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Last post Author Topic: Software that sounded useful, so you bought it, but then...  (Read 9252 times)

robinsiebler

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Re: Software that sounded useful, so you bought it, but then...
« Reply #25 on: January 10, 2013, 02:13:26 PM »
HanDBase. I don't recommend it. I thought it could do what I want it to do, and it probably can, but the UI is confusing, the tech support talks to me like I know what I am doing (and I don't in this case) and the program is chock full of bugs. I ended up switching to an iPad only solution that actually works.

Also, I have purchased countless iPad apps (since there is no demo option for most of them) that I later decided sucked or didn't suit my needs.
Happiness is laced with shards of pain

Paul Keith

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Re: Software that sounded useful, so you bought it, but then...
« Reply #26 on: January 10, 2013, 02:49:42 PM »
Interesting site. Could you narrow down the confusing part besides the bugs?

For me the most common software are novel helpers. Writers really need to be able to figure out whether they're buying a database or a helper and most times they get sucked into the initial database and then find out they can't print a file or it does not backup well or it does not teach them how to write unless they already know how the industry works.

This is truest for formulas. Try to spot any novel writing program that mimics the tutorial found in channel101 and you can't. The only desktop software that I know which can host the soul (rather than the words) of the tutorials is Goalscape.

The best writers can beat this using programs like Scrivener but most of the value found in these software can be found in the annotation and revisions of the actual text rather than the text itself but the web speak of it as if it's a Ferrari rather than a Tattoo Parlor for your fiction. The rest are worse. Some unknown apps that try a formula or template get hated on by veterans who feel that it's "bad" discipline (without taking into consideration that maybe a user does not have access to a class or can't just write) while others on the other hand are more into databases because they are masters at creating worlds rather than stories. They're like experienced improv artists recommending newbies to do first time improv mixed with timers, sprints and word counts in the vein of NaNoWriMo without the pedal step to be more experienced at how to read and spot novels to emulate, what themes to apply, what what ifs to do. Everything is just names - branches (like mindmap lines) and index cards before it's back to write, write, write.

It's a slow and painful realization to dawn on someone and I don't think the realization has quite hit me yet but it's like a bad dream that keeps on creating new meaning to usefulness since other software can hide behind the it stops working or I stopped at that phase but writing is all about writing and anything that has a notepad seems useful. Anything that adds spaces for characters or locations or any boiler plate text field seems like that's how you need to scale a world and any thing that can help a newbie write sells itself like it can help a newbie write great and the more published works get into the conversation...the longer it takes to delay the fact that the ones who make the software work are just storing the equivalent of storyboards inside a text or making things easier for an editor to jump quickly to a spot rather than a helper of storytelling.

Worse, it keeps sinking back in even when you can start inhaling again. If I told you this app does not have a template or a guide for this form of tutorial and one day a software does implement a particular form of method, it then becomes the next big template rather than move on beyond it. The resulting method then becomes a hand me down style of improvement. No software will help you simulate the formative eyes of a young Osamu Tezuka watching an inspirational new Disney motion picture and deciding to experiment mixing this new artstyle with a new form of storytelling and invent/popularize a new genre nor will a software alert you on avoiding the already explored entries to a genre that the budding beginner may simply not know either due to their lack of experience or different geographical background even though it's not only simple to replicate the initial warning formations for this type of help, it's already been done in other types of software.


rjbull

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Re: Software that sounded useful, so you bought it, but then...
« Reply #27 on: January 10, 2013, 03:21:15 PM »
HanDBase. I don't recommend it.
Worrying, because I'd begun to ponder it again.  I still use a Palm, and HanDBase is one of the few apps that have Windows, Palm, Android and other mobile platforms.  It also begs the question: what actually is a good, usable, affordable database app for Windows, if you don't have/don't want to use Microsoft Access?

robinsiebler

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Re: Software that sounded useful, so you bought it, but then...
« Reply #28 on: January 10, 2013, 03:43:11 PM »
  • The manual for HanDBase is probably good, if you know all about databases. If you don't or you are extremely rusty, the manual is basically useless.
  • The tech support person (and I think there is only one), only seems capable of giving expert level instruction, despite my asking for novice level.
  • The UI is complex and combined with the above two, I could not figure out how to perform a task I was able to accomplish in 5 minutes in Tap Forms.
  • The program is full of bugs. For example, despite the fact that I am using the iPad add-on, iPad is not an option for form resolution/screen size.

