Posts categorized “Website”.

Planet MicroISV / Recent Additions To Blogroll

Just noticed that I’ve been included in the Planet MicroISV aggregated blog.


Works quite well in NetNewsWire as the feeds that I already subscribe to and and have read posts from are set as read automatically, mostly. One or two aren’t being recognized, so I probably just need to use the correct feed or something. I’ll look into that when I get a chance.

The following feeds have just made it from my “new feeds” category to their own place in my regular feed list, all going into my “Business Of Software” category:

Antonio Fontes: Antonio is trying his hand at selling blogging software, will be interesting to see how he gets on, there’s a lot of competition these days but he feels he has a niche to fill.

Ataraxis Software (Company Blog): This is a new blog from Michael Sica and his cohort Jeff Marder, they’re working together to get some software out to market as quickly as they can.

Jeff Marder: Mentioned above already, this is his personal blog.

Business On The Mac: Corey Redlien’s blog about his and other’s business software on the Mac., & Project Management Blog: Lots of thoughts on software development and marketing.

Loud Thinking: David Heinemeier Hansson is a partner in 37signals and the creator of the Rails framework for Ruby.

Mike Morris: Mike Morris has recently released RecDesk Director, and is sharing his experiences as a new MicroISV.

Outer Level: Jon Trainer of Make Mac Games has decided to spread his wings and write general software for the Mac as well as Games, he’s going to blog about it here.

Signal vs. Noise: Used to read this one but dropped it during a clean-up, but recently have seen enough good stuff coming from it that I’ve put it back on my list.

1 Year Old Today!

The current incarnation of this website is one year old today, happy birthday!

Although has been around for a few years with a blog like appearance, it wasn’t until September 30th 2004 that I started to properly “blog”.

Since last September I’ve always intended this site to stay on track, to talk about how things were going with my quest to become an independent software vendor (ISV). I’m not sure I’ve managed that very well, I seem to have strayed quite a bit, really haven’t written a lot about what I’ve learnt along the way and haven’t written as often I hoped I would.

What have I achieved in my first year?

  • I’ve read and listened to tonnes of marketing and business material in many different forms of media and from many sources (which I’ve failed to talk about here when I really should have, slap my wrist).
  • I’ve researched and picked suitable tools to develop, source control, package and sell my software.
  • I have designed and developed a software application in a programming language and with other tools that I hadn’t used before.
  • I’ve learnt a lot about the FogBugz database schema and data usage and installed it way too many times on far too many platforms!
  • I’ve registered something like 35 separate domains and set up the websites.
  • I’ve set up an online store to sell my software (visited a few times by people, but never used the way it should be).
  • I’ve set up a few channels for public communication, such as the Newsletter and Yahoo! group (there’s a proper forum waiting in the wings).
  • I’ve released three public betas of my software, with the second and third showing a lot of improvement over the first!
  • I’ve even released some open source code as a by-product of my software development.
  • I’ve met (in a virtual way) a lot of really nice people from all over the world.
  • I’ve had very little sleep compared to the year before, and seen a lot less of my family too (this isn’t a good one).
  • And tonnes of other bits and bobs that escape me just now.

Some of this stuff I’m very proud of, some not so. But having a real direction in my life and being able to continuously step closer towards my goal of becoming an ISV while having lots of support from my family and friends, and new friends too, has made this a fabulous year.

Really looking forward to the next year, it should be good.

Site updated with a few photos for header

I’ve just updated my site, there’s about ten pictures in rotation in the header, some are variations on each other (a few close-ups). Let me know what you think, are there any that you like?

All but three were taken in a rather far distant country, bet you can’t guess which ones, and which country.

Thanks to my friend Gordon for pointing out the site that told me how to crop my photos correctly and set up the rotator script.

Just upgraded to WordPress 1.5

Well, just upgraded to WordPress 1.5, and decided not carry my 1.2 “theme” across for the initial upgrade, just to make sure it went smoothly. And smotthly it went, well, that’s assuming you can see this post!

Couldn’t have been simpler, backed up my database, loaded the backup into a spare database, and then followed the really simple instructions. Took less than ten minutes, and at least 7 of those were spent reading through the instructions and making sure I had a good backup. Dead easy.

Now it’ll just take me a couple of weeks to decide what to do for a new theme etc. :-)

Comments now need authorisation.

So, the spammers have found this site, and decided it would be a great idea to add comments offering various dubious products to any reader with links.

I don’t like that, so as a first try I’m enabling admin approval of comments, so that readers don’t see those frankly offensive SPAM comments. I’ll do my best to authorise valid comments as soon as I can, but obviously, sometimes it may be quite a few hours, or even a day or two before comments get authorised. I’m sorry for the inconvenience, as always it’s the few that spoil it for the majority.

