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Interview : Patchou [Messenger Plus!]
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WinTech
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O.P. Wink  Interview : Patchou [Messenger Plus!]
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The WinTech Team (Portuguese WebSite - www.wintech.com.pt) has been with Patchou (popular creator of the Messenger Plus!) and make some questions about their product.
A very interesting interview, please read on :)

WinTech : Hi Patchou, could you talk about yourself and introduce you to the Portuguese people ?
Patchou : Hi :). My name is Cyril and Iím the developer of Messenger Plus!. I live in Quťbec, Canada and work full time on this project. Iím pleased to meet you, especially now that so many Portuguese people use Messenger Plus! (your language is used more than English in the latest version).

WinTech : How have you get the interest with computers and programming ?
Patchou : As far as I can remember, Iíve always been interested by computers. When I was younger, I wanted an Atari and later, a NES. My first device was a Game Boy, the first one, followed by an Amiga 500+. A couple of years later, I bought my first PC, a 486 DX2 66 with an amazing 4Mb of RAM! Now that were the good times. As I wanted to start a carrier in video game development, I learnt the C and C++ languages, which helped me start creating my first programs in Windows.

WinTech : What do you think about Microsoft and their products ?
Patchou : Iím one of those who likes Microsoft as a company and I donít spend my time criticizing them for no reason. They have their issues but most of us use Windows on a day to day basis so I think we should all be grateful for what theyíve been doing since they started. Without them, the world of personal computers would be very different from what we know nowadays and I donít believe it would be in a good way.

WinTech : Do you like to work in Microsoft ? Why ?
Patchou : Well, I donít with at Microsoft nor with Microsoft. You could say I work side-by-side with them. I donít have much interaction with the company, we stick to our respective jobs and it has always worked fine so far. Iíve had a couple of meetings with some of the people working on Messenger, we know each other and they know where to find me when the need occurs. Thatís about it :). So yes, I enjoy this relationship, it gives me all the freedom I want.

WinTech : In 2007 you have been acepted like a MVP. But after some days you have been "kicked out" of MVP. Do you want to talk about that ?
Patchou : Well, this was a pretty strange thing to do. The problem with getting this award was that a few existing MVPs decided they did not like me and what I was doing. They blew it out of proportion, the press quickly got hold of it and in order to protect their reputation, Microsoft decided to give up quickly and removed me from the MVP web site. Still, an award is an award and it was not removed from me, Microsoft made that very clear when they emailed me about it. Iíll just never understand why a few people decided to start a crusade against me, upon false pretenses, threatening Microsoft they would quit their post if I was to stay an active member of the MVP program. I guess thatís life and I donít mind, what counts is that my users have always been behind me and that Messenger Plus! is more popular than it ever was now.

WinTech : Why did you make Messenger Plus ?
Patchou : It started as an experiment to try out a new technique I had read about in a developers magazine. I wanted to see if I could add logging capabilities to MSN Messenger 3 and I then thought some people other than myself could also enjoy this. The Messenger Plus! Extension was born :-).

WinTech : Messenger Plus! is a sponsored program ? Why ?
Patchou : A couple of years ago, I was facing two possibilities for the software: either give up on it and keep on working in my day-job, or find a way to get a revenue from it and spend all my time on it. I was already spending all my free time on this product and the problem was that its popularity was starting to cost me money. Servers and bandwidth are not free. I tried donations but it never worked out so when I was contacted by an adware company, I thought I could give it a try. The association proved to be a good thing as it helped me spend a lot more time developing Messenger Plus! while insuring I got a salary out of it. Since then, the amount of users got multiplied by 10 so despite what some people think about the sponsor, itís been accepted by most people and itís a very clean way to generate a revenue while keeping the entire software absolutely free.

WinTech : How many people works in the development of the program ?
Patchou : Messenger Plus! is still my baby so Iím the only one coding it. That being said, the software wouldnít be what it is today without the precious help from Guido, my graphic designer, Jae whoís managing online aspects of the software such as the scripts & skins databases, WDZ whoís in charge of the forums, as well as the hundred testers and 20 translator teams. So you see, even a small software like Messenger Plus! needs a lot of talented people to shine, developing the software is really just one piece of the puzzle.

