| The WavMan and Fade-It updates that will offer AOL 9.5 compatibility are coming real soon. Every extra bit of time I've head since Valentine's Day has been put into these projects since AOL dropped AOL 9.5 unexpectedly. So between work, my son and my family it's taken a little longer than I would have hoped for to get these updates ready. WallPaper and IMs Plus will be next and eventually I'll figure out what to do with Terminator and Buddy Plus. Those last two are still in question since I cannot remember the time someone actually ordered those. They both need a good amount of work and since folks don't seem to like upgrade fees, it puts me in the position of doing all that work for free and listening to endless complaints about "having to pay again" or just letting them go. I don't know yet.|
Since the recession is hitting everyone hard - me included - I've had to downsize, even if it's only by one or two people. This will affect the registrations department the most and I have to find a way to keep the one person I have or do it all myself which honestly, I don't have time for. So here is the new plan I am implementing this summer, probably starting June 1st, 2009.
First, WavMan 11.x and Fade-It 1.x will be sunset. This means they will no longer receive updates when AOL breaks things and we will no longer accept registrations for them. The file itself will be available to those who have already registered in case a replacement copy is necessary. Proof of registration will be required. My advice is to download the setup file for WavMan 11.x and save it to a CD or another hard drive. Do NOT save it to your primary hard drive, because if anything happens to it, that file gets deleted or damaged.
Second, registration number lookup for our *crrent* programs will still be free, even though you should be writing it down someplace off of your computer for safekeeping. It never ceases to amaze me how many folks ignore that suggestion and expect us to look it back up on demand. This folks is going to change. Registration number look up for sunset programs like WavMan 11.x and lower and Fade-It 1.x will require a fee for us to do so. This is the only way I can afford to keep someone else doing that job. It will also - hopefully - encourage more people to actually follow the suggestion I just posed, which is printed on the registration letter so that it won't become a problem. No excuses will be accepted because I've done everything I know how to encourage folks to put their number someplace off the computer and I'm consequently ignored. Believe it or not, the biggest excuse it "my house burnt down." This is a tragic event no one should have to endure. When I asked for documentation I never got any. It's in poor taste to lie about something like this...so please, don't be dishonest about such things. Just write your registration number down on a piece of paper, put it in your wallet, purse, desk draw, safe, even your safety deposit box if you have one. Otherwise number look up for sunset versions of our software will cost you. I don't know how much yet, but I can promise it will be very reasonable.
Third, I need to restate this again since the consensus seems to be to skip over the WavMan Beta page and go right for that download link. The documentation I wrote on that page was not for my health, I assure you. It explained the upgrade path, what was removed, what was added and what issues are pending. Then I get more than several emails asking me about all those very things. Then I just point those people back to that page and ask them to read it this time. It's a very frustrating thing to have to do on a daily basis. So PLEASE, when looking for something or downloading something, read the documentation I put on the page. It's there for a reason. Thanks in advance for this consideration.
Fourth, WavMan Professional is *NOT* a free upgrade from WavMan 11.x. I've already explained why multiple times, but yet the nasty grams I get from time to time accuse me of being all about money. Believe me, if this was about money, I would have discontinued TPA Software and WavMan after 9/11. If you're one of the people who have done it, please stop as I won't be answering them any more. If you have the urge to write something unkind, don't bother. I've got my Outlook mail rules set up to dismiss those kinds of letters unread. If you are one of the very few people who actually thanks me for the hard work, then know it is for folks like you that I continue to do this WavMan and TPA thing. Show me some loyalty and you will have mine until such time AOL makes it impossible for me to make these programs available. It's really as simple as that. Now for those who think all upgrade should be free forever, I offer this suppositions; Would you buy a car in 2009 and in 2010 go back to the dealership and ask for the new version, for free? No, I don't think so. Software cannot be "traded in". Would you buy a new Dell laptop this year, then next year call Dell and ask for the upgraded one with new features for free? Again, no...you wouldn't. And if you tried you would be told "sorry, it doesn't work that way." Would you go to a restaurant, have a nice Filet Mignon dinner, then come back a week later and ask for the same meal again for free, because you already paid for it once? Of course not. Would you ask the guy who cuts your yard for free service on his next visit since you already paid him once? It's not your fault the grass keeps growing. No, I don't think so either. The yard guy has bills to pay and a family to feed, so he charges each time his services are provided.
So now, maybe you bought WavMan 11 some years back and suddenly you see the new version is available with all its new features. But you expect *me* to give it away for free. Why? How am I different in this regard. Thousand upon thousands of hours of time have been put into writing code for WavMan Pro so it would work with Windows Vista. Endless hours of research, coding, debugging, testing, etc. I'm not complaining. I like my job. But I don't understand how I am singled out to provide my services for free, forever if you paid a registration fee once years ago. What if your boss asked you to work free for a year because he already paid you for last year. You'd think he was nuts and probably quit. What's to stop me from thinking the same thing and hanging it all up? Trust me, I've thought about it more than once. I appear to be the sole exception to basic supply and demand. I never forced anyone to upgrade to Windows Vista. I never forced anyone to upgrade to AOL 9.0. Lower versions of both are still out there. So please, don't suggest I should not be able to make a living doing what I do best. Please don't suggest that all the work I do isn't worth upgrading too because the general consensus on the Internet is that all software should be free. I have my own bills to pay and my own family who likes to eat from time to time. When I read complaints about, "do I really have to pay again? That's not fair! You're just trying to scam me for more money" it just makes me frustrated and sad, because writing and selling software works on the same principles of most every other kind of job out there, but for some unexplained reason I should be exempt from being compensated for my work. If you don't want to upgrade, then don't. Sending a nasty letter as to why is not necessary. I do not think that is a lot to ask.
Lastly, after being asked this a few times, there will be no WavMan, or anything from TPA for AOL Desktop 10. Here is why: There isn't enough demand for it. I did a rough estimate of how long it would take to have to rewrite WavMan from the ground up, again, for AOL Desktop and it would take close to a year...much like WavMan Pro for Vista did. And it's the experience of WavMan Pro which I just wrote about that set the bar for this measurement as well. Work of that magnitude would certainly mean purchasing a new program and honestly, I just don't want to deal with the fallout over it, so I'm not going to do it. Besides, I have at least two other programs that need to be brought up to sped for Vista and AOL 9.5, so it's not like I'm hurting for work to do. :-)
So, check back in the next week or so for WavMan and Fade-It updates for AOL 9.5 as I am almost finished work on them.
- Kevin Provance