Update: I’ve made some slight changes that mean most comments will be authorised automatically, while SPAM comments hopefully get trapped for authorisation. Unfortunately, some valid comments will still get trapped for authorisation though. We’ll see how it goes.

Update #2 (01/12/2004): That didn’t work, still getting way too many SPAM comments, so authorisation is back, until I have time to update the software to pick up the improved SPAM handling in WordPress 1.3.

Just thrown the switch.

I’ve just thrown the switch to start using WordPress for this site, and so far so good. OK, it’s not the most beautiful site in the world just now, but at least it is functional, and for me a lot smoother than using Blogger.

If you have any problems with the new RSS feed or anything else on the site, please let me know, cheers.

Switching blogging platform.

I have had a few problems using, it’s proving to be a little too slow for me, and quite often I’m getting errors back when submitting data, whether it’s changing config items or posting. I’ll probably get an error when I submit this!

I’m also a little paranoid about my data being held in someone else’s system, I guess at heart I’m a bit of a control freak (maybe that’s the highest contributing factor to me wanting to be a micro-ISV).

So, I’ll be switching blogging platforms in the next day or so to something where I control where the data is stored, and that if it all goes wrong it’s more likely to be my fault.

I love the template I’ve used via, I’m a great fan of Dan Cederholm who created it. But, I guess I’ll just have to start tinkering with my own template, I must admit that I will enjoy that, even if I am rubbish at web design.

So, my next post will be via WordPress (probably), I’ll start with their default template and work from there. This does however mean that the feeds will probably get mangled, but they should settle down after the initial upset. I’ll be pulling across my first few posts via this powerfull medium, and hopefully the comments attached too.

Fingers crossed!

What's this all about?

Well, once upon a time, when I was asked “what do you do?”, I would answer, “I’m an IT Consultant”. Now this is kind of non-descript, and I wasn’t really happy with that answer. So, I changed my answer, I would instead say “I’m a freelance contractor specialising in bespoke database solutions in Informix 4GL”, which generally received a blank stare.

What I really wanted to say was “I write software”, a nice, clean and simple answer, and most people understand what this means, even if they have no idea on how to go about it. A high percentage of people that I talk to have a computer, or at least use one at work, they know what software is, they’ve had to have software installed on their PC, they’ve seen the box, the CD, and the crashes!

Now, I could say, “I write software”, because I do, day in, day out, and have made a reasonable living out of it for more than eight years, but it doesn’t quite ring true. I have this nagging feeling in the back of my head that I can’t quite say it until I’m writing software that people can buy, even though my clients are effectively buying the software I write by paying for the time it takes me to implement whatever it is they contract me to write. I want to be able to point people to a website where people can see details of what I’ve created, download it, fall in love with it and (hopefully) then pay for it. I want to be an ISV (Independent Software Vendor).

And this is where the story starts, I’ve come up with an idea for a desktop application that I think there is a small market for. It’s no killer app, and the user base will always be fairly small, but I think it’s a sustainable market, although it does depend on another application continuing to be profitable.

I want to get my feet wet, in fact I want to get soaked from head to toe, but I’m under no illusion that what I’m planning is going to pay the mortgage. Instead, this app is going to be the springboard into the world of software development and marketing for desktop apps. It’s going to take a lot of work, I probably haven’t even a clue as to how hard it’s going to be, but I want this new career to take off, badly, a belly flop isn’t even a consideration.

So, in the same vein as Lachlan Gemmell I’m going to write up a few notes as I walk along the long road to releasing my first piece of software to the public. Lachlan has quite a long release plan for his software, probably because his software sounds as though it may be quite a complex beast, even though he’s looking to target a market segment with simpler needs than usually expected for his kind of product. But I intend to get my product out as quickly as I can, in a reduced format, so that people can start using it and telling me what they would like to see in its future.

However, like Lachlan, I’m not going to spill the beans just yet on what I’m developing, until I’m closer to market I’m not comfortable with letting people in on the idea. Not because it’s some revolutionary product, it isn’t, but because it’s something that many developers could develop, and I don’t want someone with more desktop experience coming to market quicker than me. That would mean I would be at best second to market, and it’s most definitely best to be first, as the first law in The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing contests.

Out with the old…

To anyone who has linked to any of my previous articles, before I changed to Blogger, sorry.

I’m sure you’ll understand that things change, people move on, sites get obliterated! It’s not like anyone actually read anything on my site, I’ve had maybe a couple of links in the years that I’ve had this domain, so I don’t honestly think anyone is going to miss it. But if you desperatly need any of the old content, you can find it at