WinTech : How many downloads of the last version have been made ?
Patchou : Of the last version? I donít know exactly, but you can do the math.. since the release of the last version in December, Messenger Plus! has been downloaded and installed about 350,000 times every day. At peak time during the day, I get more than 10 installs a second! The crazy thing is that it never seem to stop growing, two years ago, I thought 10 million users was everything I could ever dream for and now, Iím reaching 30 millionsÖ go figure :).

WinTech : The last version has a lot of new features, one of them is the "skin" function. Why did you implement that one ?
Patchou : Skinning was an idea I started to develop more than a year before last summer (when I started to work on version 4.50), while Messenger Plus! Live 4.50 was being designed. People seems to love the idea of skinning Messenger and some very talented skin developers were doing it the hard way, patching Messenger files and doing lots of crazy things to make things work.  I thought the process could be simplified and improved by letting a program like Messenger Plus! take care of the technicalities so that skin developers could focus their time and talent on the skin itself. So far, itís a success and you can expect to see lots of new developments around skins this year.

WinTech : What will be new in the future versions ? Can you advance some information to us ?
Patchou : HumÖ to be honest, I have my ideas but they are not clear enough yes to announce them. I may start new deals with external companies to bring a different kind of new features to Messenger Plus!ís users. The problem is always finding the right people as I wonít sacrifice software quality over any deal. The main idea is always to improve the software. For now, Iím focusing my efforts on the skinning system, improving it for version 4.51 which will be released in March. Everybody seem to enjoy the current version so Iím using the opportunity to work on things around the software too and not just the software itself.

WinTech : Do you like to say something to WinTech visitors and Portuguese users of Messenger Plus ?
Patchou : The main thing I want to say is thank you for continuing to support my work. Many people donít seem to understand that the primary reason why things like Messenger Plus! are developed is so that they can be enjoyed by people. Getting a salary from the work is a good thing, but I could get paid doing lots of other jobs and the satisfaction would be far from equaling what I live now. So once again, thank you all for using Messenger Plus! and for showing that the Portuguese language is kicking buts! I still canít believe the latest stats Iím seeing. Keep up the good work on WinTech!

WinTech : Thanks Patchou to answer to our questions :)
Patchou : Thank you very much for your time. I hope you keep on enjoying Messenger Plus! for as long as Messenger exists :-) !

Souce : WinTech

Thanks Patchou and keep up your excelent work :)

Bye.
02-23-2008 08:36 PM
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prashker
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RE: Interview : Patchou [Messenger Plus!]
Great interview (y).
02-23-2008 08:48 PM
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Quantum
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RE: Interview : Patchou [Messenger Plus!]
I never knew patchou makes a living of this!
No longer here.
02-23-2008 08:54 PM
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Basilis
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RE: Interview : Patchou [Messenger Plus!]
Thanks Patchou for giving your personal time to the software. I think all the Plus users appreciate it much. Keep it up.


[Image: logo1nu1.png]
02-23-2008 09:32 PM
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blackjack
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RE: Interview : Patchou [Messenger Plus!]
Great interview :)
I as a beta tester say: Thank you!
for this great peace of art :P
02-23-2008 10:21 PM
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MicroWay
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RE: Interview : Patchou [Messenger Plus!]
Uou...
Great interview :D
02-23-2008 10:33 PM
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aNILEator
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RE: Interview : Patchou [Messenger Plus!]
And Now we need to get Patchou DJ'ing! and making songs again :P
02-23-2008 10:50 PM
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absorbation
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RE: Interview : Patchou [Messenger Plus!]
Good interview, but it doesn't tell us about Patchou's crazy accent :P
02-23-2008 10:58 PM
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RE: Interview : Patchou [Messenger Plus!]
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Originally posted by absorbation
Good interview, but it doesn't tell us about Patchou's crazy accent :P
POOK POOK SHIT
02-23-2008 11:02 PM
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RE: Interview : Patchou [Messenger Plus!]
POOOOOK POOOOOOK!!!!!!!!

ross, get our adcodes sorted out, so we can start paying your people!!!!! ... I got new Fatal1ty soundcard and a lovely Fatal1ty headset now too :) cough PODCAST round 2zorz!!!!11 uncough
02-23-2008 11:02 PM
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