Author Topic: Whats the hold up here?  (Read 10486 times)

Wilson Logan

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Whats the hold up here?
« on: June 13, 2009, 04:49:17 AM »
Hi All,

I'm sure you're all wondering, why is this current change at Yahoo taking so long to fix?

By way of explanation we must first go back in time...

In early 2001 the Dotcom implosion was in full swing. Large companies were going bust right & left. No one was safe.

I'd always been keen on the idea of being able to have a local copy of my groups messages but now the need was considerably more urgent. Being an oldtime mainframe type programmer, I knew what I wanted from a group downloader but had no idea what to write such a thing in. I also didn't have the time so I approached a Russian outsource company and they created the first PG Offline from my specification.

They continued to maintain PGO until they folded in 2003 and in that fallout I did a direct deal with Alexander Nechiporenko (the lead programmer) so that he would continue maintaining PGO in his spare time. That arrangement served us well until 2006 when Alex got a more demanding day job and he had to give up maintaining PGO.

At this point I asked Matti Aladin to continue PGO maintainance on an ad hoc basis and that worked fine until this most recent problem. Matti was not involved in the original PGO development like Alex and although he is a perfectly competant programmer he doesn't have the full skillset Alex had to deal with PGO. Primarily because Alex wrote PGO around the skills that he had.

So, the upshot is that we were stuck when it came to fixing this latest problem.

As you will know from reading the forum posts, I've been asking around my programmer friends to find someone to pitch in. My friend Stewart volunteered but then suffered a pretty bad car accident. Now Stewarts protege Ewan has taken over.

Still, whats the delay here? Shouldn't this be going faster? Well, herein lies the rub... my original business model was to maintain the program using the funds from new sales. Currently PGO has about 500 users, new sales being about two or three a month. Thats OK for keeping up with small changes but not for the big stuff like this last change. The other thing I didn't expect when I started was to have to do so much maintainance. Since I started in 2001 I think there's been about 200 versions. Thats an average of one every fortnight for 8 years. You can't fund that from $75 a month.

The credit crunch has been unkind to quite a few people and I'm no exception. If I'd had the money I'd just have hired in an external contractor to go at this 8 hours a day till it was fixed. Currently I am depending on the good will of people (ie Ewan) to help.


I object to paying a licence every year for software that does what it did last year just fine. I have old versions of programs I've simply never upgraded because they work fine. Like Paint or CAD programs. But PGO isn't like those programs. It can't exist in isolation. When Yahoo says 'Jump!', I have to say 'How high?'. So something has to change. Either we need a lot more registrations per month or I'm going to have to make PGO a licenced product with a yearly licence fee. Nothing crazy. Maybe $10 a year.

What do you think?


Cheers,


Wilson.

« Last Edit: June 13, 2009, 04:51:26 AM by Wilson Logan »

patagram

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Re: Whats the hold up here?
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2009, 11:09:06 AM »
Thank you, Wilson, for your continuing efforts to keep PG Offline working well!

For me PG Offline is a very valuable product because it lets me save all the group messages on my hard drive so that if Yahoo or a group owner capriciously or by accident deletes a group that I am especially interested in,  then I will still have the messages to sort through to obtain information I may need.  This happened to one of my favorite groups in March during the Yahoo changeover and all messages on the website were lost and were never restored. 

Another big thing for me is the time-saving factor.  I find it tedious and time-consuming reading messages on the website and trying to search for information.   And if I have them sent by email I don't get past messages that were posted before I joined the group.

With PG Offline I can sort easily and search quickly for key words so I end up getting much more information out of the group and in less time.

Bottom Line: I would certainly be willing to pay $10 (or more) per year considering how valuable PG Offline is to me.

Pat

Brad

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Re: Whats the hold up here?
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2009, 12:20:28 PM »
Dido.  Many want a free ride but I have no objection to supporting it.

