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Another View on Shareware

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Chuck McManis

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May 4, 1987, 6:53:07 PM5/4/87
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The following has been cross posted to comp.sys.ibm.pc because those
folks can learn something from it too. But to fill you in, we have
had some people over in comp.sys.amiga worrying that Shareware was
dying, followed by some others saying that this might be a good
thing. Well I brought it up on BIX and this message came from Bruce
Tonkin one of the 'little guys' trying to make a living selling
good software for the IBM PC...

TITLE: A long tirade, being my opinions.
The problem with shareware is twofold. First, the users don't know the
difference between shareware and public domain software (or maybe they just
don't *want* to know the difference). Second, it hurts little companies and
not big ones. Big companies can just raise prices and put a couple dozen
programmers to work adding features to distinguish their work from the
shareware or small-company stuff. Small companies can't.
Let's take some examples. I called those local clone manufacturers to
find out what they were doing; it was just what I was afraid of. Let me tell
you what the *purchasers* of those clones are doing:
1. They're figuring that they *bought* the software since it was included
with their machine. If you tell them they didn't, they simply won't believe
you. If they can't get support, they will gripe about it and figure that's
what *all* small companies do. This is NOT SUPPOSITION. It's happening
right now in my area, and it's widespread. Go to a user's group and watch
what's going on! Maybe the shareware guys don't like it, but what can they do about it? The software is, in fact, being given away. The clone guys
aren't claiming it's public domain, and they aren't charging for it. Bob
Wallace and the others can scream all they want: they don't have a leg to
stand on.
2. They're going with established companies when they must buy software.
They think they already *have* experience with small companies, right? They
don't need that garbage. So they'll pay $500 for a database or a word
processor. Well, they'll pay that when they *have* to. That leads to:
3. Since prices for "good" software are so high, and since their clone cost
almost nothing compared to the prices being asked for software, they figure
they're being ripped off. They pirate software as a matter of course and
figure they're morally justified to do it. When I was at the West Coast
Computer Faire, a guy stopped by my booth and told me that exact thing. He
worked at an office where they had 40 PCs. Good deal, I told him. We can
give you a site license. "Why would we want to do anything that stupid?" he
wanted to know. "We only buy one copy of anything, anyway. Why not get the
best?" I tried to tell him our stuff *was* the best, and he just laughed.
"If you're that good, you'd be as big as Microsoft." Catch-22. You can't
prove you're good without sales, and you can't sell unless you're that big.
I talked to Andy Fluegelman a couple of times about shareware, and I told him I thought he was hurting the industry, not helping it. He didn't agree
with me, because it was working for him. Dave Bunnell didn't agree either.
Well, good and fine. I've done shareware in the past, and public domain
stuff, too. Some of my stuff is here on BIX, and more of it is on other
boards around the country. I know very well that it is being used. I've got
one program I've distributed with at least 5,000 program disks over the last
three years. I was nice about it: I asked for $5 to become a registered user
and get information about updates. I don't know *how* many copies now exist,
but I can tell you how many people have sent me $5. Two. Is it useful?
Sure. It's a sort program, and it's fast and good, and all that other stuff.
It's in PC-Sig libraries all over the country and even in Europe.
I've got other programs that are NOT public domain or shareware. There
are public domain and shareware programs in the same categories. Mine are
better than the shareware programs, and I can defend that statement
objectively; I can show reviews in major magazines and compare features, and
do all kinds of other stuff. I can even quote comments from shareware
authors! It just doesn't matter. I can point out that the shareware stuff
actually costs more than mine *if it's registered*. That doesn't matter,
either. As an example of WHY it doesn't matter, I can refer you to a local
community college. They wanted to consider buying one of my programs for the students in the school. I quoted them my educational discount, and the guy
told me he didn't think the school would go for it, even at $15 a copy. Why
not? Because PC-xxx was "free". I told him it really wasn't, but he didn't
want to hear it. He *knew* I was wrong. And the shareware author got
nothing, and I got nothing. Of course, the shareware author may *eventually*
get a .1% return on a million copies distributed; I'll still get nothing. I
can't be any good. I'm not as big as Microsoft. Who is being hurt? Tell me
again how shareware is really a good thing. Pardon me if I don't believe
you.
Look, let's be honest about all of this stuff. People really don't want
to pay *anything* for software. They pirate stuff as a matter of course;
laws against that sort of thing are obeyed about as regularly as the 55 MPH
speed limit used to be and the 65 MPH speed limit probably will be. They
won't contribute for the shareware stuff unless you shame them into it, and
that's the reason for the ever-more-coercive labels on the shareware
programs.
All shareware does is give people the idea that it's all right not to pay
for software; that you ought to pay only if you feel like it--if you're a
wimp, or weird, or something. If you were running a small software company,
you'd be feeling the heat on this. I do, and I am.
One observation I can make is that all this *pleases* the bigger
companies. They know they can keep going longer than the little guys like
you and me. Where is their competition likely to come from, after all? All
software companies started out as small operations and grew. When they got
big enough, a formerly-large company died. If you kill all the little guys,
you'll only have to worry about one of the other big guys. That's a whole
lot easier, isn't it? So look at history: Borland and Lotus were the last
two companies to make it big. That was what--three, four years ago? Who has
done anything even remotely like that since? Before Borland and Lotus, there
were Software Arts, Microsoft, Ashton-Tate, MicroPro, MultiMate, dozens of
companies. There were one or two major successes every year. Since then,
nothing. Do you ever wonder why? And the bigger companies are now merging a
whole lot more than fighting. Latest rumors have Microsoft buying Borland.
In case you don't remember, Ashton-Tate bought out MultiMate, and Lotus
bought out some others (and is buying more all the time).
Shareware is a short-term problem, I'm sure. In a couple of years, no
one will even bother. All the low-end business will be dead forever and all
the big companies will have everything to themselves. If you want to be a
small software company, you will be forced to write accounting programs and
other one-off deals for individual customers. Want more evidence? Take a look at what Microsoft has done to Windows developers. There's a rather
plaintive message in the Microsoft conference from someone who bought the
required hardware and software to do that development: it cost him $7,000.
Now, OS/2 is out. All the old stuff is worthless, and it'll cost another
$3,000 for the OS/2 toolkit. Does that sound nice and friendly to you? Does
that sound like Microsoft is really concerned about small developers? Nor is
Microsoft alone, of course. Check out Apple's plans with Mac software. I'm
still on their developer's lists, and I regularly get solicitations for
hardware and software to do development on that machine. A clue: it ain't
cheap at all, folks. The days when you could buy a $2500 computer and do
commercial development are long gone. Long, long, long gone.
In short, the little guy is being squeezed out of the commercial market.
The only way the little guy can survive is by writing games, and even that
avenue is closing off because of piracy. At the low end, shareware is
killing a lot of the rest of us. People who don't see that are being a
little short-sighted at best, or just plain foolish.
Sorry for the length of this message, but I'm just a little angry. If
you want to post this or re-print it anywhere, you have my permission. Just
include my name as author; I won't become famous or even make enough money to
live on from my software any more. Maybe writing will be a little kinder. I'm just trying to make an honest buck, that's all. I never thought I'd make
a million.

