Have I been boned?

Discussion in 'VHDL' started by rickman, May 16, 2008.

  1. rickman

    rickman Guest

    I guess I am just not very flexible about somethings, and I guess I am
    not in tune with modern business practices, but I feel I have been
    crapped on.

    I am working with the Lattice development software about which I had
    some reservations. One of which is the inevitable problems with
    licensing files. But that can usually be worked out after a few phone
    calls and maybe a wasted afternoon at worst.

    To make sure of what I was buying, I exchanged a few emails with one
    of the support people who told me that the package included ModelSim
    for simulation. Having used this in the past, I decided to buy the
    package for nearly $1k. But sometime between my ordering it and it
    arriving, the licensing all changed.

    I got a license file from the web without too much pain and it seemed
    to have installed well. The tools ran ok. I have worked on the code
    for the last week or so and I am getting ready for a long weekend of
    simulation and test to iron out the bugs so I can try to make a
    preliminary delivery of prototype hardware on Monday. When I tried to
    run the ModelSim simulator yesterday it wasn't licensed.

    So I have been emailing and searching on the web and it seems that the
    changes in licensing are that ModelSim is no longer licensed and I
    have to download the newer version of the software to use the Aldec
    simulator. And of course, I have to learn how to use it!

    So my weekend is not going to be very productive and there is little
    chance I will have *anything* remotely functional to ship on Monday.

    I guess what ticks me off more than anything is the seemingly cavalier
    attitude that "we no longer OEM the Mentor Graphics tools" and I have
    to adjust. I thought I had paid for a license of the ModelSim
    software. I suppose the fine print in the agreement that I hadn't
    even seen before they changed what had been sold to me tells me that
    they can do exactly this.

    Am I justified in feeling crapped on? I guess it doesn't matter how I
    feel since that won't get my work done. I just wanted to vent a
    little bit before I try to get this design working under the Xilinx
    web pack tools.
     
    rickman, May 16, 2008
    #1
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  2. rickman

    rickman Guest

    On May 16, 1:53 pm, rickman <> wrote:
    > I guess I am just not very flexible about somethings, and I guess I am
    > not in tune with modern business practices, but I feel I have been
    > crapped on.
    >
    > I am working with the Lattice development software about which I had
    > some reservations. One of which is the inevitable problems with
    > licensing files. But that can usually be worked out after a few phone
    > calls and maybe a wasted afternoon at worst.
    >
    > To make sure of what I was buying, I exchanged a few emails with one
    > of the support people who told me that the package included ModelSim
    > for simulation. Having used this in the past, I decided to buy the
    > package for nearly $1k. But sometime between my ordering it and it
    > arriving, the licensing all changed.
    >
    > I got a license file from the web without too much pain and it seemed
    > to have installed well. The tools ran ok. I have worked on the code
    > for the last week or so and I am getting ready for a long weekend of
    > simulation and test to iron out the bugs so I can try to make a
    > preliminary delivery of prototype hardware on Monday. When I tried to
    > run the ModelSim simulator yesterday it wasn't licensed.
    >
    > So I have been emailing and searching on the web and it seems that the
    > changes in licensing are that ModelSim is no longer licensed and I
    > have to download the newer version of the software to use the Aldec
    > simulator. And of course, I have to learn how to use it!
    >
    > So my weekend is not going to be very productive and there is little
    > chance I will have *anything* remotely functional to ship on Monday.
    >
    > I guess what ticks me off more than anything is the seemingly cavalier
    > attitude that "we no longer OEM the Mentor Graphics tools" and I have
    > to adjust. I thought I had paid for a license of the ModelSim
    > software. I suppose the fine print in the agreement that I hadn't
    > even seen before they changed what had been sold to me tells me that
    > they can do exactly this.
    >
    > Am I justified in feeling crapped on? I guess it doesn't matter how I
    > feel since that won't get my work done. I just wanted to vent a
    > little bit before I try to get this design working under the Xilinx
    > web pack tools.


