by Lindsay Haisley
January 15, 1998

One of the admirable passions of many KCA members is seeing how much functionality can be obtained from computers and from the Internet for very little or no money. Freeware, shareware and advertiser-supported services are popular topics of discussion.

I'd like to remind everyone that while the free software movement (Free Software Foundation, GNUware, etc.) is a vital part of our computing culture which we should nurture, it's equally if not more important to nurture the shareware concept.

Please remember that while programs such as Lview Pro, the Gif Construction Kit, 4DOS and many other wonderful products can be downloaded from the Internet and used as much as you like for as long as you like at no cost to you (except for putting up with nag screens), the companies which make this software need to survive if they're going to continue to support and improve these products. "Shareware" means "download it, try it, share it with a friend, and if you like it, BUY IT".

I'd like to encourage everyone in the KCA who is using shareware to register it if they intend to continue to use it. The cost of registering shareware is usually pretty small - usually under $50. This is really not much more than most of us spend on an evening out with a friend or two. People who say "I can't afford it" to registering their free software usually are saying "it doesn't rate high on my personal budget priorities". It should!

The small companies which make most shareware are the life's blood of diversity in the computer software industry. If the time comes when all or most of these creative "little guys" get swallowed up by The Borg (a.k.a. Micro$oft) and other giants, the folks who didn't register their software will need to ask themselves some searcing pretty questions.


Lindsay Haisley (______) FMP Computer Services (oo) "The bull /------\/ stops here!" Austin, Texas, USA / | || 512-259-1190 * ||---|| * * * * * * ~~ ~~