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InsideBeOS Shipping, European sales hurting

Filed under the:  department.
Posted by:Ryan on Saturday, 02 Dec, 2000 @ 12:15 AM
 
Inside BeOS Magazine

Just a quick note to let you all know what the status is on the shipment of the Inside BeOS magazine discussed a few weeks ago. Bernd Korz of Inside BeOS wrote us to let us know that the magazine finished it’s print run this week, and they are shipping now. They will attempt airmail to speed delivery. He also mentioned that they have only sold a portion of what they needed to sell to break even with the BeUsers in Europe. So if there are 25-30 more of you in Europe who feel like helping Inside BeOS stay afloat and out of debt, why not order a copy now?



40 Responses to “InsideBeOS Shipping, European sales hurting”

  1. Rapture In Venice Says:

    I’ll help out!

    Although I’m in America, I’ll pony up for a subscription. I’ve put it off too long now. :)

  2. Helmar Says:

    No surprise?

    I have spent the better part of a night to design a more attractive cover page for insideBeOS (available on request via email), but haven’t even had a reply from the gentleman. So much for good marketing…

    The thing is that unless the design and content is top-class, no one’s gonna bother with the sales. As simple as that. Effort alone won’t sell the product.

    He should take clues from Business 2.0 and FastCompany on how a modern magazine should look like. The way it looks now I wouldnt buy it either, and I am sure many others think alike.

    Should one judge the book by its cover? You tell me. I think, yes.

  3. Helmar Says:

    One more…

    Both BeOS developers and “supporters” should understand that the market is not a charity. People rarely pay for software or magazines simply because the author is in debt or is doing something for BeOS.

    People have no problem paying for quality and for something they need, be that in form of software that helps them become more efficient or in magazines that are professionally designed and filled with relevant content.

    I don’t think it would have been a big problem for Bernd to get design help from other BeOS users or even a university or polytech.student - at no or very low cost.

    The way the thing looks now, I wouldn’t have bought it either. And the website… any 10yr-old could have done a better one, so Bernd has to ask himself why there are so few people subscribing to the magazine. Simple questions, simple answers, great effect.

  4. foodog Says:

    In Response To Helmar @ 12/02/2000 5:03:19 PM

    Re: One more…

    Just a little harsh don’t you think? Lose the bright yellow background on the webpage and it would be ok, most of the time simple is better, easier to read.

    As for only paying for things you need, I agree.

  5. Nutcase Says:

    In Response To Helmar @ 12/02/2000 4:54:52 PM

    Re: No surprise?

    Fair argument for a better look, but do you think FastCompany or Business 2.0 would redesign their cover to look like something submitted by a reader? Especially right after their second issue?

  6. WattsM Says:

    In Response To Nutcase @ 12/02/2000 5:25:07 PM

    Re: No surprise?

    That depends on the reader. If you, as a publisher, have no experience with graphic design, and someone who DOES have graphic design makes an unsolicited offer to give you low-cost assistance, it’s a good idea to listen.

    I’m aware that hearing people say “your cover design really needs help” is pride-wounding to a publisher, but their cover design really needs help. Using the “Next Generation” font for the logo screams, “Hi, we are sci-fi fans putting together a fanzine about our cool geek toys.” I have difficulty believing that they can’t find someone who’s done a few years at the German equivalent of Kinko’s typesetting department to give them some tips.

    I don’t know what Helmar’s graphics background is, but when it comes to marketing, I damn sure wouldn’t let pride prevent me from at least listening to his input.

    (As for my part… I’ve done a few years at Kinko’s typesetting department, not to mention a handful of other professional projects over the last decade. I may be a curmudgeon, but I’m a curmudgeon who knows print design, and has a reasonable idea of what will and won’t look good sitting on a newsstand.)

  7. Nutcase Says:

    In Response To WattsM @ 12/02/2000 6:13:03 PM

    Re: No surprise?

    No argument there. Their cover needs help. I am just saying that it isnt surprising they didn’t jump at the opportunity to change their cover after they have gone to press. Maybe over the next few issues they will.. but give him time to come around. :)

  8. Nikola Pizurica Says:

    In Response To Helmar @ 12/02/2000 4:54:52 PM

    Re: No surprise?

    I have troubles with awefull English on their web site.

    “Is ist possible ?”
    “Weīre show you the best of it”
    “Itīs a good altnerate to Modems?”
    “Gobe productive 2.0.1 can you feel the office-power with BeOS?”
    “Order the CD from Inside BeOS with cool Stuff and donīt be anger
    with brocken Downloads !”
    “In this time we are negotiate with
    BeBits to get the best condition for our customers”

    List goes on and on……
    I hope English version of their magazine is spell-checked :-)

  9. Sean Long Says:

    How about support for BeOS software developers!

    This guy is not the only one losing money doing projects for the BeOS. A lot of us developers (me included) have put in countless hours and our own funding that we could of been using on something that would earn us more money. I have only sold 18 copies of my program ImageGrinder on BeBits and both times BeBits reported on sales ImageGrinder was in the top 5 for sales, that right there is some SCARY SHIT. BeOS users are not buying enough software! I can understand why not that many people would buy a very specialized software package like ImageGrinder, but if 18 sales is in the top five I feel bad for the other guys with great software for sale.

    Besides poor sales us developers do not get that much user feedback, I can count the emails I have received about my software titles with all my fingers and toes. Go to BeBits and search for Hailstone Software and you will see that we have had thousands of downloads of our software and less than 30 emails!!!

    The BeOS developers are doing the best they can but it is hard not knowing what the users want and not getting the sales we need to stay in business. The ball is now in the users court and it is up to you.

    END OF RANT. This in no way is the view of Hailstone Software, just me Sean Long.

    And yes I am still developing for the BeOS and use it 100% of the time.

    Sean Long
    Hailstone Software
    www.hailstonesoftware.com

  10. Nutcase Says:

    In Response To Sean Long @ 12/02/2000 9:01:08 PM

    Re: How about support for BeOS software developers!

