Well, I'd already bought the CANbus pod from Total Phase, and in the wee hours of the last business day of the year I just ordered the EAGLE upgrade - 1 seat, professional, from v5 to v6 - turns out it's $549 for the upgrade; with the compulsory donation to the Glorious People's Republic of California, it ends up being a few cents under $600, which is rather steeper than I'd expected, right around twice what the v4 to v5 upgrade cost three years ago.
Ah, well. There's a reason I have the professional edition: I put it to revenue use on a fairly regular basis. Doesn't take much of a project to pay for the software upgrade, though, thinking more objectively, it'll probably take quite a while for the feature enhancements to save enough of my time to pay for it.
It does look like I'll be needing to run a split environment for a while, as there's no "save as v5" capability, and I need to maintain the toaster-controller designs in legacy format so's the client can deal with them (though actually the "run as freeware" option seems to allow full read access, just not modifications outside the freeware limits). Meanwhile, I should be converting my other designs, and my library, to the new format and making use of the new capabilities - hey, look, arbitrary pad shapes!
Well, what with the heating-season air's effects on my respiratory passages, holiday stress, an overdose of sugar, and what seemed to be an 18-hour virus, I ended up spending X-mas indoors, all safe from Robot Santa.
Apart from not yet updating Iggle, I finally did get around to updating Flash Player (version 11 seems to handle Youtube fine; haven't yet tried it on any of the sites that weren't working with 10 and claimed that they needed version 10) and Firefox.
I'm not sure I like the rapidly-changing major version numbers, but Firefox 9.01 eliminates at least some of the annoyances - and especially the performance issues - of version 3.mumble, so I may in fact stick with FF instead of switching to Opera when I move to the new workstation (which might have masked the performance issues anyway). Now I need to figure out how to migrate my cookies, account info, and suchlike to other copies of Firefox, which I guess is easier than migrating them to Opera. Apparently that's what this newfangled "Sync" thing is for, but that opens a new can of worms with regard to things like online banking, so I'll have to take a close look at the security issues.
Oh, and I started mucking about with virtualization. So far, I haven't managed to virtualize the Windows XP installation from my old office Winbox (which also has my copy of Office installed, and some other stuff like the company copy of OrCAD), and it looks like I may need to stick the drive back in the old machine and make some changes before trying again: when I try to boot it under Virtualbox or AQEMU/KVM, even in safe mode, it blue-screens and then reboots before I can see what it's complaining about*, and repair mode wants the Administrator password, so I guess I need to (re)set that password. If I can get that sucker virtualized, the big old Athlon box can go away. Then I'll be wanting to do the same trick with the Windows 7 installation on the newish laptop....
*Hm. Maybe I could use a video camera as a debugging tool.
Got lotsa shiny new goodies, some of which I (or one client or another) might find highly useful. Diff pairs, trace length matching, BGA escape routing, ... ooh, and arbitrary pad shapes!
And going to XML format for design files promises to make life easier for sundry future activities, even if the files do get rather bulkier.
But: no "save as version 5 format" capability. So, I still need to use 5.11 on any files that get sent to the client that bought a version 5 license just last year.
Also, it's still a 32-bit binary, so running it on the new workstation, with 64-bit Debian Wheezy, requires, apart from finding libpng14.so.14 somewhere, installing a few other libraries in /usr/lib32 (this was confusing, as, e.g., libssl.so.1.0.0 was clearly present... just not in the 32-bit flavor).
And I still need to find out what it's gonna cost to do the upgrade, when I get around to it. There's an online system for doing that... which is kinda confusing at first glance... and it won't tell what the "upgrade v5 to v6" price is until the end of the process, which calls for filling out more forms that I feel like completing just now.
So, I guess I'll play around with the freeware version a bit, and get a feel for what the new features look like, and see how well versions 5 and 6 coexist. In My Copious Free Time, of course.
Once I'm comfortable with it, I assume I'll get the upgrade... and probably agitate for JCM to get a several-seat license; we can get the whole shebang for everybody for the price of one seat of schematic capture from another leading brand, making it ever so much easier to pass designs around among ourselves (if not with clients and vendors).
On morning walkies Monday, wildlife activity seemed normal: various deer grazing near the trail and watching the passersby, and a flock or two of turkeys.
Tuesday, no deer and no turkeys. Well, it was a frosty morning, and I'd broken out the winter wardrobe (Long sleeves! Long pants! Socks!), including something to keep my ears warm, viz, a deerstalker cap, and maybe the deer didn't appreciate being stalked.
Wednesday, warmer; I was back to my usual attire, but still no sign of deer nor turkeys. Did they all fly south for the winter?
Thursday, rain. Also, I got a slow start on the morning, and had Stuff To Do. No walkies, so wildlife not observed.
Friday, normal attire, normal route, normal-ish time; several turkeys right by the parking lot, and none further in. Two deer in one of the usual spots, acting skittish and hastening from view.
So... I guess something's got the wildlife spooked, and I don't really think it's me. Maybe next week I'll carry the big camera, in case of big kitties. Also maybe the pocket cutlery, in case of uppity big kitties.
Golly, Richard Dean Anderson's car broke down, and he couldn't fix it with a paperclip and whatever bits were lying by the roadside. Surprise!
I watched the pilot episode of that show, and a couple of others at random, and, well...
Not only was the tech completely wrong from beginning to end, often dangerously so (as in: not only will this trick not work, but if you try it in real life you'll blow your hands off), but such improvisations as didn't violate any laws of physics were still Infinitely Improbable.
Think: MacGoofus needs to improvise a gizmo. He grabs a few random bits that happen to be lying around, and they all fit together just so. You, on the other hand, order a replacement water pump for your truck, specifying the make, model, year, and engine type, wait three days for express delivery, go to install it, and discover that halfway through the model year they changed the bolt pattern and nothing lines up.
And what's with never using guns? Right near the beginning of the pilot episode, as I recall, he used a cheap glass hand-mirror to make a high-powered laser self-destruct. This Doesn't Work; the laser will destroy your cheap mirror long before its own high-quality optics are damaged. What does work for sure is breaking the laser's output mirror, e.g., with a bullet. (Your superior intellects are no match for our puny weapons!) A proper go-everywhere fixer ought to have a pistol and a few demolition charges with him at all times.
(No, I'm not in the habit of lugging around a pistol and a pocket full of explosives, but my style of fixing doesn't often call for that sort of thing. I'm more likely to need a soldering iron, an oscilloscope, a set of jeweler's screwdrivers, a variety of small pointy objects, and of course ductelectrical tape. If the job calls for a milling machine, I'll just have to take it home to work on it, as the inflatable Bridgeport remains elusive.)