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Upgrading Eagle version - K O'Connor - 08-20-2021

Hi Guys

If you were lucky enough to buy Eagle back when you could actually buy it for a one-time outlay of $$, you may be in a good position to upgrade to a better version. You are given a "key" on a floppy or other means and this is your licence to use Eagle and must be loaded when you load Eagle.

When CADsoft was around, they had various version of Eagle available for download. Your licence would open them once they were on your computer - it's been ages since I did that, so I'm probably not describing it correctly - and for most of my Eagle experience I've been using 4.16r2. The computer that lived on began recently to randomly shut itself off. This was a nuisance until one time I had just saved my Eagle work and the computer went off. I restarted it but then could not reopen that file - it was corrupted - lots of hours of work gone in a flash (more of a black-out).

Fortunately, I have another computer that a friend built for me and had loaded three Eagle versions onto: 6.3, 7.7 and 8.2. Also fortunate that the first computer behaved itself long enough for me to load my Eagle files and some other things onto a key so I could transfer them to the second computer. I placed the files into 6.3 and 7.7, both of which I had used minimally  in the past. I figured I would use 7.7 to rebuild the lost design.

The lost design was a rework of a previous design, so I began with that file. The board for this project is actually a panel of six boards and they happened to be positioned all around the origin instead of all in the upper right quadrant. This allowed me to place things accurately on the specific board I was working on, which was referenced to the origin. I tried to move  component but was blocked and a "board limit" window popped up. It turned out the 7.7 version was a crippled form, but my friend who loaded it would not have known that. Fortunately, the 6.3 was not crippled, so I am using it now.

The first computer with version-4 on it had a fatal flaw and is scrapped. The newer computer is faster and quieter - it is the quietest computer that has a fan that I've ever heard. It was designed specifically to be quiet so it could be in a living space. Frankly, having two potential work stations did not work for me; my brain can barely keep track of one computer, so the new paradigm is like the way-back paradigm and it's much easier. When my friend built this computer he had my Eagle key to be able to load the different versions. I believe 6.6 is still available on the web.

Like every Eagle version, 6.3 has its quirks. I believe they were trying to integrate Eagle with spice and 3D softwares, so some of the menus and file management is oriented towards that. For example, in older Eagle a project simply was saved directly into the Project folder. In 6.3, there are two subfolders in Projects, Eagle and Examples. Your projects go into the Eagle folder BUT not directly. Maybe there is a bug? but when you go to "ave" or "save as..." the Project folder only shows the Examples subfolder, so you have to save your project into there, then open both subfolders and rag and drop the project into Eagle.

Another quirk of 6.3 is that when you select the "Change" tool, the menu that appears has six completely useless-to-me options listed above "Layer", which used to be the top choice.

Another quirk is when you use the Group function. Old Eagle drew a box around the grouped elements, where 6.3 makes a shaded box. You used to be able to select the next function, say Move, then right click anywhere in the box to move the group. Then right click again to make a smaller move adjustment. In 6.3, when you right-click on the group a menu pops up of things you can do with the group. Move is way down on the list, so you cursor down and click and the the group has jumped down to your cursor. if you need to make a fine adjustment to the move, you have to right-click, cursor, have the group jump again and try positioning it more accurately. between these moves, it is best to change the scale so the adjustment can be made more precisely. of course, once the group is tied to the cursor the first time, you could cursor up to the Zoom-in function and try to move the group in one go.

A problem with group moves is that the cursor may not be in a convenient place within the group to accurately place the group where you want it. At least in old Eagle the group did not bounce around with each new attempt to move it.  You could make the first move and drop the group. Then zoom in and grab the group by the corner and move that corner to exactly where you want it.

Eagle is always throwing you little curves Smile