    Um.. sure. make some news. We will post it, and encourage people to try/buy your app. :P

    But see.. this was news about a magazine just trying to launch. :P

    But yeah, people need to buy more software. All the free software is actually hurting i think. People get in the wrong mindset. Hmmm. :-/

  11. Ruthrauff Says:

    In Response To Nutcase @ 12/02/2000 9:13:43 PM

    Re: How about support for BeOS software developers!

    Actully I think it is a simple matter of what is out there. BeOS is call and alternative, and people who use it still have windows on there computers. Now lets see I need software that does task X. I look at the software for BeOS. I find 2 apps that do it well, and a lot of hey I made this for my use software. I then look at software for windows. I find plenty of crap software, and about 4 apps that do it well. I now compare the windows to the BeOS stuff, and It just seems to me that about 75% of the time the Windows stuff is just more mature. There is as someone said earlier the whole “Judge a Book by it’s cover” thing going on as well. Most Windows software just looks better. It has a more refined UI and such. I know I know users need to write back, but heck how many comments do you think MicroBig gets about Office, or windows. I’m talking compared to how many people use it. Not only that out side of the “Recent BeBits” on web sites where do you advertise. Sure I check BeBits about once a week, but I doubt most people do.

    Basicly I’m just really geting sick of developers always crying about how they need feed back. Sure you need to know, but lets be realistic. Sometimes people just don’t like, or they just do. Do you really need them all to just send an e-mail that says “I liked it.” or “I didn’t like it.” Yes I’m sure it is nice to know that people are using your software, but the download count shows that people are using it, or at least trying it.

    Why can’t developers just accept the fact that most people just don’t have that much to say about things. If you really want your software to get better than it will. If you use it, than you know what you like, and make it fit that. When a new user does say “Hey why doesn’t this do this?” then add it.

    Heck bad planning is not the fault of the customer. I’ve bought all the software I need. I have Productive, I’ve bought Corum 3, I would have bought net penguen, but I don’t think they work on it any more, I would have bought PE but that isn’t updated any more so I use Eddie now. I would like to buy “Personal Assistant” but they don’t support the USB Visors yet. When Pixel32 makes it out for BeOS I will most likely buy that. I wanted to buy 3D software, but none of the projects have made it to BeOS. I was going to buy the Magazine, but it doesn’t have anything that sounds like it would be of use to me, or that I couldn’t get from the net for free. I would have liked to see an article about program for the BeOS. I also plan to buy Postmaster when something more happens with it. I’m waiting to see that he is still working on that.

    So there, it’s not that the money isn’t there. I’m willing to spend it. I just need stuff I want. I haven’t won the lottery so I can’t start up a company just to create drivers for BeOS. There is something else I would pay for. I have not sound on my laptop, and the video drivers haven’t been worked on in awhile. I would gladly pay for drivers for my hardware. In fact I’m waiting for Nutcase to finish the “Support Fund” part of the web site, then there is a good change you will see me start a fund for a few things.

    Wow what a rant. Just understand, I’m not telling anyone to stop developing heck I’m still waiting for that race game from hailstone. I’ll be buying that when it comes out.

  12. gmlongo Says:

    In Response To MrEntropy @ 12/03/2000 08:21:26 AM

    Re: How about support for BeOS software developers!

    I do code because I love it, but you are sadly mistaken if you think that love alone will bring BeOS apps. All I am saying is that a little support can go a long way to helping BeOS grow.

    -G

  13. Sean Long Says:

    In Response To Ruthrauff @ 12/02/2000 10:38:38 PM

    Re: How about support for BeOS software developers!

    Ruthrauff,

    Don’t hold your breath about the racing game ‘Project Infinity’.
    That project is currently on hold due to lack of time and mostly
    due to lack of funding. It is not DEAD just not currently being
    worked on, it also does not help that OpenGL is taking forever
    to be released. Kinda hard to think about releasing it when the
    user base can not even use it yet. Hell back in March we planned to
    release a demo around August but we could not because OpenGL was not
    here yet.

    “Basicly I’m just really geting sick of developers always crying about how they need feed back.”

    I am not crying for feedback like “good job keep up the work”
    but more along the lines of “Your app is ok[sucks] but it needs x like app y on windows”.
    Basically good feedback!

    “Not only that out side of the “Recent BeBits” on web sites where do you advertise.”

    Well as I am lossing money on Hailstone and have no extra money to spend on advertising
    I have to rely on BeBits, BoostSignal and the BeNews sites (all of which I sent an anouncement
    when I released the last version of ImageGrinder). I have been thinking about buying some air time
    on BeOSRadio for a month to see how that goes but then again that is money I will probably never get back.

    Just look at the letter by the CEO of Wild Card written awhile back, they had kick ass software for BeOS and were lossing
    money on each project. Once again I think the user community expects too much from the developers. The small projects need to
    prove themseleves for larger projects to come about.
    I can not stress this enough PEOPLE need to buy more software. You mentioned PE, well PE is a great piece
    of software that I use every day while programming but the reason it is unsupported now is because not enough people bought the
    program.

    have a nice day/night

    Sean Long
    Hailstone Software
    www.hailstonesoftware.com

  14. Sean Long Says:

    In Response To Ruthrauff @ 12/02/2000 10:38:38 PM

    Re: How about support for BeOS software developers!

    Ruthrauff,

    Don’t hold your breath about the racing game ‘Project Infinity’.
    That project is currently on hold due to lack of time and mostly
    due to lack of funding. It is not DEAD just not currently being
    worked on, it also does not help that OpenGL is taking forever
    to be released. Kinda hard to think about releasing it when the
    user base can not even use it yet. Hell back in March we planned to
    release a demo around August but we could not because OpenGL was not
    here yet.

    “Basicly I’m just really geting sick of developers always crying about how they need feed back.”

    I am not crying for feedback like “good job keep up the work”
    but more along the lines of “Your app is ok[sucks] but it needs x like app y on windows”.
    Basically good feedback!

    “Not only that out side of the “Recent BeBits” on web sites where do you advertise.”