Bruce Tonkin
34069 Hainesville Road
Round Lake IL 60073
-------------------------End of Forwarded Message----------------
To respond to Bruce log into BIX and join the sw.author conference.


--
--Chuck McManis
uucp: {anywhere}!sun!cmcmanis BIX: cmcmanis ARPAnet: cmcm...@sun.com
These views are my own and no one elses. They could be yours too, just
call MrgCop() and then ReThinkDisplay()!

br...@looking.uucp

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May 5, 1987, 9:33:11 PM5/5/87
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The recent discussion on Shareware reminded me of a survey I took
last year, but never reported on.

I asked net readers (supposedly many thousands of high-profile micro
users with wide connections and good programming skills) to send me
their shareware success stories.

What did I get? Essentially none. Several stories of failure, and a
few mentions of programs like PC-Write and ARC. Not one story of
success by a netreader or close associate.

Yes, a very few famous programs have made money for their authors.
Perhaps in these cases the word got around that you were supposed to pay.
But in general, if you put a program out in shareware you won't get
the slightest fraction of your development costs back.

Oddly enough, the less you charge to register, the fewer registrations you
will get. (I guess people figure they won't get anything for a cheap
registration, or that it isn't worth the time.)

One program with a 25 cent registration made the author 50 cents.
On the net, we see a $5 registration making $10.
A program with a $10 registration made $310.
A program with a $50 registration made $600.

All these amounts less than 1 or 2 days consulting fees.

Even the big boys of shareware are gnats compared to Bill Gates and
Peter Norton and Dave Weiner etc.

The conclusion -- Shareware is a hoax. Only a very, very few make money
from it, and their programs would probably have sold far more as
commercial products. (Has PC-Write gone commercial now?)
It was a cute idea, but it just isn't real.

--
Brad Templeton, Looking Glass Software Ltd. - Waterloo, Ontario 519/884-7473

j...@mirror.uucp

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May 6, 1987, 9:44:00 AM5/6/87
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/* Written 9:28 am May 5, 1987 by edw...@vms.macc.wisc.edu.UUCP */
>...
>I have several shareware programs on floppy disk. I do
>not use them, one because I didn't want to learn how, and two I have not
>found a need to do so. The Big Question is should I pay for them? If I
>had to buy them from the store or a mail order company I would not have.
>If shareware means to keep a copy you must pay for it, then I'll hit the
>BIG rm key, del for you messyDOSers. It is a nice feeling though that
>they are there if and when I need them. If I find them that useful I will
>pay for them at that time.

Thats the whole idea. If you find it useful and you use it, then you
pay for it. If you don't use it, then don't pay for it. You are, of
course, free to distribute the shareware to others whether you pay
for it or not.

>If and when that time does come, there probably
>will be a newer, more improved version out. So I will send in my money and
>find this out. What happens if the version I have is severely out dated
>and the asking price is also improved to the authors benefit. Of course I
>will want the newest version, so how much is it going to cost me?

If the price has changed (you can't expect it to stay the same
forever [MS has increased their prices too]) then you pay the new price.
If you decide that the new price is too much then you don't buy it.

>It probably would have been cheaper if I had gotten a copy of the newest
>version and payed for that one instead of what I had.

But you didn't pay for the one you had so how can it be cheaper.
Also, once you register a copy of shareware (pay for it) you are
entitled to free updates if you obtain the updates from normal
distribution channels. If you want the author to send you updates,
then you must pay for that service just like you have to pay MS for
updates.

>If I want the latest
>version of MSC I look in the magazine, and call the mail order firm with
>the lowest, reliable price. I have a better chance at getting the most
>recent copy from a mail order place than from ye ole BBS.

When you register your shareware, you will be informed of the current
version number and what BBSs to call to get the latest version. You can
usually get a disk mailed to you with the current version if you send
money to cover postage and handling.
Don't forget, when you buy that MSC, you not only pay for the
program, you pay for that ad in the mag, you pay the mail order firm
for the service of selling you the program, you pay the firm that shipped
the program to the mail order firm, etc.

>Do I have a money back warrantee if after really using the shareware program
>I find that its defective.

Before you sent in your money, you tried the software and decided that
it would do what you wanted. The suggested trial period is 30 days
but if you really need more time then take it. I don't know of very
many "major firms" that let you have the software on a trial basis (I
mean the entire package, not a demo that won't let you do anything
constructive).

>I realize that the chances are bad with other
>software from major firms. From observations on BBS and Usenet I see an
>awful lot of new and improve version of programs, shareware and otherwise,
>after the umpteenth update my pocket book is complaining and might not I
>have been better off, not to use it, or purchased a different product.

Since you don't pay for updates of shareware, your pocket book shouldn't
complain. "Major firms" make a lot of new and improved versions too
but they charge for the upgrades (now your pocket book should
complain).

>I do realize it is the nature of software to be updated, but somehow it
>seems that some of the programs, including shareware, were lacking in the
>first place and through the distribution the product was improved.

True.

>Another problem I have is what happens when the OS is improved so much that
>the shareware program no longer functions?

Same thing that happens when non-shareware stops working when the OS is
improved.

>I think one of the ways that
>...

>My last observation on shareware and its failure is advertising. How can
>people buy something they know nothing about. Is the range of the
>distribution of shareware as great as the range of MS or other companies?
>I think not, what percent is it?

I don't know what the percent is. The range of the distribution of shareware
is great but not as great as MS because shareware authors don't spend money
on ads on TV or in mags. This is how we all save money; neither the author
nor the user has to pay other companies for running ads.

> My very last observation is about the
>shareware message I see when I brought up PC-WRITE, everytime I brought it
>up I saw the send X amount of dollars to some place. Does this disappear
>when I send in my money? That message does not look professional to me,
>it looks cheap and very commericial. Almost like the author should pay me
>everytime I call PC-WRITE up, because he is using my screen like a
>billboard, or an add in a magazine.

