How members at AVSIM are treated

Hello everyone,

I am here to announce that AVSIM has decided to ban me from their forums. I am here to protect my interests, interests of the simmers and defend myself from attacks on AVSIM, since they didn’t allow me to do that after the attack. Call it publish bashing.

Please note that this is a very long letter, so take a cup of coffee or something and make yourself cozy, if you wish to read it!

The announcement, as posted on 12.02.2012 by Stephen Wilcox, aka Spiritflyer:

http://forum.avsim.net/topic/399849-kosta-banned-by-avsim/

Now, my dear fellow simmers, while I do respect that AVSIM wants to put out THEIR side of the story, and as it always is, each story has two sides. Otherwise this fiasco wouldn’t end up where it did.

It makes me everything but happy to have to post a thing like this. I usually like spending my time posting useful things, posts about my knowledge of the sim and my guides, help people who care about our hobby.

I will not dispute that some of the things Stephen wrote are true. The course of events is generally correct. The statement about my behaviour and deteriorating states is at best ridiculous. I am sad to say, after many years of positive contributions, I have been feeling left out lately, especially after the events that conspired in August/September 2012. But we’ll come to that.

As Stephen carefully pointed out, I have made quite a lot of friends on AVSIM, which I will reluctantly, but forcibly lose (maybe not all, but probably quite a big chunk). I have been a positive contributor since 2003 I believe, and all this time, I have been doing nothing else but helping users and trying to learn as much as possible about our hobby. I was never even thinking about moderating or even stepping into an administrator position. It was only some time about April 2012 or about when I asked Tom if he could give me moderating abilities, solely only because I wanted to move threads where they belong – this was the only kind of responsibility I was looking for, I never formulated it any other way. The reason was to make forums a clearer place, again, for people to easily find what they are looking for. It is also because of my high involvement on the main forums, like FSX Forum, Hardware Forums, why I wanted just to be able to move the posts around (it was mainly hardware posts from FSX forum to the Hardware forum) is to give a little back what I got from AVSIM (and yes, I also supported AVSIM financially with €50 when they got hacked). Finally, Tom has decided to give me an Administrator position – I never really asked for that, as I said, I wanted only the above. But technically apparently, it wasn’t possible any other way.

First I was appointed Hardware Mod, and this led to me putting together the first FSX Tweaking Guide. I was actually consulting many other members via PM about this, what they would think this guide should contain. I will not name names here, but there were at least a dozen people. It was never my intention to discredit anyone, the only reason why I ever wanted to put such document together was due to repetitive posts on forums for the same problems. It was basically giving people a one stop shop for frequently asked questions. At first, it was meant to be a simple question – answer post on AVSIM. As I wrote it, I figured I can’t just leave out parts of it, so it transpired into a FSX tweaking guide. Even before my guide, I was already quite known on AVSIM to know a lot about FSX and the inner workings, being very close to Jesus when he was doing his stuff, working close with Pete on the g3d.dll error (testings)… so people were already coming to me for solutions, at that time also via PM and Email, and I usually tried to help everyone. This was the reason for the guide, it made my job, helping people, easier.

Did the admin position hit my head? Yeah, it did a bit. It’s the first time I got such position on the forums, and I haven’t been able to carry myself fully with it. However, beside moving the posts around to their respective forums and sorting stuff out, taking care of reports, there wasn’t very much administering on my side. Here and there I managed to blurt out on posts I moderated, but that was it. What I never wished for myself is that I wasn’t being seen as a member of the community any more, but rather someone higher – and I wasn’t able to contribute to the forums as I have been used to. This led to a bit of a confusion, me not being able to keep apart the Administrator position and my user helping scheme. Prior to taking my “position”, this was also fully unclear to me. And this explanation came from administrators themselves later on – they told me I have to be careful what I write and can’t just say anything, as I am now a representative of AVSIM. Alright, I tried my best here. It didn’t work out and I wasn’t really pissed when I lost the position.

But what Stephen said here, and I quote: “The harder he became, the more members resisted and the more authority he was granted to enforce his methods of moderation.”

…is just a ridiculous and just a made up lie to discredit me. I was never given “more authority”. Nothing changed in my status of managing. I was still doing the same stuff. This statement has no other use but to put bad taste about me in other users mouths, while the whole time, I never, NEVER attacked AVSIM openly, unlike what they did to me right now. In the end, there were couple of disgruntled users, in which I ended up in a fight, but you could count them on one hand.

Quote: “Srdan seemed to have a gift for finding the wrong way to say something to members that he was moderating.”

And that happened originally couple of times only, as I already said. But I wasn’t alone here, somewhere in the summer there was also another mod who did some stupidity and we just all shushed about it. But the fact is, when Tom, or Chase, or Stephen “do” something like that, nobody really cared, things went hush-hush and that was it. But when I did, not much different than their moderating – and yep, I learned from the best – then it is called gift for finding the wrong way. Stephen is here again turning things against me, hanging himself on petty little lies.

It is also a fact that their moderating is often seen as very sharp, condescending and rude. It was not only once that I had a user PM me why Chase was so sharp, or why Tom had “that voice”…

Before I became a mod/admin, I was only the outsider and never understood the inner workings of AVSIM administrators. After couple of months, I got this bitter taste in my mouth. Maybe cultural things, but my mom has taught me to be polite and nice to people. I have always been a bit arrogant, that is in my nature, but telling me that I have missing human interaction skills? Get a grip, Stephen! – in my real life, I am in a position to judge those, and they are definitely neither missing nor wrong. I have soon realized that AVSIM is basically sort of a militant operation with lots of two-faced administrators – which I would in normal situation never attack like this, but after that announcement, I have no other choice. At one moment, they will be nice to you, all polite, and the next moment you are out. I was not the only user to whom this has happened. But I am probably the only one who will have something to say about it.

Quote: “There were no halfway measures with Srdan, so he became a hyperactive agent of motion throughout any forums that caught his interest.”

And yet again, the great Stephen Wilcox, the Minister, manages to turn a simple truth into a ridiculous lie. He was always good with words, something I was always bad at actually. Here’s why: Stephen himself put a thread into FSX forum, which still stands, that all hardware posts will be either removed or moved. At one point, I even asked him if I should really remove hardware related threads, I was actually coming to him for the advice! Yet he told me to be harsh and remove the hardware threads. But when I stepped in and started moving every thread that had anything with hardware into appropriate forum (call me crazy, but I think moving is better than deleting), I am being called a hyperactive agent. This is how people get treated on AVSIM.

The fact is, apparently, where it all comes down: AVSIM was troubled with me because I was becoming too involved with the forums, more and more people getting to know me etc. I got a message from Stephen at one point, (an excerpt) about my “overbearing presence in the forums”.

Following Stephen’s post further, he now accuses me about stealing other people’s tweaks: again, a bold and very ridiculous statement. Let me just ask one question: did I ever name the tweaks my own or did I ever discredit those who found the initial tweaks? Actually, at the end of my guide, you will find a big thank you note in red to all colleagues and friends. Together, we used to test (that would be in a big part me, and of course others, sorry for not naming now) and find out (that would be in the biggest part Jesus, and of course others) the new tweaks.

Quote: “Over the course of the next short while he accumulated the various pieces most of us hardware and software orientated people had collected and stowed in files, favorites links and buried in old forum threads hither and yon.”

I bet Stephen has been secretly looking in my computer and saw exactly what I was doing. I have been learning. Learning so I can set up my system to the best possibility there is, later on pass my knowledge to the less knowledgable and also help others! I was testing the configurations, tweaks over 3 generations of computers, seeing how they behave. I spent days testing, re-testing and writing up and seeing other results, then again setting other configuration up and re-testing. In the end, after reading all Nick’s suggestions, Jesus’s stuff, my own, the whole collected experience of the FSX tweaking, I decided to put it all down, for everyone else, to easily set their FSX to run as best as it can on today’s computer. What I found, with the SB systems and the tweaks I tested to no end, that there is a key to which tweaks to use and which not. I never *ever* implied I did anything more.

It hurts me BADLY to be this blatantly accused around my own work. What Stephen/AVSIM obviously doesn’t realize is that this IS my own work (beside the fact that I asked couple of users what they might think would be the best to put in, and I thank you for your opinions).

In the end, it was me who put 1 and 1 together for the specific configuration, it was me who tested the configuration hours and hours to no obvious end, it was me who wrote it all down with all the links hosted and explained. It was me who wrote a guide that was simple enough for my mum to understand. Did I learn it all on AVSIM? For one part yes, but also in other places, from other people, google, other forums – did anyone else, at that point, do the kind of a work I did? Not that I know of. And the guide was welcomed with open hands by lots of people.

