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An open letter to Tom and the Avsim staff

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I don't know how long this will last, without getting pulled. But I wanted to try and clear the air.When I asked you to shut down my website, I didn't mean that I was considering going to another flight simming site. Not even an option. When a friend offered to provide me a web site, design the pages, and maintain it for me, I jumped at the chance to relieve myself of some workload so I could concentrate more on my aircraft designs. Especially since some have complained recently that I've been slow to update my site. I didn't think for a second that you would be so put out by it, but I have obviously stepped on some tender toes. For that I apologize. I seem to be getting quite adept at getting people miffed at me lately. Yes I understand and appreciate what you have done for me. But I honestly believe I have done more than my share of supporting Avsim as well. I'm told I should consider the money you pay out for the bandwidth, etc. You may recall that I offered to make a cash contribution to the site some time back, which you refused. And I offered to pay for my web site, which you refused. Given that, along with the number of people on Avsim who take, take, take and give back nothing, I'm at a loss to understand the harshness of your feelings. But of course, that means nothing, since as I've told many Avsim critics in the past, you are the boss. I guess its no different than the people that can't understand why I get miffed at some things. But the last thing I want to do is be where I feel I'm being an annoyance. With a bad heart acting up on me, my company threatening layoffs, etc, etc, I've got enough to deal with, without adding more to the load. So, the best thing for everyone at this point will be for me to just gracefully slip out the back door so I won't bother anyone further. I'm sorry it had to come to this over a little (I thought so anyway) misunderstanding.Regretfully,Mike Stone

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Perhaps a little background information on this would be good for a lot of us who do not know what this issue is about.

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You have my support, Mike :-). By the way, love your aircraft designs. Some of the best freeware around. Good luck with your new site and take care.Regards,

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This is better then the Young and Restless. :-lolIt's a real shame people can't get along on this planet, especially when it comes to silly things like this...Mike, thank you for all you're wonderful creations, and we hope to see more masterpieces. You're a gifted designer, and just the thought of having thousands of people flying your planes, would make me feel proud. All the best...Tom (Avsim staff), thank you for all that you have provided us flight simmers. Without people like yourselves, and sites like this, this great hobby would not have taken off like it has....:-waveNow put down the :( and :-walksmile and get yourself a :-beerchug

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Dear Mike,Very sorry to see you go. Have loved all of your designs, and fly many of them. I for one will miss you on this forum -- and perhaps some individuals should think of that. Behind you 100%, as it is your right to host your site where you please. This is still America, the home of the free and ruled by the constitution. Best in the future.Clayton T.DopkeMajor, USAF (retired)"Drac"B52Drivr@aol.com

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The best to your future Mike. I will look for you. I appreciate ALL you have done for the community.Don

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Wonder why certain folks seem to be regularly getting their feelings hurt or embroiled in some form of controversy...and others never do.worth a thought, no?Bob B

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Best wishes Mike. You got my message. Look forward to hearing from you.Take care hun.Heather

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I guess it has. People seem to no longer work out their differences in private but instantly go public with the smallest (perceived or real) problems.To me it also seems that people are getting ever less ready to talk like adult human beings and more apt to start lashing out and screaming murder for the smallest differences of opinion.

