ESAG Newsletter 1997-6

This is Newsletter of Jun 1997!

      Elite Shareware Authors Group      
              Issue: 6-97                

Table of Contents:

(1) Current News
(2) Marketing your shareware
(3) Tips from our members (That's you!)


Section 1) Current News

o Highlights...

Because there were so many responses from ESAG members,
this newsletter will concentrate on them specifically.

ESAG is getting a facelift. The process is a slow
and evolutionary one, so the site may change day by day.
Future changes include the incorporation of
Java applets into the site. However, this will
be delayed until the major browsers supports the
newest Java Virtual Machine.

Brandyware contributed a very nice ESAG logo. Check
it out at
If you have an idea for a new logo, feel free
to contribute. Animated GIF logos are welcome.


Section 2) Marketing your shareware.

There are now so many shareware programs being churned
out every day (new and patched), and there are now so
many distributors (sites promoting shareware), that many
shareware authors need a lot of resources to market
their shareware and get noticed. To alleviate this
problem, here are some information that will help you
navigate this state of frenzy. . . (all free, but
require some dedication on your part) A step by step
guide allowing you to succeed in marketing your shareware
follows. . .

1) Upload your shareware to shareware archives with a lot
of mirrors, or have a prominent name in the shareware
community. Shareware archives are places where you
can ftp your programs to, and mirror sites are sites
in other cities or countries that duplicates what
is in a main site.

The archives with a lot of mirrors are
Coast to Coast and Simtel. Famous archives are
WUArchive and WinSite. (Garbo is famous also, but
it is dedicated to MS-DOS only)

The URL address of these sites are located at

2) Announce your shareware to major distributors.

The free ones are usually websites with links to
the archives, or to your website. Some sites
even offer to do registration for you if they
get a cut of the sale.

For your shareware to succeed you need to upload to the
biggest distributors, sites with big advertising
budgets. Currently, the two biggest are at . . ., and just duplicates files
in the Coast to Coast and Simtel archives, so you
do not need to announce your products there.

Of course, the more locations you distribute to,
the higher the chance people will see your shareware.
A list of other distributors are located at

3) Advertise.

Now that you have your shareware out, concentrate
on advertising. This can be done through email,
usenet posts, and banner advertising. Free
banner advertising sites are located at

An alternative form of advertising is to get as
many sites in the world to link your site. You
can use link swap as an incentive to achieve this

4) Remember those that helped you the most!


Section 5) Some words, history, and TIPS from our members.


My name is Bob Stephenson proprietor of FLOPPY Fluffware
Software and I wish to thank you for letting me become a
member of ESAG.  FLOPPY Fluffware Software is a small
concern, only myself, dedicated to creating shareware
that will help the average Joe/Joette organize the
various facets of their lives.

My current list of products include At Bat Stats II
(5 star Ziff Davis), Affairs In Order (4 star Ziff Davis,
4 smiley ROCKETDOWNLOAD.COM), Coupon Clipper's Accountant
(3 star Ziff Davis), and Grocery List maker 1996.

At Bat Stats II is a system designed to help the
baseball/softball coach, player, or fan maintain and
manage the numerous statistics involved in
scoring a baseball/softball season.

Affairs In Order is a system designed to help a
family keep information/inventory of various aspects of
their lives. These aspects include but are not limited to
financial, genealogical, recreational, and material
endeavors. This is a nice system that if properly
maintained would truly come in handy after a personal loss.

Coupon Clipper's Accountant is a system designed to
help the family grocery shopper manage their coupon collection.
The user can create a comprehensive grocery coupon portfolio
and print various lists to manage
that portfolio.

Grocery List Maker 1996 is a must have for those that do
the weekly grocery shopping.  Using weekly grocery receipts
a comprehensive data base can be built so shopping lists can be
easily created and printed.

All of these systems are  32 bit systems and run on the
Windows95 platform.  They might run on NT but they have never
been tested there.

FLOPPY Fluffware Software wishes to target those segments of
the market looking for what I refer to as "niche" applications.
These are applications a little bit different from the rest
that support a need by the average family member but usually
not found as specific solutions on the commercial market or the
answers currently in the shareware sector are too generic to suit
those interested in my products.  That in a nutshell is
the audience FLOPPY Fluffware Software wishes to target.

