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Trumpet Winsock Creator Made Little Money 358

Posted by timothy
from the change-that-if-you-care-to dept.
omast writes "It appears that Peter Tattam, creator of Trumpet Winsock, got very little for this piece of software. For those of you who do not remember — or did not need it because were already outside the MS Windows world — Trumpet Winsock was a shareware program that provided TCP/IP functionality to Windows machines back in 1994-1995. It allowed millions to connect to the Internet back then; I was one of them. According to the article, Tattam made very little money from the program as it was widely distributed but rarely paid for."
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Trumpet Winsock Creator Made Little Money

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  • by Firehed (942385) on Wednesday March 09, 2011 @12:12AM (#35426630) Homepage

    Value is not measured in hours, otherwise sports stars would be making about $10k/year. Creating software that allows millions of people to connect to the internet definitely provides value. I would certainly argue that a dollar a person is on the low side.

  • Re:mIRC (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hoggoth (414195) on Wednesday March 09, 2011 @12:17AM (#35426670) Journal

    You didn't even remotely address the question. Out of those 32 million downloads, how many have paid for it?

  • by DuranDuran (252246) on Wednesday March 09, 2011 @01:31AM (#35426974)

    A plumber recently gave me a bill for $300. But I told him, "All you did was replace a lousy washer! That couldn't cost more than ten cents! I want an itemized bill!". So he gave me one. It read:

    Washer: .10
    Knowing where to put it: 299.90

  • by tlambert (566799) on Wednesday March 09, 2011 @02:56AM (#35427238)

    Phil Karn's KA9Q and MIT PC/IP both predated it. MIT PC/IP was commercialized into FTP Software, Inc., and supplied Microsoft in 1996.

    http://www.ka9q.net/ [ka9q.net]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FTP_Software [wikipedia.org]

    I remember Bob Wallace, founder of Quicksoft, author of PC-Write, and pretty much the inventor of shareware marketing, despite Andrew Fluegelman releasing PC-Talk first. Bob was one of the few people who "got it", although the software industry has ironically not recovered from his usability choices.

    It was a conversation at a conference in the 1980's. Bob said "I don't sell software; software is all up here", motioning with his hands around his temples; "I sell manuals".

    Bob did this by putting enough functionality in his product that people felt it was worth paying for, and he made it obscure enough that it really was not that useful without a manual, and he sold manuals cheaply enough that it was easier to buy them (and get a disk at the same time) than it was to print them out on tractor feed fan-fold paper.

    Software still hasn't recovered its usability from the intentional/unnecessary complexity caused by shareware authors. The problem for Trumpet Winsock was it pretty much had nothing to sell beyond what was available already, and it didn't have anyone over a barrel for documentation. I made the same mistake with my own shareware once upon a time, and made pretty much nothing on it as well. Live and learn.

    -- Terry

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 09, 2011 @08:23AM (#35428340)

    He would have made more if you did the right thing instead of relying on the creator of the software to force you into ethical behavior.

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