I have been using a wonderful backup program for the Mac called Impression, but when I recently upgraded to Panther it broke. By broke, I mean it would no longer complete a backup before giving an error message and terminating the backup. I sent a note to the author (via a pull down menu) and heard back from him in a couple of days.
He was baffled as to the cause of the problem. Since he had not heard from others about this it seemed to be something particular to my system. Long story, short… we communicated via email for a few days and he was able to correct an assumption in his coding and I had my favorite backup program back.
Impression is shareware, and this experience is only one example of why I think it important to support shareware authors. Not only did I receive personal support, but both parties benefitted from the communication. This is not something you can get from larger companies or corporations. I am not saying that corporate software is bad, I’m simply saying there are a lot of shareware programs out there written by good coders that can be obtained at a fraction of the cost of corporate software.
Looking at my dock, I count at least seven shareware programs (all registered). Not one of them has shortchanged me in support or satisfaction. So, this note is basically to encourage people to try out shareware. Most will give you, at a minimum, a trial period and some will give you the entire program with minor crippling. Impression is like the latter. You can’t personalize the label of your backup discs without registering, but the you can do complete backups and restores.
How did I find out about Impression? Well like most of my other shareware, I had a specific need that was not being met by my current software. I went to the the various software web sites and like most people, looked for the free stuff first. Then I started looking at the shareware.
Another of my favorite purchases is LittleSecrets. I have so many passwords and usernames, it’s ridiculous. With LittleSecrets they are all in one place and protected by a blowfish encrypted password. What was the password for that web site? I simply type in the search field of LittleSecrets and it pops up. Love it!