    Well as I am lossing money on Hailstone and have no extra money to spend on advertising
    I have to rely on BeBits, BoostSignal and the BeNews sites (all of which I sent an anouncement
    when I released the last version of ImageGrinder). I have been thinking about buying some air time
    on BeOSRadio for a month to see how that goes but then again that is money I will probably never get back.

    Just look at the letter by the CEO of Wild Card written awhile back, they had kick ass software for BeOS and were lossing
    money on each project. Once again I think the user community expects too much from the developers. The small projects need to
    prove themseleves for larger projects to come about.
    I can not stress this enough PEOPLE need to buy more software. You mentioned PE, well PE is a great piece
    of software that I use every day while programming but the reason it is unsupported now is because not enough people bought the
    program.

    have a nice day/night

    Sean Long
    Hailstone Software
    www.hailstonesoftware.com

  15. MrEntropy Says:

    In Response To gmlongo @ 12/03/2000 12:26:20 AM

    Re: How about support for BeOS software developers!

    I’m not sadly mistaken about anything. I know full well what will bring apps and what won’t. That wasn’t the issue. I really don’t appreciate being insulted.

    A little support can go a long way. And there’s many of us that are providing support, monetary and otherwise.

    You wanted to know what the point of coding into the wee hours of the night was if you don’t get feedback on what you’re working on. If you love it, you’ll do it. If you find you can’t, for whatever reason, then you won’t. I don’t see how putting the onus on the users is going to help anything. Putting something in a good light goes a long way towards getting what you need.

    “All I am saying is that a little support can go a long way to helping BeOS grow.”

    I can accept this. I can sympathize with this. Possibly, after reading this, some people who use your programs will offer something up. I certainly hope they do. I can’t, since I’ve never used ImageGrinder. Again, it’s something that I don’t have a use for. Not because it’s bad, just because I don’t really do anything involving graphics.

    Any way, I hope the best for you and all the rest of the developers. I’ll always keep my eyes peeled for something that appeals to me, and I’ll support it to the best of my meager ability.

  16. Sean Long Says:

    In Response To Nutcase @ 12/02/2000 9:13:43 PM

    Re: How about support for BeOS software developers!

    Couldn’t agree more!

    I think free software is really hurting BeOS developers
    and the software industry in general (probably biased because
    I am a computer scientist who plans on programming for my lively hood).

    Sean Long
    Hailstone Software
    www.hailstonesoftware.com

  17. gmlongo Says:

    In Response To Ruthrauff @ 12/02/2000 10:38:38 PM

    Re: How about support for BeOS software developers!

    Come on! You cannot compare software for BeOS to software for Windows. Many BeOS developers (myself included) are busting their asses to produce high quality software for the BeOS. It doesn’t matter that this software may exist for Windows. It only matters that *many* hours have been spent coding software that the members of the Be community might want. If you want these programmers to develop more applications, then you have to support them. All I know is that I spend over 50 hours a week at work, and then I come home and spend most of my remaining hours coding for BeOS. My girlfriend, family, and friends are getting frustrated because I cannot spend more time with them, and you want to compare BeOS software with Windows software? How many Windows developers are there compared to BeOS developers? If you can get all of your software needs in Windows, then use Windows. If you want to use the best OS available, then you need to support the developers who are spending every waking moment to try and make BeOS a better platform.

    If the users do not have 1 minute to give feedback on the software they use, then what is the point of spending late nights in front of the computer trying to add one more feature to our applications. Don’t forget that we do not have the research departments to study the needs of the users like the big Windows’ companies have. We need to rely on the user’s feedback. If you don’t want to help the developers, then don’t complain that you do not have feature X or feature Y for BeOS. We are a community, and we do care about the other community members opinions.

    The next time you sit down and use Postmaster, Opera, BeShare or any other BeOS application, take a minute to think about the developers who took the time to build a great application that makes BeOS that much more enjoyable to use.

    -G

  18. Dirk Olbertz Says:

    In Response To Helmar @ 12/02/2000 4:54:52 PM

    Re: No surprise?

    So you would prefer to have no BeOS related magazine at all? I think you don`t have a clue on how expensive it is to produce a magazine. Maybe the BeOS magazine maintained by Scot Hacker would have looked better, but it never got to the market…

    And for the cover design you eMailed him: are you sure it reached its destination? There was a contest for the cover after the first issue and the second cover is already the winner of this contest. So Bernd has no problems with help from anyone out there. But as he currently is working alone on this magazine, he spent very much time in doing and printing the second issue in english.

    And I really hope that we will never judge a book or a magazine by its cover. Only people with no interest in any content are buying stuff this way.

    Currently the magazine is only produced for the BeOS community and Bernd complaint, that this community is not really willing to help its supporters. I know he’s planning to do something more professional, but I think it’s OK to learn something first and see how the ones who would be the best supporters for the BeOS (the current user base), will support his efforts.

  19. MrEntropy Says:

    In Response To gmlongo @ 12/03/2000 01:18:07 AM

    Re: How about support for BeOS software developers!

    “If the users do not have 1 minute to give feedback on the software they use, then what is the point of spending late nights in front of the computer trying to add one more feature to our applications.”

    Because you want to? You enjoy it? If neither of these apply, then you’re doing the wrong thing.

    I know this is going to piss off a lot of people, and I apologize in advance.

    I’m very tired of hearing that BeOS users don’t support the community. I do support it. I do spend money on it. I do hope everyone does well. I do not like being characterized as someone that does not support the community.

    Even so, I am not a rich man and I will NOT buy things I don’t like or want. No amount of begging and crying will convince me to do that.

    I feel bad about companies that decide to give up because they don’t feel they’re making a profit, I really do. But it’s a VERY SMALL COMMUNITY. Like it or not. I said before that if people are jumping into programming for the BeOS because theye expect to get rich, then don’t bother. Do it because it’s something YOU like to do. If everything goes well and the user base continues to grow, then you’ll be better off in the long run. But harassing and insulting the users (and very possibly your customers) gets you nothing but hard feelings.

