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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

PCB: An opensource circuit designer

PCB is free software for designing printed circuit board layouts. It has many features and is capable of professional-quality output. It is available for UNIX operating systems, e.g., GNU/Linux, Mac OS-X, or Cygwin under Windows. pcb was orignally written by Thomas Nau of the University of Ulm, Germany, and is now maintained by harry eaton of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Maryland, USA.

PCB 3.0 is a branch of the source code modified to operate under the Tcl/Tk interpreter. Most of the coding for PCB 3.0 was done at MultiGiG, Inc., Scotts Valley, California, by Tim Edwards, Paramesh Santanam, and (working from India, courtesy of SynApps, Inc.), Nishit Patel. The code base is a departure from the original PCB in that a complete Tcl command-line API was concocted for PCB, and the GUI re-written as a Tk script. For the first cut (version 3.0), a fair bit of effort went to ensuring that the GUI looks and acts as much like the original Xlib-based version.

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