On this Christmas Eve, I cannot help but look at both where we are, and where we have been, as Mentor Users. In the mid 1990s, BoardStation was the premier PCB design tool, long before the Y2K acquisition of Veribest. Mentor had announced a project they named Morpheus, that was going to be a true evolution in PCB design, but as the B.4 release was prepared for deployment, reality set in as they were beginning to back off on those promises. So, 22 years ago, on December 24, 1996, being somewhat depressed in general, I submitted the attached entry to the popular Mentor User Group email exploder. May it be a reminder of how far we have come, and how far we still have to go.
'Twas the B.4 Shipment
'Twas the B.4 shipment, and everyone wished
That the features desired would be on the list.
The stockholders hung on the value per share,
In hopes that St. Morpheus soon would be there.
The builtins were nested in C++ code,
With functions of userware ready to load.
So after my login, if I can recall,
I just settled down to perform the install.
When out on the disk, there arose such a volume,
The last release had to be purged to get more room.
Then from Open Windows, I issued commands,
Invoked applications, then threw up my hands.
The Sun on my desk still let Boardstation go,
With concurrent write-access, to objects below.
And what, to my horrified eyes, should appear,
But some missing dimensions that used to be here.
With a weird display driver, these tricks would soon dwarf
And divert all attention away from St. Morph.
More rapid than falcons, abusers then came.
They'd been waiting since alpha, and called out by name:
"We're Lockheed! We're Allied! We're AT&T!
We're Seagate! We're Delco! We're Mo' and HP!
With the pop of the menu, the stop of the stroke!
We'll bash, and we'll trash, and we'll crash while you choke!
You've placed our designs under terrible risks!"
And they, meeting this obstacle, mounted their disks.
So out to exploders, abusers then sent,
And queried the net where St. Morpheus went.
Again, in a twinkling, I heard in the mail
That too much attention made Morpheus fail.
While shaking my head, I lapsed into a dream,
And in it, St. Morpheus came to redeem.
He was dressed all in figures and graphics and text,
And his clothes were all tarnished with copper that flexed.
Unbundling the tools he kept well within reach,
Why, he looked like a Mentor, preparing to teach.
His cheeks were so solid! His eyes, full of power!
His dimples, like vias! His nose, a pad tower!
His drillhole-like mouth plated cookies to eat,
And his beard was a ratsnest, the color of wheat!
His seashell-shaped pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke circling 'round formed a thermal relief.
He had a plain face, and was split 'cross the middle
By a belt full of cutouts, some big and some little.
He was ample, but thin, oversized, yet a dwarf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of the morph.
A wink of his eye, routed in my direction,
Soon gave me to know we had made a connection.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to artwork.
And filled all the areas, without a quirk.
And laying out bridged nets by triplets and pairs,
And highlighting errors per physical layers,
He said "I've a message for you, to the SIG:
Be patient; someday you may get WYSIWYG!"
But I heard him exclaim as I woke from my rest,
"The next shipment to all: Well, I wish you the best!"
Ho! Ho! Ho!
Enjoy Your Holidays
More Talk Next Year
P.S. I wanted to release this with a little more positive spirit, but I
haven't paid my maintenance fees, and my poetic license just expired.