View Full Version : Burned bridge

01 January 2003, 08:19 PM
I severed my last connection with Hash and the list this morning and I hope I made an impression. I wasn't as detailed and eloquent as Giles , but I think I got the point across. Not that I expect any change in Hash, since Martin seems to only like customers who agree with him, buy I feel better for saying it. Unfortunatly, I don't get to see the fall out, since I was banned again. I seem to be making a habbit of that. Bellow is a copy of the e-mail I sent this mornig:

> From: Steve Sappington <>
> Reply-To:
> Date: Thu, 23 Jan 2003 11:44:43 -0800
> To:
> Subject: A Note From Martin Hash
> Dear Customers;
> Concerning the recent events on the mailing list. I want to personally
> thank those of you who publicly and privately contacted us with hundreds of
> calls and emails affirming your support. It is gratifying to know just how
> many A:M users really appreciate the commitment we‚ve made to you. I
> especially want to thank those brave souls who risk their own reputations
> arguing for us in the hate forums ˆ I owe you all a beer or a feature,
> whichever you want.

What about all the pissed off paying customers who feel they have
beenignored forthe past year. How much faith can I have in a company that
sells software that does not work as claimed, and doesn't put time into
fixing the one feature that is most important STABILITY! Before I bougth
A:M, I was using Poser and Strata, and I was able to run both of them and
PhotoShop at thesame time. With A:M, I'm told to not run anything else and
reboot with a minimum system. For beta testing I could see this, but I
expect a full version to be stable.

> As for our detractors, they fall into three categories:
> Religious zealots for other software ˆ I have no argument with their
> choice or stance.
> Truly evil mofos ˆ hell awaits them.
> Former A:M users ˆ I hope their outbursts are cathartic. A:M
> generates loyalty and commitment in its adherents. Sometimes, when life and
> career goals force changes in allegiance, the artist backlashes. I don‚t
> hold it against them. Eventually, I want them to think of A:M like they do
> their first bicycle: with fondness and respect, and then pass it on to
> someone who needs it.

I guess I fall into the truly evil mofos catagory, but I'm aready in hell
because I paid for a software I can't use, and am promised that the next
version will be better, and I happen to really like A:M. I don't want to
dump it and move on. I love modeling with splines, and I like the animation
fetaures. I want to do character animation and A:M is good at that, but it
drivesme crazy with constant crashing and file corruption.
> For now, our primary focus will remain on stability, as it has been for over
> a year, and any true errors in the renderer are always immediately
> addressed. As a quick explanation, when we „release‰ a version number, we
> try not to work on that code base again, even to fix bugs, because any
> changes always cause changes, and users would rather „release‰ software
> remain consistent, even with known errors. All of our major changes go into
> the next version, so if you lobby to have something changed, look for it in
> the current Alpha/Beta.

Martin, are you saying that we the users would rather keep the bugs so that
the stuff that works will keep working and not change? I've got news for
you. My biggest concern, and that of the detractors, for A:M is stability.
It seems that we have beenin a bad cycle of one thing getting fixed at the
expense of another. I don't understand why you guys don't slow development
of new features and get the software and current features working rock
solid. I know for marketing it's great to have an expanding feature list,
but this is all generating a huge amount of frustration for a large part of
your user base. Don't you care?

I'd like to see all these hundreds of supportive e-mails you got. Why
weren't they posted on the list. Were people affraid of being banned for
showing support. If you feel stronly about how things are going, one way or
the other, I invite you to the CGtalk A:M forum to express yourself openly.
I need convincing that Hash is behind me 100%. Now is your chance, lets hear

Ok Steve, you can pull my plug now. I'm going over where I don't have to
look over my shoulder every time I want to say something.

Cheers, Graham
> So, if your goals continue to be making your own art and telling your own
> story, we are there for you.
> Thanks again for being there for us.
> Sincerely,
> Martin Hash
> p.s. Ken promises not to make any more provocative statements on the
> mailing list.
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01 January 2003, 08:48 PM
Welcome to former AM users world Graham,

I hear ya and it was a good post. I have one just like in in a different thread. The folks at HASH just dont seem to get the point
but they sure do get our money. Makes me think of that old saying "fool me once shame on you fool me twice shame on me"

Well good news there are lots of people in the same spot as you and there is also lots of stuff going on with other software to offer upgrades to hash folks. I hope to post a few of these on here soon. I know EI has already made an offer. I also know that TS is working on one and I was talking to the messiah people about doing one. I use messiah now along with other people and it is a really good animation package. but you will need to use something else to model in. Wings3d is a good app for that and so is ZBrush, TS new modeling tools really look good too.

So sit tight and see what kind of offers they make.


01 January 2003, 09:15 PM
There has only been one reply posted that I have seen so far. I am just speculating here, but it seems that every time someone gets booted for a blatant post that Steve shuts down the list until he is pretty sure the flurry of replies has died down. I am just guessing about that, though.

Good show, though. I think I will wait until the dust settles, and send my own similar message. Maybe I am too optimistic, but I would hope that we can help them in spite of their resistance.

01 January 2003, 09:20 PM
Where you the one that made a comment that introduced some reallity into Hash comparison to the bicycle?

If you are. It was greate and posting even just that part would had been worth a kick out from the list ;)

I once posted an allegory in witch Hash was replaced with a car dealer. If I can find it i'll post it as lots of people liked it.

