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steffenpelz

The future of FSUIPC

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To everyone who uses FSUIPC - private users and commercial developers,A couple of weeks ago I posted a message regarding Pete Dowson's decision to make FSUIPC donationware. I was reasonably confident that a large number of the members of this forum who undoubtedly make good use of FSUIPC would do the honourable thing and make a donation to Pete's fund. Unfortunately this has not been the case and donations have more or less dried up.Pete is now considering his options and you are not going to like any of them. The first least painful option is for Pete to make FSUIPC payware for a fee to be determined. The second more drastic option is to sell the program to a commercial developer with all that that entails. Infrequent updates, few if any personal requests for enhancements incorporated into the program and all for an unknown cost. The third option is the most awful of all to contemplate. Pete is considering whether to continue development of FSUIPC for FS9. Think how you would feel if that were to happen.This message is not intended to be any kind of threat but a polite request to those of you who have thought about donating but then decided not to for whatever reason, hoping the next man (or woman) will do the honourable thing for you.Think about how your enjoyment of FS has been enhanced by all the features Pete has incorporated into FSUIPC. He does it because he loves doing it but he feels he can no longer do it without some form of income. Considering the service Pete has given the FS community over the last few years is it really asking too much for you to donate a few dollars, pounds or euros to help him? If you are a commercial software developer and rely on the information FSUIPC delivers then your contribution should reflect the success of your product.To those of you who have donated, thank you for your contributions. To those who haven't, please reconsider or accept that things will change in a way you will probably not like.Thank you.

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Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

I made a donation a couple days ago. Peter Dowson has been instrumental in making add-ons work for FS.I think he deserves a thankyou in the form of some $ donations.Thanks, Adam

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Ray Proudfoot, I think the best way to do it is, ALL Commercial related to FSUIPC WILL HAVE to paid the price, freeware stuff have nothing to do. Again it's the COMMERCIAL things is the real problem. How can you make money with a FREEWARE FSUIPC and after used in commercial stuff.Commercial stuff WILL HAVE TO Spend the big $$ To Peter. They will have to paid Peter if they want their Commercial stuff released, if not too bad, they can close their company.Commercial will NOT again damage the flight sim community and the freeware community. Eric

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I'd like to add my comments here. First of all, I believe that asking for donations in forehand to develop software is nice, but it will not work in practise. Most of the people and especially companies are not willing to pay for something that is not yet even made, even though Pete Downson's reputation is well known. This option does have a good side; it doesn't require an expensive organization to keep the customer registers and such.Secondly, why would the payware option be so painful? As a good example, Damian Clark made his ActiveSky payware when ran into the same situation as Pete. He put a very decent $15 price tag on it, I bought it and I for one think it was money well spent. This way people have a chance to see/hear about the software first and then make up their mind. Of course freeware would be better, but if we would have to pick from these options to keep the development of FSUIPC going, I'd go for the payware. That is, if the price is set at a tolerable level, maybe an absolute maximum of $15. Developer versions targeted for commercial products could have a higher price.

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Charge for it. FSUIPC will either stand on its own merits or it will not. Thats the way the market works. Developers with either use it and pay for it, pass it down to the end user, or risk lower sales because the end user will have to have it already, or they will develope their own alternatives. But Im of the opinion that donationware will never work. Based on your previous post of several weeks ago Im of the conclusion that we (somebody) will be paying for it anyway. Everybody wants a piece of the Pie and Mr. Dowson deserves his share so let him have it. The Market will bare what the market will. Their are a few good addons out their and FSUIPC is a necessity but I ME never made one cent on FSUIPC and many other people cant say that. He should have charged for it several years ago. Praise and attaboys would never have gone as far for me as they did for Mr.Dowson and they are very few and far between.How many years has he been giving it away for?So get on with it.Dennis

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Hi, It is very Easy:Those how are commercial and use FSUIPC. They simply buy an FSUIPC license from PETER each version of Msfs, let said (50$/75$) or will depend on how many commercial product use FSUIPC. Peter is the BIG reason why there is 3RD Party, he can set high the price bar he want for commercial developer.Freeware don't make money with FSUIPC, I never made one cent on FSUIPC and all freeware developer use FSUIPC, freeware developer should NOT have to buy fsuipc.ThanksChris Willis[link:fsw.simflight.com/FSWMenuFsSim.html]Clouds And Addons For MsFs

