Time Winding Down for Software Deals

November 12, 2009 at 12:45 pm (MacHeist, shareware) (, , , , )

OneFingerDiscount.png-1.jpgTime is winding down on a couple of great software deals. MacHeist, as previously noted, has tried an interesting bit of marketing to bring new users into its fold, by bundling six applications together and offering them up for free (well, in exchange for the all-important contact information). That bundle, dubbed the “nanobundle” by MacHeist, officially ends tonight. According to the counter on their website, there are twelve hours left.

In response to the Macheist deal, one independent Mac software developer, Daniel Jalkut, came up with an idea to have a promotion of his own, called the One Finger Discount. As he noted, “Everybody loves a deal. We’re banding together to give customers a price break, and to spread the word about Mac software they may not have heard about.” I asked him last night on Twitter if he’d had much feedback regarding sales from others. He said, “Every dev I’ve heard from has been “stoked” by the response.”

The One Finger Discount officially ends the same time as the MacHeist bundle, but Jalkut says he’s recommended everybody keep running thru Friday or later. Show your support for Mac software. There are over 100 developers on the list, and many have more than one app listed. Therefore, there are potentially several hundred apps listed from which to choose. Now that sounds like a great shopping spree!

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One Finger Discount Gives MacHeist the Finger

November 8, 2009 at 12:19 am (MacHeist, shareware) (, , , )

One Finger Discount.jpg
I noted a couple of days ago that MacHeist has begun an interesting ploy to garner contact information for the next iteration of their highly successful MacHeist series. For the low, low price of “free”, along with your contact info, you can download a nice little bundle of six various applications, ranging from a popular Twitter client to an organizer to a tower defense game.

To tie in to the promo, Daniel Jalkut, of Red-Sweater Software, came up with his own idea to have a One Finger Discount. He initially told folks on Twitter to pick up the MacHeist bundle, and “with some of the money you save, spend $20-$60 to make some developer’s day”.

I thought it was a great idea, and began to retweet it. Apparently, a lot of other folks thought it was a great idea as well, because it grew…rapidly! Before long, several high-profile blogs (Ars, MacWorld, TUAW) had picked up the story, and Jalkut found himself barraged with takers to add to the hastily crafted webpage he put together at One Finger Discount. He has taken a beating in many comments about the design of the One Finger Discount “Website”. True enough, he obviously didn’t see it taking on a life of its own so quickly, but he’s also the first to admit he’s no webmaster. Still, I wish someone would cobble something together for him (heck, even in iWeb!) that didn’t look like my 3-year old niece did it!

Friday morning he tweeted “Developer reaction insane. Now I have a taste for what it’s like to be @sethdill during PMC. Trying to keep up.” He was referring to Seth Dillingham, and his Pan-Mass Challenge annual software bundle auction to raise money for The Jimmy Fund/Dana-Farber Cancer Center. I volunteered and helped Seth and his wife, Corinne, with that auction a few months ago. I could just imagine Seth sitting back shaking his head, wryly smirking, saying, “Dude, you have NO idea….” ūüėõ
By last night, he had added, “Jeez, if this keeps up we won’t need a reference page. Just assume all software on the planet is 20% off.”

Now THAT sounds like a deal!

The One Finger allegedly comes from 1/5, or a 20% discount, rather than a free five-finger discount. It’s still almost a steal. I suppose which finger you want to use depends on your perceptions of MacHeist and its creators. It’s no secret that many developers, including Jalkut, have been critical of MacHeist in the past, largely because of its practice of giving independent software developers a lot of exposure and customers, but keeping most of the profits for itself.

In an email response printed in MacWorld’s article about it, Jalkut responds to some Twitter users raising questions about the negative connotation of the ” One Finger Discount ” name. He says, “The name is just something that came to mind when I was making the coupon code for my own store. It is entirely inspired by ‘five-finger discount’ and it only occurred to me afterwards (with the help of Twitter followers) that it had a potential negative connotation. MacHeist jokes with the idea of software thievery, so I thought I’d play along.”

In a tweet tonight, Jalkut said, “It started as a whim, and took over my weekend. I bet One Finger Discount will be >100 developers on Monday.” I’ll bet he’s right. So far, more than 75 developers have tossed their hat into the ring. I’ve already found several apps that I was unaware of, have purchased a couple, and will likely purchase 2 or 3 more before it’s over. I’m posting this using one of my all-time fave apps, MarsEdit!. If you blog and you don’t use MarsEdit, you seriously owe it to yourself to check out this app.

The promo runs during the same time as the MacHeist NanoBundle, until November 13.

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The MacHeist NanoBundle

November 6, 2009 at 11:12 pm (MacHeist, shareware) (, , )

MacHeist nanoBundle.jpgMacHeist has rolled around again, and has an interesting ploy this time. If MacHeist is good at anything, it’s marketing.

With this one, called the “NanoBundle”, 6 “top apps” are “free”, so long as you supply your contact information. Plug it into the blanks, and you get prompted to download your free bundle. True enough, there are some decent apps to be had. The reason some of them seem a little “meh” for the MH faithful is because we’ve had some limited versions as “loot” in the past. Still, it’s a nice little package. See it at MacHeist.

