A Cheesy Story

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Hello Visitor,


Up until this moment I have not reacted to the stories that Michel Pomarede has been spreading about me. I did (and do) not really bother.
After all this is his version about his anger and frustration after I had  him locked out of a website that we had been constructing in joint efforts.

I am not driven by negative emotions like rancor, hate or anger. Unfortunately others are involved on the sideline too. They advised me to open up a factual summary of the events that probably triggered Michel’s hate and anger.

Once upon a time...

Together with a few well-known Dylan collectors I have been building a website about the covers of Bob Dylan (which I am occupied with since '76). Hans Bosch and me started in February 2016 to continue the work of Dave Plentus.
Like many things we do it got out of hand immediately. Besides the listing of cover versions of dylan compositions we added covers of album covers. Then video’s; pictures of people who had covered themselves with Dylan tatoos; songs that Dylan had covered; walls and buildings that were covered with pictures of Dylan and then… magazines that had Dylan on the cover.

For a few weeks Hans and me had been very busy gathering scans and information from the net thru Google (we had collected 700 illustrations) when we (Hans) found out there was another site that had similar information.
Both of us did not know about its existence until that moment (the site was very poorly built and because it had no connection with Google its content did not show up in search queries).
We both were surprised.
We discussed the discovery in relationship to our work and decided that one site was enough.

On august 8 2016 I mailed Michel Pomarede (who owned the CWAC site) about our surprise discovery and I offered him my help. CC’s of this mail went to Hans Bosch and Bill Hester.

Almost immediately I got a few rather unpleasant replies in which Michel accused me of theft.

He apologised himself for this mail after he had looked closer and found out that actually none(!) of the information on “Nobody Sings” came from “CWAC”:

I have now explored your site and must apologize again. I really thought my site had been bootlegged, but this is definitely not what happened;  your work is original and an honest contribution to the 'Dylan cause'!

Michel asked me what I thought of his website as he seemed to be very proud of it. I explained him about the none-existence on Google and the reasons why Google could not get to his pages. There were about 6-8 visits a day out of a total of 50 IP’s that ever visited the site.

In the three weeks that followed Michel send me numerous mails and hundreds and hundreds of skypes with questions about database driven websites. All of which I patiently answered. Every answer led up to new questions, on and on. Often I had to write: "I explaied this already to you".
I found out that his knowledge about the web, search-engines, SEO and dynamic websites was almost nonexsistent.

On august 30 I offered him to help him build a new website and take him by the hand teaching him how a dynamic website actually works and how it works together with Google. He responded that he had no time for this.
A few days later he mailed me that he wanted to"modernize" his site and asked me to help him with it. I offered my help until december 10. In return he would join the “Nobody Sings” team and help wherever needed on that site.

In September, October, November and the first 3 weeks of December we worked together. I designed and builded the website in the Joomla CMS, designed the architecture of the MySQL website, constructed it and added it to the Joomla core with various techniques as PhP and JQuery.
Why did this take so long?
The lack of knowledge of Michel. Because of his ignorance of modern technique I had a hard job making things clear to him. Many things have changed since 1997.

The data on the original CWAC was not only unaccessible to Google. It was impossible to migrate it too. The data was burried in single html pages, surrounded by part of the page code itself and impossible to distract. So I fell back to the lists of John Baldwin. These were in Word. I migrated these (via Excel) to the database. All(!) of the book scans were from Peter Oudejans, Jürgen Wasser and myself. NONE(!) of the scans of Michel were used. NONE(!) of the data of Michel was used. His scans were small, blurry of poor quality and of the gif format. So, in the new CWAC site nothing{!| of Michel’s old site was used for the Books section. No scans, No data.

For the magazines we used all the information and scans that was gathered by Hans Bosch and me. It was the information that already was available in the "Nobody Sings” website. The whole database table was transfered as a whole to the “new” CWAC website. NONE (!) was used from Michel’s original website as the images were again too small, blurry, of gif format, had unrecognizable names and data was incomplete.

Michel worked too. Sure. He worked hard on Songbooks, Fanzines and Odds and ends.
Peter Oudejans helped a lot as well. He spent days and days and days to correct the hundreds of errors that Michel had added - in an act of ignorance -  to the data of John Baldwin. A frustrating job for Peter.

Michel and me made days of 12 to 14 hours working on this new CWAC site. For 16 weeks and 7 days per week. The spirit was okay. I enjoyed the building.

Mid December, after I had spent a minimal of 1000 hours - but more likely 1500 hours - in this project and a beautiful new website was online, I asked Michel when he had planned starting to help with “Nobody Sings” (as he had not done anything yet).
He backed out. He could not think of anything “as Nobody Sings was so perfect already”. For everything I suggested he had many excuses and objections. He wrote that he could not be of any help as everything was too difficult for him.
Oh... the easy jobs were stupid. How did I dare to ask him.