AVSIM got pissed apparently, when I decided to move my own work to my own website. I have EVERY right to take my work with me wherever I wish to.

And now, let’s get on with accusations:

Quote: “The end had to come, and it went something like this: Srdan decided to support people in the guide on helping their FSX software to run in P3D.”

Alright, if I’m to understand this correctly, we are talking EULA here. The most hated topic on AVSIM, ever.

First of all, it was not in the guide. The guide was solely a guide to make FSX and P3D run well; tweaking and hardware, nothing else.

There is also a compatibility list post, in which I rudimentarily explained how to port a scenery or aircraft into P3D, BUT… I also say, and I quote:

“Furthermore, be aware that the product publisher might have issued an EULA preventing a product from a licensed usage in P3D.” and “The developer can say no, but that also doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. Just that you should not do it and probably would be unwise to post screenshots of doing it.”

It is a warning to the users, and legitimate one. Everyone should decide what they do. It is not my place to tell users what to do.

What I did, was discussing with everyone else, openly on AVSIM forums, about porting add-ons to P3D, before these discussions got canned by the management. Indeed, I also wrote a comparison review of P3D vs FSX, for users to see differences in performance. I used specific add-ons, like NGX, FB KPHX, UTX, UK2000, Aerosoft… the sole intention was to show if users were thinking of going P3D, how will it perform – better, worse… The post was initially posted in P3D forum section of AVSIM. Not a long later, we got a message from UTX makers, that UTX is not allowed to be used in P3D, and that we should remove it. So I removed the UTX comparisons and got instructed by Tom to remove the post. Furthermore, together with the comparison review, I also, together with Ben, opened a place on my blog for a list of add-ons which are or are not compatible with P3D. That didn’t sit well with AVSIM either. So I moved it away from AVSIM.

The kicker though is, just couple of weeks later, AVSIM decided to make it’s very own compatibility list, which was visible directly on the main site. So, when I asked why was I expelled for my list, but now AVSIM has it’s own list, the answer was simply because the Board has decided so. I felt mocked.

Now, here comes the reason why all my “rights” were removed: I opened a blog and posted my comparison review, my guide and add-on-compatibility list on my blog. I was kicked off the team, because as an AVSIM member, I can’t even host an outside site with my stuff. OK with me. I rather bring the information out to the people, rather than be an AVSIM administrator. Call me stupid, if you want. And Stephen got one thing almost right here:

Quote: “Srdan still wanted to put it in his guide (BLOG!!), and Tom said no, Srdan went ahead and did it anyway and put “His” guide on his own domain, and Tom fired him. All members of the AVSIM senior staff agreed 100%.“

So Tom wanted to prevent me to have a place of my own – how monopolistic of him.
I find so cute how Stephen wants to pretend it is “our” guide. Where does he get those ideas?? Did he help me write it? Did he spend countless hours together with me loading and reloading FSX to no apparent end, making hundreds of notes? Too bad I threw them away, would be a nice proof, it was all handwritten… Call some of the tweaks ours, if you want, as we reached them with our joint forces, but all together, as I put it into the guide, what tweaks I took, how well they all worked together, and not mixing the “wrong” tweaks, that is solely my work.

So yeah, I lost my administrator position, only so that I can bring the valid and correct information out to the people (and that without breaking the said EULAs).

Moving on:

Quote: “He still hangs out here, answers the enquirers the same way, still tells everyone to go to his blog which still helps people break their EULA.”

Why wouldn’t I hang out there? It is a place I used to call home for a long time. It was for a long time the ONLY forum I participated. I answered the inquirers with helpful answers, as many have already confirmed. If I was able to answer, I would, and if I thought link to my blog was of benefit, I would link there. Where is harm in that? And to say “I tell everyone” – that is again just bunch of crap. I only told it there, where it was applicable. I would never tell an ATI user to go and use it, I would never tell it to someone with a weaker computer, so I stand by my opinion, saying that I only advised it where appropriate.

A word on EULA:
I have noticed quite a many posts in the thread about me not respecting rules of AVSIM, and going against EULA. Where do you have this from, people? Do you simply believe what you are told?

Concerning me breaking EULA on my site: hardly. The only thing in breach of the EULA currently inside, is the performance comparison of NGX in both simulators. This *was* only for demonstration purposes, I don’t use NGX in P3D. I also have no content on my blog that “helps people break their EULA”. Some developers are OK with users porting to P3D, and that’s a fact because I contacted some personally (they even encouraged me to post screenshots, as it is a good advertisment for them!!). In the end, EULA is the thing between the user and the developer, and neither me, nor AVSIM, nor anyone else, but the two, have anything to say what is and what is not a breach of EULA.

Quote: “He is thereby still doing the things he got fired for and are drawing members out of AVSIM to his blog with impunity.”

Yet again ridiculous. When I got “fired”, I was told that as a representative of AVSIM (mod/admin), I can’t be seen doing that. I was fired for wanting to host my findings, that btw. other users only appreciated, but that was as I was an administrator.
How Tom formulated it, to me it ment that after becoming a normal user, I have every right to post on my blog whatever I wish. Although, I did respect wishes of Flight1/UTX makers not to put UTX in there, as they asked directly.

Quote: “After several months of this conduct and being warned repeatedly by senior staff,”

I got three warnings (if this pertains to my blog):

1) to remove the blog from my signature
2) to remove the “avsim” word from my email address
3) not to poach through PM

I obeyed all warnings.

There have been no direct warnings of me “not to put a link to my blog when replying to the user”. There have been superficial warnings of me poaching users, while at the same time, I didn’t see the linking to my blog as poaching, as other posters also suggested my guide if performance was questioned.

Together with this situation, I got accused of using AVSIM to promote my blog and poaching users for my blog. While promotion wasn’t my direct intention, it is what happened (like it did with any other forum out there). Stephen said the most hits probably originated from AVSIM – at first, this was true – it was the only place I was really active at, at that moment!! But as I pushed my blog further, across other forums too, AVSIM became just a small part of it – and that happened really quickly. So, could I have had done it without AVSIM? Without a doubt, it would have only take a month or two longer.
And this is apparently where admins got hurt. I can understand – first I gave you something, then I took it away. Well, tough luck – you played the cards wrong with me.

But to explain: the blog’s intention was NEVER to poach users. The intention was to be independent; something AVSIM has no idea about what it means. Independence and democracy have no or very little meaning there. There is no freedom of speech. I am a member of more forums than AVSIM, and the blog was intended for everyone, not only AVSIM users. I recently even thought about translating it into German, as I have been active in German forums too. The fact is however, AVSIM got pissed when I moved it to my blog, and when I wanted to post a link on AVSIM. My explanation and reason were simple: maintaining one guide is enough, but AVSIM wanted an up to date version on their site. So they didn’t want to link but they wanted a complete guide, which was impossible and very difficult to port from WordPress to AVSIM, due to different formatting. I only asked them to maintain the link, but that was unacceptable.

AVSIM apparently doesn’t understand the meaning of the word community and interlinking over internet.

They told me they will host my guide on AVSIM directly. But, let’s for the moment turn this story around: why would AVSIM enjoy the hits from other websites if my guide was hosted there in the first place?

Quote: “I officially wrote Srdan asking/ordering him to stop this activity, especially the poaching of our members. He agreed, but did and changed nothing.”

Again, you mask what really happened, tell it in your own words, and call it a day.
As I already said, the only two things I remember being warned about was the signature, email and poaching (PM). All these activities stopped. But still, other users were recommending my guide and this is obviously where you got pissed. So if others were linking, I didn’t see any reason to *not* post a link to my blog, exactly like others are doing. But no one ever told me that I can’t post links to my guide, at least I don’t remember.

Quote: “Of course Srdan was not pleased. At first his comments to Paul were almost brotherly. One day last week he let loose and didn’t bother mincing words or pretending common cause or comradely rivalry. He was vicious and direct.“

Oh that is just s***load of you know what! And you know it! I wrote in a thread about the problem I had and was investigating, and what Paul wrote was dismissive and basically telling me to piss off with my problem, because others know better. The best thing is though, after I got pawned, the cause of the problem came up, and in the end, also the solution to the problem. And the cause was repeatable on other systems. Yes, I did seem a little harsh in my reply (which was btw. hidden), but I also did not know that Paul’s mother died.