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I could never understand what makes Pete Dowson work so hard. Personally, after knowing what the program does for me, I would pay easily $15-$20 for the download. Believe me, I paid more for downloads which I used only once (first and last) and I don't want to name them here. Now, where in Microsoft??? part of the success of FS is due to Pete's program and it's derivatives. It is very similar to G-Max, for which they probably paid, because it is included in the basic program.If I instead of Pete Dowson, I would stop being the nice guy and after so many years would change the rules and start selling the program, both to individuals and to commercial developers. I am convinced that market forces will do the rest.Seev

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I don't see why the developer needs to pick up the tab for the broad use of FSUIPC and pass it on to the consumer in the form of targetted pricing? It's the consumers responsibility to ensure they have a system capable of running the package, and one could easily add FSUIPC to such `fixtures` as sound cards, graphics cards, drivers and yoke or stick hardware. And no-one expects the developers to provide those! Perhaps MS should simply place Pete on the payroll? - he's done more to make the package work than any developer on the credits.So whatabout continuing the existing policy of stating `FSUIPC required` - and let the consumer find it, pay for it and install it? When one buys a car one pays extra for the insurance, but it's compulsory. Some dealers or manufacturers may have special promotions including free insurance, but ultimately it's down to the car buyer.Consider FSUIPC as insurance, and compulsory. And have everyone pay for it. The free promotion just ended. Be happy you had it free for so long - and open wallets.OTOH, a problem I see is that updates and bugfxes in FSUIPC would have to be passed to the consumer in a much more coherent fashion than now, as updated FSUIPC's may well be necessary for future add-ons or to correct errors and omissions in earlier releases. The current system of it being available via an ad hoc website and word of mouth would simply have to change, perhaps to a system of auto-updating or e-mail alerts. That's a heck of an obligation that comes from switching from freeware to payware, and it costs - time and money.I rather suspect Mr D could find himself in the Catch 22 situation of having to spend time providing and maintaining customer technical support (to which anyone paying for a product is entitled under law). This could have the unfortunate side effect of making less time available for the enjoyment of developing FSUIPC, and forcing Peter into commmercial obligations and legal requirements where he may not want to go.Bugger of a choice.ChasW

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Heck, for what it does, if he makes it payware, oh well. I would pay for it gladly. I think that the commercial companies that rely on it for the products to work inside FS need to pay as well.

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HiI could`nt agree more with Chris.I`ve been around this hobby since the BBS/Compuserve days and it seems to me that the root cause of the almost constant updates to FSUIPC is payware requests so let them pay for these custom versions.I think I could even let this go but the fact is that most payware sucks to begin with so why should we pay twice to be dissapointed.I applaud folks like Pete and Chris and their dedication to the hobby so let the costs fall where they should which is with the payware developers who make the money.

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I'm going to get flamed for this, I know it, but here goes...There are a number of authors, myself included, who have produced freeware apps based on FSUIPC. Not to belittle Pete's work, but we work just as hard on our code, and get little other than an odd thank you from time to time.Make FSUIPC payware, and you kill many freeware applications. Why not charge a license fee to commercial developers, if money is such an issue now?To me, I see this as nothing but blanket soliciting. Everyone is trying to make a buck off of FS, under the guise "I work so hard". To heck with freeware then--it simply isn't worth the effort. From this point forward, I will no longer support or update my two apps. If I have to "pay" to produce freeware, it simply isn't worth it. Everyone needs an extra dime here and there, but I am shedding no tears for Pete... Seems like he's just another joining the "can I get a buck outta this" club... -JohnAuthor, Landclass Assistant and Autoland 2002

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This is a touchy situation is you never really know what each indivual's developers situation is at home or in life.As a personal opinion I'm forced to agree with John. I've admired pete's amazing work on FSUIPC since it's inception and quickly download whatever updates he offers. I agree it's very hard work and writing code is no easy task but it seems that FS is becoming more and more about commerialism and money and less about a hobby.To be honest people this is a HOBBY, this is not a car you're buying or health insurance or a real boeing Aircraft for that matter...When everyone makes the choice to enter the sim world and begin developing things for FS they should a) learn to manage their time between real qorld commitments and this hobby and :( understand that this is not something to be making a living off of.I've purchased serveral great payware programs, most of which i haven't regretted spending the money. But it seems that the more and more you look everyone is trying to charge for these tools relating to our hobby and justify it as a way of earning a living and it shouldn't be. If you cannot balance your time or devote enough time to your job and do this on your free time then you shouldn't do it at all.Again, this is not an anti pete thread, I will probably end up buying it if he does go the payware route but I just had to let my two cents out...This is somethin to do on your free time, no one holds a gun to your head to do this 24 hours a day.Jason

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Maybe the community could convince MS to hire him. Then, it would be beneficial to everyone, the community could get more since then he would probably have access to more things about how FS works, he would be getting paid, and MS could advertise the new features and options that he could add to increase sales.