Your right, your PERSONAL REGISTERED copy shouldn't have that ad show
up every time but it must show up on any shareware you distribute. The
person evaluating the software should be made aware that it is not PD
and should be informed where to register their copy if they wish to
use it. I don't know about PC-WRITE (I don't have it) but PROCOMM
and other shareware programs stop displaying that ad after a
reasonable amount of time (they keep track of the number of times run
in a data file). There have also been patches to eliminate these ads
from your personal copy.

>
> edw...@vms.macc.wisc.edu
> {allegra, ihnp4, seismo}!uwvax!uwmacc!edwards
> UW-Madison, 1210 West Dayton St., Madison WI 53706

j...@mirror.TMC.COM

to...@tekgvs.uucp

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May 7, 1987, 10:41:44 AM5/7/87
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In article <14...@uwmacc.UUCP> edw...@uwwircs.UUCP (Mark Edwards) writes:
>... My very last observation is about the shareware message

>I see when I brought up PC-WRITE, everytime I brought it up I saw the send
>X amount of dollars to some place. Does this disappear when I send in my
>money? ...

Well, when you register for PC-WRITE (which costs a whopping $89 -- I'm
glad the term "shareware" is winning out over "freeware") you can get a
copy of the sources and then can eliminate that screen.

Having cut my micro-computer teeth with CP/M, I have seen a lot of PD programs
(no shareware back then) and most of it has been trash. But I have been
a registered user of PC-Write for 2 years, and have just registered for
Don Kneller's NDMAKE program. I am also a dedicated user of the PD CED
program, but am guilty of not contributing (yet) for the wonderful PKARC.

In general, the PD/Shareware utility programs have been excellent; as good as
or better than the commercially available versions (I use dozens of the PD
programs, and have written several of my own). But these individuals,
typically writing in their spare time, just cannot turn out large programs.
I used several PD compilers back in CP/M, but all the compilers I use now
are commercial. My experiences with shareware communication, database,
spreadsheet, and outlining programs has been universally bad. But I do use
the PD Kermit and MEX (CP/M).

Too many recent shareware programs are just broken versions (either missing
functions or vital documentation) of commercial products. (I am afraid that
PC-WRITE is now in that category since it costs $45 to buy documentation which
used to be on the disk.) As such, the should be considered as preview copies
which allow examining the software before buying it. But low cost commercial
products should be considered as well. I ended up paying $70 for VP-Planner
getting a genuinely useful spreadsheed program for little more than the
registration costs of the awkward shareware program. Likewise the easy
to use, well documented KAMAS (for MS-DOS) outline program sells for $75.

Tom Almy
Tektronix

Leder

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May 7, 1987, 11:17:55 AM5/7/87
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In article <14...@uwmacc.UUCP>, edw...@vms.macc.wisc.edu (Mark Edwards) writes:

> In article <18...@sun.uucp> cmcm...@sun.uucp (Chuck McManis) writes:
> >TITLE: A long tirade, being my opinions.
> > The problem with shareware ... Second, it hurts little companies..

I would disagree in that a lot of software would not be available at any
price if it were not for shareware. Authors might ship their stuff to
the public domain, but many would find it not worth the effort. Secondly,
if there is sufficient support for a program (in contributions) the
author has an incentive to support it. I can remember many programs on
cp/m that appeared only once with no updates or bug fixes because the
author had no good reason to do it.

> The Big Question is should I pay for them? If I had to buy ...

In my opinion (and we all know about opinions) the whole idea of
shareware is paying for what we use. I think that we are doing the author
a favor and a honor if we retain a copy that we may someday use or
distribute (and pay for if we do decide to use it).


> Do I have a money back warrantee if after really using the shareware program

You must be dreaming. At least with shareware, you can get some idea of
the usefulness of the program before you purchase it. Ask LOTUS or MS
about the "no cost updates to fix bugs" (this is a joke). You probably
would have better luck with a shareware author because the guy selling
you the software would be more embarrassed by the error(s).

Bob Leder - just using up those idle cpu cycles

Vicarious Oyster

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May 8, 1987, 9:43:04 AM5/8/87
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In article <7...@looking.UUCP> @looking.UUCP (Brad Templeton) writes:
>The conclusion -- Shareware is a hoax. Only a very, very few make money
>from it, and their programs would probably have sold far more as
>commercial products. (Has PC-Write gone commercial now?)
>It was a cute idea, but it just isn't real.

Shareware as a money-making prospect may be a hoax. Shareware as a way
to have a lot of people use your software, and have at least *some* chance
of having somebody express appreciation to you in a concrete way (i.e. $$$)
stills sounds like a good idea to me. An example is Uniterm (for the ST);
it's a very good PD terminal emulator/communications program which many
ST users use. If it had come with a shareware-type request for a few dollars
(like, $30), I would have paid already. I've already considered trying to
drum up support for people contributing to a "color monitor for Simon"
fund, just to encourage the author to expand his support for the program
(and possibly others in the future).

Future Unix Gurus

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May 8, 1987, 10:37:26 AM5/8/87
to
In article <7...@looking.UUCP> @looking.UUCP (Brad Templeton) writes:
>The recent discussion on Shareware reminded me of a survey I took
>last year, but never reported on.
>
>I asked net readers (supposedly many thousands of high-profile micro
>users with wide connections and good programming skills) to send me
>their shareware success stories.
(lines deleted)

>Yes, a very few famous programs have made money for their authors.
(lines deleted)

>The conclusion -- Shareware is a hoax. Only a very, very few make money
>from it, and their programs would probably have sold far more as
>commercial products. (Has PC-Write gone commercial now?)
>It was a cute idea, but it just isn't real.

Wait a minute on this, how are you defining shareware? If you honestly expected to get rich of off shareware, than your naivete is showing. Obviously when
you ask for vouluntary payment on something, only a fraction (and a tiny one at that) of the consumers are going to pay. Rule #1 of human behavior= people are
greedy. (Rule #2 is, if someone doesn't seem to be greeedy, consult rule #1).

I have always felt that shareware was a modified PD, NOT a modified commercial
scheme. Shareware is nice in that it provides an organized way of saying thanks.If you expected any more than that, well, you give people ALOT more credit
than I do.

If you WANT to be commercial, then BE commercial! Take out ads, do the
duplication and packaging your self, and charge for copies by the copy. If
on the other hand, you are devloping things that for one reason or another
you don't want to market, but do want to share and would like a little
recognition, release it as SHAREWARE (note the derivation of the word, it
aint called COMMERCIALWARE! :) )

If there is a hoax here, people have pulled it on themselves, thanx to rule
#1 above!

Jeff Kesselman
u...@puff.cs.wisc.edu

Kurt Guntheroth

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May 8, 1987, 12:54:30 PM5/8/87
to
Are WE the Amiga's worst enemy?