    For instance, Chris Herborth on a few occasions has made remarks about people not buying BeOS software. This personally hurts me, because I really DO NOT LIKE Corum III. I’m really not interested in it. I’m not going to buy it, because it’s going to sit around doing nothing and I can’t afford to do that. I have tried the demo and it just doesn’t turn me on. But, I have tremendous respect for Chris. I really, really do. And I hope that everyone that does like Corum III buys it up and enjoys it.

    Personal Assistant is another sore spot for me. I really want to support the company. I TRULY have no use for Personal Assistant.

    But there are a LOT of things I have bought for BeOS, including Productive, DeposIT, Opera, Flash, Civ:CTP, and many more.

    Everytime I read something about how users don’t support the community, it hurts me personally. And, honestly, it puts me off in a big way.

    I also do send feedback for some software that I use. Not a lot, it’s true, but for things I’m interested in I write about. Sometimes I get a response, and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I even get negative responses. Am I going to write to every author of everything that I download and try? No, I’m not. I’m sorry. Sometimes I just don’t see the point in doing so. If I have nothing to contribute, what am I going to write? And, believe it or not, sometimes I have other things to do and I never get around to it.

    I don’t mean to go off on anyone. And I’m not necessarily pointing fingers at anyone here. But that’s the way I feel. Hunted and criticized for being a user. If it was a much larger community I think things would be very different. But it’s small, and it’s difficult especially for people that need to make money from what they’re doing. I sympathize with that. So if anyone feels the need to come down on me because of this, feel free. But the only thing is does is alienate me further, and possibly others as well.

  20. MToth Says:

    Uppsii…!! !

    I was waiting all the time and then got completely carried away… I will order immeadetly.

  21. MToth Says:

    In Response To Nutcase @ 12/02/2000 5:25:07 PM

    Re: No surprise?

    Well, he did invite people to submitt alternatives, however, I don’t know when the dead line was for the current issue.
    Please take into account that he still had to do everything on his own. I had a lenghty phone call with him and he has _a lot_ things to care about, especially where this issue isn’t limited to German only anymore, give him some credit…

    Maybe you shouldn’t look/judge upon this as on a regular major PC Mag you can grab at any corner.

    Now go out and by the damn thing or the same will happen as to all of the latest canceled BeOS ports.

  22. Chris O'Riley Says:

    In Response To Dirk Olbertz @ 12/03/2000 07:14:20 AM

    Re: No surprise?

    BeOS users never ceases to amaze me. I really fear the BeOS is doomed to failure unless and until BeOS users wake up to the realities of the world we live in. Image matters when it needs to matter - and the cover of a magazine is one of those places when it needs to matter. For the magazines I do work for, they regularly commission 2 or 3 covers, paying upwards of $3,000 *each*, and make the decision of which one to use based on what they think will sell more copies of the magazine. I think what people don’t realize is that the BeOS is just another product - a product that needs to play by the same rules as every other product. There’s nothing so special about the BeOS that would make people accept lesser quality magazines/software/whatever than what they’ve become accustom to for other products. Furthermore, what’s the point producing a magazine that will only interest BeOS supporters - they’re already supporters!! Would it not be worth the extra time to design a cover which stood a better chance of attracting new people to the BeOS?

    As for your accusation that Helmar doesn’t have a clue how expensive producing a magazine is, this is the exact type of mentality that’s virtually driven me *from* the BeOS community and the BeOS itself. The BeOS community has become little more than a mob, instinctively attacking anyone who dare question or slightly criticize Be and/or Be related efforts/products/companies. There’s absolutely no effort to determine how someone could benefit the community, not even the slightest effort to understand a person’s point of view. People have better things to do with their time than be told how much they don’t have a clue - especially when they *do* have a clue, and usually much more of a clue than the people accusing them of the contrary.

    While I admire and respect Bernd’s efforts, it’s a shame they’re somewhat diminished by the poor visual quality of the magazine and web site. As someone else suggested, better design has been seen by 10 year-olds. Part of success is knowing what you can’t do and being able to find the people who can. Part of finding the people who’s talents lie in areas which your don’t (not you specifically…) is for *everyone* to be tolerant and less willing to chase someone away without ever knowing what that person could potentially offer the community - the smaller the community, the more important it becomes. This isn’t rocket science, it’s not psychology or brain surgery - it’s how every (successful) community works, and it’s how the BeOS community is increasingly *not* working.

    -Chris O’Riley
    www.Chris3D.com

  23. LeftTurn Says:

    In Response To MrEntropy @ 12/03/2000 08:21:26 AM

    Re: How about support for BeOS software developers!

    MrEntropy has a good point. Fortunately I have a pretty thick skin, but some of the things said about us BeOS users can be insulting.
    It is a balancing act. The developers need money to develop, fully understandable. Users usually have some kind of budget restrictions as well, and aren’t going to give money away for no reason at all. I fully support the software that works for me and that I use.
    Right now, the BeOS community is small. We would all love to see it grow. The developer end and the user end both need work together, but you can’t expect somebody to pay for something they’re not going to use. Not all users want to Beta test either. They just want an app that works, forget the testing as it can take time.
    The bottom line is developers and users in this community need to be careful about alienating the other, or the whole thing is going to disappear.

    Kinda getting back to the subject of the magazine, I would love to see a BeOS dedicated magazine and would gladly buy if it was useful to me. It would be a magazine that talks about coding issues as well as practical tutorials and stuuf on software. Basic reviews and info that can easily be received from the web would not interest me in print.

    This post is starting to get longer than I wanted.
    Anyway, can’t we all get along? :)

  24. Dirk Olbertz Says:

    In Response To Chris O’Riley @ 12/03/2000 11:37:27 AM

    Re: No surprise?

    Bernd isn’t doing this to gain much profit, yet. Her wantet to support the BeOS. Others do it by writing applications, he did it by producing a magazine. I recently bought some Linux-Magazines just to compare them to InsideBeOS. They’re not much better designed but they’re bought!

