From: Roger Johansson
Subject: Re: Problems with Electronics Workbench - timestep errors
Date: Thu, 10 Oct 2002 16:53:21 +0200
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"fred bartoli" wrote:
>To little lost angel and Roger, again SS is a much more valuable software
>than EWB for amateurs (and it's free for small sized projects) provided that
>you have the willing to (only slightly) change your way of thinking. You
>will learn much more this way, but perhaps it's not your point after all.
You're right, that is not my point at all.
You are used to spice simulators, you know what that is all about and
you are looking for a good spice simulator.
I am talking about working with electronics without earlier knowledge
of spice simulators. I am talking about people who know a lot about
electronics, and about working with computers, but without earlier
These people, millions of electronics tinkerers, students, service
repairmen, ham radio designers, hobbyists, inventors, want a program
to test and design electronics circuits with.
Of course what they really need IS a spice simulator, but they do not
even know that word, so they call it a virtual electronics workbench
or something like that, and they need an interface which looks like
their already well known tools, a voltmeter, an oscilloscope, spectrum
analyser, function generator, etc..
Inside their virtual electronics workbench there has to be a spice
engine, of course, and netlists, and all those terms they have never
heard before, but they do not have to know, they can use an EWB type
of GUI without knowing all those things. The GUI gives them a chance
to get into spice simulation without having to learn a lot of new
stuff, or new ways of thinking about electronics.
They don't know anything about netlists, they have worked with
electronics circuit diagrams all their lives, that is the user
interface they already know.
So why not give them that user interface on a spice simulator to begin
Later they can learn about setting up more specialized test runs
exactly the way they want it, as they learn more about the inner
workings of the spice simulator, but they should be allowed to learn
at their own pace.
And many of them will never need to know anything more than what a
user interface like EWB gives them.
A lot of people design electronics by setting up a circuit and then
tweak component values until it works like it should, they do not need
to know all the design equations a professional chip designer needs.
When we design a user interface for a program we should create a front
end which has the same look and feel as the already existing user
interfaces in that field.
In text processing and computers that means a keyboard which is
organized as a typewriter, and a screen which looks like a paper in
In the electronics field that means oscilloscopes, voltmeters,
function generators, etc..
We should use circuit diagrams instead of netlists as the main visual
That is my point.
But, of course, if the author of the program is only turning to the
people who already know about the deeper level of spice simulators and
netlists, there is no reason to create a user interface for the
millions of people who are working with electronics at a less
Text editors are not needed for people who can handle edlin.
But very useful for millions of other people who need to write
something and already know how to handle a typewriter.