Mon 19 Jul 2004
Category : Technology/FreeingLuca.txt
We're thinking of releasing Luca (our accounting application) as a donation-ware, un-crippled download. We're constantly improving Luca. It hasn't got stuff like nice icons for the buttons, but I feel these can wait. I believe that the user interface has to work well first. And I'm constantly pruning away at the interface so that the things that are there are the things that are absolutely necessary to have. Like the Zen way, I'd like Luca to have a very sparse look. But that doesn't mean it isn't deep. You'll know it goes pretty deep when you start using it.
Why are we thinking of doing this? I'm thinking that the more people who are using it, the better it will get. And it'll get there faster, too. When I look at Postfix Enabler, and consider the amount of features that it grew to have, I think about how so many people were willing to contribute good constructive suggestions.
So, Luca has got the stage where it already works well, but it could do with some polishing by having many people use it.
Also, the Mac is still not what most people think about when they think about a machine to run their business on. Perhaps Luca could be an agent to help jump-start the movement back towards using it. I've always believed the Mac to be The Ultimate Business Machine. But you can't run a business without having an accounting system to run it on.
Hai Hwee's working on overlaying a point-of-sale/inventory system on top of it. We're finding that there are so many things we could do, just by having an accounting system, and having the ability to integrate all other business processes into it.
So we could release Luca just like we did the Enablers, as donation-ware, for as long as we can remain viable as a business concern through our consulting projects, though we won't be able to provide much tech support.
Are there anybody using Luca now who feel that they will definitely use it seriously if it doesn't have a time limit? If we dropped that time-limit, would you pay us for what you think it's worth?
Category : Technology/switchingServers.txt
We've switched back to the server at the office. It takes less than 5 seonds to deactivate DNSUpdate at the iMac and reactivating it at the office server. This switches our IP address record at dyndns.org to point to the office's server machine. Add another minute or so to make sure any new changes to the server during the weekend get updated to the office server and we're back to normal operations.
And I'm thinking, again, this is a most powerful way of arranging things. Why don't more IT people get it and stop thinking of the Mac as a non-business machine?
I remembered there were some talk at MacSurfer a few days ago about Mac users being smarter than PC users, and I went to look it up - "Overall, the results are pretty clear: Mac users might not actually be smarter than PC users, but they certainly use better English and a larger vocabulary to express more complex thinking." Reach your own conclusion.