Remember when Netscape
3 came out? Remember attempting to download it, getting 90% of the way
through it only to lose that 14.4 connection you'd spent ages trying to
gigabytes of data in the last 6 years - what's helped me greatly in the
last 2 has been Getright,
a download manager and resumer to boot. Its creator is Michael Burford
and I took some time out of his life to ask a few questions.
Hi Michael, thanks
for agreeing to do this and sharing your views. I've a couple of questions
for you about your program Getright and about the internet in general.
Getright is one of the few programs I've ever bothered to register. Where
did the idea for Getright spring from?
A couple years ago, I was trying to download some demo--I don't even remember
what; my ISP was having problems so kept cutting me off half way thru
the file. After a few wasted hours, I was sitting telling myself "If only
it could put all these pieces together, I'd have had that long ago." And
that was it. The first version did very little--just download one file.
It's grown a lot since then as people send ideas and suggestions.
In real terms, how
successful has Getright been?
More popular than I ever would have guessed :) Just passed 4 Million downloads
I discovered Getright
through recommendations from MP3 download sites. Was this coincidental
or purposeful marketing?
Word of mouth is the best advertising. Until this year, that was the ONLY
advertisng GetRight had...my Business New Years Resolution was to start
buying some banner ads. :)
Does it bug you
knowing that many users get their registration code from Serialz sites/programs?
A bit...tho there are some people who will never pay, no matter what.
They're the ones to go searching for code numbers. The ones to try and
find are those that would pay, but someone else put in a code for them
or something like that.
Did Headlight spring
from the Getright or did your company come first?
Both at about the same time. Doing it again, might not be Headlight Software...but
do like GetRight.
Some people plan
and others let their projects evolve naturally. What is your approach?
Evolving naturally, and adding as I go. There are many things that someone
said in an email "I wish it did XXX" in the morning and I'd say, "Yep,
good idea" and start programming and get it added that day :) And the
ideas and requests keep coming--they just keep getting bigger so can't
do as many in one day :)
When the aureate
system was added to Getright, did you have any idea of the controversy
that would later dog that company?
No. And it is really too bad that the boring truth "they're NOT spying
or ANYTHING like that" doesn't fly around the Internet as fast as the
scary but false rumors.
Any regrets taking
Not really; such a small percent of people do register, advertising has
been a good way to make money from all the people who use GetRight but
don't pay. Shareware works to get your program used by a lot of people,
but doesn't work to get money from everyone using it. If everyone paid
for what they use, some "shareware" companies could be as big as Microsoft.
(Who doesn't have a copy of WinZip? and years ago, nearly every computer
in existence had PKZip) These concerns may have slowed things down for
a bit, but I do think a lot of software will go the advertising way.
experience had you had and what do you do your development work on?
My parents got an Apple 2+ back when it was state of the art, and I started
programming immediately. Got a Computer Science degree from Washington
State University, and had worked at a big government contractor for just
over 5 years before leaving to do GetRight full time. I had done a couple
of educational shareware programs as a kid (for the Apple 2) that sold
a couple copies and a whiteboard program that sold a couple copies but
but I eventually sold the whole thing to one of the Internet Phone programs
(tho not one that's succeeded). Used a lot of different languages over
the years, but GetRight is written using Visual C++.
In terms of tech,
what's sitting on your desk right now?
Typing this mail on a pretty standard Dell Inspiron laptop (Celeron-433)
with Win2000, do most email stuff sitting in various coffee shops near
my house. Do the programming on an older Gateway (P2-400) with Win98.
So the computers themselves aren't that impressive. But do have a real
nice SiliconGraphics flat-panel display for programming--if you do any
kind of work with words or programming, it's great...can see so much more
stuff at the same time. And of course the "Red Dwarf" mousepad.
Would you ever sell
Yep :) The price has to be right...and probably would keep working on
GetRight too...and still want lots of freedom while doing it.
Any other programs
in the future?
Working on some new things...FileFunnel is the working name, tho not saying
just what that is or what it does :) Plus just adding more things to GetRight.
What was the last
book you didn't finish and why?
Usually if I start a book, I finish it. I can't remember the last one
I gave up on. Decided it was time to read a few of the books we're all
supposed to have read, but most people haven't. Finished "Atlas Shrugged"
a month or so ago. Currently working thru "War and Peace". And read "The
Wizard of Oz" between them for something a bit lighter.
Is Netscape or IE
They both have their moments. But for everyday use, I use IE.
Is the internet
still in its infancy or has it hit the teenage years?
Infancy. A few years ago I never guessed it would do what it has done.
There is so much potential for something to come along and change everything...Napster
is an excellent example.
is your base of operations?
And finally... You're invited to
tea with Bill Gates on the same night that Clinton offers to give you
a tour of the whitehouse. Which offer do you turn down?
I'd go with the President to tour the Whitehouse.
So much more history there.
Thanks for your time Michael. It's
Getright is (c) Headlight Software.