What, you ask? How could loyal amigos be the Amiga's worst enemy?
Didn't we buy amigas early? Don't we provide public-domain and
shareware programs that make the Amiga more desirable? Of course we
did (good). Of course we do (good???).

The Amiga has a high proportion of good/usable public domain programs.
Is it possible that these programs take enough revenue away from
software companies that they don't bother to enter the amiga market?
Remember that companies starting to support a new computer probably
want to ease into the market with a little product to sort of test the
waters. Well, the users already have versions of all the little
programs and some big ones as well. Anyone care to speculate whether
this is a real problem?

I guess this says that shareware is evil again. Hmmm. Do I believe this?

Mitsuharu Hadeishi

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May 8, 1987, 3:05:16 PM5/8/87
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Summary:

I think it would be wise if some of the clearly talented and
well-informed Amiga shareware/PD programmers would spend some of their
valuable time on well-designed, fully-debugged, highly useful
commercial products. I'm not saying go out and gouge the public,
(there isn't all that much of a public to gouge, and I hardly expect
they'd volunteer to get gouged by you) but to spend some time
producing something which would not only be useful to others and
would give you the ability to continue to eat while doing so.
Money is a kind of fantasy substance which makes trading easier;
for someone to give you some of his "money" in return for some of
your effort is just the whole point of money in the first place.
That's pretty much what money is supposed to be used for (this is not,
of course, the model used by most high-finance people or investment
bankers; they make money the new-fashioned way, they conjure it out
of nowhere.) So, why not ask people to give you some of their
eating-power to you, so you can eat while providing a service?
The Amiga has TONS of high-quality PD/shareware; just look at the
massive tomes of Fish disks that contain almost as high as one
program per disk that I actually can use regularly, which is
a miracle as shareware goes. What we LACK is high-quality commercial
software; software which pays attention to DESIGN. Tools people
can use, ordinary non-hackers, which require a lot of design work, which
means MONEY.

-Mitsu

andrew brian gross

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May 8, 1987, 3:33:44 PM5/8/87
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Summary:A retailer's view

Distribution:na


There has been a fair amount of speculation recently, both on the net and in
Amiga-orientated magazines, about the lack of Amiga software. In particular,
it has just been suggested that PD/shareware may be partly responsible for
commercial software companies' failure to develop for the machine.
I thought that some of you may be interested in what a retailer
thinks. (By way of introduction, I have worked the last few summers in various
Columbus Ohio computer stores, most recently in a management type position, and
yes, I do order from 'big' distributors).
Many of the largest distributors that I have done business with-- some of the
largest in the country, in fact-- either never carried Amiga software in the
first place, or recently dropped it. Most carried games, and not a lot else.
Now, having an Amiga myself, you can imagine that I am somewhat distressed by
this, and have quized just about anyone I could get my hands on within these
organizations. There were *consistently* three reasons given for the lack of
interest in supporting the Amiga:

1) Lack of an installed base of users. The distributors who supply retailers
simply cannot afford to buy Amiga software in volume.

2) Lack of reliable information/pricing policies/etc. from commodore. This
mainly applies to hardware, of course, but for some reason distributors always
brought it up anyway. Basically, they were afraid to get burned holding
merchandise that had gotten marked down. Unfortunately, I often got the
feeling that this fear extended itself to *anything* related to the Amiga.

3) ***Amiga owners do not buy software!*** Virtually every distributor would
mention that C-compilers sold like hotcakes, but that he couldn't unload a
home accounting package to save his life. Distributors almost universally
held the opinion that Amiga owners ***do their own programming***.

I tend to agree, to be honest. Last summer, I sold *over 100 ST's* (To put
that in context, our store frequently had only one person working at a time--
it wasn't that big :-) ), about half were to people who new virtually
nothing--and cared even less-- about computers. The few Amigas we sold (2
or 3) were sold to hackers who knew exactly what they were getting. Similarly
friends who worked at other computer stores, including Earthrise (an exclusively Commodore store) commented that they very seldom sold Amigas to people who
didn't know much about computers.

What does this boil down to? Basically, as far as I (and my distributors) can
tell, most people who own Amigas DO NOT WANT OR NEED commercial software-- at
least not enough to shell out any kind of reasonable money. Is shareware or
PD software a culprit? I don't know. If it is, I think that it is probably
more because users want it that way than because it is 'scaring off' commercial
developers.

In any case, the Amiga 500 -- truly, a 'commercial' machine-- should answer
these questions.

Finally, I don't think that I've said anything to offend anyone, and I hope
that some of you developer/programmer types have gotten a new perspective;
but if i did offend anyone, I'm sorry.

Future Unix Gurus

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May 8, 1987, 4:42:52 PM5/8/87
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In article <16...@sphinx.uchicago.edu> ab...@sphinx.UUCP (andrew brian gross) writes:
>3) ***Amiga owners do not buy software!*** Virtually every distributor would
>mention that C-compilers sold like hotcakes, but that he couldn't unload a
>home accounting package to save his life. Distributors almost universally
>held the opinion that Amiga owners ***do their own programming***.
>

I'm not so sure doing your own programming (or "rolling your own" as my freinds and I call it) is really exclusive of buying application software. Just becuase
I CAN write my own stuff doesn't mean I have the time or inclination to do so.
I'm not about to write my own wordprocessor, for example, it would take me at
least a year of my own recreation time to write what I want to use. Also,
I am a BIG adventure and first person simulation fan. While writing 1st
person simulators falls into my area of specialization, I sure as hell don't
want to have to research and write, for example, a chopper simulator just
for the pleasure of flying it around recreationally. In general my time is worthMUCH more than what I would pay to get someone elses effort.

Also, there is certainly a market for recreational a[pplication generators.
Why hasn't the pinball construction set ben ported by EA?? This kind of

toy that apeals to peiple who write their own programs. I'm stillwaiting for
a GOOD Amiga specific text/graphics adventure constructor (I may write THAT one myself, eventually, if seomone doesn't do it first.)

In general, I think the standards set by people who program are more demanding, but they will certainly buy something they enjoy. We're all people too, after all. (Also, why haven't there been more commercial programming utilities, if they
really se it as that kind of market? It would take a little imaination, but I can think of all sorts of things that still need to be written to make Amiga
programming truely enjoyable!)

Jeff Kesselman
u...@puff.cs.wisc.edu

Mike Farren

unread,
May 9, 1987, 8:58:23 AM5/9/87
to

It is worth remembering that the original name for shareware was
"Freeware", a term subsequently copywrighted by Andrew Flugelman, the
author of PC-TALK, the first shareware product (and probably one of
the most successful). It is also worth remembering that Andy's
original concept had nothing to do with any "obligation" to pay. His
point was that there was no obligation of any sort - if you wanted to
send money because you liked the program and found it of use, then
fine. If you liked the program and didn't send money, then fine. If
you didn't like the program and didn't send money, then fine.