On that note: Paul, I’m very sorry I was harsh to you on that day, had I known the circumstances, I would have probably gone another route. My condolences, since I can’t post at AVSIM anymore.

In all honesty, I couldn’t care less not being a hardware moderator any more, as I already previously pointed out, I was glad I was out of the woods with that one. You apparently thought I missed that and wanted the position back. This whole time you fail to realize what it is that I am attempting. If that didn’t come over until now, it never will.

What does bother me however, is that you are blatantly and by force attempting to replace my guide with Paul’s.
To be clear about one thing: I had *nothing* to do with the new AVSIM FSX Guide, except that Paul took some parts from my posts on AVSIM and/or my guide (also credited me in it). It’s complete Paul’s work, he compiled it the way he deemed necessary.
That’s it basically.

On with the story…

Quote: “Yesterday Kosta again began to directly pull people out of AVSIM with the same old line. He was warned by Chase who was mocked for his effort.”

Again, I was never “pulling” people. Stephen, do you really hold me for that stupid that you think that I would open up a BLOG to pull the people out of AVSIM? Eg. poaching users…? Iif I had any such intentions, I would open up a forum or something. I feel like a parrot: the blog is here to make an independent place for my work for everyone and nothing else. If people decide to follow it, ask me a question or something, what is wrong with that? It is apparent that YOU are afraid for AVSIM. And that is really poor, given AVSIM’s position and status. You should actually be proud that you have individuals like me, wanting to share the sources and help users. In the end, that is what Internet is about – and this is what I wrote to Chase. Did I mock him? Sure, a bit, since I really got pissed and knew I was about to lose my account in any case. What you have been doing to me the last 4-5 months is nothing compared to how I mocked Chase in my last email.

You see, I had two exits out of this situation: either becoming inactive on the forums, subsequently maybe hurting my reputation when someone asked for help, and I didn’t answer or going the “hard” way, trying to fight my way out. But… neither of the two would have given me what I was trying to achieve – helping more people in a more efficient way.

Quote excerpt from the Email I wrote to Chase today morning:

“AVSIM apparently wants to close itself to the likes of me, and my only explanation is that you don’t want me helping out and contributing, although I’ve been hugely helpful in the last 10 years. And not only that I personally am linking to my site, only sometimes, only on some threads where people run into big trouble (and I minimized my “linking” as of late greatly), but also coming from another sites, other people are recommending my tweaking approach. So, will you now also delete their posts?“

From the current announcement thread discussion:

I did notice someone suggested that AVSIM should sit with me in couple of days and talked to me: please be noted that I wrote to Stephen to meet on Teamspeak to talk things out. First request went unanswered – 06.11.2012. 2nd Email went out to Chase, asking the same thing, on 10.11.2012, only to get the reply that Chase will email him; still no reply until 19.11.2012, when I asked the 3rd time, finally to get a positive answer. So no one should tell me I didn’t attempt to make contact. Only after couple of weeks, after I asked once more, did I get a reply that he would be glad to discuss things and set things straight. Since then, we had Christmas time in between and that is a time where I virtually work, eat and sleep, until approximately end of January. I now I was getting around to stuff, and now this.

I was never past talking. I *wanted* to resolve the issue, but now, sorry to say, it’s just too late. Damage on the side of AVSIM has been done and this is my defense against it.

Quote: „Meanwhile Srdan is not welcome to be a part of the future AVSIM, nor is his guide welcomed to be hosted, posted or linked to from here. We have a better guide in place that will be updated as needed.”

I figured as much that this will happen. And you know what? I care. I really do. But not about you Stephen or AVSIM, for simply writing this up and taking almost 4 hours of my time to defend myself. I care about the users, I will keep the blog up, I will keep the work up, but not for you. For all other simmers who care about my work.

I’ve seen too many good people come and go because how AVSIM handled them. And like most of them, I’m guilty of helping people. And this is apparently not what Tom & Co want: I feel like AVSIM is into making money and selling stuff. Years ago, AVSIM was a different place, a meeting place for simmers. Now it has become a commercial conglomerate with interests about itself and not the people. You will find numerous other websites on the internet about flight simulators, which contain the posts just about that – helping people and discussing relevant stuff. And these places, although way less users than on AVSIM, have much higher quality of relevant discussion.

What did hurt me was that I thought I was part of AVSIM – in the end, I feel like I was wanted solely for my guide as of late (especially since Stephen was appointed Forums Manager), while was still hosted at AVSIM, but as soon as I pulled it off, the friendship was off too.

To all my friends, simmers, I will still be around, so feel free to contact me via my blog, that is right now the easiest way.

Also, I have found the Flightsim.com to be a very good site, much more friendly, as I have been spending some time there for the last couple of months. The friendliness, warmth, feel of being welcome, even way before than I was banned from AVSIM were overwhelming. What these guys have is what AVSIM has unfortunately lost a long time ago. They concentrate on important stuff, flight simulation and aviation, and not politics, large egoes, the site or financial gain. I look forward to seeing everyone over there!

Also, there is a new kid on the block, iFlySimX.com, I still don’t know much about them, but I’ll be also helping these guys out!

627 Responses to How members at AVSIM are treated

  1. Someone says:

    avsim sucks, the community there are a bunch of stuck up children who should be tought some manners, and tom is a fucking piece of shit dictator.

  2. Tushka says:

    got banned for posting only one word on PMDG forum by mistake with unsigned name. and the only word i posted was “Ilyushin 62″ in reply of a thread on what might be done next by the “company”. However, the ban came by a PMDG boss, so extremely unprofessional and i will not buy their products in future. avsim replied back saying the ban was because of the post without signing my name… well, illegal to request that in Europe.

    • Kosta says:

      Tushka,
      Indeed it is. This is why I only go for official support over their ticket system if I have any problems. I don’t visit the PMDG AVSIM forums any more.

      • Tushka says:

        well, there story continued. I recently got this mail to my inbox:

        Tuska, in your post in response to “THANK YOU VETS”, you went over the line. LOL is disdainful and disrespectful. As an American veteran, your obvious disdain for our day is offensive and unacceptable to me. You are finally done at AVSIM. We have given you every benefit of the doubt. We are now done with that and so you are no longer welcome here.”……..

        It’s very interesting, because many of my friends countries where bombed by them, and my country severely damage economy. Oh well, it’s Tom, what to expect. 3 letter words can get you banned :)))))))))))

    • Jason says:

      I got a 7 day ban for saying the NGX is Better than the Ifly 737 was accused off trolling
      might only be a 7 day ban but it’s left a bad taste in my mouth about avsim it’s a total joke. Seems to be some rules for some members and different rules for others

  3. I believe LM is learning to care for their clients in school AVSIM.
    There was a topic started by Robert Randazzo pointed where a problem found in P3D, Kosta also participated in the meeting.
    http://www.prepar3d.com/forum-5/topic/p3d-pauses-for-8-seconds-upon-return-to-window/
    The topic is gone, disappeared mysteriously.
    Today I did post in the same forum to see if the topic had been moved somewhere else, my post also disappeared…

    • Kosta says:

      Yes, I was also wondering where the topic went, however tell you the truth, I stopped caring for this kind of stuff a LONG time ago. I love this hobby and will probably never abandon it, but I stopped being emotional about it. It’s sad, as emotion is what drives this hobby further too, but some parts of the community are just too weird for me, so I just don’t invest any of my time in there. I actually had contact with RSR on some occasions, and he helped me out, so I decided to give him a hand. If useful, OK, if not, all fine by me too. Ignorance is a bliss nowdays ;-)

  4. Mazaltan Harris says:

    By the way, I would like to share my experience dealing with the motherf**king web…But I can’t share my thoughts as they don’t appear when I wrote them

  5. David McClean says:

    After 3 years of membership I finally got the permanent heave ho from AVSIM. And I am kinda laughing at it now and relieved. I went and logged in under a new user name to see if I couldn’t copy and paste the exchanges in the Thread that got me banned but they deleted the entire thread. This I believe is telling. If I was making an ass of myself why not leave it there for all to see? Sometimes I do make an ass of myself:-) I am not proud! I recognize Ajpongress avatar from AVSIM and I musts say that I enjoyed your post outlining you exchange. It is very telling. All that Man up and be an adult stuff and the accusations of hypocrisy! The stock vacuous language dishes out on everyone who displeases. “Off with their Heads!” it is plan and simple. Frankly that is just fine. It is his web-site and I get that. He can do whatever he likes. But clearly what he likes should be enough to send everybody packing of their own volition. There you go, there is a bit of hypocrisy in everyone. I frequented AVSIM and I did enjoy it and it took banning me to stop. I am a casual to moderately serious user of FSX (now P3D V2) and I did occassionally post helpful info to those who where less knowledgeable than me and found that other highly knowledgeable long in tooth members where often being rather unhelpful and insulting to relative new comers to FS and I really never saw that despicable behaviour get a rise out of the enforcers (I can’t bring myself to use the term moderator when reffering to AVSIM). That is the essential character of the site. Don’t want to generalize because its not all bad. Its easy for bullies to thrive in forums especially it they run it. I am typically respectful of people and even it I think that something is trash I don’t go on the attack and start leveling insults at the person. I typically tolerate being on the receiving end of it either. In person I am never on the receiving end of it except from my very good friends. If you saw me you would know why. Not that I deliberately inspire fear but I know from experience that in the odd tense situations that I find myself involved in that calm prevails because of my unintended foreboding presence. LOL! On AVSIM users love leveling insults that only a tiny number of them would have the balls to receive a punch in the face for in real life.