    Bernd sent me Helmar’s cover and it just looked like any other PC-Magazine. It was emotionless… And Bernd also pointed out, that not one single user from the US made a cover for the contest and noone from the states did even vote for any of the covers in the contest.
    It’s not only that everybody is bashing him, but no one is willing to help him, either. You want to support him and enable him to buy professional artists? Go and buy this magazine or ask for his advertising prices.

    I’m angry about persons like Helmar, because they critisize something they do not know. He did not read it, but says it’s bad. Just by seeing the cover! This is so very contra-productive that I ask myself why he wrote it at all.

    I don’t see, that Bernd did anything wrong. He did something for the community and waits for their opinions and arguments. But judging a product without knowing the content is far away from any argument; this is only bashing.

  25. gmlongo Says:

    In Response To gmlongo @ 12/03/2000 01:18:07 AM

    Re: How about support for BeOS software developers!

    I’m not sure why you guys think that developers are attacking the users. That is just not happening. The only point of all this, was that we need to support the people who are developing applications for our OS. “Support” doesn’t only imply buying their products. It could be anything from providing feedback, to submitting bug reports. And of course, nobody expects you to pay for software that you won’t use. I don’t know where that even came from. But it *is* a two-way street. Developers also have a responsibility to respond to the user’s questions/comments/concerns.

    MrEntropy-I’m not sure why you think I insulted you. I did not intend to insult you. We all know what needs to be done to help BeOS. So, I’m sorry if you felt insulted, or if you feel there is a division between users and developers. I think this thread was directed more toward the users who expect to get most of their software for free, not users like you. Remember, that developers are users too.

    -G

  26. Greg Nichols Says:

    In Response To Sean Long @ 12/02/2000 9:01:08 PM

    Re: How about support for BeOS software developers!

    Just to throw my bit in, as one who knows… (I’m Greg, one of the BeBits guys who actually sells this stuff)

    I feel your pain, but believe me, there are people worse off than you. I don’t know if it’s right for me to be naming names, so I won’t, but there are some nice bits of software for sale on BeBits that have not sold a *single copy*. Not because they are unreasonably expensive; just because nobody is buying them. That bothers us quite a bit, and we’ve tried to promote interest in BeOS software… we put up free ads on BeBits, occasionally send out updates that are so promotional they border on being spam, the whole works. There’s other stuff that we should and will be doing, but mainly, it’s a general problem… people just don’t want to buy the stuff, and there’s very little we can do about it.

    Even so, there are people who *do* manage to sell quite a bit, relatively speaking. BeXL has done very well, thanks to a very positive review on BeNews (it also helps that it’s a decent bit of software. :-) Personal Assistant has also been doing pretty good, and there are some other bits that aren’t doing badly either. (And InsideBeOS of course! It’s actually our top seller, quantity-wise, although BeXL has made more.) In ImageGrinder’s case, even though it may have been in the top 5 for sales, I remember there being a big jump between number 2 and number 3 on the list, for example.

    Anyway, things are good and bad, I guess. It pains me to see some nice stuff that doesn’t sell at all; no wonder developers aren’t always enthusiastic about keeping software updated (or writing it at all). And the lack of e-mail hurts too; as a developer myself I know that one from experience. On the other hand, occasionally (like when the BeXL article hit BeNews) people come out of the woodwork to buy stuff. Sort of makes me wish that the news sites (Nutcase… *nudge* *wink* :-) can’t publish insanely encouraging reviews of every new bit of software that comes out… OK, nevermind.

    As long as I’m rambling, here’s the current state of things… as of this very moment, we have sold software that totals up to $11,726.68. That looks OK to me, but it’s pathetic when you realize that that encompasses exactly 6 months of sales (that’s $1,954.47 per month) and we have a bunch of apps (26 right now) for sale. Admittedly, there are other places to buy BeOS software, but we have enough apps in our store that it’s probably representative of the BeOS sales scene as a whole.
    Just to whine a bit… we barely make *any* money off the store (mainly because we tried to keep our commissions as low as possible). And while I’m moaning, I may as well add that we just got an e-mail today saying that Authorize.Net, the online card processing company we use, is tacking on yet another mandatory fee, of 5 cents per transaction, which is REALLY REALLY crappy… especially since we already have to pay a flat fee *plus* a percentage, all of which comes from our too-low commission.

    Anyhow. We’re not giving up on the e-commerce, or on any other part of BeBits for that matter. And I like people having to buy stuff they don’t necessarily want, just to “support the community” (although I really can’t complain. :-) And yes, I think that free software is brainwashing people into thinking that quality software is not worth paying for, which is crap. So I guess the point of this rambling is just to provide cannon fodder for everybody else to argue with. Fire away. :-)

    Greg Nichols
    BeBits Admin
    http://www.bebits.com

    Note: This just represents my view, but I guess I’m partially speaking for BeBits anyway… however, this is not at all official, so keep that in mind.

  27. Chris O'Riley Says:

    In Response To Dirk Olbertz @ 12/03/2000 2:28:43 PM

    Re: No surprise?

    Regardless of Helmar’s post, I just take exception to your accusing him of not having a clue as to the expense of producing a magazine. Do you know anything about Helmar? Would you walk up to a complete stranger on the street and start telling him how clueless he is? Of course not, but that’s exactly what people seem to feel free to do on the ‘net.

    >You want to support him and enable him to buy
    >professional artists? Go and buy this magazine
    >or ask for his advertising prices.

    As I mentioned in my previous post, people are under the misconception that the BeOS world works entirely different than the rest of the world. You don’t produce something of lesser than normal quality and then say “support me and I’ll make it better”. I’m not saying Bernd did this, by the way as you’re the one who suggested it.

    As for him not getting any cover designs and/or feedback from users in the US, I, for one, never knew about it because I had gotten so fed up with being told what a clueless MicroSoft-loving asshole I was by people who knew absolutely nothing about me that I basically dropped out of the BeOS community. And what do I find on my first venture back into BeOS land? More people telling others how clueless they are.