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I was wondering when the day would come to this. From the beginning Microsoft had a great little program called "Flight simulator xxxx" and from that people began parting it out and enhancing certain parts of the program. It was great just figuring it out and then putting it up for all to check out and admire for free in a download. Then things got more advanced and programs within programs needed to communicate in order to work properly. Along comes AI traffic and someone decided to enhance that and make some money to boot. Ms picked up on that and made it better, at least included it with the next version of the simulator. Then the weather was enhanced and a program came out that made it a lot more "as real as it gets" and some more money was to be had. Now MS has made the weather a step better, I believe anyway. And now it will be included with the latest version of Fs. Amazing Microsoft is letting anybody make money off this stuff. I know, I know this sim would get boring awful fast if not for the Freeware and payware people. I have spent countless hours making scenery and putting it out for free. That was my way of giving back after all the time just downloading and using others labor of love add on's. No way I could ever charge for that stuff, I don't claim to be a professional scenery maker and I never will. I don't want to be, and could not dream of the nightmare tech service if I did charge for it. I guess it comes down to if you want all the extra's at a price or just fly it out of the box. So much stuff is available out there for free people have gotten use to downloading it, flying or landing on it and then shove it to the side and wait for the next free download. Guess they figure, why pay for donationware when i will just push it to the side eventually anyway. I have bought my share of payware items and after a bit it just sits there. Can't tell me that does not happen to you. Sorry for the rant but i'm wide awake right now from some strong coffee! 'Just my opinion folks' and more power to you Mr dowson. Your program is needed.

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I have to say I disagree Frank.... Practically every FS install out there has FSUIPC, and many add-ons linked to it. Now, Pete is pointing a gun to our heads. "My program is soooo good, and I need the money soooo bad, pay up, or else"He should have made that decision from the beginning. I for one am removing FSUIPC from my system, and as I already mentioned, support for my freeware. And the minute FSUIPC becomes payware, I will instruct Avsim and all sites to pull my freeware. I will not produce something I do out of pleasure, if someone is going to profit by it. Requiring my users to buy something to use a freeware product is bogus--they already bought MSFS--that's enough.Pete made no effort to approach me, and I suspect made no effort to approach other freeware developers explaining why the sudden need for money. Instead, we have a proxy coming in here and making a blanket threat. I am so disgusted with this hobby at this point.... As someone else has said, maybe MS should consider requiring commercial developers to pay a license fee for producing payware. Also, as someone else has noted, we who produce code for MSFS make a decision as to how much time we wanted to invest, and to what the end form of payment would be. If I could after the fact charge for LCA, I still wouldn't. It's my gift back to the community that has shared their work with me....'nuff said, I am out of this thread

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I recall in the last few months a developer who created a product that needed an upgrade from another developer to work. After the developer released his product everybody was waiting on the other developer to upgrade his product so they would work together. At the very last minute I get this email from the second developer saying guess what since you have had my product for more that a year if you want to play with this upgrade you are going to have to pay. So I paid my 15.00US just so I could use it with the other developers software. And the only feature he added was support for the other persons software. In effect he saw a way to make a quick buck knowing the people needed his software for a much in demand addon. I can see that happening more and moreI dont like being held for ransom. Both of those developers can take their software and shove it.sbdwag

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Just to put my two cents in...I'm not a developer of any software product but I do purchase an awful lot of payware add-ons for MSFS. I also use a great deal of freeware too and I often thank those who provide it. I don't feel qualified to debate this issue at the level I've read here but I do want to add that one should be very careful about asking for donations. I was planning to donate but am hesitant due to the fact that my donations may be for a lost cause if the software goes payware or dies. How about those whom have donated? Can they be promised that their donations will keep the product alive? Just a concern.Thanks Pete for a wonderful product for a long time.Ken

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hello,I also agree with John. Making fsuipc payware would kill many freeware utilities, panels, and aircraft.Andrew

