1 year ago 🥁 for day 179, 2020 with 600 words.

Software Subscriptions

Days sheltering in place: 103.
Days without ants in the kitchen: 1.
Keyboarding: with gusto.

My wife mentioned that my rendition of the Imperial March wasn't ominous enough, not deep enough, not angry enough it needed something else.

Imagining it my head I knew exactly what it needed, it needed strings, a whole orchestra of them. Thankfully, GarageBand can provide such instruments at the touch of a few taps. So now I have a string section playing to my keys and yes it definitely sounds more intimidating. Especially if I can play the same notes with two hands in different octaves - which I can't. Maybe I can play some simple bass notes with the left hand and that would do it - if only I knew music theory.

Still: A-G-A (holding the second A) on a church organ still sounds better anyway.

How did we get to the software subscription model, hmm, interesting question?

I've been thinking about piracy a little today. As an author - mainly software, but some published stuff too - I take a strict stance on piracy under a "do as to other creators as you would wish them to do to you".

Now that doesn't mean I haven't used software that I don't own. If I am only ever going to use the software once for some "small project" that doesn't make me any money then I may be willing to "borrow it" from somebody I know who has it. If I use it more than once, then I have to buy it.

Borrowing a book isn't piracy, and if I want to keep it, I must get my own copy. Receiving an eBook version of something that is still under copyright is. Now given the opportunity I have been known to read the first chapter and if I read the second, I'll buy it else delete it.

These are simple rules I live by. If I can't afford it I either find a cheaper alternative or go without.

Some people feel that it's different for software because it costs nothing to distribute, and the same for eBooks for the same cheap distribution methods but (obviously) they are wrong. I can't give you a free copy of Sophie's book, not for any technical reason, but because it wouldn't be fair on Sophie. You should definitely buy it anyway, it's a great read.

Yes, this is a moral judgment by me - who has spent decades creating software - plenty of which I have given away for free, because it was my choice to do so. If software costs money, please treat it as something that is of value, that helps you achieve something, and is worth paying for.

As for subscriptions, it may seem like the wrong purchase model but in many ways a cheaper one. An application that used to cost many hundreds of dollars to buy - and again for each upgrade - is now $10 a month. It may seem that you are forever paying, but you are actually paying less really, especially as often you can suspend your subscription if you stop using the product for a few months.

If you stop paying your application should switch to "read-only" mode and any software that doesn't should be complained about loudly.

Some companies still offer you the choice, subscription, or outright purchase. This is the best of both worlds.

But they are here to stay, and you should welcome them.

Please don't steal software, or anything really


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By Yorick Phoenix 🥁

Chief WriteTogether Bug Finder & character stringer. Generally, to create computer code, but sometimes actual words and paragraphs. Listens to lots of music, takes lots of photos, & invests in stocks for the long haul.

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