    I forgot to mention that since I tried a new license file that
    includes the Aldec simulator, I can't even start the tool. Some days
    it's just no fun being an engineer... :^(

    Rick
     
    rickman, May 16, 2008
    #2
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  3. rickman

    radarman Guest

    On May 16, 12:53 pm, rickman <> wrote:
    > I guess I am just not very flexible about somethings, and I guess I am
    > not in tune with modern business practices, but I feel I have been
    > crapped on.
    >
    > I am working with the Lattice development software about which I had
    > some reservations. One of which is the inevitable problems with
    > licensing files. But that can usually be worked out after a few phone
    > calls and maybe a wasted afternoon at worst.
    >
    > To make sure of what I was buying, I exchanged a few emails with one
    > of the support people who told me that the package included ModelSim
    > for simulation. Having used this in the past, I decided to buy the
    > package for nearly $1k. But sometime between my ordering it and it
    > arriving, the licensing all changed.
    >
    > I got a license file from the web without too much pain and it seemed
    > to have installed well. The tools ran ok. I have worked on the code
    > for the last week or so and I am getting ready for a long weekend of
    > simulation and test to iron out the bugs so I can try to make a
    > preliminary delivery of prototype hardware on Monday. When I tried to
    > run the ModelSim simulator yesterday it wasn't licensed.
    >
    > So I have been emailing and searching on the web and it seems that the
    > changes in licensing are that ModelSim is no longer licensed and I
    > have to download the newer version of the software to use the Aldec
    > simulator. And of course, I have to learn how to use it!
    >
    > So my weekend is not going to be very productive and there is little
    > chance I will have *anything* remotely functional to ship on Monday.
    >
    > I guess what ticks me off more than anything is the seemingly cavalier
    > attitude that "we no longer OEM the Mentor Graphics tools" and I have
    > to adjust. I thought I had paid for a license of the ModelSim
    > software. I suppose the fine print in the agreement that I hadn't
    > even seen before they changed what had been sold to me tells me that
    > they can do exactly this.
    >
    > Am I justified in feeling crapped on? I guess it doesn't matter how I
    > feel since that won't get my work done. I just wanted to vent a
    > little bit before I try to get this design working under the Xilinx
    > web pack tools.


    If your out of pocket was $1k, then you probably wouldn't have gotten
    much of a ModelSim license anyway. Xilinx wants something like $1,200
    for the "full Xilinx Edition (XE) version" by itself, which is above
    and beyond the necessary ISE license required to get that pricing. I'm
    not sure how much Altera charges for their Altera Edition (AE). Note,
    the "full XE/AE versions" aren't even close to PE, and all are
    artificially slowed down (crippled so that simulations take longer the
    less you pay) so as not to hurt SE licensing.

    If you already have a license for either ISE or Quartus, you might
    check on pricing for the XE/AE versions - assuming you can live with
    the restrictions. Note, you can (I've done it) load other vendor
    libraries (at least you can in the the XE version) as well as your own
    libraries.
     
    radarman, May 16, 2008
    #3
  4. rickman

    rickman Guest

    On May 16, 2:40 pm, radarman <> wrote:
    >
    > If your out of pocket was $1k, then you probably wouldn't have gotten
    > much of a ModelSim license anyway. Xilinx wants something like $1,200
    > for the "full Xilinx Edition (XE) version" by itself, which is above
    > and beyond the necessary ISE license required to get that pricing. I'm
    > not sure how much Altera charges for their Altera Edition (AE). Note,
    > the "full XE/AE versions" aren't even close to PE, and all are
    > artificially slowed down (crippled so that simulations take longer the
    > less you pay) so as not to hurt SE licensing.


    Why does it matter how fast of a simulator I would have gotten. It
    would have been a *working* simulator and I could have gotten my work
    done. Instead, I am spending my day trying to get tools to work and
    likely will not be able to do much this weekend. I *know* the
    simulator would have been a crippled version (I like the way that the
    vendors of the tools refer to the full speed version as "optimized"),
    but it would have worked, that's all I need.


    > If you already have a license for either ISE or Quartus, you might
    > check on pricing for the XE/AE versions - assuming you can live with
    > the restrictions. Note, you can (I've done it) load other vendor
    > libraries (at least you can in the the XE version) as well as your own
    > libraries.


    The last time I used webpack, it included the ModelSim simulator. I
    see that now Xilinx has their own. I also have a licenced version of
    the Altera tools around here somewhere. I need to dig that out and
    see if I can get it to work.

    If I thought they worked worth anything, I would try using some open
    source simulation tools. But I just don't have the time currently to
    mess with them.
     
    rickman, May 16, 2008
    #4
  5. rickman

    C.G. Guest

    I'd be interested to hear what you mean by "can't even start the tool".
    Error messages etc.