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"It is your right to host your site where you please." Yes, it is, but that's not the issue at hand, Clay. First of all, this post is NOT directed at Mike -- far from it. Mike's contributions to the hobby have been tremendously valuable, and I will be very sorry if he does not continue his fine "tradition" of pushing the boundaries of freeware.However, this post is aimed at those who persist to pontificate about how "AVSIM" acts and makes its decisions, and decry us at every possible opportunity.Folks, please leave the presumption and the whys and wherefores to the people who actually know what went on, rather than presuming that AVSIM is the bad guy -- strange how it ALWAYS comes out that way, huh? And to the other poster (not in this thread) who said that "We are about to feel the wrath of Tom Allensworth", well, breaking news, folks. Tom isn't the only staff member at AVSIM. Those of you who were at Tahoe would probably have noticed the number of AVSIM shirts running around. There are currently about 35 AVSIM staff members -- that's what that big list of folks is on the right hand side on the front page. All of these people have, and do contribute to what AVSIM "is" -- and without them, at least some part of this site would be missing. AVSIM isn't just "Tom" -- it was to begin with, but it is now much bigger.Contrary to popular opinion, the decisions that AVSIM makes aren't just Tom's thoughts incarnate. Okay, there are times when a very fast decision needs to happen, and in those situations either Tom, or *gasp* even another senior staff member, might make a "unilateral" decision and justify it later -- but even in these cases, the people who do make the decisions tend to consider the "other options" rather than making a self-centred decision. However, the vast majority of questions and decisions do get discussed, and the result of what happens is, in the vast majority of cases, the consensus of more than one person.It isn't just Tom who vents his wrath. I do too -- more often in private than public -- but let me make it very, VERY clear. When anyone here badmouths, decries, or unconstructively criticises AVSIM, it hits many of the staff -- not just Tom. We all put hours of our hobby-time into making AVSIM work -- not only for "us", but for you too. Sometimes, the fact that people decry what we do just galls us -- probably beyond the comprehension of those who do the decrying. Well, if you think you could do better, let's see you try; and you'll realize the amount of heartache, time and money that is necessary to get ANY site to the level where AVSIM is today.The short version: AVSIM is a team effort. Tom would be the first person to tell you that about the organization today, and without that team, AVSIM wouldn't be what it is today. Period.(a very annoyed) --M

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Dear Very Annoyed M, (sounds like something from Dear Abby) Since you decided to 'wrap my knuckles' in public, LOL, I guess I'll respond to you. I read Mikes post, happen to agree with what he said, (in truth, I did not read the 'original' post), but that is really beside the point.The point is: That Mike is allowed to host his site any where he so desires, or at least that is, I believe what the constitution still says in its passages. His reasons, whatever they may be, don't even enter into it.The fact that Tom has hosted his site is very admirable -- AVSIM does many things like this which are for the community. I wasn't slamming that, however, lets not forget, AVSIM is also not a democracy, and never has been. Now, I appreciate everything AVSIM has done for the FS community,(and I am sure AVSIM appreciates the FS community support also, as one supports the other . . . no one has a free ride) I support AVSIM and think that it is the most excellent site on the web, (apologies to Bill and Ted's Great Adventure for that line) ,but some of us should take a step back and chill just a tad. No one was slamming AVSIM, but you sure countered quickly enough -- and that perhaps makes me ask why?It doesn't matter, other than I thought it humorous that you became so annoyed over my simple little remark. Engough said, now, teacher, may I go to the restroom . . . or will you wrap my knuckles for that one also?Best to all, and lets be kind to each other -- there is enough strife and hatred in this world, we don't need to add more.Clayton T. DopkeMajor, USAF (Retired)"Drac"B52Drivr@aol.com

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Hi Clayton:I fully agree with what you said. I do believe that this whole matter could have been resolved behind closed doors. Maybe the AVSIM Ombusman can step in and mediate a solution to the whole problem. I am a firm believer in negociation. There indeed enough strife in this world, and we don't need to add to any more. Why not AVSIM and Mike sit down and resolve the matter so that everyone is a winner. Right now, I think there is no winner. Maybe Tom can also step in and resolve the matter also. I know that AVSIM does not run a democracy, but it should reconsider how it approached this whole matter. I am also a firm supporter of Mike Stone, he is truely talented person, who I support. Charles

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Congradulations, everyone shake hands, pat themselves on the back, tell themselves you did a good job.....at BLOWING one of the best resources in flightsimming! If you really want to enjoy this resource as it is now and in future, start thinking about things beyond the monitor your looking at right now. Bickering and malice like this is what killed Project Freeware a few years back and you can't say you didn't feel the effects of that.....somebody always wants something for nothing. Just my 2 cents.