I was sure It would break the listrules :deal: and that I would be kicked from the list....:eek:

but I was not, and I tought that maybe Steve had changed :applause: ...


he vas just on vacation :cool: and when he got back he probably not was interested in barking at two weeks old posts.

01 January 2003, 09:24 PM
You can see the fallout for yourself- jsut go the mail list archive and search for messages by date.:lightbulb

01 January 2003, 09:33 PM
Here's my post that got me booted a few months back:

Jeff Cantin had done a comparison to movie theaters, with a serious Pro Hash bent. Here was my reply:

I am really tired of you people bashing others who just ask straight forward
questions. The guy who
posted the message that prompted the 6 cents of the last 24 hours was simply
asking for advice. He uses
software to do PROFESSIONAL work. He wanted to know if volumetrics still
work, not a bad question
considering recent history, and wether he could COUNT on the software doing
what he wanted it to do. Still no
belly aching, just no nonsense questions. Did either Mr. Cantin _or_ Mr.
Harris offer him any constructive input?
No, just a comparisson to going to the movies, and a "me too" post with an
extra stab about big mouths.
Just so you know, he is considering either upgrading or going to Maya. So
lets update the analogy about movies.

I am sure that there are dollar theaters in the Bay area. Now the theater
Mr. Cantin has been going to is Maya
Cinemas. We already have his analysis that it cost $12 per visit to see a
movie. Well it costs $3 for the same
thing at the Hash theater. They even have a huge screen, the best stereo
system, and the most comfortable
seats you have ever sat in. Pretty good deal, huh?

Then why doesn't Mr. Cantin go there?

Here's why. The popcorn popper may or may not burn the popcorn, the soda
dispenser may or may not mix the
soda properly. The tapes are always breaking, and the projectionist blames
it on the patrons. The sound system
sounds wonderful, when it's working, and again when it cuts out the
projectionist and ushers blame the patrons. You
may or may not see the entire film.

When you go to the manager to complain, he chews YOU out for complaining in
the lobby where someone else
considering a ticket purchase may overhear and change their mind about
buying it. In addition all the regulars are
there to tell you how stupid you are, "You can't go anywhere else and sit in
seats like that. You can't find a
bigger screen in town. The stereo system is the very best there is. How
dare you criticize this theater! You
got one hell of a bargain!"

"But I paid to see the whole movie uninterrupted," you would say.

To which they say, "Listen, the tape on those reels isn't indestructible!
Tapes break, its a fact of life. They break at
the full priced cinema's too!"

"Not 12 times in 10 minutes they don't," you reply.

"Well, if your bored bring a book, and quit wiggling in your seat so much,
especially when the tape is about to break.
You can see the signs, and if you freeze the tape might not break. I
actually watched a whole show that way once,"
wide eyed and nodding.

Now six months later you are considering another go at the Hash cinema, you
make the mistake of asking someone
in the lobby, "So, can I expect unburnt popcorn? Will I see the whole

To which the manager answers, "Please don't answer this persons question
here in the lobby. You are, of course, free
to answer the question in the alley behind the theater." Wink, wink.

So, what would you do? Personally, I would follow Mr Cantin down to Maya
cinema, its a little more expensive, the seats
aren't quite as comfortable, and the sound isn't quite as sweet. But I can
see the whole damn movie, like I expect.

As for me, I will continue to use AM. I like it, but I will not bash others
for asking questions.

Go ahead, turn your flame throwers on. I don't care anymore.

John Keates
01 January 2003, 10:15 PM
I have to stick up for Mr Cantin here. I mailed him privately after he bashed people complaining about stability. I mentioned that even with stability aside the fact is that AM has not been written yet and people have paid for it. Guess what, he aggreed!

It's kind of twisted but the man is just a hobbyist. AM is his thing and I guess he just doesn't want to see it go. He is often helping people on the list and is an old stalwart, but he was actually quite skathing towards Hash in his reply to me. There was anger in his words! You won't catch him slagging "the company" off on publick though. That is his choice and I respect it.

Having said that I am working out my next plan to get chucked off the list again. He He He...................He He He He He He


01 January 2003, 10:34 PM
Actually, Jeff and I exchanged emails during the fallout. There are no hard feelings between us.I gotta agree, he's a good guy and willing to help. I wasn't bashing him, per se, his movie theater analogy just gave me an avenue to vent on. Jeff is a tallented guy, and I respect him alot.

01 January 2003, 10:39 PM
Having said that I am working out my next plan to get chucked off the list again. He He He...................He He He He He He
He.:D [/B]

Good idea, I say we coordinate, set up a series of threads begging for a Sappington list ejection. But we also time them for maximum effectiveness. i.e. after 6pm Pacific time, or on the weekend.

01 January 2003, 12:54 AM
You guys are twisted and cunning. I like that. It won't even matter if Hash reads the plan because they will never know what aliase people are using. I have to admit, I don't envy Steve for his job.

Cheers, Graham

01 January 2003, 02:31 AM
Originally posted by John Keates
You won't catch him slagging "the company" off on publick though. That is his choice and I respect it.

That's one reason A:M is not what it could be. If more people were willing to speak up on the list (as has been happening lately... hopefully this trend will continue), we would probably see changes for the good.

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