As with MacHeist, there is usually an ‘extra’ along the way, and this time is no different. As the hoopla began with a Twittering about an incoming asteroid, which garnered the user a free app, DaisyDisk, there is also a FaceBook tie-in. If you download the bundle, then share it with your FaceBook brethren, you can get a copy of VirusBarrier. Who knows what else will follow? Rumors (and the time of the year) suggest that this is leading up to MacHeist 4. Time will tell. The MacHeist Forums are generally a good place for such information.

Meanwhile, grab a bundle of free apps, spread the word, then go enjoy your new apps. Who knows? You might find your next gem of an app hiding in there.

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Ryu’s MacHeist pulls a heist of his own

June 10, 2008 at 10:18 pm (shareware) (, , , , , )

Well, there’s been quite a little uproar at MacHeist today.

The new and improved bundle was released today, ostensibly to increase less-than-stellar sales of the MacHeist Retail Bundle. The Retail Bundle was released a couple of months ago and has been sold online, plus there is a boxed version that is being sold in brick and mortar stores like Apple.

The bundle was essentially a “greatest hits” compilation of favorite applications from previous bundles. As such, many of the MacHeist faithful did not jump onboard to purchase this bundle as they had in the past because they already had most or all of the applications. They bought some for gifts, but the sales were nowhere near what previous MacHeist events have been.

So, the MacHeist “Directorate”, Phill Ryu and John Casasanta, decided to jump-start things with a ‘new and improved’ bundle, with a few new applications. Vector Designer was added to replace Wallet (the developer supposedly had a prior commitment and only contracted for a short amount of time). TextExpander and Sound Studio were added as “locked applications”, which would be given to buyers once a certain amount was raised. TextExpander was unlocked quickly, and Sound Studio probably won’t be too far behind. There was also a “Bonus App”, the highly popular Voodoo Pad, for people who bought during a specified 24-hour period.

Always in the past, people who had already purchased the bundle were given the additional applications as sort of an “early-buyers bonus”. Well, the early adopters, who supported MacHeist by buying a lackluster bundle, were given the added apps…except Voodoo Pad.

There was a lot of talk and angry postings over at the MacHeist forums. Things got worse when Ryu suggested that Voodoo Pad could possibly still be had…provided customers buy the bundle again during a 24-hour period when the bundle is advertised on a collaborating-but-yet-unnamed “interesting, highly trafficked site”.

So, early adopters, some of MacHeist’s best and most vocal supporters, essentially got screwed by buying early. Fence-sitters were rewarded with a premium application. One poster stated that “it’s a shame that people who bought in through a random promotion got a better deal than people who were loyal from the beginning.”

Ryu commented on the criticism about not including Voodoo Pad by saying, ” We try to be fair, but quite frankly, we’re in the red right now, mostly due to the decision to try to improve this bundle for you guys, and MAINLY because we wanted to reward any previous customers with the three main additional apps. There’s no way we can afford to do that. Sorry.” Another poster shot back, “If you’re in the red, it’s because most of the loyal MacHeist people already had most, if not all, of the apps in the bundle; therefore there wasn’t much incentive for us to buy.”

True enough, previous MacHeist bundles have resulted in enormous sales. Also, it isn’t a problem with the applications themselves. They are very good. The problem is just that the overwhelming majority of people who support MacHeist already have one or more copies of most of the programs. Even two of the three bonus programs that were added were in previous bundles, one in a MacHeist bundle and one in a MacUpdate bundle.

It doesn’t look like Ryu is going to change his position on this. However, it will probably hurt initial sales when the next bundle is up for grabs. A lot more people will likely wait to see what special deals will be offered before committing their support, and their money, to MacHeist.

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Something’s brewing at MacHeist…

June 9, 2008 at 5:42 am (shareware) (, , , )

So, Phill Ryu, of MacHeist fame, sent out a tweet a few hours ago that said “been working my ass off over the past month to really improve the current bundle and redo the MacHeist sale page…stay tuned”.
Then Twitter pops up with a message from MacHeist that said: “Lockdown at macheist.com…cool stuff coming soon…stay tuned agents!”

Going over to MacHeist’s website, the welcome screen that had been advertising the current retail bundle has been replaced with the following:

Let the speculation begin!!

Of course, the message boards at MH lit up like a xmas tree, and Phill posted that there “are some interesting things” going on. “This isn’t MacHeist 3 for sure, but we’re putting some kick into the previously existing bundle…” He went on to say that much of what they are doing will probably be used for MH3’s sale page, “so, in a way, you guys will get a glimpse of the future with that as well”. He closes the post by saying, “I think a bunch of you who skipped the retail bundle or were on the fence may be convinced with the additions, especially if you hit the right site tomorrow. But we’ll see!”

Umm, “hit the right site tomorrow“??? (tomorrow being the day of the keynote at WWDC being given by Apple’s Steve Jobs). MacHeist’s IRC chat channel says to check the MH main site on June 10.