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>To be honest people this is a HOBBY, this is not a car >you're buying or health insurance or a real boeing Aircraft >for that matter... >>When everyone makes the choice to enter the sim world and >begin developing things for FS they should a) learn to >manage their time between real qorld commitments and this >hobby and :( understand that this is not something to be >making a living off of. >There is absolutely nothing wrong with making a partial or full living off this so called "hobby". This hobby has gotten to the point, that thousands of hours are required to produce 3rd party products that appeal to our constantly increasing appetites. If this time interfers with other real world commitments, then by all means, make it profitable. Or just do it for a "living" period. Afterall, it's what the people at Microsoft do!!L.Adamson

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"If this time interfers with other real world commitments, then by all means, make it profitable."You always make strong points, but now I realize why I am so upset. Take away the dozens of freeware utilities that exploit FSUIPC in some way (I'd argue they far outnumber payware). How much is FSUIPC worth without them? Like it or not, Pete entered into a partnership the minute he opened up FSUIPC to outside development. By charging now for it and blindsiding the authors that worked to build a purpose for FSUIPC, he is exploiting the work of a large community. By rights, we should be asking for a percentage of his "profit" by making his utility viable with our contributions. The more I think of this, the more it stinks to high heaven. Pete's efforts to make a buck are in part taking advantage of the foundation for his utility our community helped build.

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I think Mr. Dowson now wants to put the toothpaste back in the tube, so to speak.Its a wonderful thing he did, allt he work on fsuipc, and it's commendable that he did it out of his love of the hobby and that we all could use it free and clear, no guilt.But that's the way it worked out.Now, if he suddenly wants to start charging for it, fine, too. I willd ecide whether it's worth it or not, depending on my need as far as new apps and stuff go.I dont fault him for suddenly wanting to charge ... hobbies have a way of getting out of hand that way.But, this plea to "donate" money kinda makes me wince.Charge or dont charge... I dont know him, so I wont get mad at him.Jst dont whine about how it takes too much time or that code isnt cheap anymore.We're all big people now, and that there's no such thing as a free lunch.Just my 2 cents worth.

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One intangible should be mentioned in this debate, and it is the foremost reason I donated $10 to Mr. Dowson. A few months ago I was experiencing severe visibility anomalies after purchasing Radar Contact 3.0 which I traced to the newest version of FSUIPC that was installed with Radar Contact. Peter spent several hours (maybe more) analyzing the data I sent him over several days time, often answering emails until 3:00 AM his time ! The anomalies were random but persitent and proved a real headache for both of us. I could tell by the tone of his emails that he was getting frustrated with me, but he never once gave up in his attempt to rectify the problems. Now remember I am a total stranger who has bought nothing from him, yet his 'customer service' was above and beyond that of many payware outfits. I am a poor person, and I regret not being able to send more.John Marino

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>Now, Pete is pointing a gun to our heads. "My program is >soooo good, and I need the money soooo bad, pay up, or else" FSUIPC really IS that good. It corrects or restores the function in FS of far too many apps and hardware problems to list.>And the minute FSUIPC becomes payware, I will instruct >Avsim and all sites to pull my freeware.You could always rewrite your software so it doesn't need it. But aren't you now making the same (perceived) threat you lament ... ?Peter is one of those fellows who has worked tirelessly for years for free, like many of us have, to correct many dysfunctions and incompatibilities within FSxx. I'll gladly support Peter financially to maintain FSUIPC's evolution and I'll do it right this minute without a moment's hesitation or complaint. >I am so disgusted with this hobby at this point.... Yeah. Some posts make me feel like that too. But I'm glad I read this thread so I can say 'thanks' to Peter in a practical way.

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Be warned: This will be another daring statement and pure speculation.Why suddenly start charging now when FS2004 is about to be released? Could it be that FSUIPC is not being needed 'that hard' anymore? Sure, some addons keep relying on FSUIPC. But take a look at for instance the new GPS, AI and weather. It comes real close to many current payware stuff. So now is the time to make money...???Again: this is pure speculation!

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FSUIPC is not one utility it is in fact two: an Interprocess comunication with FS and a Swiss army knife for FS bugs and enhancements. I use both, the first when I develop utilities or use certain utilities and planes. The second for correct some problems with FS. First of all I strong believe that Pete is one of the finest developers and I'm sure that if he goes into payware he will try to minimize the impact. As a freeware developer I hope that the first part remain free for my programs (I believe that payware developers should pay for it, if they don't want them they should develop one, them they can evaluate the man/hour needed to do that) the second I will gladly pay for it. In the utilities arena I'm from time to time amazed with people asking money for bad programs, so paying for a good utility it isn't so much.Jos

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