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Thursday, April 27, 2006

HOWTO: Not sleep in

For a long time I have been trying to get up early and spend less time in bed. Now I know how to do this! Check out Steve Pavlina's great article "How to Get Up Right Away When Your Alarm Goes Off"

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Download sites

When creating a software product enterprise that completely lives on the Internet there are some things you simply can't do without. One of them is having your products listed on the popular download sites: Download.com, Tucows, etc.

Since I am trying to bootstrap (BTW, check this word's etymology) my business, I am not going to use any of the costly programs that these download sites have available for speeding up the registration process. In case you are going the free way you will need a large amount of patience depending for some of the download sites. The table below gives the lowdown for the most popular ones.

Download site

Approximate time before submission is registered


Two weeks


Close to 300(!) days


One week


One day

Download.com is the leader among the download sites and I am happy to say that I just got listed there with my "pilot application" Window Control. When you get added to their directory you are automatically given a nice download button to put on your web site. This is of course optional, but I was quick to add it to my product page.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

RSS Star launch date

On May 15th the first glimpses of RSS Star, an RSS newspaper application will be available. While this date won't entail any official software release, there will be a beta program in order to poll interest, and collect feature requests and use cases.

RSS Star is an RSS aggregator with its output in the form of a regular newspaper, ready for printing and reading at your own leisure away from the computer. It allows you to personalize your very own newspaper and have it printed at a time convenient for you. Just import an OPML file with your favorite newsfeeds and you are set to go!

  • No more bulky newspaper format - you decide the paper size!
  • No more reading last night's news - you decide the printing hour!
  • No more skipping boring sections - you decide the news sources!
  • No more monthly subscriptions - buy the software once!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Book review: Micro-ISV: From Vision to Reality

As I mentioned in an earlier post I was reading the book Micro-ISV: From Vision to Reality by Bob Walsh. Now I've finished it and must say that it is packed with very sound advice for a startup software business. While containing a lot of screenshots, filling up the pages, these also make it convenient to read the book offline and still getting a glimpse of the sites mentioned in the text. A short introduction to Getting things Done is also included.

All stages of the business is covered, from finding an idea, choosing a company and domain name through development and on to marketing, selling and support. Interviews with various micro-ISVs are sprinkled throughout the text, and serve as a reality check in some cases. It is entertaining to read Bob Walsh's book and his sense of humour keeps the reading a pleasant experience.

Watch this space for my own venture into the micro-ISV world.

Monday, April 10, 2006

New Hack.net puzzle?

Hack.net has been updated with a new image that looks an awful lot like a new puzzle. The old link (the hidden dot at the end of the page) is still pointing to www.ninebows.com which has not been recently updated. Ryan hinted a while back in his blog that there will be a new puzzle after Ninebows so it seems as if Christmas/Hannukkah came early this year.

The new step at hack.net seems mysterious indeed, but I will do my best to defend my current ninebows solver title...

Saturday, April 08, 2006

What's in a name?

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet; so Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd, retain that dear perfection which he owes without that title. Romeo, doff thy name, and for that name which is no part of thee take all myself."

Juliet did not run a µ-ISV, but she did realize the importance of having a fitting name. Naming a company is not a trivial thing, and I have been struggling with finding a good name that has an available .com-domain as well. From Walsh's book I found a reference to "The Igor Naming Guide" which is available for free at http://www.igorinternational.com/process/naming-guide-product-company-names.php. This seems to be an excellent overview and I hope to have a name ready by the time I finish reading the PDF.

Sunday, April 02, 2006


I have always been a sucker for pretty wallpaper, especially satellite images of Earth. I think I have been trying everything available, but always found myself uninstalling it after a couple of days, usually because these things are resource hogs.

But now I have finally found something with looks and runs like a charm: Desktop Earth 2.0. It is freeware wallpaper that includes satellite images from NASA with resolutions up to 2560x1280. It also has cloud overlays (updated from satellite images). It runs either as active desktop or as normal wallpaper. Check it out now!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Starting your own software business

Today I got a package from Amazon:

Front Cover

Micro-ISV: From Vision to Reality by Bob Walsh. It describes how to start a one-man business developing software products. I am eager to read it, and I will report my results here.

© Jonas Martinsson 1995-2006