    As regards being boned, I wouldn't think so. (Disappointed at not
    getting what you thought you were getting, maybe). I find Aldec
    functionally just as good as modelsim and over and above that, you can
    use both Verilog and VHDL with just one license. (which of course, you
    won't appreciate unless you need it). If you have any scripts, you can
    port modelsim scripts to Aldec with little or no effort.

    If you post your error messages, maybe I can give you a quick tip. I've
    been using ActiveHDL and ispLever for over a year now. Are you using
    ispLever 7.0 or 7.1?

    > I forgot to mention that since I tried a new license file that
    > includes the Aldec simulator, I can't even start the tool. Some days
    > it's just no fun being an engineer... :^(
    >
    > Rick
     
    C.G., May 16, 2008
    #5
  6. rickman

    rickman Guest

    On May 16, 3:41 pm, "C.G." <> wrote:
    > I'd be interested to hear what you mean by "can't even start the tool".
    > Error messages etc.


    Just that, the software will not even come up now. The message is,
    "Information in file ispsys.ini does not match the system. Please call
    Lattice Technical Support for help." There is a thread on the Lattice
    forums about it and they offer some suggestions, but no real cure.

    At this point I have tried everything suggested including uninstalling
    and reinstalling the tools.


    > As regards being boned, I wouldn't think so. (Disappointed at not
    > getting what you thought you were getting, maybe).


    "thought you were getting"??? I exchanged emails to *verify* what I
    was getting before I purchased the package. If I didn't need a
    simulator, I am pretty sure I could have used the starter package. If
    I had received the order before the end of last month I would have
    been able to get a license file for it. But somehow the fact that
    their agreement with Mentor ended last month means that Lattice does
    not need to fulfill their contract with me.


    > I find Aldec
    > functionally just as good as modelsim and over and above that, you can
    > use both Verilog and VHDL with just one license. (which of course, you
    > won't appreciate unless you need it). If you have any scripts, you can
    > port modelsim scripts to Aldec with little or no effort.


    Certainly I will give the Aldec tool a try... if I ever get the
    program running again.


    > If you post your error messages, maybe I can give you a quick tip. I've
    > been using ActiveHDL and ispLever for over a year now. Are you using
    > ispLever 7.0 or 7.1?


    7.0. running under Win2000 SP4


    > > I forgot to mention that since I tried a new license file that
    > > includes the Aldec simulator, I can't even start the tool. Some days
    > > it's just no fun being an engineer... :^(


    And today is getting to be one of those days when I wished I had
    majored in art...
     
    rickman, May 16, 2008
    #6
  7. rickman

    C.G. Guest

    rickman schrieb:

    > Just that, the software will not even come up now. The message is,
    > "Information in file ispsys.ini does not match the system. Please call
    > Lattice Technical Support for help." There is a thread on the Lattice
    > forums about it and they offer some suggestions, but no real cure.
    >


    Here's my ispsys.ini, if its any help. I run Windows 2003 Server (which
    Lattice claim isn't supported, but it works for me. Well, except for the
    tcl scripting and a few other little things). Maybe Win 2000 is the
    problem. My laptop installation (Win-XP) runs fine too.

    [Settings]
    DefaultProduct = 7.0
    DefaultProductName = ispLEVER
    URL="http://www.latticesemi.com/news"
    ;
    DefaultDevice = LFXP10C-5F388C
    ;Inserted for 10.0 BETA
    ;DefaultDevice = LFX1200B-05F900C
    ;
    ;To change default device, need to change the following files:
    ; ispsys.ini
    ; virtual.sds (DieName, [Generic Devices] section, default FDK)
    ; blank.lci (default settings in [Device] and [Revision] section

    IniFileName=lsc_7_0.ini

    [Default Devices]
    GDF = ispGDX160VA-5Q208

    Suggestion:
    Given that your work is obviously urgent, why not give Aldec a quick
    call (they should be in the office for another few hours I expect). Tell
    them your problem and ask for a 20-day evaluation license for their full
    version (which you can download from the Aldec web-site. But its node
    and and cycle limited without the eval license). I've found Aldec very
    helpful and supportive in the past. Then, next week when you have more
    time put some pressure on your local Lattice FAE.

    Other suggestion:
    Have you a Win-XP maschine anywhere?