The question is how did I get started in programming ...
well, I am 40 years old and have been programming those Big
Blue boxes in such languages as ASSEMBLER, SAS, PLI, etc. for
a major Fortune 500 company (Top 125) since 1982.  Prior to that
I was involved in scheduling jobs for those Big Blue boxes from
1977 to 1982.  I have seen the evolution of data processing
from the day of key punch machines, EAMs, card readers, and
collators to today where the computer sitting beside my desk
at home is many times more powerful and has more peripherals
than those water cooled giants of yesteryear.

About a year and a half ago I began to get the itch as well
as a couple of old my mainframe buddies at work to learn more
about this new (but really old) phenomenon called the Internet.
They were thinking big, ISP big, but I was more interested in
what was available for tinkering programmers.
That is when I ordered my little ole' home computer and
began exploring the world of HTML and Visual Basic. I began a
hobby and that hobby has evolved into FLOPPY Fluffware Software
which offered it first shareware products in the middle of
December 1996.  Though this is my first foray into the shareware
arena it is not my first attempt at creating software for the
masses. You see At Bat Stats II had a predecessor - At Bat
Stats which was a system I developed in Commodore Basic and
6502 Assembler language for the Commodore 64 prior to the
advent of the IBM PC.  Well to end this paragraph I must say
I am chasing a dream (So far it has been an enormous amount of
work for small financial rewards but I love it) that I hope
doesn't end as a pipe dream, and my buddies at work (I still
have my day job), they are currently running cabling throughout
their houses attempting to network every room in their home to
their Cyrix powered home built machines.

What talent do you I have that makes me stand out ?  Well, to
be truthful if I'm outstanding then I'm outstanding in the
rain. Actually, over the years I have had to be designer,
developer, and programmer for all of the projects I have been
assigned. This has included supporting the Financial
Administration, Data Security , Operations Services, Problem
Change Management, and Disaster Recovery groups for a major data
center. Having had to interface my applications with such
NETSPY, etc. I had to be adept at designing applications that
would work in ways that applications were not meant to work
together. In other words I have had to take things others
wouldn't touch and make them work.  This experience brings
with it the ability to design systems in a way most people
find easy to understand and simple to use. As for technical
strengths in such areas as OOP, VB, C++, Active X, and Java I
am but a novice still learning what these letters stand for,
much less  understanding everything that lies behind them.

What tips would I like to share with other ESAG members ?
Since I am probably not up to snuff technically with most of
you, let me share these common sense tips :

1). Always be courteous and polite to those that support your
products. YOU know what you are attempting to do but not
everyone has your forethought and understanding to grasp
the neat concepts behind your wonderful idea.

2). Be kind to each other. The shareware business is a HUGE
enterprise in itself.  Groups like ours can make it much
easier for all shareware authors and supporters everywhere
by supporting them and each other.

3). Don't give up ... be persistent ... but be persistent in a
tactful way. The poor guys that forward your messages at places
like ZD Net are only the messengers ... don't shoot them.

4). Accept credit cards or find yourself a reputable service
that accepts credit cards and process them for you.  If you
are not taking credit card registrations then you are losing a
good deal of your business.

As redundant and trite as these four tips sound they are
still sound ideas.

Gosh, what's in the future ? Maybe a basketball application,
maybe some small home business stuff, I don't know.  Nothing
major until the fall, I am going to enjoy the summer and push
what I have already completed.

That is about it for now. Hope to see you all later at the
forum. And again thank you for accepting me into your group.

Bob Stephenson for FLOPPY Fluffware Software


1) Brandyware Software creates freeware, shareware, and custom
programs. Most of the time I write freelance for other

2)The Viewer Pro - is a graphic viewer for Win 3.x & Win95.
Cinema Savers - is a custom MPG,MOV,AVI screen saver for Win95.
StartHere - is a free spoof screen saver on Windows95.
(Win3.x-Win95) Super Data System - is a custom data base (10
data bases in one). Download Dummy - is a auto installer
for the unzipped impaired. Impress - Corny screen saver
to impress your friends. Plethora - The most complete GUI
system for DOS.

