LicenseKeeper on Apple’s Macintosh Products Guide

I was checking my web server traffic logs and discovered a very nice surprise this afternoon. Apple has graciously listed LicenseKeeper on the front page of their Macintosh Products Guide.

Just in case Apple changes the page, here is a screen capture of the page:

The page has March 14, 2007 as the listing date, but I didn’t notice the traffic spike until today. I have no idea how often they update this page, but I’ll gratefully take the high profile spot for as long as it lasts!

Interesting that they placed LicenseKeeper next to an app called Trapper Keeper. I wonder if it was intentional.

Computer America Radio Show

Craig Crossman’s Computer America Radio Show has invited me on their show for an hour-long interview. Craig’s assistant revealed that he is a Mac-head at heart and wants to chat about LicenseKeeper.

I must admit, I’m pretty darn nervous. I have never been interviewed before and have never called a radio show. I was told there is an online chat room to go along with the show and that I’ll be talking directly with any callers. Should be interesting.

It’s a two hour talk show and I am scheduled for the second segment starting at 11:00 PM EST this Friday (March 23) night.

Licensed to Use

David Zizza has published a great overview of the many options available in the Mac software license management market.

[LicenseKeeper] truly evokes the Mac-ness of software interfaces – Drag and Drop, Spot Light, Toolbar, great use of icons, easy-to-use, etc. An awesome feature is the Attachments, which allows to add highlighted email (such as registrations and receipts) from Apple’s Mail program and copies the email to the application, even parsing the serial number and automatically adding it to the field. How cool is that?

David gives LicenseKeeper very favorable marks — preferring it over all the others, save the lack of printed reports.

While LicenseKeeper does have rudimentary printing capabilities for human-readable attachments (email, text files, PDFs, etc), I had to make hard decisions as to what was to be left out of the 1.0 version. Otherwise, the software would never have been released. But, that’s why we have updates and new versions (stay tuned).

What’s your most needed enhancement to LicenseKeeper? Let me know.

LicenseKeeper 1.0.1

The first LicenseKeeper maintenance release has been published. You can download it directly or use the “Check for Updates…” option under the LicenseKeeper main menu.

This is an important maintenance release that fixes several critical bugs. It is recommended that all LicenseKeeper 1.0.0 users upgrade to this version.

LicenseKeeper 1.0.1 Release Notes:

  • Fixed: Crash related to Multithreading and Auto-Save
  • Fixed: Crash on Copy and Paste of HTML or RTF into the Notes field. This fix forces plain text only for Notes
  • Fixed: Not able to preview/edit Emails with ‘.’ in their subject
  • Fixed: Registering LicenseKeeper did not turn off “Register…” menu item in main menu.
  • Fixed: Registering LicenseKeeper places information into serial number field and registration fields
  • New: Added frequently asked questions to help

LicenseKeeper Release Recap

Releasing a 1.0 product is an interesting, exciting, and exhausting experience for a software developer. I can’t remember a time where I worked as many hours in such a small time span and was not only willing to do it, but couldn’t wait to jump out of bed every morning to get started. The craziest time had to be the 48 hours on each side of the release.

I was sharing with my family that if I had any idea about the amount of work involved with developing and releasing a 1.0 software product back when I started development, I probably would never have started down this path. I think it’s a good thing that most entrepreneurs have no idea what they are getting themselves into. The learning curve was more like a sheer cliff then a curve. But, the great thing is now that I have been through it and have a sense of what needs to be done, I would jump at the chance to do it all over again.

Response to the LicenseKeeper 1.0 release was much greater than I ever expected. Both from the media and from new and potential customers. LicenseKeeper began life as a small project to serve a personal need. To find that so many around the world have the same need and appreciate a polished tool to solve it is very encouraging. I received hundreds of emails with all kinds of encouragement, praise, and great suggestions for improving LicenseKeeper.

Some of the requests coincide with my earliest vision of where LicenseKeeper would evolve. But the best suggestions were for needs that I had never even considered. This got me really excited. Now I see all kinds of new opportunities for both improvement and market growth.

Of course not everything went as planned. There were several bugs discovered with LicenseKeeper 1.0 that should not have made it out the door. Ideally they would have been discovered and fixed long before release. The two most serious of these can cause unexpected crashes. One was my fault, the other exists inside Apple’s framework. Maybe, I’ll write more about them in a later post, but for now rest assured that I have fixed them in the LicenseKeeper code base. The next release is currently going through a short testing phase and if all goes well should be released sometime in the next day or so.

Just to round out the recap, here’s a short list of some of the major media outlets that covered the LicenseKeeper release since last tuesday (March 6, 2007).

LicenseKeeper Around The Web

Introducing LicenseKeeper 1.0

After many months of development and hard work by the beta test team, LicenseKeeper 1.0 has finally been pushed out the door for release.

The demo version can be downloaded from the LicenseKeeper product page and is available for purchase on the newly redesigned Outer Level website and online store.

This is a very exciting time for me. LicenseKeeper is the first software product I’ve published for sale. It has been an incredible learning experience technically and especially business-wise.

Over the past few days I’ve received an increased interest in LicenseKeeper and I’ve been biting my tongue and chomping at the bit to finally announce its release. Thanks for the patience and I hope that it lives up to your expectations.

Website Development Sandbox

As the official release of LicenseKeeper 1.0 looms near, the new design for the Outer Level website has been in serious development over the past several days.

There’s a large list of things to incorporate into a website that needs to sell commercial software. Credit Card processing, Support pages, Product Pages, and lots of marketing gobbly gook.

Developing and testing this stuff on a live web server is hazardous. You don’t want people accidentally stumbling on your online store before it’s ready to actually take orders. Maybe you don’t want that secret product announcement to be leaked to the public. Like a good developer should, you do your work on a development server.

My development server happens to be my normal development workstation — my Mac Pro. Since it runs Mac OS X, it has all the UNIX web server goodies: Apache, php, MySQL, etc. Great! Let’s get started.

Err… How come php doesn’t work? Umm, how do I configure and start MySQL? Even if you know how to get this stuff configured, it’s a hassle. There a bunch of tutorials on the internet, but even they are a bit long and tedious. Really, I have better things to do… like actually working on my website, not trouble shooting my Apache configuration files.

A friend of mine pointed me to a very cool application called MAMP. For the last week I’ve been happily working on several website designs, each in their own sandbox. Each with their own DocumentRoot path.

If I need to take my work on the road. No need to configure Apache et al on the MacBook Pro. A quick subversion checkout of my website files and a quick download of MAMP… Boom! Website development to go.