If everyone concerned would take an attitude like this, there would be
a lot less heat all around. What the hell, I've done shareware, and
wasn't disappointed that no bucks came in. I wrote the utility for my
own pleasure and use, and hoped that it was of use for others.
Whether or not I made big bucks was NEVER the point.

--
----------------
"... if the church put in half the time on covetousness
Mike Farren that it does on lust, this would be a better world ..."
hoptoad!farren Garrison Keillor, "Lake Wobegon Days"

Jim Wiley

unread,
May 9, 1987, 1:20:00 PM5/9/87
to

ab...@sphinx.UUCP (andrew brian gross) writes

> There were *consistently* three reasons given for the lack of
> interest in supporting the Amiga:
>
> 1) Lack of an installed base of users. The distributors who supply retailers
> simply cannot afford to buy Amiga software in volume.
>
> 2) Lack of reliable information/pricing policies/etc. from commodore. This
> mainly applies to hardware, of course, but for some reason distributors always
> brought it up anyway. Basically, they were afraid to get burned holding
> merchandise that had gotten marked down. Unfortunately, I often got the
> feeling that this fear extended itself to *anything* related to the Amiga.
>
> 3) ***Amiga owners do not buy software!*** Virtually every distributor would
> mention that C-compilers sold like hotcakes, but that he couldn't unload a
> home accounting package to save his life. Distributors almost universally
> held the opinion that Amiga owners ***do their own programming***.

It seems that people who buy Amigas are people who know about computers
and know what they want in a home computer. I think a BIG part of the
problem is not so much that "Amiga owners ***do their own programming***"
but that people who do their own programming prefer the Amiga. There is
a difference. And there is a reason. Lack of advertizing. The lack
of advertizing for the Amiga keeps people who don't know much about
computers in the dark and so they don't know that it's what they really
want. And these are the same people who buy software rather than write
it. People who know about computers make it their business to know
what is new and hot. And these are to people likely to do their own
programming. The fact that the Amiga sells to people who know what's
great says a lot for the machine. With a good mass media advertizing
campaign (sp?) to reach the uninformed, the Amiga could command a
large portion of the market.

To C-A: ***ADVERTIZE***

disclaimer: These opinions are my own. Really...they are. I thought
them up all by myself. So there!

Jim Wiley

Mike (My watch has windows) Meyer

unread,
May 9, 1987, 5:22:34 PM5/9/87
to
In article <7...@puff.WISC.EDU> u...@puff.WISC.EDU (Future Unix Gurus) writes:
>If you WANT to be commercial, then BE commercial! Take out ads, do the
>duplication and packaging your self, and charge for copies by the copy.

Well said! On the other hand:

>If on the other hand, you are devloping things that for one reason or another
>you don't want to market, but do want to share and would like a little
>recognition, release it as SHAREWARE (note the derivation of the word, it
>aint called COMMERCIALWARE! :) )

Since you said "recognition," not "dollars," you can take the route I
took. Copyright the thing, and put in notices saying "you can redist
so long as all copyright notices stay in place, and you give away
source." Also add restrictions that bug reports and enhancements be
sent back to the author, and explicit instructions on how to get them
there.

I did this with a text formatter for CP/M about 5 years ago. Result:

A 6" stack of mail, most being short things of the form "small tex is
great! Is there a new version?" from all over the world (have to
check, but I think I've got mail from every continent but Antartica).
Some of them are enhancements. A listing of a port to OS/9-6809. A
few requests for new features. One request for permission to
explicitly mention my name in an article printed with small tex, so
that those who read the article know where to go to get a copy, along
with a copy of the article. [High point: no bug reports! I found one
minor bug, even though I used small tex steadily for three years.] And
an offer of $15/copy if I do an IBM-PC port, with a projected sales of
at least 1000 copies/year.

Sure looks like recognition to me. And it's sure worth more than the
hundred dollars or so I'd have gotten if I'd asked for money. I
suspect I wouldn't have gotten most of that mail if I'd asked for
money, so I think I won.

<mike
--
Take a magic carpet to the olden days Mike Meyer
To a mythical land where everybody lays ucbvax!mwm
Around in the clouds in a happy daze m...@berkeley.edu
In Kizmiaz ... Kizmiaz m...@ucbjade.BITNET

Rahul Dhesi

unread,
May 9, 1987, 7:29:25 PM5/9/87
to
In article <21...@hoptoad.uucp> far...@hoptoad.UUCP (Mike Farren) writes:
> ...It is also worth remembering that [Flugelman's
>concept of shareware] had nothing to do with any "obligation" to pay.

And this is something that a lot of shareware authors forget. If
your documentation says, "this contribution is voluntary", it makes no
sense to fret when people don't pay. Is it voluntary, or is it not?
If it isn't, you shouldn't be using the term "shareware" anyway.
--
Rahul Dhesi
ARPA: bsu-cs!dh...@iuvax.cs.indiana.edu
UUCP: {ihnp4,seismo}!{iuvax,pur-ee}!bsu-cs!dhesi

Scott Turner

unread,
May 9, 1987, 8:34:16 PM5/9/87
to
In article <7...@looking.UUCP> @looking.UUCP (Brad Templeton) writes:
>Oddly enough, the less you charge to register, the fewer registrations you
>will get. (I guess people figure they won't get anything for a cheap
>registration, or that it isn't worth the time.)
>
>One program with a 25 cent registration made the author 50 cents.
>On the net, we see a $5 registration making $10.
>A program with a $10 registration made $310.
>A program with a $50 registration made $600.
I know of a programmer who asked $15 and got >$2000 for his Amiga program.
He even got a commercial firm to pay into 3 digits to distribute his program
with their product.

From observing shareware it seems to me that there are three paths to making it
work:

1. Know the right people. The only way that programmer got included with the
commercial product was through a contact with the commercial programmer.

2. Being in the right place at the right time with the right product. I call
this "luck" as it takes a pile of it.

3. Giving people something for their money. As the commies will tell you,
human nature is such that MOST people will not do Y to get X if they can get
X without doing Y. Our "buddies" (Hey Gorbachev wants us to think they're our
buddies right? :-)) in the USSR solved this delima by introducing the D factor.
Do Y and you get X, don't do Y and you get D (usually D := Dead;). PC Write
fills in D with user support. Most shareware authors though don't supply a D
factor and hence get very little for their effort. They decide to be like Lenin
and depend on the D factor not being needed, maybe in another universe fellas.
Do also note that a D factor of "Send me your HARD earned money and I'll
register you as a user and let you know about future updates" don't hack it.
After all, they got the original some how. Most people are smart enough to make
the connection that if they hang around the same place they'll get the updates
too :).

