Monday, August 4, 2014

Can we save CPUG?

Wow, I never through I would write something like that. But it is happening, now.

As you probably know already, CPUG is down. Barry Stiefel shut down the site the last week. I do not want to discuss why he did that, it's pointless. It is done.

Forum that was arguably the best independent technical board around Check Point is off. Resource with (quoting Barry's sales pitch message) "80,526 immediately useful technical posts.., 18,664 unique discussion threads, 26,208 currently active members..." has vanished out of existence.

We all know Barry for years, and I believe most of us appreciate his efforts for running that board and promoting it. We are also grateful to Dameon Welch-Abernathy, who's phoneboy knowledge base was the foundation for CPUG.

Barry has a right to get paid for his effort. But what about these 26208 active members? What about people contributing to this site? What about Dameon? He never asked for a dime from Barry when handing over the data.

There is twist here. Someone owning a public free resource wants to shut it down. He does it without warning, without any attempt to reach out to the community of his users and discuss his case. He just shuts it down, willing to collect offers.

Offers for what? Public knowledge base he "owns"? Engine? Trademarks?

After years of using, nurturing and developing this site, what can we do as a community? Wait till a new sugar daddy comes around and buys it off Barry's?

Is all this even real? I try to shake a feeling this is just a practical joke of some kind.

Can we do something? Can we start collecting donations to buy off the site or at least its content? Or should we look for a sponsor? Seriously, what can we do?

UPDATE. If you care about CPUG future and existence, please sing this petition.


  1. Hey Valeri,

    I am not sure what to think. I am really in a mixed feeling about this one.

    There's even another twist around this story I think.
    I mean, SK is becoming really mature and the official forums from Check Point are also accessible for anyone who registers. Should we not post as close to the source as possible?

    From the other hand, I completely understand the part when it comes to the "Community feeling". But I wonder if the community still really exist. It doesn't mean I would like to see it differently though.....

    I know you're trying hard to get the CPUG cons back, but how does that work out until now?
    Check Point also matured over the years and resellers developed lots of technical knowledge. Besides that, also Check Point organizes their local (knowledge)events. Maybe a CPUG is getting a bit overkill for a lot people. Times have changed I guess.

    I know it's a bit offtopic but still wanted to share you my thoughts.

    Petition signed!

    1. One more point.

      Check Point events are very good, but mostly sales and marketing oriented. Technical events are at best "meet the expert" sessions at CPX, and even there, have you ever seen anything that was not related to the new product promotion?

      The greatest added value of CPUG and CPUGcon was that CP did not control agenda. Sharing CP expertise does not mean sharing just the strong points but also sharing flaws and gotchas. With all due respect to CP, they are never open minded enough to encourage such discussions, let alone support them.

      That was the main reason CP support forum never took off.

      We do not want one more resource and/or conference to hear how great products are. We are convinced already. Now we need to share experiences, even the bad and painful ones.

  2. CPUG and CPUGcon are both history, it seems. I am working on something to replace both, bot so far not too much progress.

  3. okey. Let me know if you need any help or ideas.