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Weblog Archive Cutedge

by: Bernard Teo

Creative Commons License

Copyright © 2003-2012
Bernard Teo
Some Rights Reserved.

Mon 28 Apr 2008

MailServe Pro, ready for business

Category : Commentary/MailServeProReadyForBusiness.txt

So, we are selling MailServe Pro now. We're asking people to pay first and use their serial number/email address combination to download the zipped application. It's a new workflow - you can't directly download the application.

I now know for sure that the workflow works and can concentrate on improving the documentation and working on further enhancements.

I think this will go some way to towards limiting piracy. I didn't want to build in "shrinkage" through piracy to the selling price, thereby making legitimate customers pay for the sins of non-paying users.

And I didn't want to make the code overly complex just to do serial number checking - the scheme we use is not too difficult to break, but more elaborate schemes can have un-intended side-effects that derail users during the running of the program.

So we thought about this for quite a while and decided to try this out. Pay-then-download may not be hard too hard for people who're using MailServe for Leopard now, and who've dealt with me personally before, to accept. I don't mind if this limits the number of potential users but that subset is the one I build these enhancements for.

As for those who subscribe to the theory that it's better to have pirates than not to have them because they spread the news about the application far and wide, there's still MailServe for Leopard, and all the rest of the stuff that still works the old way, that they can pirate.

So, it's good thing to have this balance, to see which way is better. The next thing to do is to figure out how to sign the application, so the pirates can't just break it once and distribute that broken copy. And anyway, the things I do are quite low-level stuff that I take responsibility for. Do people really want to use something that's been patched and broken into and take a chance with whatever else was changed on that copy of MailServe? I don't really think so. It's better to be sure and pull down the application from my site.

Posted at 6:23AM UTC | permalink

MailServe Pro for Leopard with Dovecot

Category : Commentary/MailServePro4Release.txt

I've released my version of MailServe for Leopard with support for Dovecot (it's the version 4.0 release of MailServe).

It's a stealth release because I'd prefer to support one person at a time, rather than a whole horde, in case there are teething problems that I hadn't anticipated, though I've already taken care to seed this for a few people to try for a few months now.

Also, I'm interested in seeing how information diffuses through the web. How does news spread and how long does it take? For example, I'm now tracking the downloads of LDAP Enabler, to see which sites pick it up and make referrals and why. Over the course of a year or two or three, if it does succeeed in picking up users without any [overt] advertisement on my part, then the reasons why it succeeds would become very instructive. What are the improvements I have to make, and the features I have to add (and the manuals I have to make), to make a piece of software popular?

I'm interested in seeing if I can introduce and make popular a range of software without having to advertise them in places like Version Tracker or MacUpdate.

My idea is that, if I can have a core group of software that people come on over to pick up, then can I use that traffic to make them interested in picking up other new pieces of software that I also then make available at the site?

The idea is simple, but if it works, then it becomes self-generating and self-reinforcing, because if those additional software are any good, then it drives further traffic on its own and may even introduce new people to the original goods.

Then when we have sufficient pieces of good software, we can do things like promotional bundles.

This is why doing these things is fun. It's like a microcosm - a corporation in miniature. I'm affected by things like exchange rates. I do promotional materials. And I, of course, also build the damned stuff (with the help of Hai Hwee) and do all the artwork. So it's art and science and business, united. One will, one resolve, one cause :-)

15 US dollars is now a lot like 11 in terms of Singapore dollars and this slide has occurred only over the last year or two. So, I now know what it feels like to be wiped out by an adverse movement in the rates. I never thought I'd hate to see a strengthening of the Singapore dollar and there's no end in sight.

I'm now working on a revamp of the MailServe documentation. If I can find a better and more workable format, I'll revamp the documentaion for all the other software.

I'm also trying out a new workflow - to see if it's possible to ask people to pay for a serial number for MailServe Pro and then use that serial number to download the application. The idea is that people who've used MailServe for Leopard successfully, and who are now interested in using Dovecot, will trust us enough to be persuaded to go with our new workflow. We'll know if it works, for better or worse. But that's another good thing about running a business like this. You can try things and learn.

Posted at 2:53AM UTC | permalink

Put your Mac to Work Now how would you do something like that?

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VPN Enabler for Mavericks

MailServe for Mavericks

DNS Enabler for Mavericks

DNS Agent for Mavericks

WebMon for Mavericks

Luca for Mavericks

Liya for Mountain Lion & Mavericks

Postfix Enabler for Tiger and Panther

Sendmail Enabler for Jaguar

Services running on this server, a Mac Mini running Mac OS X 10.9.2 Mavericks:

  • Apache 2 Web Server
  • Postfix Mail Server
  • Dovecot IMAP Server
  • Fetchmail
  • SpamBayes Spam Filter
  • Procmail
  • BIND DNS Server
  • DNS Agent
  • WebDAV Server
  • VPN Server
  • PHP-based weblog
  • MySQL database
  • PostgreSQL database

all set up using MailServe, WebMon, DNS Enabler, DNS Agent, VPN Enabler, Liya and our SQL installers, all on Mavericks.