Signing off

When we started SGPro it was a labor of love. A way to contribute back to the community, only charging what it took to run the business, buy equipment for testing, etc. It’s been four years and parts of me still love the idea of this. It’s never been about money… Other parts of me have grown distant from the hobby… it’s ironic that a thing designed to bring me (and others) closer to this dying hobby (in world of facebook and video games) has driven me away. I’ve lost my love for the hobby… I’ve burned out.

This is not a message to indicate SGPro is going away, just a message to indicate that I will be taking some time off. No support, no features, no releases for a while… I will reassess where my life is in the fall. Right now, I work ten hours a day, come home, ignore my family, go through user logs from the night before, answer questions and then try to belt out new features. As a bonus, I get berated all the while (spitting in the face of our user base, etc…). Not by everyone… but enough so that I am defeated. Constantly worrying about my wording, offending someone, being too short, too direct… dealing with the politics of it all is a thing I do not excel at (I think I might have been accused of adding an advertising platform into SGPro tonight… I don’t even know what that means)…

So… I am going to turn off alerts to forum messages, I am not going to log into the forums, I am going to re-connect with my family and, I hope, reconnect with my love for astronomy and what got me here in the first place. This is not passive aggressive behavior (promise). I really need to take a break. I am not cut out for support… every day the constant barrage of bugs, brokenness, not good enough, entitled behavior takes a toll on my soul.

What does this mean?

  • We will continue to pay for the forum to exist (for peer-to-peer support, etc)
  • We will not take SGPro down.
  • SGPro 2.5.1 will be released as is.
  • If you purchased SGPro within the last 30-60 days and this causes you to want a refund, that is completely fair and completely understandable. Please just send the info account a message.

I could have just done this (taken a break) without a message, but I need folks to understand the current status of a product that costs money. Integrity and transparency are important to me.

Clear skies. Zen.


Those of us involved in commercial software development fully understand your position. Before retiring recently, I spent 40+ years writing code and running my own small software business. Customer support is the tough part. There will always be a bottomless pit of feature requests by users who feel they deserve everything they want, for free, from a $99 product. Learning to just say no and not worrying about one or two pissed customers will set you free! SGP is the best image acquisition product on the market and I hope we will see you back in the fall.


Sorry to hear that news Ken. You have made so much progress with SGP, it’s hard to imagine moving to something else. I had my best AP results last night in 7 years using the latest beta.

Hopefully you decide to return after taking a well deserved break.

Take care.


Ken - I’m not surprised you feel burned out - you and Jared have been responding to queries with a lightning turnaround and that’s after the day-job too.

You have both done a magnificent job to date, something to be truly proud of and as you say, you have steered a constant course between simplicity and power. With the focusing greatly improved, your endeavor has just taken another leap forward. I have only scratched the surface of writing applications but that is sufficient to know the significance of your huge undertaking, coping with the idiosyncrasies of countless equipment combinations and other people’s bugs.

Have a great break and enjoy some family time.

It is very disappointing to hear people are treating you and SGP without the utmost respect, because SGP is an absolutely remarkable product and your efforts are extremely welcome by the community at large (even if a few make it seem like it isn’t the case).

I personally think your level of personal user support and product support is too high to maintain over a prolonged period if you also hold a regular job on the side. I can’t imagine how you’ve been able to cope thus far! Please take a well-deserved break and I’m sure I speak for everyone here when I say that I hope you come back with a renewed sense of purpose. I personally would not look down on keeping the forums on a peer-to-peer basis and have an official means of product support on the side, keeping you guys out of it unless it is absolutely necessary.

Also, given the quality of the product, I would have gladly paid double what I did for SGP. New features are always welcome but what SGP is to date is already incredibly powerful and in my opinion doesn’t NEED anything major added on to stay that way.

Well done indeed and enjoy your break. We certainly hope you come back! :slight_smile:

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Having used SGP since the days when it was a lovely wrapper for AA5 I can say it has come a long way. I’ve always been impressed at the speed of development, not only fixes but new functionality, constantly thrashing out in break neck speed. It truly is a fantastic product and valuable tool so I hope it doesn’t die and you can find a way to make it work in the future with much less effort and stress.

I honestly think you guys can slow down a lot. I think you push out more in a year that all other software vendors combined. SGP can go into maintenance mode (probably for ever) and now you can probably just tinker with it when you feel like it. I don’t think it needs any new functionality immediately if at all.

Family comes first. Enjoy the break, enjoy the summer, enjoy the hobby and see where it takes you.

Finally - thank you for everything you have both done to produce this software it is really appreciated!

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As a new user of SGP, I have been blown away with the product and the level of support the you have provided in return for my small investment,$$, into this wonderful software. I hope to see you back on the forum this fall and thanks for all your hard work. Enjoy your free time with your family.

