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Posts from — September 2009

Eagle PCB has a new owner

Premier Farnell, a major electronics distributor (subsidiaries include Newark and Farnell), has purchased Cadsoft Computer, developer of Eagle PCB.

If you’re interested in the financial details, go to the press release.   Since I use Eagle as my primary PCB design program, I’m interested in what might happen to Eagle.

Companies in another business that buy a company for “synergy” often destroy the business; examples include Exxon buying Zilog.  It looks like Premier Farnell is buying Cadsoft to increase their business, by increasing the integration between Eagle PCB and their distributor companies (e.g. so it’s very easy to specify and order parts from Newark in an Eagle design), similar to what Sunstone, Digikey, and NXP are doing with PCB123.

I am curious to see what changes the new owners will make.  Will they continue to invest in Eagle PCB to make it better?  Will they change the current pricing?

September 29, 2009   2 Comments

Expiring MCAD Deals: VX Innovator 9/4, Alibre 9/29

Update 9/9/09: VX Innovator is now $295 (Americas, India, Africa) until September 30, 2009.  Check here for my latest MCAD news.

Since I’ve been posting a lot about affordable Mechanical CAD software, here’s an update on two great deals:

  • Alibre’s $99 offer for Design Standard V11.2 ends on September 29, 2009; also on sale for $99 are Alibre Translate and Alibre Training Bundle.  The maintenance contract is still $299, and includes the upgrade to V12 (due on 9/29/09).
  • Time to give some attention to VX Innovator: it’s on sale for $195 until September 4, 2009 for Americas, India, and Africa (with a note that price will increase to $295 — we’ll see if that’s a permanent price cut).

I’ ve been playing with Innovator for the past couple days, and will probably buy it, too.  Some initial comments:

  • I’ve had problems installing it on two XP systems, but did get it to install on a Vista (yuck!) system.
  • There’s not much about it on the web.  I’ve tried searching for VX topics, and had a hard time coming up with useful results;  there’s much more information available on Alibre and CoCreate.
  • I was able to get it do some basic stuff without reading the manual, but with a fair amount of fiddling; overall, I’d say it’s not too difficult to use.
  • It can do some things Alibre can’t do, and works in a very different manner (which is good — if it was very similar to Alibre, Solidworks, Solid Edge, etc I wouldn’t be interested).

BTW, I’m not interested in running cracked copies of software (e.g. Solidworks).  I’m interested in using software that’s affordable for anyone to use commercially, and I think that companies that produce good software should be rewarded.

September 2, 2009   No Comments