I filed about 10 bugs with the company before I decided to move on.
Happiness is laced with shards of pain

Paul Keith

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Re: Software that sounded useful, so you bought it, but then...
« Reply #29 on: January 10, 2013, 05:27:59 PM »
Thanks.

I don't think MS Access can be replaced. You'd have to first have a program that can export Access files out and then like MS Word there are advanced features that can't be replicated elsewhere.

Meanwhile for personal databases, To-do lists like MyLifeOrganized have gotten so advanced.

I'm saying this from the perspective of someone who never has to use MS Access though.

For portability, the closest software I found is B-Folders and it's more of an e-wallet than a database. http://www.jointlogic.com/b-folders/

I guess the closest in complexity that I can think of is InfoQube and it does not have sharepoint and other MS exclusive hidden features. Plus OneNote can also have some database like features like just having a form for contact list and that removes the unique features of programs like Treesheets and you also have to replace MS Excel.

For specialist programs there are also name templates inside Celt X and I would assume the same goes for Notemap despite my having never tried it.

The problem I guess is it all falls down to what the DB is supposed to have.

DC also have a lot of underhyped NANY app that are database related but for specialist needs.

Let me try to search for the names now. This is kind of the weakness of DC's Software list but database level donationware is the most common DC app. I omitted Skwire's Apps because it is easy to spot.

Warning: They are too many for me to try or to check if they still work.

http://www.nbsoft.dc...ds/SQL_AM1_setup.zip
http://www.donationc...27.msg33997#msg33997
http://www.xhirl.com...flashcardpro/webhelp
http://www.donationc...97.msg31903#msg31903
Pandemic List
http://www.donationc...83.msg33802#msg33802
http://www.donationc...16.msg30625#msg30625
http://www.donationc...71.msg89147#msg89147
http://www.donationc...69.msg88769#msg88769
http://www.donationc...70.msg88789#msg88789
http://www.donationc...67.msg88381#msg88381
http://www.donationc...68.msg88418#msg88418
http://www.donationc...66.msg88339#msg88339
http://www.donationc...81.msg89285#msg89285
http://www.donationc...79.msg47359#msg47359
http://www.donationc...64.msg45991#msg45991
http://www.donationc...35.msg46536#msg46536
http://www.donationc...70.msg46076#msg46076
http://www.donationc...97.msg46926#msg46926
http://www.donationc...94.msg46895#msg46895
http://www.donationc...16.msg47565#msg47565
http://www.donationc...87.msg93611#msg93611
http://www.donationc...ndex.php?topic=11466
http://www.donationc...75.msg93502#msg93502
http://www.donationc...54.msg93275#msg93275
http://www.donationc...49.msg93239#msg93239
http://www.donationc...47.msg93197#msg93197
http://www.donationc...90.msg93649#msg93649
http://www.donationc...ex.php?topic=15976.0
http://www.donationc...ex.php?topic=16174.0
http://www.donationc...ex.php?topic=16280.0
http://www.donationc...ex.php?topic=16066.0
http://www.donationc...ex.php?topic=16351.0
http://www.donationc...ex.php?topic=16350.0 +
http://www.donationc...ex.php?topic=16347.0
http://www.donationc...ex.php?topic=16104.0
http://www.donationc...ex.php?topic=16429.0
http://www.donationc...ex.php?topic=21203.0
http://www.donationc...ex.php?topic=21021.0
http://www.donationc...ex.php?topic=20966.0
http://www.donationc...ex.php?topic=21219.0
http://www.donationc...ex.php?topic=20975.0
http://www.donationc...ex.php?topic=20903.0
http://www.donationc...ndex.php?topic=21059
http://www.donationc...ex.php?topic=21107.0
http://www.donationc...ex.php?topic=21174.0
http://www.donationc...ex.php?topic=21149.0
http://www.donationc...ex.php?topic=20893.0
http://www.donationc...ndex.php?topic=24357
http://www.donationc...ndex.php?topic=22725
http://www.donationc...ndex.php?topic=25028
http://www.donationc...ndex.php?topic=24542
http://www.donationc...ndex.php?topic=24620
http://www.donationc...ndex.php?topic=24995
http://www.userquotes.com/
http://www.donationc...ndex.php?topic=25006
http://www.donationc...ndex.php?topic=24596
http://www.donationc...ndex.php?topic=24567
Shortcutter
DelEmpty
http://www.donationc....msg242282#msg242282
http://www.donationc....msg163725#msg163725
http://www.donationc....msg177371#msg177371
Jazper's Suntime