    I just wish people would think a little before they hit the send button - ask themselves “would I say this to someone in person?”, “Do I know anything about the person I’m replying to?”, “While I may not agree with the person, does he or she have a point?”, “does this person have anything to offer the community?”. Wouldn’t it be a shame if someone who was chased out of the BeOS community yesterday could make a huge difference 6 months or a year from now? Think about it.

    -Chris O’Riley
    www.Chris3D.com

  28. Helmar Says:

    In Response To Dirk Olbertz @ 12/03/2000 2:28:43 PM

    Re: No surprise?

    # And for the cover design you eMailed him: are you sure it reached its destination?

    If it has, as it you say below, he should at least have had the courtesy to reply

    # Bernd sent me Helmar’s cover and it just looked like any other PC-Magazine.

    Wow! I didn’t know I am THAT good. That clearly made my day!

    For those interested…
    http://www.argo-navis.com/private/insideBeOS.png
    It’s a 314k comparison between something someone has put together for publication (on the right) and Helmar knocked up late at night, and which apparently looks like any other PC-Magazine! BTW, I stole the design idea from Fast Company.

    # I’m angry about persons like Helmar, because they critisize something they do not know.

    But at least I got off my arse to make something that I thought would be a better suggestion, even if only idea- and color-wise. But hey, you can’t please everybody. Maybe next time I just stand by and watch that poor sod sink all that time and money into a BeOS publication only to go down in flames because he violated some basic publication rules. And remember, I am neither a graphic artist nor a publisher, but I do know marketing and love photography. :-)

    Anyway, make up your own mind and let me know what you think of that late-night hack of mine. ;-)

    Helmar

  29. Helmar Says:

    In Response To Nutcase @ 12/02/2000 6:30:40 PM

    Some more…

    On that note, it may be interesting to note that he violated Be’s “rules” regarding the use of the BeOS logo and graphic, etc. (I plonked that red logo there only because I didn’t have anything else at hand). Just something to remember for next time, because if Be wanted to, they could force him to pull the entire publication off the market.

    Helmar

  30. Helmar Says:

    In Response To Dirk Olbertz @ 12/03/2000 07:14:20 AM

    Re: No surprise?

    # But as he currently is working alone on this magazine, he spent very much time in doing and printing the second issue in english.

    That’s laudable, but incredibly dumb. He should do either or, but not both. If I was him, I would try to get a proper German version going first. If that sells and everybody is happy, then I am sure he would find an anglo partner to do the English version for him.

    Just my 0.02.

    Helmar

  31. Sascha Offe Says:

    In Response To Helmar @ 12/03/2000 4:54:05 PM

    Re: No surprise?

    I too would have prefered it to be it that way: First establish a single-language (i.e. german) version and keep the plans for world domination in the desk’s drawer for a later point in time.

    But AFAIK one major reason for the current multi-language route is simply the money-issue; the BeOS-market isn’t big, the percantage of die-hard users that may pay for a mag is probably much, much smaller … and I mean that on a world-wide scale. If you limit it only to one or two countries, chances are that “IB” will dissapear pretty soon.

    Another impact might have been this: Those who are capable of writing good [technical] articles or other kinds of features come from Scandinavia, the Staates, South-America or elsewhere on this planet–and the least common denominator for all those are submissions written in english.

    Finally: Although I admire the idea, I fear that we, the Be-Users, aren’t (yet?) quite ready for a print-mag; the original Be-magazine wasn’t cancelled without a reason, I assume; and the Internet has always been _the_ vital, most important mean of communication for us; the BeOS doesn’t have a history in printed magazines with great articles. Once in awhile, there is some good stuff popping up here or on BeNews, or BeOS-Central, etc., but not on a regular basis, with a consistent length or standard of quality.

    But great content is what a magazine needs most–more than a fancy cover–, and that means a constant flow of great material.
    For the quick fix of news-bits, I don’t want or need any bi-monthly print magazine.

    So, after all this rambling, the simple conclusion: The single most important thing to consider for InsideBeOS is not how they get a better cover or wheter they should restrict theirselves to only one language (which then must be english!), but to get as many regular and semi-regular quality writers to work for them as possible.

  32. Roger Bentson Says:

    Paypal not working?

    I have tried to purchase this magazine and CD,
    but I can’t get Paypal to work. I understand that
    a lot of people have been having trouble with Paypal,
    which is kind of scary in itself. When I go through
    the signup process I am told that a password will
    be sent to my email address, but it never comes.
    If there was a better way to order this, I would
    have already ordered my copy.

  33. sadistic_mystic Says:

    In Response To Nutcase @ 12/02/2000 9:13:43 PM

    Re: How about support for BeOS software developers!

    I think that basically, BeOS is still in it’s infancy and we should treat is as such. BeOS will fulfill my needs when there are hardware drivers for all of the echo based audio cards and Bias Peak and Deck come out. I am also seriously considering DV-7. I bought BeOS so I could do professional audio work. (Speaking of which, I really wish they would add a few more professional functions to 3dmix. 3dmix in itself is a killer app for audio people. All they need is a real-time scriptable recording function for the 3d movement, and an easy to manage VST plug in interface.

    For now, I am happy with Personal Studio.

  34. Nutcase Says:

    In Response To Helmar @ 12/03/2000 4:50:41 PM

    Re: Some more…

    Those rules were not in place at the time of the publication. I am sure that Be will work with him. I have talked with Be about this, and while the rules are strict so they maintain control, they are very reasonable about working with the community on it. So i doubt it will be a problem (though it would probably be good to change)

  35. Nutcase Says:

    In Response To Roger Bentson @ 12/03/2000 8:34:29 PM

    Re: Paypal not working?

    BeBits?

  36. MToth Says:

    In Response To Helmar @ 12/03/2000 4:50:41 PM

    Re: Some more…

    Helmar, Helmar, Helmar…. that is probably most desirable for Be… The first Mag ever, keeping Be’s current state in mind, yeah.. maybe they should sue the hell out of him to get their financial situation sorted out?!