>All these amounts less than 1 or 2 days consulting fees.

Quite frankly most shareware authors would be doing good to get THAT much in
consulting fees. If they could they'd be consulting!

>The conclusion -- Shareware is a hoax. Only a very, very few make money
>from it, and their programs would probably have sold far more as

Shareware isn't a hoax. It's just that most people treat it as "Money for
nothing" by providing no D factor or a rather limp wristed one.

Scott Turner

L5 Computing, the home of Merlin, Arthur, Excalibur and the CRAM.
GEnie: JST | UUCP: stride!l5comp!scotty | 12311 Maplewood Ave; Edmonds WA 98020
If Motorola had wanted us to use BPTR's they'd have built in shifts on A regs
[ BCL? Just say *NO*! ] (I don't smoke, send flames to /dev/null)

root

unread,
May 10, 1987, 2:06:08 AM5/10/87
to
in article <5...@bsu-cs.UUCP>, dh...@bsu-cs.UUCP (Rahul Dhesi) says:
>
> And this is something that a lot of shareware authors forget. If
> your documentation says, "this contribution is voluntary", it makes no
> sense to fret when people don't pay. Is it voluntary, or is it not?
> If it isn't, you shouldn't be using the term "shareware" anyway.

I tend to only rarely pay for shareware. I only rarely pay for
"real-life" software. My usual criteria are

1) usefull
2) I have a use for it.
3) I have M1 ( ok, money ... for non economic types )

for example.. I find an interesting shareware game and I play it for
20 minutes and then decide that it is not worth the disk space. Again,
typical of most computer games. I feel no obligation to contribute.

similiar example.... same as first, but add in sources. This is different
.. If this s/w can now be changed and molded to your specific needs and
is a good starting point then I will send in a contribution.

frequently found case: Shareware is a hoax for "demo" versions of a
companies s/w package in disguise a something usefull. This is something
I hate...... they should send ME money to evaluate it. This especially
bad if it happens over usenet as in the case of some well known prolog..

so to recap:
I will gladly donate to shareware authors if I have a REAL use for
the software and if sources are provided.


Alex P Novickis

DIS-CLAIMER: opinions you say ??


UUCP: {ihnp4,ames,qantel,sun,seismo,amdahl,lll-crg,pyramid}!ptsfa!nonvon!apn

{* Only those who attempt the absurd ... will achieve the impossible *}
{* I think... I think it's in my basement... Let me go upstairs and check. *}
{* -escher *}

Bill Fischer

unread,
May 10, 1987, 9:22:33 AM5/10/87
to
In article <22...@tekgvs.TEK.COM> to...@tekgvs.UUCP (Thomas Almy) writes:
>[...] My experiences with shareware communication, database,

>spreadsheet, and outlining programs has been universally bad.
>
I am sorry to hear that. My experience with PD / Shareware packages has been
generally good. In particular;

PROCOMM 2.4.2 is an EXCELLENT communications package, available complete from
the "BBS distribution" with docs and a "timed release" program registration
request that disappears after 15 uses or so.

PC-DBMS is a "flatfile" data base manager that was suprisingly easy to develop
and use. It uses a somewhat unconventional user interface and command set, but
it's no weirder than most commercial packages.

There are a million spreadsheets in the PD, and while there certainly is a lot
of crap, I've found that in some simpler applications it's easier to get some-
one up and running using a "strippo" spreadsheet than to inflict something like
the LOTUS 123 command set on the new user.

PCO or BBO, Brown Bag Software's Shareware outline package is functionally
complete with the "BBS distribution" and has all the functions and features
a casual user could want along with a simple, "makes sense" interface and
command set.

The above examples are specific answers to Thomas Almy's comments. I would
like to add PC-Deskteam as a good example of Shareware. This TSR, SIDEKICK
type of package is, in my huble opinion, better than any of the commercially
available stuff.

One last comment, KERMIT is NOT PD. Columbia University holds the copyright
on KERMIT but allows unlimited UNMODIFIED copies to be distributed so long
as no charge for the program itself. This allows Columbia to maintain
control of "official" versions of KERMIT so this package can mature gracefully
not haphazardly.


--
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| Bill Fischer "When the gods wish to punish us, |
| ...!ihnp4!chinet!wmf they answer our prayers." - Oscar Wilde |
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+

Scott Turner

unread,
May 10, 1987, 10:25:53 AM5/10/87
to
In article <16...@sphinx.uchicago.edu> ab...@sphinx.UUCP (andrew brian gross) writes:
>There has been a fair amount of speculation recently, both on the net and in
>Amiga-orientated magazines, about the lack of Amiga software. In particular,
>it has just been suggested that PD/shareware may be partly responsible for
>commercial software companies' failure to develop for the machine.
Blaming shareware and the PD for the commercial sectors problems it a load of
bull manure. As an Amiga software/hardware developer AND software/hardware
consumer I think the following has more to do with the general apathy towards
commercial software:

1. A lot of it is RUBBISH! EA is king of the rubbish pile. I WILL NOT purchase
anymore EA gameware. I shelled out bux for SkyFox, and not only can I not load
it onto my winnie it doesn't work with my expanded memory and 1.2!!! Their
non-gameware stuff I just barely tolerate. I own both DeluxePaint and
DeluxePaint II. I found DeluxePaint next to useless and DeluxePaint II is VERY
prone to crashing on my system. As for DMCS, I've worked with the Amiga sound
system, I know what it can do. DMCS doesn't even come close to making it work
it's heart out. DMCS seems to be more of a MIDI tool than anything else.

2. Pricing is wild. I really love paying $120 for a paint program. Or $50 for
a game. Makes me want to run out everyday and snap up these bargains <snicker>.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not impoverished, you should see my CD collection! I
just will not buy something when I know I'm being shafted on the price. But I
can and WILL pay top dollar for top dollar programs. I've shelled out over
$100 to MetaComCo for their toolkit and shell and I don't regret it for a
second. I've shelled out $400 for Dynamic CAD and gotten the worst pile of
bugs next to EA-ware. My shelves are lined with commercial software, with the
exception of the MetaComCo products I find myself using very little of it
from day to day. Which depresses me when I think about it, I've got $$$ tied
up in that bookcase pile of rubbish!

3. C-A. With good ol' "Crazy" Commodore as a reason what more reason could a
company want for avoiding the Amiga market? C-A has failed to let all of us
in on where they are going with this machine. One day they're headed one way,
next month the SideCar is all but scrap and we have the A2000. Such instability
at the top makes companies nervous and for damn good reasons!