    The upper echelons of AVSIM are a bullies paradise. They get to hurl out their abuse and obfuscation their hateful nature because they face no consequences. They are guilty of the very same hypocrisy and immaturity that they site just before they ban you forever. Really, Its got be somewhat like living in North Korea. :-) But as I said it is a private site and they can ban you for no other reason than not liking the look of you. It does however say a lot about the person, people who run it. It exposes them as bullies. And given its proximity to the center of the solar system it is very bad for the future of FS for the enthusiast user.

    Anyway here I am Banned and honestly I consider it a badge of honor and I am clearly in good company. I really would love to see PMDG start there own official peer support forum. Unfortunately one can only imagine since they haven’t that they are tacitly aligned with the AVSIM policy of just getting ride of anyone they don’t like for any frivolous reason. I wonder how many user of PMDG addons have have been banned from AVSIM and therefore cut off from the official PMDG support forum? I now count myself among them. I only own the NGX. Will being cut off from support stop me from buying the NGX for P3D V2 whe its released. It might! Will it change my plans to eventually buy the T7? It already has!

    • Kosta says:

      David,
      Man, I completely understand your position and share it too.
      I’ve been long time happy to be away from there, I can still access it, but I do so very rarely. Even not for PMDG, since the info is usually available somewhere else…

  6. Hamza Rizwan says:

    My goodness, even to date we are still going through this. I myself was banned from AVSIM over 2 years ago for irresponsibly not following the correct guidelines for a picture size and then talking back to an administrator in rage. Much time later I spoke to a few other administrator’s and even apologized to the administrator who banned me in the first place, and fortunately they accepted my apology and allowed me to come back on the forums with the ability to only view posts and threads. Sadly I found out a few days ago that I had been banned again for “my previous conduct years ago” when I contacted the administrative team regarding the issue. I’m not entirely sure why I have been banned again for something that happened a long time ago and had been resolved.

    Fortunately we still have flightsim.com and this amazing blog (I love everything you post Kosta!) which I always find myself returning to. I know this may be a bit irrelevant to your case (And other’s) specifically but I just thought I’d share some of my experiences with the forums themselves with you. :)

  7. Aaron Fang says:

    Hmm… you should open your own forums :D

  8. The F@#$ Nuts for moderators over there just keep getting nuttier! Must have to have an advanced degree in Ahole to get that job. :)

    • Tim Wittenstein says:

      Wow, it really seems these people over at PMDG and AVSIM are really building up an anti-fan base lol

      • Kosta says:

        That was one of my thoughts from time to time, this is why an exit from there was good (for me). But who knows really.

  9. SimmeringExSimmer says:

    I got banned a couple of years ago because I repeatedly expressed the opinion that the DRM added to FSX and the direction it had gotten taken in smacked of greed and the community would lose out, and that Flight was a really bad move. It was my latest words about Flight being a bad move for simmers that got me the ban.

    Tom actually went to the trouble of looking up my IP on whereis then told me in PM that a person in my industry has no idea and no business commenting on flight simulation and that I was risking people’s jobs. Intended or not I took that to be an implied threat to contact my employer with claims I am doing so. (Light personal use of my employer’s net connection is permitted) To say the least I was shocked and horrified at what I took to be bullying. I requested from the moderators that my account be removed and all content I added to the library taken down. (What I had put on there was cool but not the kind of involved work some had). I still have an account there but if I log in I can’t do anything at all, including sign out. Which is fine by me. Everything about that sight including the look and feel changed such that it is no longer anything I want to be associated with.

    The way I see it either my having an opinion on things like DRM and game vs sim swayed so many people that it killed the Flight Sim franchise, or else I was right that the community lost and in fact the franchise was all but killed off (Prepar3D not withstanding).

  10. Marck says:

    I and my fellow friends simmers stopped buy any product from those companies that either advertise or use any of the avsim services.

  11. Jim M. says:

    That’s one way to boycott, or else just don’t get involved with AVSIM to begin with. There are plenty of other places online where you can get a whole lot better information, without the drama.

  12. Gary says:

    For the god knows how many years I have purposefully stayed away from mainstream flight simming, it comes as no surprise whatsoever to come across such a blog / thread / post ..or whatever the hell that latest terminology for it is called.
    It is as I Knew it back when we all used 56k dial up. NOTHING has changed really, apart from the obvious fact we can now do it a bit faster.
    I dare say if you look up ANY forum covering ANY subject matter, there will likely be similar instances.

    Anyway while I do indeed feel for you Kosta , I for one hope you have well and truly moved on past the bitter experience, & I wish you a much more happier time in the future.

    I could go on to cite god knows how many instances pertaining to myself covering similar thing’s, but it would serve no useful purpose in doing so,

    Kindest regards
    Gary

  13. Radu Prodan says:

    Hello flightsimmers.
    Though I’m having this hobby for 10+ years, I’ve never been much active on the forums, since I always found a better opinion than mine – technically speaking, haha! Today I landed – pun intended – on this website being, as always, in a search for a damn FPS issue; after a couple of hours I am still here, reading these comments and damn…! Looks like even a hobby isn’t safe these days and one must be very careful what to like/dislike, in order to be protected against The-Man’s-Wrath-and-His-Power-To-Ban-The-Infidel-Until-The-End-Of-Times.
    I had my own history with AVSIM – I won’t post is here – which involved arrogance and rudeness from their side. They threatened (ha!) me with a permanent ban if I dare again to complain about a developer, which amused me royally because, dude, you have to be out of your freakin’ mind to think that I would give a damn about your sanctions!
    However, it’s crystal clear that this hobby of ours it’s no more about the money we spend for ad-ons… it also involves a bunch of dough being transferred between the developers and their “agreed” websites so that’s why the guys from AVSIM are so desperate to keep the people in line. Make no mistake: Allensworth knows exactly what he is doing. He’s not an ego-maniacal lunatic, not at all; he want money and he gets them as long his website is following some rules, imposed by certain developers.
    You dare to say something “the Party” doesn’t agree with? BAN! You dare to dislike The Man’s posts? BAN! You dare to complain about a developer? BAN! You dare to be a “red leftist” (Gee whiz! So the aircraft only have the right wing and “the other wing”, eh?) BAN! Get in line, keep you mouth shut, a slow breath and a low profile. Kiss The Butt well enough and you may be promoted. Where the heck did I see this before? Oh, yeah… in Eastern Europe, during Communist era…

    Dude, sick…

    Kosta, Dave, AJ and all others around, whose advices helped me a lot to keep my sanity when my FS was going crazy: thanks! Continue to maintain and help a community which only cares about feeling happy on their virtual skies.

    Axel.

  14. Darrin says:

    Hey thanks for this and yes I had a large cup of java. It is indeed sad that politics has to even enter our hobby. There was an article on avsim which interviewed Tom discussing where a friend was killed and how it taught him about the nature of the human animal. hmmmm what more need be said

  15. John says:

    Last week I added a post to a thread on the PMDG forum and added my name at the bottom, but did not use the facility on the user profile to make a “signature”, as I rarely use the forum and have never posted before.
    I was immediately hit with a “warning”. Not a polite reminder, advisory or whatever, but a flaming WARNING. What a crime I have committed!?
    I have noticed an attitude of impatience and smugness from the PMDG moderators too, and this is a shame. The Avsim ethos is pervading them as well. Not good for business methinks.
    They must set up an independent forum, they surely have the resources.

