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Weblog Archive Cutedge

by: Bernard Teo

Creative Commons License

Copyright © 2003-2012
Bernard Teo
Some Rights Reserved.

Fri 16 Jan 2004

But the good news is...

Category : Commentary/goodnewsbut.txt

On re-reading the last post, I thought it was overly dark. There have been quite a few nice messages from people who were happy with both Sendmail Enabler and Postfix Enabler. Maybe I should compile them, into a congratulatory "All the good things they say about Postfix Enabler" page. But I've always thought that these were private messages that were probably meant to remain private.

But the biggest drag over the period of doing Sendmail Enabler and Postfix Enabler are messages like these: "Heya. I'm trying to get postfix to work on my system. Now I realize that you have a policy of only providing tech support to registered users, BUT.... I can't seem to get postfix to work at all, even after following your instructions. This is, needless to say, not a particularly effective way to get me to register. So I figure we go back and forth a little bit until everything works, and then once my mail server is functional, I will register the app. Sound good? Ok, here is my situation: ... Actually, since I have your attention, maybe you can help me with this, too:..."

10 bucks to go back and forth until everything works? Unfortunately, that's pretty much the standard fare.

Ok, so it's still pretty dark.

But my purpose here is to explain as best as I can that Postfix Enabler is shareware (actually it's more like donation-ware) simply because we're not able to devote the resources to providing tech support for it, at least for now.

And also because all the heavy-lifting is done by all these Open Source stuff that we're just turning on or off, we've never really considered Postfix Enabler as truly our own product. But we felt 10 bucks was just about right for the work we put in. Nice if you paid, OK if you don't, and we'll take anything in-between. But 10 bucks for debugging people's systems? It's just not worth it.

It's different if we had made it into a commercial product because then we would have to back it up with commercial-grade support. But then it wouldn't be free or even $10.

(Actually, in case you're curious, we've got donations from $1 to $50, with the average at around $10. But then, to date, only 91 people had paid.)

Make money as a shareware writer? Never.

So if you can't send over "some coin", as someone puts it, send over some good words. Now and then things do look bleak. And it's not like we've got nothing else to do. So don't get upset if I can't help you debug your system. I've done as best as I can and we need to move on.

Posted at 12:04PM UTC | permalink

Postfix Enabler 1.0.9 Released

Category : Commentary/pfe109.txt

This release was meant to allow people to have a better idea of what's going on behind the scenes. But I knew full well the mail that I will be getting, now that they can view the mail log. It's starting to come in, people wanting to know why they're getting this message or that warning. I don't know half of these myself. But I do know that if I want to know the answers, I wouldn't have anyone else to ask besides our good friend Google.

We're going to have a bunch of work coming in that we have to focus on, so we're going to have to stop providing (hitherto, mostly free) tech support for Postfix Enabler. If I had a dime for each time I got a message saying "if you can solve this problem, my money is on the way to you", I'll have been richer than Bill Gates. Mostly, you don't even get a "thank you" after you've provided a solution, much less a dime. Just about the only thing I've got out of this is a study in human nature that may still come in useful, one day, when I decide to write a book.

I just realised, from a review at MacUpdate, that Postfix Enabler is (nominally) just 3% of the cost of the nearest competing product (Tenon's Post.Office at US$295. Stalker's CommuniGate Pro is at $499). Of course, (I think) they built their own mail server and I'm just turning on and off a bunch of Open Source stuff. And, to be fair, I think they provide commercial-grade support which I don't want to have to do, at least for now. But 3% of the cost at maybe 80% of their functionality? If you consider that you can use Postfix Enabler for free (though you shouldn't - even getting a dollar from everyone who's using it will still be more than I've gotten so far), then you can even say that Postfix Enabler is infinitely more useful than any other product in the OS X mail server space.

Posted at 6:02AM UTC | permalink

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