Do I smell a mini-heist in the works???

It has not been a big secret that sales have seemed a little slow. Many of the MH faithful have passed on this bundle because they already have most of these apps (which is essentially a “best of” collection of popular past applications).

In all fairness, though, this bundle was targeted more at people who were not the regular MacHeist fans. Part of the reasoning behind doing the MacHeist retail bundle was to expose consumers to really good shareware who might not otherwise be aware of these sources for great software. These people will see the retail box packaging at their local Apple store or other retail establishment and be more likely to purchase it in a brick and mortar store than they would online.

Phill commented several weeks ago that at least one developer was pulling out because of a prior commitment, and his software would be replaced (it was also noted that early adopters would automatically receive the new product without having to pay extra for it – sort of an early adopters’ bonus!). Also, the “prize cabinet” did not go over exceedingly well, at least in the beginning.

The points system is essentially like a prize ticket system where you get 1 point every time someone uses your referral link to buy the bundle. The cabinet was initially stocked with eight or ten prizes varying in value from 1 to 4 points. There were good software apps for being used for prizes, but there were very few people with enough points to redeem for said prizes, even at the lower levels. The pre-launch buzz was talk of some spectacular prizes to be awarded to the top point-getters at the end of the bundle sale, such as ipods and even an imac — remember, points would accumulate during the year, so that could potentially be a large number of points. The referral system has not gone over as well as they had hoped, so that is one of the things that they have been working on.

MacHeist is still giving 25% of their sales to charity and they hope to bring the total amount donated to charity to over a million dollars with this bundle. Let’s hope whatever Phill, John, and company have planned for the next couple of days will jump-start things in the MacHeist community.

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MacHeist Retail Bundle revealed…

April 13, 2008 at 5:41 am (shareware) (, , , , , )

So here’s more info on the MacHeist Retail bundle. ¬†

There are 12 apps included. ¬†Here’s the rundown along with a few comments. Being an avid MacHeister, I already have most of these apps. ¬†There’s more info about the individual apps at the MacHeist site.

Awaken – This is one I didn’t think much about that was in the most recent MacHeist bundle. ¬†I probably never would have tried this on my own. ¬†However, I absolutely love it and use it every day. ¬†Support from the developer, Jerry Brace, is nothing short of phenomenal! ¬†You’ll love this one.

Wallet – This was included in a Christmas referral bonus. ¬†If you don’t want or need the robustness of something like 1Password, this is a great little program. ¬†I set it up for my dad and my cousin for them to keep track of passwords, serial numbers, etc.

Xslimmer РI just recently started using this one.  It has already freed up several gigabytes of space on the smaller hard drive of my aging 4-year old G4 laptop.  

WriteRoom РThis is a good one for folks who just want to write without being distracted by a lot of bells and whistles.  It just lets you write.

Overflow – This one is indispensable to me. ¬†I had so many apps in my dock that I couldn’t even figure out what they were because they were so small. ¬†Now there’s only a handful in the dock, and Overflow has them all managed by category.

Cha-Ching РI got burned out on Quicken and wanted something easier but that would still do the job.  This was another recent MacHeist app.  I like the interface and the ease of use of this one.

DEVONthink Personal – Honestly, I’ve been using Notebook for a long time, and I didn’t see the need to use both. ¬†I have several friends that use this one though, and they love it.

iClip РThis is a great clipboard app.  Easy to use, very functional.  If you copy and paste a lot, you need this one.

Bugdom 2 – Cute game first introduced several years ago. ¬†I’d actually forgotten about it. ¬†Give it a shot.

Nanosaur 2 – I might be wrong, but I think a trial of the original version used to come on new Macs. ¬†I’ll enjoy getting back into this one.

CoverSutra – Wow. ¬†You just have to use this one a time or two to be hooked. ¬†The search feature is killer. Control iTunes without having to leave the app you’re currently working in. ¬†Beautiful app.

Enigmo РDeceptive in its simplicity.  Addictive little puzzle game.

So, that’s the package. ¬†Quite a good line-up. ¬†We hardcore MacHeisters were hoping for a new bundle, not a “Greatest Hits” package, but we’ll just have to keep looking forward to MacHeist 3 later this year. ¬†MacHeist is continuing their altruistic endeavors by donating 25% of the proceeds to charity.

They have a cool referral program in place with some great prizes up for grabs. ¬†If you’re interested, please click on this link to head over to MacHeist to check it out. ¬†Thanks!


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MacHeist Bundle back for a limited time…

April 13, 2008 at 4:22 am (shareware) (, , , , , )

The MacHeist bundle returns!! It’s over 80% off!! The lineup, which is essentially a “Best of..” package, contains the following apps: Awaken, Wallet, Xslimmer, WriteRoom, Overflow, Cha-Ching, DEVONthink Personal, iClip, Bugdom 2, Nanosaur 2, CoverSutra, and Enigmo. The entire package is only $49. As is customary for MacHeist, 25% of the proceeds will be donated to charity. They have an intriguing referral program going as well.

Click here for an invite and more details: https://www.macheist.com/buy/referral/31652

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