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Saying goodbye to and old friend Eagle

For years I have used both professionally and for hobby cadsoft Eagle , Ealge is pcb design software , you can draw schematics and with those schematics you can make a PCB. Okay  Eagle had its cons ,it was not free software but the licenses were affordable and the community was big , so if you wanted to make a pcb even if it contained bleeding edge components there was almost always someone that already made the library .

Cadsoft was also quite quick with linux and mac support , and therefore it was for me in that time as a small entrepreneur a very easy decision to go with Eagle  , also from a feature point of view Eagle was richly equipped and personally I liked the connection between schematics and pcb . In 2009 Farnell (also nicknamed in Dutch , verre Nel) took over Cadsoft ,and the changes were to the positive , from now on you could order your stuff directly in the software and also pcb manufacturer Eurocircuits enabled you to directly order the pcb you designed .

After the acquisition by Farnell , also the amount of libraries grew very quickly , i think I designed in that time a pcba per month (not all produced and successful although). The annoying part was that you needed to update your license if you wanted to transfer Eagle to another computer . The licenses were limited in my case to 4 layers , which was fine because I had no plans on creating big cpu cards .

In June 2016 Autodesk acquired Eagle from Farnell , and Eagle basically became an online service , with a subscription fee …. From a commercial point of view I can understand Autodesks strategy , but for me as a hacker it means I am tied to Autodesk and that I cannot decide to cut those ties whenever I want because I already made my design in their software , in other words if I stop paying , I am lost .

I read in some articles that Autodesk offers makers licences and stuff , well if you check those carefully you know you cannot do anything with that , 2 layers …, also the idea of educational licenses I do not like , if you are at school you get it for free so that the company that will later hire you has to pay to Autodesk .

In the past I did some designs with kicad , I never did really big designs but when I recently installed it I could see it matured very quickly and while Eagle is leaving me I decided to give it a go with Kicad . The software is a bit spartan compare to Eagle but I am willing to take some inconvenience and get my freedom back .


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