    • Jim Morvay says:

      Unfortunately, “ignorance” isn’t tolerated at AVSIM. I can kinda see their side that more often than not, they had issues with people saying “oh, I didn’t know that” or “I didn’t read that anywhere”, hence their big bold stickies at the tops of their forums about common issues, like signatures and real names. Their trying to protect the site, and that’s their way of doing it. This is not to say that I don’t agree with your statement about getting a polite reminder…politeness is out the window there. I just mind my P’s and Q’s and stay out of any potentially heated debates and just tune in for the news, when it’s worth it. I too rarely frequent the site, but am thankful for having the outlet, if I need it. best rule of thumb is to just stay out of anything that isn’t your business, don’t be helpful (they have way too many helpful people as it is) and just appreciate the extensive amount of content. I don’t mean to sound cold (god knows you’ve had enough of that at AVSIM), but it’s just the way things are. Tom owns the site so he can dictate whatever he wants, unfortunately.

      On Fri Feb 06 2015 at 10:09:33 AM Kosta’s Flight Simulation World wrote:

      > John commented: “Last week I added a post to a thread on the PMDG > forum and added my name at the bottom, but did not use the facility on the > user profile to make a “signature”, as I rarely use the forum and have > never posted before. I was immediately hit with a “warning”” >

      • SimmeringExSimmer says:

        A site with a dictator that puts people off being helpful. I wouldn’t be so tolerant of a group that makes the hobby less fun. Flight simulation is a hobby not a job. There is no excuse for a lack of politeness – it costs them nothing to be friendly. As it is they’re protecting their site right out of anyone wanting to participate. I’m afraid for a long time it’s been all about spruiking add-ons and nothing to do with being helpful to anyone. Well we don’t do flight simulation for Tom’s benefit or anyone else’s. It’s not our job to endure unpleasantness to protect his site. It wasn’t always thus. As it is now, Tom can keep it. I can’t in good conscience support such a bad attitude or contribute to a site that’s full of bile!

      • Jim Morvay says:

        I hear ya and I do agree to an extent. No one puts a gun to our heads and tells us we have to join or visit. Sure, that site WAS once THE place to be if you were into flight simulation. As the years passed by and Tom got more sponsors, donations, what have you, then it all started to change. It has become more of a business than a community. I concur that no amount of ass-kissing is enough to please the Gods of AVSIM, but the point I tried to make is that if you just don’t get involved in the conversation and only take in the resourceful info or keep apprised of new add-ons or fixes, then you’ll be just fine. i swear, most of the conversations that occur on that site are just a bait and switch, weeding out members one by one. Oh an you can forget trying to donate funds and think you have the gold key to the crapper, because I have seen those types get booted quicker than shit. I met Kosta’s site a couple of years ago and since that time, countless members of AVSIM have come to air their frustrations (including me), so I propose that Kosta start charging because he’s become the de facto therapist! <— Joking of course Kosta.

      • SimmeringExSimmer says:

        So you’re saying Kostas should cost us? ;-)

      • Jim Morvay says:

        Ah, I see what you did there…have you thought about going on tour?

        On Fri Feb 06 2015 at 3:29:39 PM Kosta’s Flight Simulation World wrote:

        > SimmeringExSimmer commented: “So you’re saying Kostas should cost us? > ;-)” >

      • Kosta says:

        I don’t have much time lately between family and work, but this was an amusing thought ;-)

      • Jim Morvay says:

        No worries Kosta, we were just having a laugh. Family ALWAYS comes first. :)

        On Fri Feb 06 2015 at 5:17:01 PM Kosta’s Flight Simulation World wrote:

        > Kosta commented: “I don’t have much time lately between family and > work, but this was an amusing thought ;-)” Respond to this comment by > replying above this line > New comment on *Kosta’s Flight Simulation World > * > > > *Kosta* commented > > on How members at AVSIM are treated > . > > in response to *Jim Morvay*: > > Ah, I see what you did there…have you thought about going on tour? On Fri > Feb 06 2015

      • Kosta says:

        Jim, I am aware of that. Just though it funny :)

  16. Darrin says:

    Hey let’s face it, Tom is not in charge of avsim the third party developers are. What good is a forum if you can’t say anything against the sacred cows. I am a member of avsim but not for long, and I hope they do me the honer of banning me!

  17. We are sorry to hear about all of your problems on the avsim forum.

    You might already know this but there is a brand new official FSX forum on Steam that you might like to check out – http://steamcommunity.com/app/314160/discussions/1/

    Players like yourselves are the backbone of a community so it would be great news for everyone if you popped over and said hello.

    We hope to see you soon, but in the meantime we love this blog and we hope it continues to grow in the future.

    – Martin

    • SimmeringExSimmer says:

      Yeah I don’t think so. The franchise was fantastic until FS2004, but for the last 10 years flight simmers have been treated like dirt – promised the world and delivered buggy garbage and milked for every cent. You’ve inherited a poisoned franchise. Good luck with it.

      • Kosta says:

        That’s something I’m picking up the last couple of days. Most interestingly, I read that they are NOT allowed to change the core-engine of FSX or make any changes to the simulator, beyond those to making it compatible with Steam and removing bugs.
        But a bug is NOT 32bit software, or VAS errors, or problems with addon sceneries.
        They cannot change the menus, functions or add anything. This came straight from Dovetail on their forum on Steam.

      • Jim Morvay says:

        I have personally found that the FSX:SE works much better than before. I don’t get any program crashes at all, and that’s with running ORBX scenery and flying Carenado GA aircraft. I did a 3 hour flight from KMRY to PAJN without any problem whatsoever. I won’t say that FSX:SE is the end all be all for FSX, but whatever they did, it just works.

        On Sun Feb 22 2015 at 10:44:30 AM Kosta’s Flight Simulation World wrote:

        > Kosta commented: “That’s something I’m picking up the last couple of > days. Most interestingly, I read that they are NOT allowed to change the > core-engine of FSX or make any changes to the simulator, beyond those to > making it compatible with Steam and removing bugs. But a ” >

      • Kosta says:

        Jim,
        I believe you, however you must compare the existence of FSX (9y+) and FSX:SE (2-3 months). You really can’t confirm that FSX:SE is more stable. Tweaked FSX is stable. At least for me. When I load it with whole bunch of addons, it becomes unstable with time. Same would happen with FSX:SE.
        There are bunch of reports that 4hrs+ flights crash midst the flight. So again, can’t really say it’s better.

      • Jim Morvay says:

        I never doubt your expertise, just pointing out that for me, running FSX:SE on my Alienware laptop, there is a big improvement. Maybe they did their own set of tweaks behind the scenes, but all in all, it saved a whole lot of time tweaking manually. I am probably one of the few out there who are faithful to FSX and probably in the 1% who fly by laptop so again, whatever Dovetail did works better.

      • Kosta says:

        FSX:SE set of tweaks as far as I understand goes in lines of HIGHMEMFIX and UIAutomationCore, both which are not needed. Rest, like BP=0 and FFTF tweaks are needed or not, depending on your configuration otherwise it performs absolutely the same as FSX does. So I reckon because the problems that were fixes with the two aforementioned are non-existent, there is no need for the fix and it probably works a little better in that area. However, it does not perform better, and considering VAS usage: I’m really not sure what to think about that. There are many reports about this, I haven’t done my set of tests and I probably won’t spend time on something as useless as that: 64bit is the solution and I’m just gonna wait that out.

  18. VC10 says:

    There’s a thread over at Avsim now asking why it is so “hated” in the community. Quite a ballsy post from the OP, I wonder how long before he gets his character assassinated by a moderator and then banned?

  19. I only joined there site today and already got a warning for posting on a 3 year old post. How stupid are they. Freedom of speech.

  20. I think avsim should get reported to some website regulator as surely they are going against peoples rights. They need a slap on the knuckles.

  21. flyguycfrb says:

    I just got a month long ban for “abusing users”. Maybe abusing a mod’s ego. I’m done there. What a joke.

  22. flyguycfrb says:

    Time for a DDoS!

  23. peter says:

    Hi Kosta ,in case you don’t know,Tom Allensworth has terminal stomach Cancer,message from Tom posted on Avsim yesterday and has not got long to live
    peter
    http://forum.avsim.net/topic/464763-words-i-need-to-share-with-our-community/

  24. Rob says:

    PMDG makes fine products. I’d probably buy anything they put on the market. Having said that, I was sooooo disappointed when they brought Kyle on as moderator. No need for me to bash someone from behind a computer, but his tone, demeanor, know-it-all attitude, whatever you want to call it…. has kept my avsim acct in good standing, because I don’t go there anymore just to avoid seeing his posts.

