David Harris asks for your help:


From:         David Harris 
Date:         Mon, 17 Jul 2006 14:14:39 +1200
Organization: Pegasus Mail, Dunedin, New Zealand
Subject: Pegasus Mail v4.41 released
To:           PM-WIN@BAMA.UA.EDU

From what my testers tell me, I'd have to move up a few gears to keep 
up with you folks; apparently you were aware of the release of v4.41 
almost as soon as the files were up (indeed, according to the logs, the 
first downloads were taking place before I had even updated the web 
pages!). 

In any event, for the record, Pegasus Mail v4.41 is now available for 
public consumption. Please visit http://www.pmail.com for information 
and downloads. 

Since you all apparently know about this release already, I'm not going 
to waste your time by telling you all the new stuff - there's lots, 
including a very large number of little things not mentioned in the 
"what's new" pages. 

I *am*, however, going to take a moment to sound a warning. Unless 
the financial situation surrounding Pegasus Mail and Mercury picks up 
quite strongly in the next few months, I have to be honest and say that 
their future is cloudy. It's not as if *much* is required in the way of 
funding to keep me (and hence these programs) alive, but for the last 
few months it's been well below the minimum I need. Unfortunately, I 
am not independently wealthy (if I were, the programs would be totally 
free, documentation and all), and no matter how much I love these 
programs, I simply cannot support them without income for very long 
at all. 

Now, this is not a plea for the people on this list to rush out and buy 
another set of manuals: I have no desire to end up being a continuous 
financial burden on a small group of loyal supporters. What I *would* 
like is any smart ideas any of you might have for raising funds. 

A lot of you will probably already be thinking about sending me a 
message saying "Why not have a PayPal donations button somewhere 
prominent?"... Unfortunately, PayPal is a difficult option in New 
Zealand: the nature of their system means that I would end up paying 
$10 for *every* payment made to me, due to issues with the way they 
interface with my bank in New Zealand. I also have to say that I have 
heard some real horror stories about PayPal from the vendor side, and 
I am not altogether sure how trustworthy they are. Even so, if I could 
find a way of working around the payments problem, I might still 
proceed with this idea, but I also have to say that it's not likely to be an 
overall solution. The idea that 10,000-odd people might donate $10 
each year, while attractive, is implausible. 

A couple of ideas I've considered myself: 

*   A "Thousand Site Challenge": I issue a challenge 1000 sites to 
    sign up for $100 per annum, with a commitment to subscribe for at 
    least three years: as soon as the minimum number is met, I make 
    the programs totally free, documentation and all. The Thousand 
    Sites get their names inscribed on a page of honour on the web 
    site. 

*   Making Pegasus Mail totally free but turning Mercury into a 
    licensed product. This one sort of appeals, but carries an 
    administrative burden I'm not sure I could cope with, given how 
    hugely overloaded I am already. 

I'm happy to listen to other options for raising funds, but let me say up 
front that going the adware or nagware paths is out of the question (I'd 
sooner close up shop than be reduced to that level), and full 
commercialization does not sit well with me, even if I felt it were 
actually possible. 

Perhaps the drying up of finance is just my user community telling me 
that I'm no longer required - I have to accept that as a possibility, and 
while I don't think it's a very likely response from this particular group 
you can feel free to say that to me too if that's what you believe. I still 
love doing the work (indeed, I have rediscovered some of my old 
passion for it recently), but if nobody wants the results... Well, enough 
said. 

In any event, comments are welcome. These are your programs, and 
their future is very much in your hands at the moment. You can either 
mail me directly, or start a discussion on this list: while I'm not 
subscribed (due to mail overload), I have spies who see all... ;-) 

Cheers! 

-- David -- 

David Harris 
Author/Owner, Pegasus Mail/Mercury 
July 17th 2006 

------------------ David Harris -+- Pegasus Mail ----------------------
Box 5451, Dunedin, New Zealand | e-mail: David.Harris@pmail.gen.nz
           Phone: +64 3 453-6880 | Fax: +64 3 453-6612

Quote for the day:
   A woman is only as old as the man she feels.
         -- Mae West