View Full Version : Who donates to Shareware?
12-17-2004, 09:59 PM
Salutations to anyone who has ever created a piece of software, script, game, font, or other resource as 'freeware' or 'shareware'. The hard work and generosity is appreciated greatly.
We know technically, shareware isn't 'free'. It's technically an on-your-honor system. Donating isn't mandatory, but helps keep the industry going.
I confess, I could probably do better, considering the money I've saved by using these services. How about you -- have you ever made a contribution to shareware?
12-18-2004, 10:59 PM
Personally speaking I have never paid for any shareware.
During my windows days I never found a program that I needed so much as to actually pay for it. Barring the obligatory graphics packages such as photoshop and paint shop pro.
Now that I develop totally in slackware linux there is a plethora of applications for every task that I might encounter and I appluad the developers who provide their time and expertise to the rest of us free of charge.
I run a pc repair shop amongst other ventures and most of my time is spent restoring pc's to "factory condition", ie a clean windows install, with a firewall and ie disabled from accessing the network and firefox/thunderbird as the default browser/mail client and a list of do's and don'ts so as to avoid the need of antivirus software. Sadly one of those dont's is to install freeware/shareware applications.
On a windows system installing shareware applications that the user does not need (or thinks they need) leads to malware, spyware and in some cases actual trojans and keysniffers.
Not all shareware has a legitimate purpose!
If I were running a windows system and needed a program to perform a specific tast then I would search for it and only buy software from a reputable company with a proven track record in customer support.
Sometimes that five minute fix can turns into hours of hassle.
It is a sad reflection on our society as a whole that when someone provides us with the fruits of their labour for free that we automatically think there is a catch involved and in the majority of freeware/share cases there is.
I'm going to bang the linux drum here by saying if you are not working for a major company and tied to windows as an operating system then the sooner you move to linux the sooner your productivity will increase. Yes there is a learning curve but if you can master the basics in windows then you can master the basics in linux, after that then it is a matter of where you concentrate your further learning.
So to answer the question in a slightly long winded manner, my answer has to be NO, I have not paid for shareware nor will I use a shareware application.
12-19-2004, 01:51 AM
Ha, I am the oposite to you, Easywebdev, but I am quite careful. :O)))
I have about 15 Freeware apps installed, and I could get many to replace anything I use, including Macromedia Studio MX, and MS Office 2003.
I always get from credible sites, and read reviews on the web; I have several sites that are safe to download from.
Probably one reason Linux is safe from that kind of malware, is that it is almost impossible to install anythig, on almost any distro I have tried (Red Hat, SuSE, Xandros) without being a sysadmin or programmer in talent.
It is far easier, IMHO, to be careful on windows, than to ever learn how to use Linux with any comfort. I mean, how many people can use the coammand prompt in windows? Every time I do, or try to tech others to use it, they are awed, or scared and overwhelmed. Use make and makefile? Uh-uh.
Actually, SuSE, Knoppix, etc, ARE free for many complete desktop systems, so I would like to be able to use it!!!!! Xandros is close, but installing an app is still very problematic, to say the least. It is close, though, that Xandros is about the best Freeware I have ever seen.
Sourceforge is a great place to get freeware as well, and I am not sure if you can even support most of those people.
It is ten times harder to do things in Linux as windows, I doubt the average user could switch very easily, starting from scratch might not be so hard.
So, I LOVE freeware, it is fine if you can control yourself. But of course, I make all my tech money from people who download Crapware! It is far to dangerous for many people I come across to try to use. These are the type that I doubt very much could get a grip on Linux.
I try to support people who write good apps, at least by linking to them, and offering to help with their websites. There is some mighty fine stuff out there, and I WANT to repay some of them, and I can hardly wait to have money in my paypal account so I can just give $5 any old time.
12-19-2004, 09:46 PM
I'll try not to drag this off topic but referring to how easy/hard it is for people to get to grips with linux it is no harder than when someone first used windows. I came from 8 and 16 bit computers where I had to type everything by hand (sometimes complete program listings) so the console does not bother me. But anyone who has ever run windows 2000 with its administrator mode has encountered the same type of installation process as linux. For newbies I would recommend mandrake, it does tend to use cutting edge versions of software but it also has a fairly simple package management service built in.
What a lot of people forget is when they first tried windows they were clueless as to how to do anything. Its all a learning curve.
To get back on topic I have used some freeware applications. When using windows I would not be without crimson editor for its syntax highlighting and ability to work on and search through multiple documents. Had that program been shareware I would gladly have paid for it.
The key to using shareware is to research the program. Is it supported by advertising banners? if so which network etc. The last thing you want on your machine is the gator network of advertising/reporting software, they send back so much info on browsing habits etc that it makes a dial up modem connection crawl along.
I'm not saying never buy shareware but I would say what I tell everyone I reset a machine for, DO NOT install ANYTHING on a windows machine unless it is from a reputable source and you know what additional packages will get installed alongside it.
Some shareware can perform a task someone might need but if it is a task you are regularly going to perform then I would go with a paid version where you can get support and fixes as they are released. If a shareware program has a severe security vulnerability then there is little to no onus on the developer to release a fix/patch.
It is amazing how quickly a new user can render a PC virtually unusable by installing every shareware/freeware application they come across.
12-20-2004, 03:09 AM
As I read the above posts I think there is a confusion.
A shareware application is one that you "try before you buy", you can't donate to it because you are expected to either pay a registration fee or not use it anymore after a certain amount of time (or in certain cases you get a limited version, sometimes called cripleware). And most of the applications come this way, even if some call these types of applications trialware.
A freeware one can be supported through donations and it is true that sometimes these ones aren't so free as they suppose to be, in fact some are spyware/bundled with lots of "free" calendars/search assistants and who knows what, but there are good ones too.
So I would answer that I donate rarely to freeware but I buy shareware.
12-20-2004, 03:14 PM
Valid point, Softland. The confusion occasionally starts at the site listing the shareware as well. I've downloaded a program (when I remember which one, I'll come back and post it) that is reputable, and was described as 'shareware'. In the readme file, it's license agreement said something to the effect of "paying for this software isn't mandatory, but helps us to continue creating updates and future products..."
But you're right, I agree your definition is probably the case in most programs. And it's good to see how you still pay on the honor system.
I guess if I were to rephrase the question, it would be how many contribute to software where payment isn't mandatory but welcomed in the license agreement. Being too wordy though, and because there are exceptions, I'll just clarify it here instead of changing it.
Mik that's cool -- I know in many cases, sometimes a link is just as good as money, especially if the site supplements their support with ads. The link is a 'gift that keeps on giving'...