    version _without bothering to check whether or not the current hhctrl.ocx is
    newer!_. *** ORCAD 9.2 had this exact same problem, which means that in over
    THREE YEARS Cadence hasn't fixed it!!!

    Also disappointing was that a call to Cadence's help desk resulted in the
    usual "No, we're not aware of that problem, sir... we'll add it to our

  10. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    Are you surprised? This is the result of "killing the competition by
    acquisition", a procedure that shouldn't be allowed in this country,
    but is

    OrCAD ate MicroSim (PSpice), then Cadence ate OrCAD. You can bet that
    OrCAD and PSpice will vanish from the world.

    ...Jim Thompson
  11. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hello Jim,
    Even phone companies can do that. I am all for free enterprise but that
    one is becoming scary. Two corporate elephant marriages at the same
    time. I guess our deal with 10c/min international will soon fizzle and
    this in light of the fact that our EU friends now pay about 2c/min for
    the same path but orginating from Europe. It used to be the other way

    Yeah, it may go the way of Studebaker and DeSoto. But as with cars there
    is plenty of competition, just not all domestic.

    Regards, Joerg
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