  37. Ruthrauff Says:

    In Response To Sean Long @ 12/03/2000 00:49:15 AM

    Re: How about support for BeOS software developers!

    Sean,
    First let me say this, I was not intending to single you or any other developer out. I was also well aware of why you had stoped work on project infinity. Like I said I was waiting for it, and checking the site for updates about once a week. I also understand that most developers don’t have the money to advertiese. It just seems like most developers don’t take that into acount.

    Now on a side note one reason the small prjoects aren’t going any where is most likely becase there are no big projects for them to orbit around. All the little apps are great, but lets face it there just isn’t much need for some of these things. Again not to single you out, but let’s take Image Grinder for an example. It is a great bit of software I’m sure (I don’t work with graphics that much so I haven’t used it.), but with out any software out that will really allow people to do a lot of graphics editing in BeOS how usefull it is to most of the users? If or should I say when some of the big graphics software comes to BeOS, I’m sure there will be more of a use for Image Grinder.

    This may seem like I’m trying to cut down the developers, but I’m not. It’s just that even the moon would be nothing without the earth to orbit. Does that make me a pessamist, no. It makes me a reallist. I’ve been using, and will continue to use BeOS for many more years. I will still use it if Be Inc. goes bankroupt. I’ve just been waiting for developers to look at the market with there eyes open. Wild Card made great software yes, but they were also porting games that people could buy for windows for $20. I do understand why that happened, but it is the cold hard truth of the world. Why buy something for more than twice what I need to.

    Buying products I don’t need isn’t helping anyone. It is hurting things in fact. If I buy something just to help the company out, and write and say I bought this just to feed you what the heck good is that. Developers need to do one of two things (more or less). Make the app for them selves, and sell it on the side. That way if they find it usefull well all that much better. If however someone really wants to make money, do some research. Look at what is missing. Fill that hole. Look at productive. They said hey there isn’t an office suite, lets make one. They did, and now there doing good. One thing everyone wants are drivers, so you know what, work with companies to make drivers. Sometimes if you can sell BeOS well enough, the company will buy the drivers from you and you can make money that way. Or do like BinkJet.

    The point I’m trying to make is just this. Don’t just make something, and think everyone should buy it. If it doesn’t sell it could just be do to the fact that there is no need for it. Heck people may download it, try it, and then find they have no need for it. Well why write to say you don’t need it. At any rate, this poorly writen pice of comment I hope serves to get people talking if nothing else.

  38. mlk Says:

    sorry to all the users i’ve insualted when asking for feed-back…

    but if you want the software (any, not just mine) to imporove you do need to send a little.

    I don’t think any of BeVelopers want every user to send an email, but say 5-10% would be nice.

    and yeah, i code for ‘love of coding’, but it is nice to have a little feed back, and no download are not enoght. howmany people just downloaded it, then deleted it (either it’s not very good, or it’s not what they want).

    as to paying for software, I’ll also buy what I use. So sofar I have soundplay (a great app, if you have $12, it’s well worth it. However both MediaPlayer, and CL-Amp are very good too, I’ve not tried APlayer, it’s too big to fit on a floppy disk :( ), WCDesign last chance package (I was going to by CIV:CTP, but not the others(though now I hav Abuse, i can’t put it down.. :) ), and Be r3.1, nope not got 5, I might get r5, I don’t know yet.(r4 came with r3). Nope not that great, but not had that much monney coming in.

    Anyway, I’ll try to form a stance…

    Buy stuff, if you like/need it. Send a ‘please implement’, ‘it bugs’, ‘i hate feature x’… to _a_ random developer(not nesserally(sp) all). They like it.

    If you already do it (even if its not to every bit of software you use) Thank you. If you don’t, it’s fun, honest :)

    Mlk

  39. Sonny Says:

    Open letter to the publisher of InsideBeOS

    Dear Bernd,

    I couldn’t help but noticing that you were “successful” in finding a translator. While I didn’t originally intend to extend an offer in regards to this task (work without compensation is never a compelling prospect), I now find myself in a position where I can’t divert my eyes from the impending disaster anymore.

    I don’t know where your translator got her diploma, but if the english pages on your website are a sample of her work, then… well, let me just say it adds a whole new dimension to the discussion about declining educational standards.

    While the linguistic and stylistic inconsistencies and (excuse my french) fuck-ups might not be immediately noticeable to the average german with limited grasp of the english language, believe me… they’ll be more than obvious to your english speaking audience. It sort of reads like the essay of a third grader. I sincerely doubt that this is the image you are trying to evoke.

    Why am I bothering to tell you all this? Well, I want to spare you a rude awakening later on, after wallowing in the false sense of security that having a certified translator on hand is that same thing as having the services of someone who is naturally fluent in both languages on hand. If you compare contents of this letter to the results in form of the english pages on your website you might get an idea of what I’m talking about.

    I have the greatest respect for what you are trying to accomplish. From what I understand this magazine is a private endeavor that is struggling to reach the financial break even point. …and that doesn’t take the energy into account which you are putting into it. So the way I see it, this project really doesn’t deserve to fail if failure can be avoided.

    If you need help with articles/editorials where style, natural language and level of sophistication are important feel free to contact me. While I can’t promise you anything I am willing to help if my personal schedule allows for that.

    Accept the help of those people from the BeOS community who offered it to you. For example: I definitely advise you to approach helmar@argo-navis.com and ask him to do the next cover for your magazine. You should be familiar with his work, he claims he sent you this one: http://www.argo-navis.com/private/insideBeOS.png
    I can only assume that you didn’t opt for using his talent and have him design a cover for you because of a print deadline. Everything else could only be interpreted as pride getting the upper hand over sensibility.

    Website… still looks frighteningly amateurish. Ask for help. Someone in the community will be willing to help you with that. You need to avoid the unprofessional image that currently oozes from most things associated with you project.