Finally he agreed to help me for 8 hours.
And that was it.
8 hours.

I pointed him several times to the uneven balance between our efforts to which he not react or excused himself away for.

To me it became clear that it was not his intention to help in any way at all. He wanted to support the absolute minimum.
Instead of that his questions of help for alterations, changes, additions kept coming in. Each day. Day after day. From 8 in the morning until midnight. Hundreds of questions. At that time the site was hosted on the servers of my company without costs (Michel’s deal with his host was too poor to run a site like this).

I told wrote to him that I was unhappy with the situation and that he had to do something about this uneven balance.

On January 29 he finally agreed to do something about it. Instead of working on the site he offered me to choose a piece of cheese from the poster below as a reward for all my efforts in the months before. He would be happy to send that piece of cheese to me.

anonymous fromages de france 2203435[1]

I answered him with this mail:

Hello Michel

I told you several times: we have a balance problem:

I have spent a part of the month august, all of september, october, november and most of december building the cwac website.
Besides that I have added numerous (hundreds and hundreds) of images to the site and corrected numerous mistakes.
Seven days a week. Days of 14 to 16 hours)
This adds up to a total of 1500 hours.
But let’s be modest and make it 1000 hours, still
Even in january I have spent a lot of time on answering question upon question upon question.

I am glad you have mentioned your help to me: 8 hours!

On your end you have found many excuses (even this morning again) to not have to help me.

The fact you don’t want to help is okay with me.
I can live with that.
No problem here in The Netherlands
I will not remind you again, ever.

But, on the other hand I feel it is not desirable to keep this unbalanced way of working.
Since there is no proposal of you to even the balance I suggest the following:
You will move the old site back to OVH. This is flat html. You understand this and you will again have total control over it.
It is fast, it has a great search and you don’t need me to maintain it.
It will also be a lot cheaper for you.

Because of the uneven balance I can not assist you any longer on the Joomla site.
II think you understand this.
If we part the site cannot make use any longer of the commercial extensions any longer (they are licensed on my business account).
I pay for these and it adds up, with the free hosting, to the uneven balance.

These are:
Akeeba Backup Pro €48,-/year
Yootheme ZOO €238/year
Yootheme Standard €196/year
Yootheme Widgetkit €78/year
ZOOlanders €398,-/year

AcyMail Enterprise €89,-/year
Regular Labs €150,-/year
RS Form €15,-/year
RS Firewall €29,-/year

Let me sum it up:
With your very limited knowledge of Joomla, PHP, Javascript and Zoo you cannot maintain the site
Without professional help and without these professional extensions there will be no site.

So, imo I feel it is better for you to go back to the situation in august.

A few hours later I discovered that Michel was transferring files and software from my server to his server. So I blocked his IP and passwords before he was finished but left the new CWAC online.
Michel answered immediately with two mails in uppercase letters.

A few days later he asked for two weeks time to think things over.

With Peter Oudejans and Hans Bosch I discussed how to deal with this and we decided to leave the situation as it was. As far as I was bothered Michel could have access to the new site and work on it as long as he was willing to do his share on “Nobody Sings”.

For two weeks I heard nothing from Michel.

And then... then I got this mail from a French Web Designers Office that had received an order from a certain mr. Pomarede to restore a certain website from backups.
While busy with the restore they came upon several software frameworks that were licensed to a Dutch company (OnPole). This software would not work without the passwords. The owner of the licenses is in the website and so they mailed me and asked me for help and the passwords.
I explained that I would not help as mr. Pomarede did not own any of these licences. Instead of that I sent proof of my ownership.
They checked things out with the software companies, then kindly excused themselves to me, informed mr. Pomarede that stealing software licences is a crime and pointed him the way to the door.

Michel then went back to the situation before December 10 and put his original CWAC website online.
I complimented him for his wise decision and noted to him that I was taking back the work of Hans Bosch and me (the magazine section) out of the project and put that back online as a stand alone.
There were over one thousand Hi-Res scans in the Magazine section when I transferred this part to the ’New CWAC’. There were six more when I took the work of Hans Bosch and me back.
Michel had meanwhile added four scans to this section himself (not me).
These six scans, he claims now, I have “stolen".

By the mails he sends me, the texts on his website and the mails he sends to others I can understand that Michel is very angry and frustrated.
He was, after all, very close to having a beautiful new website for free and busy manoeuvring his way out of his part of the deal.
So I can understand his frustration.

But unlike him I am not angry at all. I do not hate him, I will not attempt to ruin his life. I do not wish him to get the worst of diseases or being locked up in a “casa dementia”. I will also not use all my efforts to make his life in the Dylan communion impossible.
Negative energy is Bad Karma and a total waste of time.

    But I will hang on to the skype thread and all the mails. Just in case I need to quote from it.




    PS: the new magazine website with all the work of Hans Bosch and me is here.    
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