    Regards,
    Charles
     
    C.G., May 16, 2008
    #7
  8. rickman

    C.G. Guest

    One more suggestion:

    Can you run Aldec ActiveHDL without going through ispLever. The
    executable should be called avhdl.exe

    Regards,
    Charles
     
    C.G., May 16, 2008
    #8
  9. rickman

    rickman Guest

    On May 16, 5:24 pm, "C.G." <> wrote:
    > rickman schrieb:
    >
    > > Just that, the software will not even come up now. The message is,
    > > "Information in file ispsys.ini does not match the system. Please call
    > > Lattice Technical Support for help." There is a thread on the Lattice
    > > forums about it and they offer some suggestions, but no real cure.

    >
    > Here's my ispsys.ini, if its any help. I run Windows 2003 Server (which
    > Lattice claim isn't supported, but it works for me. Well, except for the
    > tcl scripting and a few other little things). Maybe Win 2000 is the
    > problem. My laptop installation (Win-XP) runs fine too.
    >
    > [Settings]
    > DefaultProduct = 7.0
    > DefaultProductName = ispLEVER
    > URL="http://www.latticesemi.com/news"
    > ;
    > DefaultDevice = LFXP10C-5F388C
    > ;Inserted for 10.0 BETA
    > ;DefaultDevice = LFX1200B-05F900C
    > ;
    > ;To change default device, need to change the following files:
    > ; ispsys.ini
    > ; virtual.sds (DieName, [Generic Devices] section, default FDK)
    > ; blank.lci (default settings in [Device] and [Revision] section
    >
    > IniFileName=lsc_7_0.ini
    >
    > [Default Devices]
    > GDF = ispGDX160VA-5Q208
    >
    > Suggestion:
    > Given that your work is obviously urgent, why not give Aldec a quick
    > call (they should be in the office for another few hours I expect). Tell
    > them your problem and ask for a 20-day evaluation license for their full
    > version (which you can download from the Aldec web-site. But its node
    > and and cycle limited without the eval license). I've found Aldec very
    > helpful and supportive in the past. Then, next week when you have more
    > time put some pressure on your local Lattice FAE.
    >
    > Other suggestion:
    > Have you a Win-XP maschine anywhere?
    >
    > Regards,
    > Charles


    Thanks for the help. My FAE seems to have disappeared, so I called
    the support line. I got someone who barely spoke English. Of course
    this is going the slow route and he wants me to send in my license
    file and other stuff. So I don't expect to hear from them for a few
    days.

    Your ini file seems to match mine exactly. I don't think the problem
    is the ini file. It is the "system" that it is comparing it to. When
    I looked inside of the lsc_7_0.ini file, there are lots of paths.
    They are all wrong. Instead of pointing to C:\ispTOOLS7_0\..., they
    all point to C:\isptools\... That is not where I installed anything
    and of course, none of these paths exist except for the root path, C:
    \isptools. The only subdir under that is ispvmsystem.

    I don't want to spend my weekend installing and uninstalling the
    Lattice tools. I seem to be able to run the Xilinx tools ok and other
    than generating a bit file, this should be just as good for my
    purposes.

    I will say that my customer had questioned my choice of FPGA vendors.
    I told him that I didn't see any issues with the tools that I couldn't
    find a work around for. It didn't occur to me that I would need to
    work around the tools not running.

    Rick
     
    rickman, May 16, 2008
    #9
  10. rickman

    Guest

    Hi rickman,

    do you have administrator rights for the directory in which the ini
    file is stored ?

    Some time ago I faced that problem and found out that as an user
    without administrator rights
    the ini file in the directory "lsc_env" could not be written.

    Rgds
    Andre
     
    , May 19, 2008
    #10
  11. rickman

    rickman Guest

    On May 19, 3:30 am, "" <> wrote:
    > Hi rickman,
    >
    > do you have administrator rights for the directory in which the ini
    > file is stored ?
    >
    > Some time ago I faced that problem and found out that as an user
    > without administrator rights
    > the ini file in the directory "lsc_env" could not be written.


    Yes, that is one of the things they talked about in the thread at the
    Lattice forum. Actually, I got the issue resolved. My local FAE was
    done for the day on Friday and I wasn't getting any more emails from
    him. So I called the support line. They did the usual thing of
    asking me to email a bunch of info and the various files. Then I got
    an email a bit later asking for more files. I figured they were going
    to study it to death and it was nearing quitting time at their office
    on the West coast. But then around 11 PM my time I got a reply that
    told me to uninstall every old version of the tool in spite of the
    fact that they install in separate directories.

