Journler: Blog

Landed an Apt in San Francisco!

June 14th, 2007

A *huge* week! Found out this morning that I landed a sweet apartment in San Francisco. Woo hoo!

It really couldn’t be better. The location is incredible, near China Town in the North Beach area. Very central but without the highrises and the madness of absolute inner city. There’s a small park nearby, cafes all around, and you can see the bay and Alcatraz from the kitchen. Absolutely beautiful!

The apartment itself is great: spacious, large, big living room and kitchen area, tall ceilings, places for the bikes. Really just perfect. And if you can believe it, my flatmates are German natives. I’ll be able to continue practicing my German! Could it possible get any better? Yes! All for a really good price, utilities included and importantly wireless access.

Ideal!

Tons more going on this week and I’ve been wanting to write about it but I’ve just been too busy. I’ve done a lot of journaling though, so I’ll be putting together some blog posts as things calm down a bit. Man, Journler is the perfect tool for this kind of stuff.

WWDC, Business Cards, the Apt Hunt

June 9th, 2007

So I’ve arrived in San Francisco and am getting ready for WWDC. Headed over to Moscone West tomorrow morning to register for the conference and grab the latest Leopard beta. Leopard? Did he say Leopard? Oh yeah, you know you’re jealous. ;)

I’ve already met other conference attendees although I’ve only been here a day. I ran into a certain Ben at the airport after he got off the same flight as me, and I’ve run into a few at the hostel where I’m staying. A couple even know who I am thanks to Journler. Along those lines I’m really hoping to make connections this year so will definitely be proactive about meeting and talking with other developers.

With that goal in mind I set about designing business cards before I left. I’ve never had business cards before, but I figured it might be an important part of establishing lasting relationships with individuals who are otherwise strangers. Designing the cards was actually a bit of fun. I’m not at all experienced in the world of desktop publishing, so I had to fool around a while to get the resolution, fonts and graphics to all match up. Can you imagine getting excited about business cards? It was the case. And shoot, they didn’t turn out all that bad:

Props to Mike Rohde for the icon design. It’s the same one featured as Journler’s application icon.

In the meantime it’s all about the apartment hunting, although I have to say I’m disappointed with the results so far. I’ve sent out some two dozen emails in response to Craig’s List postings but I’ve received only three replies. Are my messages going straight into the Junk Mail boxes? In any case, here’s my latest posting: Chill Indie Mac Developer Looking for Room in Shared Apt/House

WWDC Coming Up, Connecting, Making Ideas Happen

June 6th, 2007

Woah, the last week has blown by. I’m moved back to the U.S. after four years in Austria. Oklahoma is where I’m at right now, in the middle just north of Texas, as I told my students. The move took place a week ago today.

On Friday I’m flying out to San Francisco for Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference, the WWDC. I’ll also be looking for a place to live. Know someone in the Bay Area? Check out my Craig’s List post. The plan is to land a room in a shared apartment or house by July 1st. If it all works out I’ll be celebrating the Fourth of July in Cali.

Life is happening. I’ve moved back to the United States and I’m moving to San Francisco because I’m looking to build a team. I have some ideas for some cool stuff I’d like to see realized, but I can’t do it by myself. Shoot, Journler alone has become more than a one man project.

I’m thinking of ways to meet other developers and engineers at WWDC. I imagine walking up to random people in the hall. “Hi, I’m Phil. I’m an independent software developer. What’s your name and what do you do?” Introductions. Hmm.

Will you be at WWDC? Do you do hardware engineering or software development? Do you live in the Bay Area? Let’s get in touch. I’ll be in SF from June 9 to the 19th and ideally from July 1st on.

I’ve created a WWDC category for the blog. Let’s see if I don’t take advantage of it. I remember being in the fifth row during the Keynote last year. I’d like to be there again this year and do some blogging about it. Keep an eye out. WWDC starts next week!

In San Francisco June 8 - 19 for WWDC

May 20th, 2007

In just nine days I’ll be moving back to the States after living in Europe for four years. Hardly ready but all manner of excited.