    • Tim Wittenstein says:

      You should read my comment..

      • Kosta says:

        What comment?

      • Tim Wittenstein says:

        No I wasn’t referring to you in that comment, apologies.

        I agree a new start is needed, and what I wish for, is that these private companies such as PMDG, and Aerosoft, and Quality Wings, all collaborate together to make one EPIC flight simulator with all the addons from each company being fully compatible with the new platform, and also offered at slightly lowered prices considering how many addons there are. For example, I like the customization and wingflex features for the PMDG and wish they were available for Aerosofts products like the Airbus series or the Quality Wings 757 series. And think about the profits this new major flight sim company would make and how it could branch off through contracted agreements with other companies such as Real Environment Extreme, or HiFi, or Opus, or whatever to make it even better! There is just so much potential for this community, but it is so spread out and inaccessible due to privatization, and as a result it is unattractive to paying customers.

      • Jake Eyre says:

        Sorry, Tim my comment above was in reply to this one

      • Kosta says:

        LOL, maybe time to open up a forum. Blog was never intended for such kind of discussions.

      • Jake Eyre says:

        *cough*

        But seriously, you (I, we all) have life to do :) A forum needs lots of time

      • Kosta says:

        Yes, that was (from the beginning) a reason for the blog. No real maintenance.

      • Tim Wittenstein says:

        Well, I think this blog was a good idea as it seems that PMDG dictates the actions of AVSIM now. I was told in an email from Jim Young yesterday basically saying that whatever PMDG decides goes on the website. And that applies to ALL other forums on AVSIM not related to PMDG in any way. Hmm, smells fishy if you ask me..

      • Kosta says:

        Well, since I was banned, I knew this was true. However back then, and I am sure I could dig it out somewhere, it was a big secret, or in another words, they were negating it. AVSIM was independent and open platform. Now it’s suddenly not any more. They should just name the forum PMDG-Forum, close all other forum and be done with it.

        Now the fact is in the open.

      • avidean1 says:

        And given that that is case and I take your word for it that makes me doubly pissed off at AVSIM. Given that I have in less than 18 months spent over $300 on PMDG products. $80 twice on the same product. How dare they ban me a paying customer :-) Having said that though I did receive excellent customer support from PMDG by raising a ticket when I had a problem.
        It seem counter intuitive that it is easier for them to deal with my tickets over dealing with my issues in the forum.

      • Tim Wittenstein says:

        Yea, but that is the one thing that really urks me, and that is we are all paying customers to PMDG, and even some to AVSIM, yet we are being suspended and banned for silly debates and arguments and for people’s feelings being hurt, all because it is very difficult for them to accept any type of criticism or negative feedback!? Ugh, it just really bugs me how some people abusively exercise their powers over the ones who are most important to the continuance of their businesses! Whatever, I am done ranting. Kosta, thank you for opening this blog XD

  25. Dex says:

    Posted today at AVSim by Tom Allensworth:
    This comes in two parts; my health and the future of AVSIM to the community and our team of members, forum owners, etc.
    First, my health… To state it directly; I am dying. I am dying from a carcinoma that started as a tumor in my stomach cavity that enwraps my stomach feeder vessels, kidneys, liver, the major blood vessels of the area and which are so embedded and wrapped around the maze of blood vessels and nerves that there is no cure except that of delay. The carcinoma has spread to most of my major organs. I have been given a pessimistic short 90 days of survival up to a lifetime number of 365 days.

    Second, and most importantly, the future of AVSIM… The staff and I with others in the community are looking at the alternatives that will keep AVSIM alive and prospering for years to come despite / in spite of my missing good looks and glowing positive daily participation.
    We will be expanding information on the future of AVSIM in the coming days
    – See more at: http://www.todosim.net/posts/info/4108/-Info-Bad-news-Avsim-.html#sthash.aigDwLKZ.dpuf

    • SimmeringExSimmer says:

      I certainly won’t revel in a man’s imminent death just because he runs his board so poorly and has been a minor bully. I’m also not going to pretend that he didn’t do so or rant about how wonderful he is. I still have his hate mail in my email archive. That said cancer is a horrible death though and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

      As for AVSIM I will note that the AVSIM I knew, liked and participated in has already been dead for years. He built it up and he tore it down, sadly. Normally boards like that don’t outlast their founders by much but given the vested commercial interest I don’t doubt this zombie will plod along for a while at the very least. The rest of the moderators aren’t suddenly going to become reasonable, pleasant and forgiving.

  26. marck says:

    Let me say first; I pray for Mr Allensworth prompt healing and a return back to health.
    However this put everything under perspective; all those avsim stupid rules; conditions; bullying; insulting (yes people do insult others on their forums); and all the crap that goes along with their incapable moderators / directors / and whoever push the buttons over there – to create a fair and healthy environment for all and not just the few; clearly show all of us that in the end it is all crap and that there are much more important thing we all should all value more and not take it from granted as Health and Family !

    With this said I pray for and wish Mr Allensworth a prompt recovering and return to health.

  27. Jake Eyre says:

    I totally agree, Marck, but the irony is, if you posted that response into the thread (or started a new one) it would get locked and you banned.

    Fate is a fickle mistress

  28. David McClean says:

    I gotta tell you guys. It’s way out of line making comments like this about a dying man. No doubt everyone here has been on the receiving end of a permanent ban from AVSIM. And there is no question about it that the vast majority of us received that ban for reasons that would by fair minded people seem petty and motivated by hidden agenda’s and miss directed frustrations. However, the man did not get you fired from your $100,000 a year job or burn your house down or murder your wife. You don’t have to be sympathetic and you can dislike him all you like but posting remarks like that in a public forum about a dying man when he may very well even read them himself or a member of his family is plan wrong. I hate to say it but if I was in Kosta’s shoe’s despite it being censorship, I’d remove all of those comments. I wouldn’t ban the people who made them but I would certainly remove the comments. They have been there too long already. Give the man some peace in his final days!

  29. Tim Wittenstein says:

    Hi Kosta,
    It is 2015, and it seems things over at AVSIM still have not changed. Today, I was suspended for 7 days from the AVSIM Forums for calling out a PMDG member for calling out another paying customer who had posted his opinion one one of the PMDG forums. I would not be so disappointed, however, after PMDG suspended my account, I am unable to access ANY other forum that has nothing to do with PMDG on AVSIM! And I was even notified by a PMDG member on AVSIM yesterday that PMDG owns only their portion of AVSIM, and none other. Yet when I was suspended, specifically by username- “scandinavian13″, I was unable to access any other part of the AVSIM forums not relating in any way to PMDG. They are certainly not open to criticism nor are they reasonable in the justifications for their attitudes and actions towards paying customers. I am very displease and regret spending so much money on their products, and I really do feel like legal action should be taken against them. Sorry flight sim community, but when a company like PMDG, who releases great products, begins denying and disregarding the very basic morals and legalities of owning a company with respect to customer service and customer acknowledgement, that is when they should be called out and legal action must be taken.

    • Kosta says:

      Tim,

      Except if you have lots and lots of money, I don’t think legal actions will ever be something you’ll be able afford to do in USA.

      Apart from that, maybe we would simply need a refresh… and I mean a complete refresh. New sim, new major forum, new start. Who knows… just an idea.

  30. Jake Eyre says:

    But in reality it’s a tiny market and all the devs want to (or seem to want to) protect their IP at all costs. Hence the lack of cooperation between “rival” devs. Alliances like that seen with LM and ORBX are good, but I really think FSX and its code are dead in the water until someone either makes it 64bit (unlikely) or creates a totally new sim, either out of the promising alphas of certain products or from scratch (expensive)

  31. litb says:

    I wanted to register on AVSIM yesterday and failed to do so because “You are not permitted to register an account with this community”, with a ridiculous email conversation that involved the following “advices” from their admin (Jim Young):

    – First he told me to try again and that my IP was not blocked
    – Then he told me that my user agent string is broken and I need to
    fix it with some firefox extension (I use google chrome)
    – Then he told me that my IP was blocked because it is blacklisted
    for being accepted as a direct unauthenticated client of MX servers.
    – Then he insisted that my IP address does not change and that I use a statically assigned IP address, despite me telling him that I use a dynamically assigned address from my ISP.