Brad
Santa Fe, NM

Bill Bradshaw

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Re: Whats the hold up here?
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2009, 02:18:06 PM »
The program is valuable enough to me that I would pay $10 for it a year.  Just being able to search the groups offline makes the program valuable.  I am just surprised that more people do not use it.  I try to send people here every chance I get.

Bill
<Bill>

Brought to you from Anchorage, Alaska.

tholek

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Re: Whats the hold up here?
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2009, 02:37:49 PM »
Do it Wilson.  I understand the software issues you're dealing with and a yearly fee for continued use of PGO makes perfect sense.  If that's too much for some folks, there always is the Yahoo groups web interface people can use for free.  Where do I send my $10?.  I'd also be willing to contribute a little extra as a "donation" to try and get things back on track hopefully soon.
Terry

Wilson Logan

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Re: Whats the hold up here?
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2009, 02:54:11 PM »
Hi Guys,

 Thanks for the positive sentiments. It really does mean a lot to me.

 One other thing I forgot to mention in my litany of woe is that the original code for PGO is nearly 10 years old as evinced by the fact that bits of it are so old that they're no longer supported (ie the regex_split command). I am informed that sooner or later it will need to to be re-written in something called "Dot Net". I've been given an estimated price for this that exceeds the original cost of writing PGO.

 But, I'll worry about that later. If we can get the thing going again I will re-double my efforts to grow the user base. Hopefully to the point where I can afford a re-write.

Cheers,

 Wilson.

brianm

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Re: Whats the hold up here?
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2009, 10:24:53 PM »
I signed up just to leave this comment.

I bought this program a couple months ago, and it seems I began using it just shortly before it stopped working. Lucky timing. I downloaded all the messsages from 8 different Yahoo Groups, some of which have archives going back 10+ years. I work in a very specialized field, and the information in these messages is invaluable to me. Sure, I could just log into the group and search the messages manually, but PG Offline makes this process immeasurably easier, and I've been able to archive the messages on my own hard drive -- so if one of the groups goes belly up I will still have this important information.


I would be more than willing to pay $10 a year.

gfineman

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Re: Whats the hold up here?
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2009, 10:07:46 AM »
I agree that $10 a year is a bargain. Most software is priced by anticipated value to the user, so I would have expected this to be priced by the group. For example, $10 plus $1 per year for each group over five. However, pricing is up to you.

I would suggest that you add a donate button to the web site so that those of us that think that $10 is too low can contribute more. Paypal will do this for about $0.75 for a $10 donation.
See https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_donate-intro-outside

-Gabe Fineman
Washington, DC

Denos

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Re: Whats the hold up here?
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2009, 03:06:15 AM »
Wilson, I really appreciated the way you were open about the problems facing PGOffline. Like others who have replied, I'd willingly pay 10 dollars or so a year. I notice it being out of action. Best wishes,   Dennis aka Denos

Minniemoggie56

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Re: Whats the hold up here?
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2009, 06:39:58 AM »
I would be happy to pay the software is invaluable to me
Minnie

cncdave

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Re: Whats the hold up here?
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2009, 02:42:52 PM »
Wilson
I have been with you almost from the start
Like others who have replied, I'd willingly pay 10 dollars a year ;)
Your service is second to none

Dave In Canada

thats canadian dollars  ;D

push2eject

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Re: Whats the hold up here?
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2009, 10:39:59 PM »
Add me to the list of people more than happy to pay a $10 annual maintenance fee.
And thanks for the progress updates!
Cheers,
Kevin -- Australia

morestuff

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Re: Whats the hold up here?
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2009, 08:05:59 AM »
Another long time user here, suffering badly from withdrawal symptoms.

Add me to the list of people willing to pay to guarantee a revenue stream
to maintain PGOffline software.

Steve in USA

emt

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Re: Whats the hold up here?
« Reply #13 on: June 16, 2009, 12:09:12 PM »
Hi Wilson

Count me in for $10 a year

Ian

mudder

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Re: Whats the hold up here?
« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2009, 07:00:16 PM »
$10.00 a year is easily affordable for what we get. Let me know when to send it in.

Scott

 

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