    Again… I admire you for the work and energy you are putting into this. I wrote this letter because I would hate to see you go belly up. But if you continue on this course I fear that this outcome might be inevitable.
    I am willing to help. I’m sure others will, too. It seems to me that some of what you need to do is to simply give up some control and divert that energy into coordinating the human resources (once you have found/recruited them)

    Best wishes…
    Sonny

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Ich kam nicht darum herum, zu bemerken, dass deine Suche nach einem Uebersetzer “erfolgreich” war. Wollte ich ein Angebot im Hinblick auf diese Aufgabe zunaechst jedoch nicht unterbreiten (Arbeitsaufwand ohne Entschaedigung ist nie eine besonders aufregende Vorstellung), so finde ich mich jetzt mehr oder weniger in der Situation, wo ich meine Augen angesichts eines drohenden Unheils nicht verschliessen kann.

    Ich habe keine Ahnung, wo deine Uebersetzerin ihr Diplom erworben hat, aber wenn die englischen Seiten deiner Website ein Beispiel ihrer Arbeit sind… nun, lass mich nur sagen, dass es der Diskussion um sinkende Bildungsstandards eine voellig neue Dimension verleiht.

    Wenn die sprachlichen und stilistischen Ungereimtheiten und (verzeih meine Ausdrucksweise) Griffe ins Klo fuer einen durchschnitllichen Deutschen, der ueber ein begrenztes Verstaendnis der englischen Sprache verfuegt, auch nicht sofort erkennbar seien moegen, glaub’ mir… sie werden mehr als offensichtlich fuer deine englischsprachige Leserschaft sein. Es liest sich in etwa wie der Aufsatz eines Drittklaesslers. Ich bezeifle ernsthaft, dass das der Eindruch ist, den du zu erwecken versuchst.

    Warum mache ich mir die Muehe, dir all das zu erzaehlen? Nun, ich moechte dir ein ruedes Erwachen spaeter erparen, nachdem du dich in der Sicherheit des falschen Glaubens gewaehnt hast, dass einen diplomierten Uebersetzer an der Hand zu haben, dasselbe sei, wie ueber die Dienste jemandes zu verfuegen, der von Natur aus in beiden Sprachen fliessend ist. Wenn du den Inhalt dieses Briefes mit dem Ergebnis in Form der englischen Seiten deiner Website vergleichst, bekommst du vielleicht eine Idee davon, wovon ich spreche.

    Ich habe den groessten Respekt fuer das, was du zu erreichen versuchst. So wie ich es verstehe, ist dieses Magazin ein persoenliches Unterfangen, welches zu kaempfen hat, um den Punkt der Wirtschaftlichkeit zu erreichen. …und das beruecksichtigt nicht die Energie, die du hineinsteckst. So wie ich die Sache also sehe, verdient dieses Projekt es wirklich nicht, zu scheitern, falls dieses Scheitern irgendwie vermeidbar ist.

    Solltest du Hilfe mit Artikeln und Beitraegen brauchen, bei denen der Stil, natuerliches Sprachgefuehl und der Grad der sprachlichen Fortgeschrittenheit von Bedeutung sind, so sei es dir freigestellt, mich zu kontaktieren. Wenn ich dir auch keine Versprechungen machen kann, so bin ich doch gewillt, zu helfen, falls mein Terminplan mir Zeit dazu laesst.

    Nimm die Hilfe der Leute aus der BeOS Gemeinschaft an, welche sie dir Angeboten haben. Zum Beispiel: Ich rate dir definitiv dazu, dich an helmar@argo-navis.com zu wenden und ihn darum zu bitten, das neachste Cover fuer dein Magazin zu entwerfen. Seine Arbeit sollte dir vertraut sein; er behauptet, dir dies hir geschickt zu haben: http://www.argo-navis.com/private/insideBeOS.png
    Ich kann nur annehmen, dass eine Deadline beim Druck des Magazins dafuer ausschlaggebend war, dass du dich nicht dazu entschlossen hast, sein Talent zu nutzen und ihn ein Cover entwrfen zu lassen. Alles andere ann nur ein Sieg des Stolzes ueber die Vernunft interpretiert werden.

    Website… sieht immer noch beunruhigend amateurhaft aus. Bitte um Hilfe. Irgend jemand in der Gemeinschaft wird gewillt sein, dir dabei zu helfen. Du musst den unprofessionellen Eindruck vermeiden, der zur Zeit noch von allem verbreitet wird, was mit diesen Project zu tun hat.

    Nochmals… ich bewundere dich fuer die Arbeit und Energie, die du in all das steckst. Ich habe diesen Brief verfasst, weil ich es hassen wuerde, mitanzusehen, wie es damit endet, dass du auf dem Ruecken treibst. Doch wenn du weiter auf diesem Kurs faehrst, so fuerchte ich, dass dieses Ende unvermeidlich sein wird.
    Ich bin gewillt, zu helfen. Ich bin mir sicher, dass Andere dies genauso sind. Es scheint mir so zu sein, das Einiges von dem was du tun musst, einfach nur bedeutet, einige Kontrolle aus der Hand zu geben und diese Energie in das Koordinieren der menschlischen Resourcen zu stecken.
    (Nachdem du diese gefunden, bzw. rekrutiert hast)

    Mit den besten Wuenschen…
    Sonny

  40. Dirk Olbertz Says:

    In Response To Sonny @ 12/08/2000 11:47:10 AM

    Re: Open letter to the publisher of InsideBeOS

    Dear Sonny,

    please buy the magazin and judge about this, *not* the website…
    Bernd has a translator for his magazine, and he himself did the translation of the website…
    Your posting here is somehow “ungluecklich”, because others may think the english magazine is written in bad english. I would appreciate it, if you could tell us, on what base you judged about the magazin.
    Related to the cover: I don’t like Helmars approach, so what? I think it’s boring like any other PC-Magazine that lies around here at our newspaper dealer and which I never would buy, because I think they’re not very journalistic. The comparison chart on his homepage compares his design to the old issue of InsideBeOS. The second one looks a lot better…
    Maybe it’s a cultural difference, but Bernd (yet) has not the capacity to make a *full* localized version of his magazin.
    Don’t bash on him, try to understand him and the situation.
    Once again: this magazine is better than *none* at all.

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