    When I tried to contact with other admins of AVSIM, he told me:

    “Unfortunately for you, I was your only hope for access to AVSIM and I now find you very arrogant. As I have stated several times, your IP address is static and does not change – http://whatismyipaddress.com/ip/79.253.39.141 . I have been trying to work with you but our security software prevents your access (which is probably a good thing). Please do not attempt to register an account at AVSIM. If I find that you successfully registered, I will ban your account(s).”

    WTF!? Yes, their treatment of users is horrible. I don’t know whether I still *want* to be on that forum. I just wanted to register so I could read some bug report lists hosted there…

    • avidean1 says:

      That’s got to be a first! getting banned before you have even registered or made a single post! It is truely laughable. Personally, I think that AVSIM days are numbered anyway. As P3D continues to improve and more users start to leave FSX behind. The LM forum will become the go to forum for users of that sim. It has already clearly become far more active since the release of v2.5

    • Kosta says:

      Hello litb,

      That is really a first. Never read about similar case. Ridiculous. Especially like the part of users having to have a static IP. I mean, there must thousands of DSL-ISPs out there who give out dynamical IP adresses, with static ones being more expensive. But hey – it must be AVSIMs privilege to ask users to pay more for their internet connection.

      Simply: don’t bother with the forum and/or use a VPN/Proxy connection. There isn’t anything worth there anyway… (I drop in from time to time)

  32. ajpongress says:

    Tom Allensworth died this morning. Here’s the post about it:

    http://forum.avsim.net/topic/466251-farewell-to-tom-allensworth/page-2

    I think it’s safe to say his behavior was probably due to the fact he knew he had cancer and was dying.
    I didn’t wish any harm to his person or health, but I think AVSIM is better off without a person in that kind of “dark” and “destructive” state of mind leading it.

    Unfortunately Jim Young is now probably at the head.

  33. peter says:

    Just imagine if it become the pmdg avsim forums, run by Mr wonderful

  34. Simon Davies says:

    I’ll agree with the comments here regarding the PMDG forum and think it is a huge stain on Avsim. The moderator there (Scandinavian13) is rude and obnoxious to users, a know-it-all and is basically a huge stain on what used to be a fairly friendly community. If you dare say something bad or complain, or write a comment without using your real name then you’ll feel his lordship’s wraph.

    The worst past is that regular “respected” users on the PMDG forum are turning into arm-chair moderators, with most comments like “You forgot your real name in the signature”, or worshipping Scandinavian13 and Randazzo (Whatever his name is).

    I think it’s safe to assume that they’ve mostly sold out to PMDG, and unfortunately with Tom no longing running the show, I think they’ll get even a tighter grip and in the end drive the users away to other sites. I mean if users here think the site and moderators were bad before, wait till PMDG’s influence spreads across the entire forum.

    Luckily at the moment X-Plane (the lesser known simulator) is PMDG free, althought unfortunately yes they have a product for that coming out soon. They might make nice products, but people seem to think that PMDG makes/breaks a platform, and honestly X-Plane is doing fine without them, and I think they’ll have a harder time getting X-Plane simmers to worship them on that platform.

    Unlike others here, I’m not banned from Avsim and like the forums, admins and most of the moderators. I do think it’s time for a new commercial-free forum

  35. KriVa says:

    Having received an “official warning” for helping people NOT get their posts removed in the AVSIM Forums today, I too am pulling out.
    I’ll be lurking the PMDG subforums for any announcements to come, but that will be it.
    While I may not part of the greatest contributors, I don’t think it’s fair to qualify me as a troll either.
    So long, AVSIM!

    KriVa

    • ajpongress says:

      Who gave you the warning?

    • Jason says:

      I got banned for 7 Days last month I too was accused of trolling been a member for 5 Years…. never been back on Avsim site since. Avsim can get F##Ked

      • FreeQuest says:

        Sad thing was 10 years ago i decided to not ever visit Avsim again not because of banning or anything the constant sniping and bickering was actually making me sick reading that all the time.

        When i got P3D i decided to try them again and hope it has changed no it hasn’t changed at all.

        you know Im a fully paid member of Simviation and Rikoooo totaling about $80au a year was thinking of doing the same with Avsim but thank god I took my time in deciding that just a nagging feeling that it may not be the right idea.

    • kevinh says:

      It’s a very sad day when respected members such as you get warnings like that. There’s definitely an “attitude” there now. What we says goes and don’t dare question it. Last year I was threatened with a ban by Tom after I made a polite request for an improvement in the functionality of the mobile version, Tapatalk having been pulled. It seems that because most users access the full site they didn’t care how poor access from mobiles was. I didn’t push it because I wanted to stay a member, but it was a bit of a shock to be lashed out at like that.

      • KriVa says:

        I can’t say I’ll be loosing any sleep about it. I’ll be lurking in the PMDG subforums, and that’ll about be my involvement in AVSIM for the future. Unless they throw things drastically around, I won’t be coming back.

  36. peter says:

    the future of Avsim depends on what Tom arranged before his death,which seems to have been quite a lot quicker than Tom stated in his letter to Avsim users,did tom have time to and was he well enough to arrange anything about the direction which Avsim will travel,is Tom,s replacement strong enough to manage Avsim, and control the troops,many times I have seen people appointed to a senior position fail because they were not up to it or really didn’t want the hassle that came with the position,tom could take a decision without getting anyone else,s agreement no one could tell him he was wrong,wonder how long before the big ego,s start coming out to play,interesting times coming at Avsim

  37. FreeQuest says:

    You are right I decided yesterday when i received my suspension for Abusive Behaviour what I wrote

    ” You sir are a moron do you normally buy items or programs with out any sort of support as it appears by your reply to me you do just that. Good luck with that buddy ROFFLE”

    Did not seam abusive to me at the time I mean moron is just like idiot or stupid. Anyway after thinking long and had i came to a striking revelation the post on AVSIM are always from the same people as the FSX:SE posts which when FSX:SE came out were a lot have died out (because of these same people Heck the Steam forum for FSX:SE is very friendly) and I know why the clicky hostile behaviour of the old guard these same old guard that post all the time.

    Sure I admit I was in the wrong but really here where I live calling someone a moron is not a big deal. I suppose the the french Jean-Paul it is.

    Anyway I will actively warn people away from AVSIM from now on there are many other places with a lot less clicky groups and people. O BTW I found this blog by searching for How long will AVSIM survive after its creators death O GOOGLE you so funny.

  38. ajpongress says:

    Avsim never ceases to amaze me.
    Two members were picking each other apart, back and forth in a thread about Carenado blocking comments about their Hawker on facebook.
    After 3 or so pages of these two seasoned members lashing at each other for things like typos and spelling, I made the comment (not exactly word for word but close):

    “Fighting over software is like the Special Olympics. No one wins. Are you sure you guys are grown ups?”

    Well that lit a fire in 3 or 4 people, calling what I wrote immature, uncalled for, this and that…and demanding that I apologize immediately.
    I was even criticized and questioned why I’m a beta tester for PMDG….all for that mild comment lol.
    I’m half expecting a ban from being reported by the two who were using the thread to attack each other to begin with.
    Apparently the hypocrisy of some posters there know no bounds (Tombstone anyone?).
    Oh whelp…back into lurking I go. Every now and then I post to test the waters and see if that place matured and every time I’m never disappointed with my expectations.

    • FreeQuest says:

      Well you have to be in the Clique I guess if your not in better watch out.

    • Kosta says:

      Wow, amazing AJ. I’ve been more or less only lurking there since I got banned, but just like you, I test here and there, and more often than not, I am faced with an immature surrounding. There are for me almost no reasons to visit any more, so I just come here and there and see what’s new. That’s about it.

