Archive for September 2007

Halo 3 ruined my microISV

September 27, 2007

Unless you’ve been living in a sensory deprivation tank, Halo 3 has stormed the shores of gaming. Even with the avalanche of hype and marketing, the game is the real deal and has consumed my valuable biz time as my squadmates and I fight off hordes Covenant and the Flood. I estimate a couple more days to play through the Campaign on Heroic and to get Halo somewhat out of my system. I’ll have to give the multiplayer competitive scene a shot, but I’m not much into playing against strangers. In other news, I’ve managed to wrap up my bank’s onerous business account application. Next, I’ll be doing some more research on the competition as I formulate my next product.

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Added Forum Support with DotNetNuke

September 24, 2007

I am currently using GoDaddy.com as my website host. They are cheap and are pretty generous in terms of bandwidth and storage. Their web site could certainly be cleaner. They make just about every pixel link to some great deal they have for you, but judicious bookmarking let’s you skip right over the worst of it. Performance could be a little snappier when you hit your website, but it good enough for now. I suspect I will outgrow it in the not too distant future.

One nice feature they offer is automatic installation of DotNetNuke (DNN). DNN is a pretty serious Open Source ASP.NET application that can be used to create community centric websites. I was looking for something that would provide some straightforward forums for support and suggestions from users. Installation was a snap, and actually configuring DNN wasn’t too bad using the guide at their website. I did however manage to lock myself out of my own forums. On the Admin Site Settings page I set the Login and Register pages to point to Home, thinking that it meant they should redirect to the home forum page once you have logged in or registered. DNN actually intends for you to specify alternate Login and Register pages. The result was that every time I wanted to login I got redirected to home and couldn’t login as admin to change this.

Luckily, I am not the first person in the world to do this and John Mitchell’s blog has a post describing how to call your virtual locksmith to let you back into your own forums.

Why I started my MicroISV

September 19, 2007

PME Software LLC officially went public on September 1, 2007. The original idea was sparked by a conversation with my mother-in-law describing how she would love to have a simple to use software program that would let her add captions to the pictures she takes. She works as a real-estate agent and wanted an easy way to add text to pictures without having to master something like Photoshop.

This was in November of 2006. Fast-forward to now. Even for a relatively simple application such as CaptionIt!, there is a lot work that has to be done and it’s surprising how much of it is not code related.

My main reason for starting my own MicroISV is to eventually be my own boss and to write the kind of software that I want to write. I started my career working at some cool companies doing 3D graphics, distributed systems, and visualization but I eventually realized that no matter how cool the project you always end up at the mercy of arbitrary schedules, irrational managers, and the soul-deadening effects of corporate life. I am currently working as a contractor, which provides more control over my hours and significant flexibility, but at the end of the day you are still writing code for someone else. Starting a MicroISV gives me the chance to break free from that cycle and to connect directly with users. It’s a lot of work, but in the end a lot more rewarding.