How is user-time calculated for PanX?


#1

In the subscription model for PanX, I have searched for detailed explanation of the Peak User month charge. I can’t seem to find any details.
I know it is supposed to be generous in terms of time, but in the past year I have somehow gone over my allotted single user month twice, getting dinged two months use at the end of one month.
I could see this happening for a power user, but 99% of the time I’m using PanX as a simple expense spreadsheet and another as an encrypted database of passwords. 2 files, both I access several time a day, from either my laptop or desktop. But I typically don’t dwell on them.
So I must be doing something that’s racking up the hours. Is it opening and closing the file many times a day? What is the minimum time it charges you? If I open and close my file for a minute 12 times a day to add an expense or check a password I wonder what I’m being charged.
I also don’t know what exactly triggers a peak user month charge.
I have gone up to 32.75 hours per month usage and have not been charged extra, and twice it’s been charged at 26.25 and 29.25 hours. (it gets charged as 2 peak user months)
I just want to know what the algorithm is so I don’t feel I have to jump on and off to avoid excess fees. I love the program and think subscriptions are a fair way to compensate the people putting the hard work in, but I don’t like the feeling of a time clock ticking while I’m working in the program. I would rather just buy a year subscription and not worry about how I was using the program. Thanks for any insights!


#2

Panorama is used by organizations as well as individual users. Obviously it costs more to have several users running the program instead of just one. Panorama monitors its operation to detect when multiple users are running the program simultaneously on different computers. But since we don’t have cameras and chair occupancy sensors (nor would we want them if available), we have to approximate. If Panorama detects that two computers had activity within a 15 minute period, it considers that as two people. If that happens several times in a month, then you’ll be charged for an extra user during that month.

Notice that I said “activity.” Simply having Panorama open doesn’t count as activity, there must be mouse or keyboard activity. You can leave Panorama open on two machines without incurring a double charge, as long as there is only activity on one or the other at a time.

Panorama assumes that a single person normally isn’t going to jump back and forth between multiple machines, if it sees that it assumes that there are two people using the software. Obviously it can’t do that perfectly without following you around, but it seems to do pretty well, less than 4% of monthly charges have been for use of more than one computer. I expect that will increase a lot when Panorama X server becomes available. On the other hand, some users are running Panorama X for hundreds of hours per month across multiple computers, month after month, which I find very encouraging.


#3

Thanks Jim for that explanation. I thought it was based on time since they showed how much time I spend on it, but I also see why it wasn’t explained that way for the general public. I’m glad I know how it works though, so I can adjust my jumping from one computer to the next habit, which doesn’t impact me very much at all! Cheers!


#4

I will occasionally use Panorama X on both computers simultaneously because it is easier to refer to the screen on the other one than to set up switch screens on one. But I am a one-person operation.