3) DOS, Win3.x, Win95, Win NT

4) Everyone with a computer!

5) Started programming in 1981 at Arizona Institute of Business and
Technology. This was for IBM mainframes.. studied COBOL, RPG,
BASIC, FORTRAN. Bought first computer in 1982 - Timex Sinclair
(2k memory) Self taught QuickBasic in 1985 - Visual Basic in 1991

6) I keep getting RE-hired from the same companies... must be doing
something right! I had my program The BabySitter reviewed on TV,
I've had programs reviewed in PC Magazine, PCM, PC Today, other
mags, many newspapers, all the major shareware catalogs at one
time or another. (rated trophy in Public Brand Software, plus 4 - 4
star programs), I've been in Shareware Magazine... just got rated
EXCELLENT in The Mining Co. this weekend. and so many others I
quite collecting reviews! I guess my main talent is I NEVER give up
and I always try to create something better, new, or different then
the rest.

7) BEST two tips in the world are:
ALWAYS do your homework (get all the competitions programs
and make yours better), and always keep learning - get all the
info on your language and really read it!

8) The completion of Download Dummy! and ya never know with me!

Mike O'Rourke
Brandyware Software


1) Describe your company
Cooman Software develops commercial and shareware software for IBM PC
compatible computers.  We specialize in business and personal software
in document management, bulk e-mail, software development and
protection, and vertical markets.

2) Describe your products
Our major products include:
- CLOUDS, document management software
- BEMS, bulk e-mail system
- Club Secretary, complete club/association management
For a complete product listing, visit our website at:

3) What platforms does your products run on?
Our products run under Windows 3.1, 95, and NT.

4) What kind of audience do you target?
We target mainly the business and personal markets.  Many of our
products appeal to users in both market segments.

5) How did you get started in programming?
Cooman Software was founded in 1993 with our first product being
the PILOT Professional programming language and compiler for DOS.

6) What talent do you think you have that makes you stand out?
We have extensive consulting experience in many of the markets that we
develop software.  We work with "real world" users of our products to
make improvements.  We have been told that our customer oriented
approach makes us "stand out."

8) What future products can we expect?
We are hoping to release a church management software package in
the near future.  We will also be continually upgrading the products
which we already have.

NuMorse and NuTest

1) Describe your company

I'm the only employee! And I work from home. My income is
relatively small but my costs are almost none existent and so I'm
happy with this. Visit us at

2) Describe your products

Here is the standard description for my products NuMorse and NuTest:

NuMorse offers a comprehensive array of training aids for learning the
Morse Code. Listen via PC speaker, sound card or externally-keyed
oscillator, or view visual signals. Learn from random, text,
or simulated QSO (contact) sources, and create character sequences
that you find difficult. Compare your results with the program source,
and view error statistics. NuMorse supports prosigns
(compound characters), and offers fully-adjustable timing settings
and spoken-character feedback via sound card. NuMorse includes
excellent online help, making it an ideal training system for
radio amateurs.

Review Text:
Interested in amateur radio? NuTest can help you earn the
required license by offering simulated FCC exams that include
explanations of questions and links to an included file of official
FCC regulations. View your score onscreen, review questions you
missed, and create printed tests, score sheets, and answers. This
first-class package includes a study guide and FCC Part 97 rules.
3) What platforms does your products run on?
PCs with Win311 or Win95

4) What kind of audience do you target?
Radio Amateurs and prospective Radio Amateurs. Also military
and boy scout groups.

5) How did you get started in programming?
Hobby, then learned how to do it "properly" at college.

6) What talent do you think you have that makes you stand out?
People say that my software addresses the real needs of the user.
I do listen to what people really want before I start coding.

7) What tips would you like to share with other ESAG members?
Find a niche that is served by only a few programs. Then look
at the competition and make sure that your offering is *much*
better. Listen to your potential users. Get some good beta
testers. The best ones are experts in their subject who have
tried the competitions programs and have good ideas about what
they would like in your super program. Make sure that your
serial number routines are secure! (See below.)