4. Lack of distribution. Due to C-A's miss-handling of the Amiga there aren't
that many dealers out there selling the machines. Being an Amiga dealer is a
true nightmare thanks to Commodore. Without piles of dealers to buy from
distributors the distributors can't keep their volumes up.

In short the commercial sector has piles of troubles without anyone trying to
peg it on PD/shareware. If anything it's been the PD/shareware that has kept
the Amiga alive. Which C-A is now attempting to rectify with their new
developer program :-). Yep, squash the people that keep the Amiga on top and
hand it to the likes of EA, works for me. :)

Scott Turner

--

L5 Computing, the home of Merlin, Arthur, Excalibur and the CRAM.
GEnie: JST | UUCP: stride!l5comp!scotty | 12311 Maplewood Ave; Edmonds WA 98020
If Motorola had wanted us to use BPTR's they'd have built in shifts on A regs

[ BCPL? Just say *NO*! ] (I don't smoke, send flames to /dev/null)

Michael R. Volow

unread,
May 10, 1987, 11:28:41 PM5/10/87
to

The discussion seems to imply two kinds of shareware: 1) Small utility
programs that do neat things, but which would not truly be marketable
as such as stand-alone programs. From the comments of the previous
discussants, these programs seem to be written as much for the satis-
faction of the programmer, as for their remunerative potential.
Satisfied users should show some appreciation (financial) to the
creator of such programs; for without these programs, life with MS-DOS
would be darn awkward.

2) The second type of shareware seems to be a medium-sized commercial
program with some remunerative potential. And the shareware distrib-
ution of such programs represents an invitation to try out the pack-
age. In some cases, the power or documentation of the
shareware-distributed package has been restricted by the author to
encourage remuneration by the user.

In the real world, I suspect that the second type of shareware would
be more likely to stimulate remuneration than the first type; and this
seems to be the experience described by the discussants. For example,
users might be more likely to register for programs such as Procomm or
PC-Write, than for useful but small utility programs.

--Mike Volow, Psychiatry, Durham Veterans Administration Medical Center
Durham, NC, 27712 919 383 3568
mv...@ecsvax.UUCP

Steve Walton

unread,
May 11, 1987, 12:17:44 PM5/11/87
to
I thought I'd pass on a comment from Bill Volk of Aegis Development
which he made on BIX. He was talking about piracy of commercial
software, but the same comment applies to shareware.

"Look, it's simple economics. If the only value of the product is on
the magnetic media, then it will be copied...[points out you need
support, updates, distribution, etc. in purchase price, then] Sonix
is $79.95, for which you get a 250+ page manual. How many copies do
you think will be pirated?"
Steve Walton, guest as wal...@tybalt.caltech.edu
AMETEK Computer Research Division, ametek!wal...@csvax.caltech.edu
"Long signatures are definitely frowned upon"--USENET posting rules

far...@hoptoad.uucp

unread,
May 12, 1987, 2:57:18 AM5/12/87
to
In article <26...@cit-vax.Caltech.Edu> wal...@tybalt.caltech.edu.UUCP (Steve Walton) writes:
>[Bill Volk of Aegis says:]

>"Look, it's simple economics. If the only value of the product is on
>the magnetic media, then it will be copied...[points out you need
>support, updates, distribution, etc. in purchase price, then] Sonix
>is $79.95, for which you get a 250+ page manual. How many copies do
>you think will be pirated?"

Considering the amount of stink that's being raised *already* about
the pirating of SONIX, my answer would probably be "billyuns and
billyuns".

With a tip of the Farren hat to Carl Sagan,

j...@elmgate.uucp

unread,
May 15, 1987, 10:06:44 PM5/15/87
to
In article <8...@sputnik.COM> ku...@tc.fluke.COM (Kurt Guntheroth) writes:
>Are WE the Amiga's worst enemy?
>
>The Amiga has a high proportion of good/usable public domain programs.
>Is it possible that these programs take enough revenue away from
>software companies that they don't bother to enter the amiga market?
>Remember that companies starting to support a new computer probably
>want to ease into the market with a little product to sort of test the
>waters. Well, the users already have versions of all the little
>programs and some big ones as well. Anyone care to speculate whether
>this is a real problem?
>
A real interesting point. As many of you know (those who also read
comp.sys.atari.st, I've taken some heat (which I asked for) for my stand
of "quality Amiga PD software" vs. "Rather poor (on the whole) ST PD
software". Given a rather small Amiga market ( <200,000 units????),
does DME(nice job!!) or uGNUmacs take business away from, say,
MicroSmith's? Just an example.....

Further, do officials (whoever 'they' are) at CBM regret this? For
example "If those darn hackers would 'sell' their wares in the stores,
instead of 'giving' it away, there would be more buyer incentive to
purchase an Amiga, because there would be more commercial software." An
interesting thought. Who at CBM-Amiga would have guessed that such a
talented group of programmers (you gals and guys) would adopt their
brain child, and then 'give' away (for free!) their labors? Certainly
there 'might' be a point to be made. I'm in no way suggesting that you
stop. Simply, could the excellence of your work have discouraged an
equally excellent work that would have been commercial? Guess I've
asked the question as the poster, huh?


--
Jeff Gortatowsky {seismo,allegra}!rochester!kodak!elmgate!jdg
Eastman Kodak Company
These comments are mine alone and not Eastman Kodak's. How's that for a
simple and complete disclaimer?

sco...@l5comp.uucp

unread,
May 19, 1987, 4:46:06 PM5/19/87
to
In article <36...@garfield.UUCP> joh...@garfield.UUCP writes:
>The toolkit and shell from MetaComCo don't do anything you can't do just as
>well or better for free. Both Matt Dillon's shell and ConMan appeal to me more
>as CLI improvements than the MetaComCo shell, and the toolkit consists (if my
>memory serves correctly) of a tiny fraction of a disk-full of programs,
>including
The toolkit also comes with a top notch disassembler. This item by itself was
worth the price of the toolkit. As for your list of PD/shareware tools that
compete with MCC Toolkit. The toolkit was available before half the items you
list were available. :) I have also NEVER had any trouble with the MetaComCo
Shell, I can't say the same for the various PD/shareware shell's I've tried.
Even the ConMan had (or should I say 'has'?) his problems. The MCC stuff worked
OUT OF THE BOX, and came with PRINTED, BOUND documentation. I also get a company
I can yell at if anything does go bump. Yell at a PD author and ya either get A.
A list of his/her priorities with yours near the bottom. B. "What did ya expect
for free?" Source code is a 'luke warm' support at best, when the chips are
down and you have 2 hours to burn a set of EPROMs for delivery on a $100,000
contract THE LAST THING you need is to be forced to dig through the source code
to find the problem with a PD linker. And actually in that case I didn't have
source to BLink so I had to whip out the "vapor" Modula 2 and write a quick
hack to massage the file for the EPROM programmer. And I had been contacting
the authors via their BBS before that fateful last two hour period and kept
getting answer # A.