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Unless I missed a previous post, Charles, it seems to me that AVSIM was keeping it, "behind closed doors." Why then is AVSIM catching all of the heat, if in fact, Mike Stone was the first to air the linen in a public forum? The simple fact is that most of us are unaware of what prompted Mike's action and his post. R-

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I'm sorry to hear about this Mike.Once or twice, Tom and I have disagreed on things. I felt he used words which were out of line, and responded with that theme. But in retrospect, I felt I overreacted. Tom's human. So am I--I could have used better words. You mentioned a bad heart, being under threat of layoffs, etc.... Many of us, including myself, fall into that category. Hell, I'm contemplating surgery that could leave me crippled, or could leave me pain free for the first time in months. That's life, and the way we react to things factors in such events sometimes.Avsim is a team--not just of those who host it, but of the members here. I am in 100 pct. support of you having your own site, and I 100 pct. agree that Tom or Avsim should not feel bad for the reasons you've given. But heck, we're all human. Imagine after a day of deleting threads, policing slamfests, and the like, you hear one of your best contributors is moving. Sometimes we react, make mistakes, say the wrong thing. And sometimes it's very hard to apologize when things settle down, especially when the issue is raised in public.I hope you keep a high presence here. I don't know if you caught something I said the other day in a thread related to wing views. I said some work justifies the absence of that, and yours certainly tops the list. I think your last half dozen releases all qualify as commercial quality, but that's just my opinion.Anyway, can't wait to see the new site, and I hope to see you in the forums as well, for the benefit of the Avsim team--which equals everyone of us!-John

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I will really miss Mike and his huge contribution to the community. I also like AVSIM an awful lot and have made it my online home in the FS2002 world.The internet/e-mail seems to make it much easier for misunderstandings to crop up. I see it everywhere I go online.I hope everyone finds a way to make this amicable again.

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HiI fully agree with internet/email making it easier for misunderstandings to crop up. Its very inpersonal. My hope is indeed that everything is patched up so that it is amicable again, yes, that is my real hope. I don't want to point fingers, as that does nothing, nor am I blaming anyone. My greatest hope that that the matter is resolved and that there are no hard feelings between the parties. That is the best solution, however, that is not always possible. I support AVSIM and its staff and also all those people who make those planes, panels and scenery for all of us to enjoy. Charles

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I don't know the whole story behind what happened, and if I somehow put the blame on AVSIM, then that was not my intent, nor do I blame Mike either. My intent is for both parties to resolve the matter, that all. Charles Huckelbery

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Hi,I've been at the other end of this.. I have my site hosted by flightsim sites until they tell me to move. First with simflight, now hosted by TecPilot and no doubt, if TecPilot needed me to go, I would consider asking AVSIM to host my site, and my site is almost 100MB already. I know what you mean about keeping a site updated.. it is ABSOLUTLEY hard work. I have another 20 to 30 sections to add to my site also.But you also have to consider that it is extremely gracious of a large web site like AVSIM etc.. to host us smaller guys. If they pulled the plug a little too fast or did it with protest, you can only imagine that it is human nature to react that way. Personally, I would consider it a compliment for AVSIM to be upset that you are leaving them and look at the experience in a positive way. It is obvious to me, that they value you, your work and your site very highly.Anyway.. good luck in your move.. I hate moving web sites.. just another huge pain and much work. One advantage of being hosted by a large flightsim site is bandwidth and speed and reliablity. I don't think I would be completely happy hosting my own.But one word of advice.. don't burn bridges.. it aint worth it when you reflect on this issue 3 to 6 months from now.Regards.. TrevVisit "The DC-3 Hangar"http://www.douglasdc3.comhttp://www.douglasdc3.com/1/dc3.jpg

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Who cares who gets annoyed Mr. Stone, you make the best damn airplanes on this site, so pleaae be sure to advertise your new website address for everyone to read and visit, keep up the good work. andyky

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"When a friend offered to provide me a web site, design the pages, and maintain it for me, I jumped at the chance to relieve myself of some workload so I could concentrate more on my aircraft designs. Especially since some have complained recently that I've been slow to update my site."Like many others, I don't know all of the facts, but for the life of me I can't figure out why the above would cause a problem, especially the statement, "I jumped at the chance to relieve myself of some workload so I could concentrate more on my aircraft designs."Doesn't *everyone* benefit from that?

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We obviously do not know exactly what was communicated in private (nor is it our business to know, really... unless the parties themselves wish to share the information), but on the surface, this seems to me to be a classic case of miscommunication.I could be wrong, but considering the parties involved, I can't really see it being anything else.

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