8) What future products can we expect?
I have a very long "wish list" from users comments on both of
my main products. There are enough ideas to keep me busy with
new version releases for a long time yet.


This isn't a tip or trick, just a comment about a worrying trend
for us shareware authors. I recently visited
and was shocked to find serial numbers being freely issued for
thousands of shareware programs. You can even submit a request
for a specific program to be hacked! These people are undermining
us and I'm not sure what their motives are. This site had links
to dozens of similar sites and some of them offered downloads
of viruses and other malicious software.

Not intended to compete with the big boys, I feel that my
data storage offerings are at home on laptops where HDD space
is at a premium, but don't underestimate them, my FoneBook
can search through several thousand records and find what
you want in a few seconds, quite simply if you want it
stored, QBSoft might just have it .

3) At the moment Windows 3.1 and 3.11 are the only
platforms QBSoft shareware runs on, I have halted development
of my DOS equivalents to concentrate on Windows, I am yet
to take the plunge into Windows 95 (but I fear it won't
be long!!)

4) As 3 above, Win 95 eventually.

5) My aim is for the smaller user, the people who, like
myself don't want to buy a box twelve inches thick to do a
simple task, QBSoft means simple and I want it to stay that way.

6) Several years ago, when Amstrad first developed their PC
market there was a simple PC called the Amstrad CPC464
which was a 64K memory mono screen PC, the first of its kind
I believe to include a monitor with the price, I bought one
to start a bit of Basic programming and never really got into
it. It was a few years after when I bought my first IBM
compatible that I caught the programming bug, firstly with
Visual Basic for DOS (which incidentally I still tinker with
occasionally) and later C, then came VB for Windows which is
what QBSoft programs are created with.

I am also teetering on the brink of Delphi....that s another

7) QBSoft programs are intentionally small, laptop systems
etc. are the main target, I try to be big by being small and
it works for me.

8) My advice would be - try to avoid over-crippling
shareware, it is very tempting to disable print routines or
file saving routines but all that you ensure is that the
evaluator of the program will get tired quickly and move on
to somebody else's program, you might talk yourself out of
a registration by being over cautious.

9) Future products from QBSoft ? - well I would throw myself
open to suggestions here, I have a few ideas in mind but
nothing solid just yet.

I hope that you have enjoyed reading about me and my small
one man empire......

Enjoy! You can visit us at

DMR Software
1) Describe your company
DMR Software - Shareware Software Products

2) Describe your products
Software Inventory 97 - 32-bit Win95/NT based software record
keeping system for large corporations who need to track
multiple software systems/applications on multiple platforms.

Probation Offender Database System v1.1 - 16-bit database
system designed for law enforcement agencies to record and
track probation offender information.

Child Support Tracker v2.2 - 16-bit child support record
keeping system for businesses and for individuals who need to
record and maintain child support payment information.

Software Inventory v1.2 - 16-bit software record keeping system
for small businesses or individual use.

Budget Planner v3.0 - 16-bit budget software to plan out budget
spending.  Many calculation features included.

>3) What platforms does your products run on?
Windows 95/NT and 3.1x.

>4) What kind of audience do you target?
Business and home users.

>5) How did you get started in programming?
I took a 2-year programming course at Idaho State University and
earned an AAS in Computer Science degree as an advanced applications
programmer.  I then began learning PC-based programming languages
beginning with GW-BASIC, then moved to QuickBASIC v4.5, then on to
4GL languages such as Clarion and then on to 5GL object-oriented
languages such as Layout.  I am currently developing with Borland
Delphi Developer 2.0.

>6) What talent do you think you have that makes you stand out?
The ability to create custom database/reporting applications to meet
the needs for businesses and individual users.

>7) What tips would you like to share with other ESAG members?
When the sales are down, DON'T GIVE UP!  Hang in there and keep

>8) What future products can we expect?
New 32-bit versions of Software Inventory, Probation Offender Database
System, Child Support Tracker, and any other applcation I can think of
to write.

DMR Software - Shareware Software Products

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