  39. Dillon says:

    Kosta, reading through all this your spot on about Avsim. Now that Tom is gone I wonder will the culture change at all? Many members like you and me helped get Avsim to where it is today (although so many are gone it’s not what it used to be). Our conversations in the forum and knowledge is what pushed the website and engaged people. I posted a positive comment to Tom in his last thread before he died. It’s ironic as his last comment to me was threatening to ban me for making a comment about the creator of X-Plane’s lack of interest in creating meaningful AI/ATC modeling on the level of default FS9/FSX. He would do this crap without discussion to sort things out. Just ‘BAM’ your gone no matter what you’ve done to help over the years. That’s wrong, inconsiderate, unappreciative of our support for his site, and flat out disrespectful… No wonder someone got pissed and took down the site. It was funny because before the hack it was really bad. People were allot nicer after the hack for a time meaning everyone knew what was going on… I could have said nothing as a farewell to Tom but I have to acknowledged he did play a major part in our community. It was amazing people who have been around and contributed so much were treated like crap at the drop of the hat (as if they started using Avsim a day before the infraction). Being around for years should mean something yet they treated many of us like ‘Papa Tango’ and surprisingly after years would not let the offence go and move forward. If one crossed them perceived or not they hated you for life. So his passing is a mixed bag and I have hope in humanity that it was just his leadership that was at play. Looking at the world today I’m really believing unfortunately that culture reflects a larger problem in society. What’s worse is this could just be human nature and no matter how positive things start out their doomed to fail by our very nature towards each other. Tom would have his staff spy on users personal information to verify who you were which was totally out of line for a forum where people discussed their hobby. It makes since in some cases but long standing members shouldn’t be treated this way especially if they were the Kosta’s of the community. That paranoid climate was really uncalled for (I had a job like that, I left). Like you mentioned it’s hard to leave Avsim as the best discussions are there. Most other forums are dead now and if one has a great idea many wouldn’t hear it. More discussions are happening at Avsim than other sites even today. From the Navy to politics humanity is really challenging my faith in people. It’s like people look for reasons to fight and hate others even if others are only trying to help. I’ll see if Avsim changes now that Tom is gone. I know that PMDG are pre-Madonna’s and will pounce if anything constructive is said about their products but the forum culture in general will be one to watch. It might be a place for you to return to Kosta and then again it might not. Either way keep this blog up as we support you. Now that P3Dv2 is picking up steam your input is invaluable. I just wanted to comment on what you put into words. You outlined what all of us feel. Avsim’s culture was horrible behind the scenes and flat out wrong. All this glowing praise of Tom now that he’s gone is a jagged little pill to say the least. Let’s see what the future holds. It may be a better world over there without his leadership.

    • Kosta says:

      Dillon,
      If you’re the one “Dillon” I know from AVSIM, hey man, long time ;-)

      I had also thought that when the Tom’s leadership is gone, things would be better. I’m lurking there from time to time and as you so neatly pointed out, it is the place to go for the information. And it is really sad to see many long-time simmers leave AVSIM because of some petty differences they enforce there. And I wasn’t the only one.
      I’m sad that one life is gone, but I’m not sad that his leadership is gone.

      I still find my way to help in some threads, as I find it’s important, way more important than AVSIM banning me, to help some users and to help steer some topics in the right direction. I’m not saying I’m the know-it-all, far from that, but I’m sure my 15 years experience with MSFS gives me some leverage in some matters. It is, in the end, for the benefit of us all. And no, I am not going to reveal my alias-name ;-)

      I also remember weeks and months after the hack, the community was way closer than it ever was, everyone was nice and helped each other. After some time, the tyranny started again. What an irony when one can say one time the hack had helped ;-)

      I’ll return when I see the moderation and leadership had changed. I am, like you, observing.

      • Dillon says:

        I’m the same ‘Dillon’ from the forums. The one who reached out to you on Flightsim.com (UN: Leo112). I hadn’t had a chance to reach out to you after Tom’s passing. Like I said it’s funny/weird how fast Tom went down hill. When I first read his last post my first response/thought was to show support which I did. It wasn’t until I went back into my inbox after he died and read his last note to me which was nasty and foul about dismissing me from Avsim. In the end I try to do the right thing no matter how nasty people act. I just found it ironic I guess. I feel good my first thought and response was to reach out in kindness despite the history I have with him. I see many just sat it out and said nothing. All the praise I saw for him looked a bit phony but maybe he was nicer to other people. Maybe his contribution to the community outshines him personally. Let’s see how things go moving forward. We need people like you contributing on all forums moving our hobby forward so I hope you don’t stop what your doing. I hope there’s a turn around at Avsim but I’m not holding my breath. I will say the strife in general over the years is killing the community which was a different place years ago. It has already been fractured from the hard painful release of FSX and getting it up to speed over the years, Microsoft pulling out, and the fracturing of the standard with no clear direction for the future (X-Plane, P3D, FSX: SE). Unless your just a hardcore aviation nut like myself many have moved on as they were into Flight Simulator for the flying not the tweaking. Also they wanted a great place to discuss their hobby not get banned or watch others get banned at the drop of the hat for little or nothing. We’ll see how it goes. Keep the blog up.

      • ajpongress says:

        @Dillon:
        In my experience doing good things does not cancel out all the bad things. A wrong doesn’t make a right and visa versa.
        I grew up with an alcoholic parent, and I know very well the constant see-saw back and forth between the (mostly) “bad” things they do followed by spurts of “good” things to “make up” for all the bad.

        Well it doesn’t work that way. You are who you are. Covering up the dirt with glitter doesn’t make anyone a saint.
        My parent wasn’t a saint and neither was Tom.

        Whether he was just like that because of his illness or the fact he had a computer screen between him and those he didn’t like, it doesn’t matter.
        He may have started Avsim and gotten the ball going for a community to grow, but that doesn’t excuse his behavior towards others in the future.

        I know some would rather stick their head in the sand and pretend that he was this perfect guy, but I have private emails and messages to prove he wasn’t.
        Then again I don’t need to convince anyone else. I know myself from my own experience with him what kind of person he was and that’s that.
        Let other people have their own opinions, because they’re absolutely entitled to them.
        In my eyes and probably a few others, his legacy will be tarnished from the way he treated long standing members in that community.

        Illness or not, nobody deserves to be treated that way, and I don’t care what anyone says against that.

  40. KriVa says:

    I have to say, if your blog post didn’t open my eyes about AVSIM, the comments certainly did.
    The only time I had a discussion with Tom, it was actually very productive and civilised.

    • SimmeringExSimmer says:

      The only time i had a discussion with Tom he told me I couldn’t possibly have an opinion on anything after using whois to determine that I was employed outside the industry. I was using my employer’s machine to comment on a topic – the viability of then newly announced MS Flight as a simulator – with my employer’s permission. There was a thinly veiled threat that he’d go tattling to my employer. I felt that was totally out of line and asked for what content I had contributed to AVSIM to be removed. Threatening my livelihood was not cool. Never mind censorship of opinions he didn’t agree with.

      • Kosta says:

        This is exactly why, as of late, I’ve been tightening and tightening the security and anonymity of my life. Easily achievable through VPN services and proxies. Cancelling my Facebook profile was just a step Nr.1…

  41. ajpongress says:

    Found out last night that I am IP banned.
    I hadn’t logged into AVSIM since the end of May, and had done nothing other then answer a private message about some hardware I was selling.

    2 months later, BAM. Random IP ban. Easily circumvented and I was then able to log into my account which hasn’t been banned, and no messages are there (I would have gotten a message alert in my email anyway).

    So now it seems they’re IP banning people silently without telling them and without explanation, other then the fact I stood up to Tom in the past.
    Can’t think of any other reason.
    Not that I go there anyway to actually post. It’s just an information archive for me now.

  42. Kosta says:

    AJ, silly stuff. I’ve been on and off AVSIM since I have been banned, and yes, I was also IP-banned back then. I still only go there for some information, nothing else really.

  43. VC10 says:

    http://www.sim-outhouse.com/sohforums/showthread.php?95169-Avsim-Server-Down-Until-Saturday&p=967714#post967714

    Makes me wonder what happened to the $45,000 worth of hardware they purchased after the hack in 2009.

  44. Jake Eyre says:

    I always had an issue with that figure. There is no way they spent 45k on hardware that they used for AVSim. They may well have spent it on something but 45k will buy an awful lot of hardware.

  45. VC10 says:

    I never believed the conspiracy theorists who maintain the hack was a hoax designed to get people to throw money at Avsim. However, as Jake says $45,000 buys a lot of hardware that should have seen Avsim good for many years to come (which is exactly what we were told at the time). Yet we’ve seen persistent problems with Avsim over the last few years that really shouldn’t be happening with a website that spent so much on new hardware not so long ago.

    I remember at the time Tom Allensworth said the “London Constabulary” (a very strange turn of phrase for anybody familiar with the Metropolitan Police) were looking into the hack. I presume they didn’t deem it worth pursuing so Tom hired a London based legal firm to pursue a civil action against the guy who did the hack… but apparently he ended up committing suicide.

    I wonder if a little too much money was spent on lawyers and not enough on hardware? Still, I find it very strange that Avsim is *still* suffering from “ageing infrastructure” and “failing hard drives”…

    • Kosta says:

      That is one really weird post out there. Aging hardware after only 6 years? Man I am building server systems for like €25,000, and this is in Europe. You get such blazing fast systems and adding a SAN to that, that I also am starting to think where the money went.

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