One happy customer, Steve B

PS: I think the “adding an advertising platform” came from this past April fools post.

From the Deep South of New Zealand, I fully sympathise with your position. You and Jared have contributed heaps to the delights of amateur astrophotography. I use your software over and above all the other products because it is simply the best. Take the time you need, family are the most important part of your life. Your fans will welcome you back when you are ready.


Roger. :stars:


I spent the last 12 years writing and maintaining hobby (amateur radio) software so I totally understand your position. It can be demoralizing to work your tail off only to have some troll tell you how badly you are treating him. Sure, you can blow it off but the hurt is still there. It helps to remember that the vast majority of your users truly appreciate what you have created.

Thank you!

Several years ago, I became a professional photographer. It was hard work, but it was initially fun because of how much I enjoyed the hobby. Then the tables switched - I discovered that if you try to turn a hobby into a job, it can easily stop being fun. After realizing the effect my decisions had on myself and my family, I left the business and never came back. After a full year of not even touching a camera, I finally started taking photos for fun, and I was able to mend my relationship with my family.

Both Ken and Jared have made an outstanding product that is very affordable in a hobby that is a black hole for money. The software does a lot for all of us in time saving and automation. I wish Ken the best and I hope that his time off allows him to adjust and re-balance his priorities in a way that benefits him and his family the most. If that path ends in him returning as a developer, great. If he decides it’s time to move on, I support him as well.

The way Ken is feeling is understandable and has likely been building for a long time now. The catalyst for this was a few posts on a single thread that I began; I apologize for the role I had in this and I really hope for the best for Ken.

Best wishes.

I seem to have played a major role here. I took issue with the tone being used in reply to another user who just happened to voice a thought very similar to my own concerning a specific change made to the software.
How it escalated into this state of affairs, I can not really fathom. Seems I may have been "the last straw?"
Whatever, I regret that it did have this result.
No doubt dealing with a constant litany of problems can be wearing and I should have been more sensitive to Ken’s position and I apologize profusely for that.
As all here, I love this software, and want only for it to prosper.

Whatever happens Ken, you can be assured that you have created one of THE best softwares out there for astro imaging. You have been responsible for many peoples enjoyment of the hobby and producing many great images.

I hope that you enjoy a well earned break and whatever happens you should be VERY proud of your achievements.

My apologies, I have too been too hasty sometimes asking whats wrong with the software etc. Never gave a though that how much it takes time and effort to answer and find solutions… And that there is so few people behind this.

This is one of very few software that Im willing to pay more than it costs.(I think its much more valuable too).

Hope you’ll get things sorted out.

Ken I wish you all the best! Enjoy your Family! Life is short. The stars aren’t going anywhere and are very patient so should we :slight_smile: Thanks for all your hard work for the community.

We have all been constantly amazed at how you have been able to both produce this hobby’s most effective software and continue to provide practically immediate response to everyone’s issues and pet peeves, and put up with subtle and not so subtle criticism, some of which I have provided. And then add a constant stream of new and improved features.

Truly remarkable and very much appreciated by all of us.

Enjoy your well deserved break as long as you need to. The product is in a very fine state and will run great for us. Just please be sure when you resume working with it in the future that you do so in a much more relaxed fashion and don’t worry about how long it takes to reply to the forum or fix issues. None of us expect (or should expect) the kind of immediate attention you have been providing. Your family life is clearly your first priority.

Best wishes and a well deserved break.

@Terry and others,

I will continue to stay on the forum until I get 2.5.1 out for general release… our conversation last night was one of a hundred contributions… nothing I decided on was your fault (I am certainly not that sensitive… never would have lasted 4 years if I were). If you removed that conversation entirely, all of the things I said above would still be true. I am not giving up on SGPro… just taking a break and reconnecting with my family and with astronomy itself.

Please don’t even have one shred of guilt about this… none of this is on you.

To all the others… thank for your understanding. I am working on some final pieces of documentation that exist in the 2.5.1 software, but have absolutely no references as of yet.

I am sorry to hear a burnout of the developer, and can fully understand it with the lightning support we received.

Take your personal priority in your life for a refuel.

I have to say SGPro is one of the breakthrough in astrophotography software I have ever used.

I can’t add anymore to that already said, other than to say thanks and good luck, you will clearly be missed


I’ve spent my whole career in the software business so I certainly know how you feel. At least mine was a full time job.

I’m 69 years old and was having trouble staying up half the night trying to get enough photons to create a half decent image. I wasn’t sure how much longer I could keep it up. The hobby was losing its appeal. Then along came SGP! I was able to get a lot more photons and sleep at the same time. On nice evenings I actually started to observe again without having to babysit my imaging.

I just wanted to let you know that without SGP I probably wouldn’t be imaging today. Whatever you decide - you’ve already made a great contribution to this hobby and to this old guy.