On Being Fickle


In one of my current presentations, I describe myself as being a fickle software user.  There was a time when you bought every piece of software you used and had great product loyalty.  Then came the days of shareware where you’d put out software and people would license it from you after a period of experimentation with the software.  I actually dabbled in this area a few years ago.  Those of you who remember getting connected via Bulletin Board software like Wildcat! and PCBoard may fondly remember “Doors”.  I had a suite of these that were released as shareware – you may recall Bay Street Bulls, Yahtzee, Card Guppies, Dice Guppies, and there were a few more that I can’t even recall the name of any more.  I even gave the source code to Card Guppies to a developer who made some changes to make it run on another product.

The nice thing about this distribution method was that it honoured the home developer who wanted to see a product through to the end.  Of course, now we see the logical followup in open source and free software permeating the online world.

No where does it have greater prominence these days than at the Apple Store and the applications that are available for the iPod and iPhone.

Because of this, I have become increasingly fickle.  Weather has finally given an indication that summer might indeed be coming – and with that is quality time on the patio.  There was a time when you’d have to be inside the house tethered to a computer to be connected.


Image via Wikipedia

Not any more.  Now, you can sit comfortably at the patio table and just browse with the iPod and see what’s up.  When you’re tired of up, then you can head off to the Apple Store and bring some applications down.  As I was browsing through my iPod yesterday, I realize that I’ve collected quite a number of Twitter applications.  I’m seeing:

Good grief.  How much Twitter stuff can one person have?

In reality, lots.  While the basic premise of Twitter is 140 characters, it’s what these developers do in their approach and interpretation that is so exciting… and makes me fickle.  It’s a great time to be a software consumer.

Twittelator not only captured my imagination but, with all of the functionality that it provides, it is the paid application that I turn to most often.  However, each and every one of the others are amazing pieces of programming as well.

You can’t help but be fickle.  I just have to keep reminding myself that my iPod also plays music.

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