Author Archives: wfinzer

Fathom 2.3 Is Available for Download and Purchase

It was more work than I thought it would be, but we got Fathom 2.3 hooked up to a license server so that Concord Consortium can offer licenses for sale. The site went live on 5/28/2015. See Fathom Dynamic Data Software.

I’m really pleased with the result and the very inexpensive pricing: $5.25 per single-computer, 1-year expiring license with discounts for 30 or more computers; $39 per single-user, non-expiring license with discounts for 10 or more computers.

We didn’t have time to fix the OS X 10.9+ bug that prevents Fathom from scraping data from URLs and from downloading census data, but we know how to fix it and will provide a free upgrade with the fix soon.


Release of Fathom 2.2, a free version that expires 6/15/2015

Fathom 2.2 has been released, and it is free. It will expire June 15, 2015.

To download, go to the Fathom Dynamic Data Software site, fill out the form, and download your preferred version.

Please help us spread the word through social media, blogs, email, and word of mouth. You can refer people to the download site.

The backstory and why this is an expiring version: As you can read in this open letter, McGraw-Hill Education ceased publishing Fathom in January of 2014. In March they transferred the Fathom copyright to me. I’ve put together the free, expiring version so that users are not left in the lurch and I can work on a long term solution for distributing Fathom. There will be a long term solution! At the very least there will be a new, free, expiring version.

If I have versions 2.1x should I delete them? No, you should keep them. You already paid for these, and they are not substantively different from version 2.2. If and when a new version of Fathom is ready for sale, you may not want to pay for it. So keep your early version that you’ve already paid for.

What’s different in this version? As explained on the web site, there are a couple things lacking in version 2.2. And we’re not able to provide technical support. (Sorry about that.)

Thank you all for your support. Enjoy Fathom!

Bill Finzer, Senior Scientist
Concord Consortium

The Short Term Solution from MHE

Any instructor needing student access to Fathom or TinkerPlots during January, 2014 can email Rick Gaston <>. Rick will put you in touch with the right person in McGraw-Hill’s marketing department who will arrange free, 1-year expiring licenses for your students.

McGraw-Hill Education Discontinues Publishing of Fathom and TinkerPlots

As of 12/31/13 McGraw-Hill Education (MHE) discontinued sale of Fathom and TinkerPlots. As developers of the software, we (Bill Finzer and Cliff Konold) are attempting to bring the software back into distribution. We are especially concerned about instructors who are about to begin courses that depend on Fathom and/or TinkerPlots.

We’ve posted a “letter” to the community of faculty users that explains the current situation. We welcome your comments. We’ll provide additional posts as we learn more.

An Open Letter to Faculty Users of Fathom and TinkerPlots

Regarding the availability of TinkerPlots and Fathom
January 9, 2014

If you are a university faculty planning to teaching a class this coming semester which requires students obtaining licenses for TinkerPlots or Fathom, please take note. If you go check on the site of McGraw Hill Education, the publisher of TinkerPlots and Fathom, you will discover that they are no longer selling the software. If you call the support number (800-995- 6284), you’ll be given little additional information, and if you ask to speak to someone who can, they’ll suggest you talk to the sales rep in your state, who will likely know even less. We know this because some of you have found your way to us to ask what is going on and to see if we could provide copies of the software.

We wish we could. Unfortunately, we have no way of issuing licenses for TInkerPlots or Fathom, nor are there versions we have that we can send you that do not require registration.

We learned in October from McGraw Hill Education (MHE) of their decision to drop TInkerPlots and Fathom from their offerings, and have started searching for another publisher. But MHE’s termination of sales on Dec 31 caught us off guard, and since then we have been in nearly daily communication with them to see if we can come up with a way to make the software available to folks who have been counting on using it this semester. For some of you, that begins next week.

Folks at MHE have been assuring us that they would solve this problem for courses starting this semester. But this is what we heard yesterday in an email from Scott Virkler after pressing for additional information.

“Marketing is aware of the universities that use these products in their courses, and have identified a process to help them through the transition.”

When we asked in a follow-up email for what that process was so that we could communicate it to you, we got no reply. When we called McGraw Hill Education support number this morning, we were told by Lee Stubbs, a customer support representative, that the software was not for sale. She was not aware of any alternative process for obtaining student licenses.

We will continue to urge MHE to provide student licenses for courses beginning this semester, but we think you should speak directly to them as well and let them know first hand the desperate situation that you are in. Below are the names and contact numbers of people who, to the best of our knowledge, can do something about this. We suggest you contact them, let them know of your particular needs and timetable. We’ll post updated information at, so please go there and share in comments what you have learned.


Cliff Konold and Bill Finzer

People to contact at McGraw Hill Education

Scott Virkler, SVP of Product, Programs, and Portfolio

Cheryl Dodge, Sr. Director, Technical Product Management
Phone: 415.913.3003
Cell: 925.588.3205

Michelle Harper, Sr. Product Marketing
Phone: 614.430.4177