When I had a nasty problem with the Amiga Macro Assembler I called C-A tech
support. I got ZILCH except they took my bug report. :) I called MCC and got
instant attention and was told that the problem had been fixed, but sadly they
couldn't sell me the new assembler or update me or anything because of some
deal with C-A. Well today, 7 months later, I have that assembler that person
was talking about. Cost me $27. The bug is indeed gone, it's nearly twice as
fast, and carries a date stamp nearly a month in advance of when I called them.
(ie the guy wasn't lying to me) The stuff works. I have a hard time trying to
figure out how a bunch that can make such solid performers could also be the
same outfit that gave us the 'dog' but what would life be without puzzles?

As for EA and the Paint series... DP was great for doodling but if you had
serious work for it, like making illustrations to be printed on a laser printer,
it just couldn't handle it. And before the DP loyalists scream WHAT?!? lasers
print at 300 dpi. At that resolution even the largest screen DP can handle is
VERY tiny, so they have to be blown up by the printer. When this is done those
nice small dots become big fat squares... DP is also missing alot of those
"small" features that make MacPaint more useful (like hold down shift to move
in straight lines as a single example of what I mean). DPII excited me, here
was a MacPaint class drawing program! It's still doesn't leave me with a comfy
feeling to use it. I could work with MacPaint without fear that something I was
going to do would crash the machine and steal my work. The comments made above
about the lasso do nothing to make me feel better, why should it crash AT ALL?

As an Amiga programmer I've had my fill of an environment where the ROM likes
to stick it's guru out and say "ya shouldn't have done that". I want my tools
to KEEP me out of harms way. Not stand there and let me get run down and then
laugh about it! Sounds pretty silly to go into the boss and say "The copper
ate my illustration". And people like Jerry Pournelle get TONS of mileage out
of stuff like this!

To summarize, I eat or starve by the quality of my tools. It's also not enough
for them to show up any ol' day, they have to be there when I need them. I don't
care WHERE the tool comes from but it has to be quality and be there when I need
it. I use both PD/shareware and commercial. I tend to find most commercial stuff
to be useless trash which makes my praise of MCC's tools all the higher.

Joanne Albano

unread,
May 22, 1987, 9:30:41 AM5/22/87
to
In article <1...@l5comp.UUCP>, sco...@l5comp.UUCP (Scott Turner) writes:
> The toolkit also comes with a top notch disassembler. This item by itself was
> worth the price of the toolkit...

> :) I have also NEVER had any trouble with the MetaComCo
> Shell, I can't say the same for the various PD/shareware shell's I've tried.
> Even the ConMan had (or should I say 'has'?) his problems. The MCC stuff worked
> OUT OF THE BOX, and came with PRINTED, BOUND documentation. I also get a company
> I can yell at if anything does go bump.
> ...

> To summarize, I eat or starve by the quality of my tools. It's also not enough
> for them to show up any ol' day, they have to be there when I need them. I don't
> care WHERE the tool comes from but it has to be quality and be there when I need
> it. I use both PD/shareware and commercial. I tend to find most commercial stuff
> to be useless trash which makes my praise of MCC's tools all the higher.

I know that more than enough has been said about the alleged damage
that PD S/W is/has effected upon AMIGA ADVANCEMENT, but I think
Scott's comments make clear the fact that PD and Commercial
software should fill two entirely separate NICHES. Public
Domain is really a "swim-at-your-own-risk" proposition. Running
such software typically means that you accept the fact that it
may not come with adequate documentation, may not perform as
advertised, and may require an investment of your time to get
it "working" in your environment. On the other hand, for your
BUCK$ you should expect that the Commercially-available product
be fully tested and that hand-holding be available either through
extensive clear documentation and/or free telephone support.
I think the problem lies not with the Public Domain S/W that is
available but with the Commercial Software. If it cannot compete
when there are these two separate NICHES then maybe the Commercial
Product does not have a market or asks it customers to "Swim-
at-their-own-risk".

rochester!ur-cvsvax!jea (Joanne Albano)

joh...@garfield.uucp

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May 22, 1987, 11:35:12 PM5/22/87
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In article <1...@l5comp.UUCP>, sco...@l5comp.UUCP (Scott Turner) writes:
>I can yell at if anything does go bump. Yell at a PD author and ya either get A.
>A list of his/her priorities with yours near the bottom. B. "What did ya expect
>for free?"

I've found the exact opposite to be the case where I could reach the authors
on the net...I'm glad they saw my messages right after the ol' "You have
mail" message instead of hearing me at 3 AM on the phone, though :-)!



>As for EA and the Paint series... DP was great for doodling but if you had
>serious work for it, like making illustrations to be printed on a laser printer,
>it just couldn't handle it. And before the DP loyalists scream WHAT?!? lasers
>print at 300 dpi. At that resolution even the largest screen DP can handle is
>VERY tiny, so they have to be blown up by the printer. When this is done those
>nice small dots become big fat squares...

Who wants to write a program to take a DPaint file and print it at 300 DPI,
using some fantastic dithering algorithm to get the colours to come out
as light as they should? Doesn't sound too hard, if I had a Laserprinter I'd
do it myself. (Hint - if anyone actually does this, allow saving of output to
a FILE so I can at least upload it and print it out on a remote printer).

> DP is also missing alot of those
> "small" features that make MacPaint more useful (like hold down shift to move
> in straight lines as a single example of what I mean). DPII excited me, here

I see from your other postings that you are a "creator" moreso than a "user".
I consider myself about 75-25 in favour of using software as opposed to
writing it, even more unbalanced when I'm in a doodling mood, or have a paper
due, etc. Your favourite software will thus be different than mine...but I
have to point out that mine (DPaint I & II) _does_ use shift for constraining
drawing to a straight line, and control for drawing "rays", and lots of
other little features that make it easy and fun to work with.

Also, WRT when the MCC products were released, they weren't available in
this neck of the woods until *well* after their PD equivalents were in
common use (for most, pipe: and aux: excepted), which was my biggest
disappointment with them. I thought the guys who wrote a lot of this stuff
would be first on the bandwagon. It may be that they weren't released or
were scarce in Canada for a while after they were available in the States.

John

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