General

Monthly Subscription = New Monthly Content

As new versions of software come out, some vendors are moving to make software a subscription or “software as a service”, as Microsoft calls it. While this works for other kinds of products, I don’t believe software needs to be or even should be, a monthly subscription.

The first supportive argument is that subscriptions allows software developers a steady stream of income so they can continue to develop their product.

I disagree.

In a nutshell, if I’m paying monthly for software, I expect new features to be added monthly. Not just minor bug fixes, but new, enhanced features regularly folded in.

This would negate the idea of, our next version will have the big feature advancement you’re looking for. My expectation is a continuous development cycle, where each month the software is better than the month before. I should pay you to keep the status quo for a year?

The way Microsoft handles things, as soon as you stop paying, the software stops working. I’m not on board with that. That’s not a subscription, that’s ransom.

In other cases, developers force users into some “Cloud” service to sync to their mobile devices. I’ve paid for your program, now I have to pay to access my data? Absolutely not.

I pay for software based on how it works today, whereas I feel subscriptions are the promise of software features for the future.

Another trend is major releases on a scheduled yearly cycle, which makes software disposable. Why buy this release when in 12 months you’ll be asking for more money? You are already admitting this software will be obsolete in a few months and you have no intention of supporting the current. What kind of relationship does that build between us?

I prefer Lifetime licenses over subscriptions. I would rather pay more for a program I use regularly knowing that future updates will be free. I recently did this for RightNote.

Another software problem is restrictive licensing. I’m sure most people have multiple home machines, so a 3 user license should be the norm, rather than the single license, which is outdated.

Steam and iTunes handle this is a pretty good way. I can install what I buy on any machine I use. I just can’t use two copies at the same time. Simple.

Software is a fickle thing. We want fantastic, feature right software at dirt cheap prices. Despite how it’s presented, the subscription model doesn’t offer that. It’s an interesting idea for products that (needlessly) cost thousands of dollars or that need to be shared by dozens of employees at the same time. However, it has no place for home users.

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AllMyNotes Organizer v3 for $9.97

There is a new version of AllMyNotes Organizer out and if you jump over to BitsDuJour, you can pick it up for $9.97 rather than the full $34 price.

I’ve had AllMyNotes for about 3 years and it’s works extremely well. It has a nice tree structure on the left hand side, supports Rich Text, embedded pictures, links to sites and documents, to-do lists and offers some simple calculation functions.

If you’re looking to get organized and store notes in a convenient location, this is an excellent place to start. In the past I have used AllMyNotes to store email templates, Powershell scripts, screenshots, and full documentation for Exchange Server and Windows Server.

It’s also just as versed to store information for recipes and create checklists. It’s also very handy for logging information related to Shroud of the Avatar. The “tabs” are the city locations and inside is pertinent information about people, loot and quests.

AllMyNotes is solid software and $10 for this new version is a great deal.

AllMyNotes on BitsDuJour

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Disk Drill 3.x Lifetime License

As part of my switchover to macOS, I’ve been looking for a disk recovery tool. For Windows, I’ve got EaseUS Disk Recovery and Recover My Files. These have served me well and Recover My Files recovered tens of gigs worth of data from an external drive fiasco.

Now that I’m using macOS, I’ve got TimeMachine as a backup tool and have been looking for full file recovery. Disk Drill comes up time and time again as a tool of choice and it’s now on sale for 70% off, including Lifetime License.

I haven’t had need of Disk Drill’s services yet, so this is a preventative purchase. But this is a solid deal and it’s worth the small investment now, rather than full price later should things go awry.

I will say, I have Disk Drill running to take advantage of the SMART monitoring. I have a couple of drives in this Mac, and want to make sure nothing happens to them. So far, all is running well.

The discounted version is available on BitsDuJour and the license key is immediate. I’ve been watching for a sale, so it looks like Black Friday is at hand.

Disk Drill Pro 3 for Mac

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Selenium IDE – The Long Kiss Goodnight

Several months ago, we were tasked with creating tests using Selenium. That came in the guise of the IDE. At first, it was an uphill struggle, as the documentation was pretty poor. But, once I found the right places to look and the right questions to ask, it began to come together.

Since then, I’ve been able to create dozens of functional tests and validate large sections of code in a short amount of time. I’m no expert with the IDE, but I can put things together pretty quickly these days. And with the use of SelBlocks, decisions making and loops made the scripts pretty powerful.

But with the change to plugins in Firefox, the IDE is all but dead. It came to a screeching halt in v55 and it doesn’t look like anyone will take up the mantle of updating it. And that’s a pity because it’s been a real beneficial tool.

Now the question comes, what’s the replacement? We could certainly try to use Selenium with Javascript, even though I’m not a developer. There are some professional packages to pick from, but the cost is pretty hefty. I thought iMacros might be useful, but after digging deeper, you have to get the Enterprise version to get basic feature.

Or perhaps use something like Katalon Studio. Katalon looks quite robust, but I have to admit, I’m not sure where to start with it. I can understand some of the commands, as they look similar to Selenium IDE, but I haven’t quite got the hang of the object model. Hopefully that will come with more trial and error, since I’m a little lost at the moment.

I keep checking to see if there is a real replacement, but so far, nothing really fills the void.

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Protect your privacy in Windows 10 – Free

I just received this from O&O Software and it’s just one of the many reasons I feel it necessary to steer clear of Windows and Microsoft.

The all-new Windows 10 Fall Creators Update brings a lot of new features, and aims to make your daily work as easy and hassle-free as possible. This enhanced comfort is to be taken with a grain of salt though: Windows 10 quite freely shares your personal data with Microsoft and certain apps.

An operating system that spies on you and needs 3rd party tools to stop it sending information back home isn’t worth having.

O&O ShutUp 10

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