How To Behave Like A Wanker

I check the website most days, just keeping an eye out for good deals on useful software. For example, the excellent backup tool AJC Active Backup is available there from time to time for under twenty bucks, and a lot of the software offered on BitsDuJour is worth at least a look. A nice feature is that they have a blog-ish format where people can ask questions or make comments on the software, and the software authors can respond.

Last week they offered DiskMagik, a hard drive defragmentation tool from Rose City Software. There are quite a few defragmenting tools out there, and one person asked a question:

While it is true that defragmentation is necessary, what I really wonder is the feautres in your software DiskMagik. I have installed the ffollowing software:

Now both the softwares are free.

So I would like to know what are the advantages of your software that gives me an idea to buy it.

Pretty reasonable question. There are free alternatives, some of them very well respected. Defraggler, for example, is from the same people who make CCleaner, which is a great system cleaning tool.

Rose City software developer and CEO Joseph Burke answered:

There are freeware options for most software today. Developers from Third World countries flood the market with knockoffs. If you wish to trust the integrity of your system to an unproven freeware product because you cannot afford a few bucks for really good trusted software, that is your choice.

Ouch! Let’s see, in one paragraph he insults freeware, third world developers, and the person asking the question! And he completely failed to actually answer the question or offer any reasons why his software is worth paying for.

Turns out that the people who check BitsDuJour don’t suffer fools gladly. Joseph Burke was quickly taken to task for his attitude. One respondent pointed out that some of the best applications on the market are freeware, and listed a number of well-known examples. Another pointed out that the two freeware defraggers in the original question are from London and Hong Kong (both cities will no doubt be surprised to discover that they’re in the third world).

Now, most people who are trying to attract customers would realize they’d made a mistake, and try to fix it. Not good old Joseph Burke though, no sir. He barreled on ahead with another post:

Look be my guest… use garbage freeware with zero support or backup and risk your system. Unlike you jokers, I have have spent thousands of hours working with programmers from China, India and Russia and I *know* how much junk comes out of those countries (and many others as well) and just how many bugs there are. […] If I valued my time at just $5 an hour which is probably what you do, I have read morealready wasted more time than the $15. If you cannot afford $15 for a piece of software you obviously don’t use your computer for anything much more than computer games and are not a customer of Rose City Software, not are you worth wasting our time conversing with on message boards.

Jinkies. Zoinks. Wowie. Ooof. Etc. Will I be buying anything from Rose City Software? No, no I don’t think so. Ever.

You know what’s kind of ironic? Rose City Software has a page of freeware that they recommend as interesting. I wonder if they mean ‘interesting’ in the ‘knock-off garbage’ sense of the word?

Addendum… See the juicy goodness for yourself HERE.

A Trip Down Memory Lane… BBS

My wife is out of town this week and so I’ve taken the time to at least get started on a long-overdue project. As I have mentioned before, I’ve got a huge tub of old CD ROMs and similar junk that needed going through, which is how I spent many hours the past few days.

What an incredible load of junk! The commercial stuff was easy to deal with – if it’s older than a version I’m currently using, it’s gone. If I’ve never used it, it’s gone. If I can’t even figure out what it is, it’s gone.

The CDs I made myself are a bit more problematic. I’ve backed up important stuff at various times over the years, as well as a ridiculous amount of drivel. Rather than just tossing all those discs, I loaded them all onto my hard drive so that I can sort through them. Probably only a freak like me would actually look forward to reviewing and cleaning out 40,000 files. I have a feeling when the project is done there will be only a thousand or so files left – which will probably all fit on a single DVD.

As I started the sort project, one of the first things I ran across was this advertisement for my old Bulletin Board System…

The Aircrash Bureau BBS

3500 files! 3.8 Gigabytes of storage! That was a huge amount back then, but now for $30 you can get a microSD card with more capacity and which could easily be swallowed. My BBS was never a raging success with individual users – I was a bit late to the game for that. It was however a very active file distribution hub, often moving 100 megabytes a day, which was no small thing in the days of dial-up modems.

Sometimes I miss the title of SysOp.