Part of that move is a trip to San Francisco for Apple’s WWDC. I attended the conference last year and had a blast. Not only did I fall in love with San Francisco, I was introduced to a number of Apple technologies and had the chance to speak one on one with Apple engineers and representatives. The experience definitely benefited me, and I’m expecting the same this time around.

Will you be at WWDC this year? Do you live in the Bay Area? Let’s get in touch. I’m keen to meet up with other developers and I love meeting Journler users. If you’re around definitely shoot me an email (contact info).

License change: minimum donation required for personal use license

May 9th, 2007

I have decided to institute a minimum donation policy for personal use licenses. I’ve received a number of very small donations and have in the past issued licenses for them. My reasoning has been, perhaps this really is all a person can afford.

I remember when I was a little kid in New Orleans with my parents. We were in the French Quarter at my dad’s favorite cafĂ© eating airy doughnuts covered in powdered sugar. A street musician was playing jazz trumpet on the corner. I played the trumpet as well and I loved his music.

There was a penny in my pocket, all the money I had. I wanted to give it to the trumpet player. My parents advised against it, for even with the best intentions it could be taken offensively, as though I thought his music were only worth a penny.

Today I received a donation for $0.01. A penny. Single dollar donations unsettled me, but I was willing to give the individual the benefit of the doubt. A penny starts to push it.

On the one hand maybe this is a kid like I was who can’t afford more than a penny, just as there are probably individuals who cannot afford more than a dollar or two. Maybe I’m wrong to get upset about this.

On the other hand, Journler works whether an individual makes a contribution or not. There are no limitations built into the software. A person making a donation of less than five dollars or one of a penny because that’s all their finances allow need not make a donation at all. You need those dollars more than I do.

A few numbers to put things into perspective. A non-personal use license is $24.95. I make no recommendation for a personal use donation. There are ~580 registered users. Of that number 60 have made a donation of $9.99 or less. That’s 10%. 52 users have made a donation of $5.00 or less, about 9%. The average donation is $17.00. Comparing Journler’s price to related software…

Journler: $24.95 or donation
Kit: $24.95
MacJournal: $34.95
Scrivener: $34.99
Yojimbo: $39.00

Average cost: $31.80.

Journler has one of the most generous license policies of any software in its class. I have instituted this policy intentionally, moving as honestly as I can from a freeware/donationware approach to a donationware/shareware one.

Quite frankly, though, it is not working well. Many users do purchase licenses or make donations, and I am extremely thankful for it. Nevertheless, only a small percentage of downloads actually leads to a financial contribution, and the average donation is significantly less than the non-personal use price.

I am a frugal individual. I need little and want less. I like living simply, and I would stand on a soap box and encourage everyone else to do the same. It’s good for the planet and it’s good for your soul. However, in less than two months my cost of living will double with a move to San Francisco. At the current rate I am only just barely able to meet my projected expenses.

Effective immediately I am instituting a minimum donation policy for the personal use license. A donation of $10.00 or more is required for licensed, personal use of Journler. I will simultaneously be recommending a donation of $20.00, where I once made no recommendation at all.

If you have already made a donation and it was less than $10.00 don’t worry. I don’t want you to feel guilty or bad in any way, and you don’t need to make another payment to cover the balance. A personal use license was and is yours. If you were wanting to make a donation but cannot afford the $10.00 minimum, also don’t worry. You need the money more than I do, and Journler will continue working whether you donate or not.

Journler Goes to the Presses

March 24th, 2007

Quick heads up. I have made available a Journler 2.5 press release. Many thanks to everyone at prMac for making this possible.

From the press release:

March 24, 2007 (Graz, Austria) In the early hours of March 24 Philip Dow announced the newest version to the popular Macintosh program, Journler. Six months in development, Journler v2.5 features numerous enhancements and makes it even easier for Mac users to keep a journal and manage their information.

It was a riot writing the release. You can tell I had a good time when you read it. Who would have thought that writing a press release could be so much fun? You get to brag a little, talk up the features. Everything becomes important. You make it so.

At the same time, there is some cool stuff in Journler. If you’re doing a write up and have any questions, do let me know.

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