Paul Johnston's Blog

Capital is Mentor Graphics' global market-leading software for electrical system design, electrical analysis, system integration, cabling and wiring design, harness engineering and service documentation. My job title is Senior Application Engineer Consultant - that's a subject matter expert label if you don't want to work out what it means. Here are some of my observations and views - comment on them at your pleasure.

24 August, 2016

Hugh Bazzi is one of several new team-mates to have joined the team of Capital experts over the last two years. I was fortunate enough to persuade him to co-present with me on stage at the IESF conference in June this year. His recent professional background immediately prior to joining Mentor Graphics has been in systems design for autonomous vehicles.

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8 August, 2016

This is the last of 3 posts not beating around the bush, but shredding the shrubbery into splinters on the subject of making the most of your Capital education. So here’s some more advice about Capital training: get together to discuss what has been learned. Who do I recommend does that? The group of students who had a classroom training course together. The students plus the already trained Capital users. The students who have just been on training and the software deployment team. If you are on your own as a new individual learning the Capital software, attach yourself to someone who is more experienced. Get yourself a Mentor mentor so to speak.

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31 March, 2016

I’m going to go explain some ways in which training should be characterized for your success. The basis for my hints and tips is from my own experience of when things went well, and when things went less well than they could have done in deployment projects.

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24 March, 2016

Shifting your thinking about learning.

How we learn is probably as unique as there are individuals to learn the material. Mentor Graphics has, for almost a decade since Capital was first released, up until recently delivered training principally as a classroom based, instructor-led, training guide. Lab-work exercises were part of the experience for students. Last year, in a substantial shift of emphasis on-line training delivered through the Mentor Learning Center challenged that status quo. Change is good, isn’t it?

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3 August, 2015

It is that time of year for annual holidays. Here in the USA vacation times of Capital customers are more spread out over the Summer.  In Europe where the tradition of lengthy school breaks contributing to the labor pool in agriculture has been maintained since after the time of industrialization of many countries, you can get localized complete shutdowns of enterprises and factories. That’s the chance the computer and IT specialists look for to implement system upgrades.

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30 June, 2015

On an ECAD vendor’s web site recently I read a statement: library flaws leading to design issues are “notorious.” The concept of notoriety isn’t usually associated with electrical platform wiring systems designs. I think the use was more marketing license rather than poetic license.

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5 May, 2015

All you really need to do to decide to go to the upcoming IESF conference in Metro Detroit USA if you are contemplating it but have not yet made up your mind the best way is to look at this executive summary slide show which my colleague Maddie Shepherd put together

It shows the keynote speakers and highlights the sub-set of tracks to do with electrical platform design through to manufacturing.

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3 April, 2015

If you read the first of series of 3 blog posts reviewing the Capital Application Programming Interface or API you got to refresh your knowledge of what motivates software vendors to add interfacing and extending capabilities to the many features already provided. In the prior blog, there was emphasis on the benefits which you and your company can get from using the API. Now you are plugged-in about plug-ins, so to speak, the remaining information I want to share with you will tune-up your understanding of the API. I’m inviting you in the last in the series, to look again at the features and further into what you can achieve.

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16 February, 2015

The previous blog described why software vendors build out their off-the-shelf products with arrangements for functional extensibility. Also I reviewed what motivates companies designing and manufacturing transportation electrical interconnect to expect, ask for and then subsequently use an Application Programming Interface (API). Now, drawn from my experience of Capital’s deployment at customer sites around the world, you can read about some reasons why taking advantage of Capital’s extensibility is a constant and how that worth is appreciated by users. It is worth reading because the benefits can be substantial to your company.

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9 February, 2015

When you implement software like Capital there are some characteristics of the project which will mark it out as an enterprise-wide investment for success. For myself, used to the vendor perspective I see a it as something natural we construct products in such a way as to facilitate additions and extensions. Over the next few posts I will look at what I have found to be good and less effective practices in using extensibility. So I am inviting you to take a calming breath, plug in and tune-up your understanding. There will be some insight into what you can do in your own company to derive even more yield from your use of Capital.

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