Archive for the ‘Musings …’ Category

Selling Software – Preparing For Sale

March 4th, 2010 No comments

When selling software anywhere, but especially on the Internet, it is important to prepare first.  It’s an easy thing to say … “I’m going to sell my software on the Internet”, but have you really thought about it ?

  • How much will you charge for a license for your software ?
  • Is it a per user license ? a site license ? a per seat license ?
  • What is your target market ?
  • How much will customers be prepared to pay ?
  • Are you going to give your potential customers a free trial first ?
  • Or are you going to make them pay up front before they get the software ?
  • Do you offer discounts for the purchase of multiple licenses ?
  • How will you protect your software from piracy ?
  • How will you take payment ?
  • How will your customers find you ?
  • How will you promote your software ?
  • Will you use affiliates ?
  • Do you have a web site set up ?
  • How do you get Google to index your web site ?

I’ll deal with all of these questions and more in the Selling Software – Preparing For Sale series of posts over the coming weeks.

Apple iPod Nano (5th Generation)

March 2nd, 2010 No comments
iPod Nano 5th Generation (blue)

iPod Nano 5th Generation (blue)

I got my new Apple iPod Nano (5th Generation) today … yes, I got the 16GB version as the difference between the 8GB and the 16GB as far as price was negligible.

My last iPod was a 2nd gen Nano … and boy has technology moved on :-)

The 5th generation Nano is nicely styled, very lightweight and just looks plain sexy.  The screen is bigger, the touch wheel slightly smaller …

It plays MP3 (of course) and video in M4V format (of course) … but it also has a built in FM radio, a speaker, a microphone … and a camera to take MP4/H.264 video at resolutions up to 640 x 480.

I’m having trouble filling it up :-) and have already subscribed to a whole lot of podcasts which I listen to on a daily basis

Nice !!!

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Windows 7 – I’m Impressed …

November 6th, 2009 1 comment

So, I ran the Windows 7 RC (Release Candidate) on a standalone PC – not my production machine – since it was released to the public. While this wasn’t a full test, and it certainly did not get used every day, I was very impressed at the stability, the hardware support … and the speed

I have been counting down the days to 22 October 2009 and the release of Windows 7 to the general public. (OK, so counting the days … maybe not … but it was topmost in my mind every week or so :-) )

Oddly enough, the day itself came around, and … I got nervous …

  • What if the RTM version just didn’t cut it with all the apps I used ?
  • Would I have to go back to image ?
  • … and back to my *very stable* XP installation ?

I took the plunge !!

Having imaged my C: drive (using Acronis TrueImage 2009) … and verifying the image … I felt safe enough to proceed.

I have to warn you at this stage … I am a perfectionist … so I spend a good 8 to 10 hours preparing my plan for the upgrade (clean install).

There were a few programs and pieces of hardware that concerned me … so I looked further …

ZoneAlarm – I was running version 7.something free under XP and was very happy with it.  I wanted ZoneAlarm to work under Windows 7.  From the looks of the web site it was going to be possible in some form (either free or paid) … so I continued.

Logitech QuickCam Chat webcam – it failed the Windows 7 upgrade adviser, so I had to weigh up the options.  I decided to proceeed … who needs to look at my ugly mug anyway :-)

The Plunge …

Boot from Windows 7 Professional x64 DVD ROM …

Follow the instructions …

OK, so is it really finished ? It can’t be … it didn’t take long enough for a Windows install … there wasn’t enough pain !!

Yes !! It was !! Installed … with no problems, no driver issues
(I didn’t have my QuickCam Chat plugged in at this point)

I decided to trial the paid version of ZoneAlarm for Windows 7 – ZoneAlarm Extreme Security … and very quickly decided it was worth it … and paid.  This version includes not only the superb ZoneAlarm firewall, but also AntiVirus and a whole lot of other features.

Windows 7 Professional x64 is now installed and is my production machine.  I am happy and it was worth it.

The QuickCam Chat doesn’t work … but as explained on the Logitech site, they are just not going to support some hardware. So, I’ll buy a new webcam … a small price to pay :-)

Do I recommend moving to Windows 7 ? Yes I do !!

The quick search bar thingy on the Start Menu – awesome.
The interface … nice enough.
The speed … much better than XP
The whole experience … Microsoft this is the best OS you have ever produced … very happy.

Next stop … the wife’s computer …

What software should you write ?

September 8th, 2009 No comments

Yep … a great question.  When I talk about what I do with friends and colleagues, I am often asked the question  ”… but, if I was to write software, what software should I write ?”.

As a wise man once said to me :

Write about that which you know …

If you know about a topic, problem, situation it is often easy to write about it.  Likewise with software … which is usually written to solve a problem or make something a lot easier.

A lot of successful shareware / trialware authors started out writing a piece of software for themselves to solve a particular problem they were dealing with or something they were trying to make easier for themselves.

Take WinZip as an example.  This started off in the early 1990′s as a simple GUI frontend to the PKZIP compression software.  WinZip has been marketed as try before you buy (shareware) since day one and over the years has become a household name.

Since the advent of WinZip, compression support has been built into Windows and there have been many compression programs written, some free and some marketed as shareware.  There are even programs that help you recover your password from password protected ZIP files if you have forgotten it.

I Write Software …

September 6th, 2009 No comments

I write software … I have done so for many years, and I’m pretty good at it.

I wrote my first software program when I was 10 years old.   It was written in BASIC and was part of a science project I was working on.  The challenge was to classify an insect based on a set of Yes / No questions prompted to the user.  It worked, it was fun, and I was hooked …

Some 30 years later I still enjoy writing software … and now I make money doing so:-)

For the past 15 years, I have been writing software and marketing it and selling it as shareware or trialware. (See the FAQ posting on What is Shareware ?)

During that time I have learned a lot.  There have been many successes and there have also been failures.  In my opinion it is good to fail from time to time.  It means you have tried things.  If we never failed and only succeeded at everything we did then we would have to question whether we could have done more … did I try hard enough on that one ?  What if I had risked a little bit more … tried something out of my comfort zone.

So … yes … I’m quite willing to admit some failures on my journey through the world of writing software and selling it on the internet.

That journey is an ongoing one, and it’s time to share some of the successes and failures with  you. A quick bit of organisation on this site :

  • Postings such as this one are categorized as Musings
  • There will be FAQs, How To articles as well as Technical articles

Feel free to comment and ask questions …

Welcome to

September 5th, 2009 No comments

Welcome to !!

If you have found this site for the first time, then we welcome you as a new visitor and hope that you will subscribe to the RSS Feed to receive regular updates, and that you will continue to return to the site to read the latest articles, musings, how to’s, technical information about software sites.

So, what is this site all about ?

Well, hopefully that is pretty well summarised by the domain name “”.  The primary purpose of the site is to provide a place for me to impart my knowledge of and information about software sites … to you !!

What do you mean by Software Sites ?

There are squillions of software sites on the World Wide Web, where software authors provide you with information about their software.  Some software is free … some is able to be tried before you buy … some is commercial and must be purchased  before you can use it.  Regardless of whether the sites are shareware sites showing you details about author’s software, or whether the sites are the author’s sites showing off their own software … we are here to share our thoughts. knowledge, experience and technical know-how about these sites.

Welcome along and enjoy the ride …