    Believe it or not, that didn't fix the problem either... not exactly.
    Once *all* of the other version directories were gone and I
    reinstalled the software, I clicked on the desktop icon it couldn't
    find the executable. Then the light bulb went off and I realized that
    whole problem was that the desktop icon was still pointing to the
    starter version of 7.0!!! I didn't realize that the software doesn't
    make a desktop icon and so it was never updated.

    So I guess that needs to be added to that forum thread in case someone
    else has the same problem.

    I will say that I would have never resolved this if support hadn't
    worked late and spurred me on to reinstall one more time. I have to
    thank Peter Chang for his extra effort in this case.

    However, this still didn't get me a working simulator. I had to use
    the Xilinx tools to simulate my design and will only use the Lattice
    tools to generate the bit file. I have pointed out the absurdity of
    the situation of them selling me a set of software that they won't
    license and they are willing to give me my money back. But to tell
    you the truth, I am not very happy with the Xilinx ISE simulator. It
    seems like it is a rather immature product with lots of bugs and
    seriously lacking in the user interface. Also, many of the error
    reports are very cryptic, things like, "invalid syntax in this
    environment" or something like that. I guess it is worth what I paid
    for it though... :^)

    Rick
     
    rickman, May 20, 2008
    #11
  12. rickman

    Brian Davis Guest

    rickman wrote:
    >
    >The last time I used webpack, it included the ModelSim simulator. I
    >see that now Xilinx has their own. I also have a licenced version of
    >the Altera tools around here somewhere. I need to dig that out and
    >see if I can get it to work.
    >


    If you're looking for a low cost VHDL simulator, and are used to
    Modelsim, I'd suggest trying VHDL Simili.

    I've been happily using the standard version at work for a few years
    now.

    I started using at home this back in the days when the free version
    was command line only and unrestricted; unfortunately, the current
    free
    version is now crippleware.

    The download is < 10 Mb, the licensing is automated online,
    you can and be up and running with a trial license in short order.

    One year node locked licenses cost $300/700 USD for the
    standard/professional versions.

    Pro has speedups and more debug features over the standard version
    ( single step, force/release, code coverage ), but the standard
    version
    works just fine for testbench based development:
    http://www.symphonyeda.com/editions.htm

    I'd suggest plugging a spare network card in your PC and licensing
    to that MAC address. ( Stay away from Linksys USB network adapters for
    this purpose, XP can stop recognizing them due to driver problems )

    Brian
     
    Brian Davis, May 22, 2008
    #12
  13. rickman

    nemgreen Guest

    On May 22, 12:43 pm, Brian Davis <> wrote:
    > rickman wrote:
    >
    > >The last time I used webpack, it included the ModelSim simulator.  I
    > >see that now Xilinx has their own.  I also have a licenced version of
    > >the Altera tools around here somewhere.  I need to dig that out and
    > >see if I can get it to work.

    >
    >  If you're looking for a low cost VHDL simulator, and are used to
    > Modelsim, I'd suggest trying VHDL Simili.
    >
    >  I've been happily using the standard version at work for a few years
    > now.
    >
    >  I started using at home this back in the days when the free version
    > was command line only and unrestricted; unfortunately, the current
    > free
    > version is now crippleware.
    >
    >  The download is  < 10 Mb, the licensing is automated online,
    > you can and be up and running with a trial license in short order.
    >
    > One year node locked licenses cost $300/700 USD for the
    > standard/professional versions.
    >
    >  Pro has speedups and more debug features over the standard version
    > ( single step, force/release, code coverage ), but the standard
    > version
    > works just fine for testbench based development:
    >  http://www.symphonyeda.com/editions.htm
    >
    >  I'd suggest plugging a spare network card in your PC and licensing
    > to that MAC address. ( Stay away from Linksys USB network adapters for
    > this purpose, XP can stop recognizing them due to driver problems )
    >
    > Brian



    There's always the free ModelSim PE Student Edition you can use:

    http://www.model.com/resources/student_edition/download.asp
     
    nemgreen, May 22, 2008
    #13
  14. rickman

    Dave Guest

    Just out of curiosity, did anyone else think that this message was
    spam when they first read the subject line, or was that just me?
     
    Dave, May 22, 2008
    #14
  15. rickman

    rickman Guest

    On May 22, 5:13 pm, Dave <> wrote:
    > Just out of curiosity, did anyone else think that this message was
    > spam when they first read the subject line, or was that just me?


    But you read it anyway! What does that say about you???

    ;^)
     
    rickman, May 23, 2008
    #15
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