Autotrax is a freeware PCB CAD package written by Protel in the early 1990's (See image, right). It is free, it is supported in various ways, but it is also not the be-all-and-end-all PCB CAD package for every person. So if you were to search for an alternative or replacement for Protel Autotrax, where would you look?
For the past couple of years I have been using the RIMU pcb package from NZ, not sure if you are familiar with it. It can import Autotrax boards and effortlessly generate Gerbers. The schematic package can also import Schedit files but the result is not very nice. Unfortunately the guy who wrote and sells the stuff doesn't seem too interested in providing bug fixes or newer versions. Used as it should be it does a great job but it gets very grumpy if the user does something silly. Autotrax and Schedit have now been put to pasture but 20+ year of PCBs are still usable with RIMU, having used RIMU I have come to appreciate all the stuff I could do with Autotrax but never knew how to use it.
Currently I have been doing some boards with Abbacom's SprintPCB. I do not know if you have seen it but for 39.90 euro's (actually take 19% off of that price for a download since it has 19% VAT in Europe. it is quite a nice tool for up to 4 layer PCB's. The software has a built in 274X gerber viewer (which seems to work with my old Tango and P-CAD files). It also has a really neat BMP import/scale to a background layer which is really handy for scanned or magazine artwork. It also has a ground plane feature. They have a companion schematic capture program also for 39.90 that is not too shabby. The program has a small footprint and runs on modern PC's (XP,Win7, probably Win8, 32 or 64 bit. I find it very easy to use. It does have a 12 inch square board limitation but what do you want for $40.82 AUD? You can download and install the demo which has everything but file save. Worth a look On the PCB I have had good luck with Seeed Studios Fusion PCB service for boards that I do not need in a rush. It is hard to beat 32.00 for 10 pcbs (100 square mm DS SS SM).
"What we can or cannot do, what we consider possible or impossible, is rarely a function of our true capability. It is more likely a function of our beliefs about who we are. --Anthony Robins"