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michal

An Interesting Observation

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HiI was just over at http://www.navdata.at/ and the number of registered users caught my eye.I was surprised to see 17,552 users of the data that is available there.Since the primary reason of the site is to provide updated airac data for four payware addons PIC767,DF737,PSS,FsNav.I thought it would be informative to conduct an exercise to determine how the payware industry is a professional endevour as opposed to any love of the hobby which in my opinion is a play on the communities heartstrings in the first place.If just one user in four uses any one of the above at an average cost of $25.00 it woud add up to $109.700.00 .Not too shabby eh?I feel that these numbers are a conservative estemate as to both the costs and the average numbers of users as most will be using more than one of these addons.I guess that as the years have gone by the industry has grown by leaps and bounds but as a veteren simmer I miss the way it was in the compuserv days of old.Those days are long gone.Hail to the almighty dollarI wonder how many users Pete Dawson has?I wonder when Richard Stefan will go payware for that navdata?

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>I wonder when Richard Stefan will go payware for that navdata?

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Not really $100K, when you start charging a fee someone's doing the transaction, a distributer (he'd someone better than Paypal for this IMO), who gets a cut somewhere in the neighborhood of 10% to 35%. So now its down to maybe $75,000.Now for that money people would expect a complete database of SID's and STAR's and more accurate data that he is currently getting from DAFIF, etc. So to charge such a fee Richard Stefan would almost certainly have to pay a license fee to Aerad or someone for more accurate and complete Navdata.Considering how many ways this data is being distributed, it may go down to less than $50,000 after paying these kind of license fees every 28 days, and lets not forget taxes.Would people be willing to pay a $25 annual fee for Navdata ? I don't know, people would start asking themselves do I 'really' need the latest Navdata every 28 days for flight simulation ?? If you only get up and fly around once or twice a month the answer would have to be No. The bulk of those 17,000 users would have to be of this type IMO.When EchoPlate went to approx $20 a year a couple of months ago, some people hit the roof, and acted like they were thieves, and have gone to great length's to find other free chart sources. And this was for a less than $2 a month cost !This indicates to me people may not be so willing to pay for up to date Navdata that is not so crucial to Flight Simulation. I a more realistic estimate would be maybe 1 in 7 or 8 would pay for a $25 annuall fee.Consider also he'd have to upgrade his website so only registered users have access to the downloads, that's gonna cost a few bucks too.Still maybe enough for reasonable compensation for his time and effort, but he wouldn't be getting rich.Regards.Ernie.

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It's kind of scary to think about how few people realize the realities of business. It is hard to run a business and it is hard to make money and survive. It would be nice if it were all profit but it is not. I don't understand why so many people begrudge someone for wanting to receive a return on their efforts. Everyone one that "works" for someone else expects to get paid, right?I am one that takes advantage of the free stuff as much as the next guy. I doubt that I would pay NavData updates though; I just don't think that I would see the value if I had to pay. It's a matter of priorities. I could buy a magazine sub. now and read about the addons I could have bought with the money, or I could buy a couple of addons - decisions, decisions. And at some point you can spend enough money that it would probably be worthwhile to check into getting a real-world pilot's license (for those of us who are not pilots yet).It seems sad that those airlines charge money for taking passengers from one place to another, and their pilots demand to be paid money for flying the planes - whatever happened to the old days when flying was "free"?

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It's funny seeing all the complaining about $10 here, $20 there... if people think it's "expensive" trying to keep up in the flight sim world, maybe they should try the real world of flying for an eye-opener on expenses. Might change peoples' perspectives on things.

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I agree that this is a truly amazing issue here. Imagine, paying for value!!! What a concept!!!For a freeware developer, say a Bill Grabowski as a great example, Bill I am sure spends as much of his time as can be reasonably allowed given his marital, family and work commitments on his new MD-11 Project, and at the support forum for his AWESOME ERJ panel. This is a LABOR OF LOVE for Bill I am sure, and a service to his hobby. I am sure Mrs Bill wants to shoot him sometimes, as my wife wants to wrap me in a white sheet and send me to the mental health facilities, but Bill spends his spare time (and I'm sure, more time than he should) doing this. It is a hobby. Excellent support, and an awesome example of freeware, as is Ernie A's FSBuild 1.4. ... but a hobby. Since it is a hobby, I am sure that Bill has a source of income to take care of the other parts of his life. So the hobby is that .. a hobby .. no real work hours, no legal obligations, no REAL pressure or stress other than that brought on by unrealistically demanding and arrogant flight simmers (not all but surely some)There does come a time when a person who enjoys his hobby immensely, and does want to spend MORE TIME .. might make a decision to make a JOB of it. Well, like the rest of os poor working sods, he or she has a mortgage or rent to pay, a family to feed, kids to educate and clothe, perhaps a nice once a year holiday ... well .. now what .. do we bash his or her head in for trying to have a life and pursue their hobby. The answer seems to be YES.Without a guy like Pete Dowson, flight simming would be a pretty nasty hobby, in my opinion .. How would I use my PFC yoke and flight controls, or fly the heavies with real FMC and all the bells and whistles. Pete did this for free, and if you look at his forum, you will see some of those people I describe above, heaping abuse .. for a free product (not to mention ADVDISP, WideFS and other stuff) .. I think Pete made the decision to see if he could spend a NORMAL 12 hour work day on his FS software endeavors .. so I would guess that he is trying to make a transition so he can maintain and enhance his software AND HAVE A LIFE with his family ... you know, feed, house, clothe, educate. Well, is there value in what Pete does? Good grief, you would have to be a total Neanderthal not to agree there is quite awesome value to all of us.So for the naysayers .. obviously people have fought wars to give you the right to your opinions .. but my take here is that when you are 40 + ( I am 54) and have worked for 25 years or so, have a bit of a life and a hobby, you just might have a sense of perspective which is so sorely missing here ... When you come home every day tired, and try to carve out a few hours a week to fly .. think of Richard Stefan and Pete Dowson, Bill Grabowski, and ALL the wonderful freeware people who use their SPARE time (and more) for out mutual pleasure and benefit. Well, if they choose to make a career, either full or part time out of their hobby, we should be there offering support to their endeavors if and when we can afford it .. or ar the very least not throw stones because these people want to support themselves.o well ... my us$.02

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>It's funny seeing all the complaining about $10 here, $20>there... if people think it's "expensive" trying to keep up in>the flight sim world, maybe they should try the real world of>flying The obvious difference however is that in this real world of flying we are talking about real aircraft flying real people to real places subject to real regulatory requirements (like having latest charts).I am like Ed above. I see little value of paying some sort of subscription fee to get the NavData updates however reasonable the fee (say above $5 annually). I just can't see any direct benefit in the sim world. Oh, btw, I am IFR rated in real life.Michael J.

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