I know these can be easily found in the software section but it's really hard to quantify how many unique databases DC freeware support that are not found in any mega-all-in-one programs I know of.

If FARR implements every DB program in DC's list, it would be a one of a kind PIM and it's already a one of a kind PIM with plugins like PopQuotes.






« Last Edit: January 10, 2013, 06:10:10 PM by Paul Keith »

Dormouse

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Re: Software that sounded useful, so you bought it, but then...
« Reply #30 on: January 10, 2013, 05:56:54 PM »
Replacing Snagit (after many happy years of use) with Screenshot Capture is a perfect example.

+1  I did the same about two years ago and have never looked back.   :)

Jim

+.1  ;D - I've not updated Snagit for a while and recently downloaded Screenshot Captor again. I might get there in another decade or so.

robinsiebler

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Re: Software that sounded useful, so you bought it, but then...
« Reply #31 on: January 11, 2013, 02:24:06 PM »
HanDBase. I don't recommend it.
Worrying, because I'd begun to ponder it again.  I still use a Palm, and HanDBase is one of the few apps that have Windows, Palm, Android and other mobile platforms.  It also begs the question: what actually is a good, usable, affordable database app for Windows, if you don't have/don't want to use Microsoft Access?

I stumbled across this - DataTap (Genius was actually useful for once). It looks promising. I will report back it if is any good.
Happiness is laced with shards of pain

Curt

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Re: Software that sounded useful, so you bought it, but then...
« Reply #32 on: January 11, 2013, 04:56:26 PM »
I stumbled across this - DataTap. It looks promising. I will report back it if is any good.

-no, that's not how this thread works: You have to buy a license, and then come back and tell, the product is no good!
 :P

robinsiebler

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Re: Software that sounded useful, so you bought it, but then...
« Reply #33 on: January 11, 2013, 06:10:12 PM »
-no, that's not how this thread works: You have to buy a license, and then come back and tell, the product is no good!
 :P

The app is only $2, so I could do that just to spite you!  :P
Happiness is laced with shards of pain

app103

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Re: Software that sounded useful, so you bought it, but then...
« Reply #34 on: January 12, 2013, 10:26:19 AM »
Replacing Snagit (after many happy years of use) with Screenshot Capture is a perfect example.

+1  I did the same about two years ago and have never looked back.   :)

Jim

+.1  ;D - I've not updated Snagit for a while and recently downloaded Screenshot Captor again. I might get there in another decade or so.

I began with I think it was Snagit v3 in 1999, then upgraded to v5, stayed there for the longest time, then upgraded to v7 for about an hour, downgraded back to v5 and kept with that before finally moving to Screenshot Capture.

The upgrade to Snagit 7 wasn't much fun for me. They really didn't add any new features I was that interested in, had rearranged the UI to make it more confusing to me, and the slowness of the application made it not worth it to get used to the new UI. I was used to hitting a hotkey and the screenshot being made instantly. With v7 I had to wait, and the waiting was a real productivity killer when I had to make a lot of screenshots.

Screenshot Capture is nice and zippy, has tons of features I like and use. I never liked Snagit's editing features and used to drag my screenshots into Paintshop Pro for that stuff. I actually like SSC's editing features enough to drag other images in there (that are not screenshots), to take advantage of some of SSC's editing stuff.

As long as SSC stays zippy, I will continue to use it. If it ever shows signs of heading down the path to becoming slower than a constipated snail, I will not hesitate to stop upgrading it and roll back to the last "good" version, but I don't think mouser would tolerate that kind of slowness in his app. It would probably annoy him long before it got a chance to annoy any of his users.