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Messages - mauzer_tim [ switch to compact view ]

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Hi there,
You can also try our new tool InternetOff. It allows you to quickly turn off\on your internet connection from the system tray. Fully freeware. But in beta state and 32 bit version only. Feel free to send us any comments


Actually it was made for own needs - as a small productivity helper, but it seems it's exactly what TC asked so I posted here.

Igor Tkachenko,
Crystal Rich Ltd CEO,

Hi guys,
I'm pleased to see here a discussion about our software and its license policy :)

First of all let me explain why we changed our license policy. Lifetime license policy is great for a products with rare upgrades or with a short life. However if a product lives 3 years and is going to be under development more the lifetime policy will just ruin a business because support costs grows while the revenue stays the same, especially for our low cost utility product. You can say - that's your business problems and they do not affect me in no way. You'll be absolutely right, but on the other side if we are out of business you will not get neither upgrades nor support for the program. Would you love having a lifetime license for a non-supported product?

Therefore we are trying to break off with lifetime licenses - either we will stop selling them or we will just sell them for a much expensive price. But as I wrote in the blog all those who purchased license with LIFETIME upgrades will get upgrades for a life of the program (of course not yours and not mine life) since we respect our customers and without them we never been where we are now.

And I'll answer the questions you have regarding this.

Well, they're liars. Before purchasing the lifetime license two years ago, I asked them if it truly means "for life" and if I won't have to pay an update price for a major new version or a "pro" version. Of course no. Never. Life means for life.
That's everything correct except that we never promised free updates to "PRO" versions of USB Safely Remove (actually two years ago we were not able to know that there will be any pro versions like Zentimo) as well as we never promised that purchasers of a license to USB Safely Remove will get an unlimited access to ALL other software we released in future. In all other aspects your lifetime license will be lifetime - you can get any future versions of USB Safely Remove.

Updates have been very slow with USB Safely Remove.
This year we released 2 new versions of USBSafelyRemove, all with bug fixes and with the one major feature - spinning down drives. If you experience any problems with USB Safely Remove or if you wish a new feature contact us and we will try to help you.

And now there's "Zentimo", which is kinda the pro version of "USB Safely Remove". The developer say it like this: USBSR won't be getting new features, it'll be kept simple. For those who want new features, buy Zentimo.
That's not exactly what we said in our post about Zentimo (that also excited so much rumor) at USBSR blog. I'll quote exact saying:
It doesn't mean that we will stop working on USB Safely Remove, it will stay an elegant and lightweight tool for safe hardware removal without hassles and we will develop it in this vein. Our goal is to provide the most appropriate tool for your needs: if you need something simple and easy, consider USB Safely Remove, but if you need more features at your fingertips choose Zentimo!
It simply means that you shouldn't expect in USB Safely Remove say a backup feature since it may over complicate the program for those who installs the program for what it does best of all: safe removal and all related things. However you can expect improvements in safe removal tool, interface improvements, portable version and many others things that conforms with the name of the program and its main purpose.

If they can't afford lifetime licenses anymore, then do it like Slysoft, or Admuncher... new licenses are limited, but the existing ones stay the same.
Everything I can answer is to agree with rjbull: that's what we are doing. All those people who purchased lifetime licenses for USB Safely Remove will get all future upgrades until we develop and sell this product.

rjbull, thanks for starting this topic and for notifying me about it.

I love donationcoder, this is a great place for getting a feedback!

Igor Tkachenko,
  CEO of Crystal Rich,,

I like your web application but unfortunately I only have limited Internet connection. Keep up the good work!  :Thmbsup:
Erikts, thanks for the kind words and for your note. As I said earlier a desktop app is in future plans, feel free to subscribe the news on Focuth's site (e.g. via twitter) to know when it will be released.

It's probably risky for desktop but mobile version - everyone is doing it.

I'm not a businessman though and I think you are losing a huge chunk for offering a free "uncrippled" desktop syncing app but at the same time - this is the one thing that none of your competitors to my knowledge has done. Even EverNote uses a freemium type for the desktop version.
You are right regarding the risks. However as a mISV (my apps are in the profile) I got tired of dealing with cracks and problems (for users) that causes software protection so I'd probably wish to offer free apps and earn money on something non-crackable :) But at the moment earning the money isn't a priority task for the project. First of all I need to polish an idea and make the app to be really useful for people.

Probably. Actually the term "step" just sounded unknown to me and I never attempted to test out what it really is outside of seeing the screenshot in the manual because I thought it was one of those "advanced" features that I just couldn't get.
Thanks. Will thought on it.

Inbox mostly refers to "urgent" task. It should be the same as to-dos but the way RTM works for example is that if you don't set up a schedule for your task - it will never appear on your "inbox" or "todo".
Thanks for the explanations!

My tool, on the other side, requires you to work (much), but that work may actually improve your productivity habits (like habit to create todo lists and do what you write on them) thus making your more productive. So my service is more like a usual gym. Of course pharmaceutics is more richer industry than sport, but gyms exist and do it well.
It's a good realistic pragmatic goal but from a marketing standpoint - it can be very hard to sell.
People generally flock to these apps with the initial hope that "this is finally it!"
Unfortunately you are absolutely right :)

You seem very passionate about time tracking though so you may be interested in this web service where it reverses the whole thing.
I'm not passionate on the plain time tracking. I just know from my experience that setting an explicit deadline for a thing helps completing this thing. Maybe not in time. But if you haven't set a deadline the thing tends to be not completed at all :)

Instead of creating a time estimate, you basically archive your tasks with an estimated time. The app will then hide the tasks but ask how much free time you currently have using set questions like (I have a day, 4 hours, etc.)
Once you answered that question - only then will the tasks meeting that requirement show up in.
Interesting idea. However I personally dislike that it chooses for you what things you should do the first.
Interesting project. Never heard of it before. I really like its simplicity and wish Focuth would be so minimalistic and bare-bone as it is.

I'm neutral on it. I get mouser's point but as far as a web user I can't help but remembering how an app called Remember the Milk turned me off because of it's name.
Edit: I nearly forgot to mention - I'm not a native speaker either. English is the 2nd language in my country.
Thanks for telling your point.

And once again Paul, many thanks to you and all other guys here for spending your time discussing my app.

as far a name.. the good part is that it is nice and short.  the bad part is that "Focuth" will likely be heard by native speakers as the way a baby would mis-pronounce "focus" .. so it gives it a kind of "kid" sound, rather than something serious.. so it might be slightly embarassing for an adult to say "Focuth" -- it sounds like you have a speech impediment lisp and are trying to say "focus" -- it's not something that is very comfortable to speak as a native english speaker.
Mouser, thanks once again for your thoughts!

i really like the look and feel -- very streamlined and pleasant to use.  :up:
Hi mouser,
Thanks for your kind words :)

Wow, honestly I haven't expected so completed feedback! Many thanks for for it, it's inspiring!

+1 on the demo - not enough services do that IMO
-1 on using the word minimalistic - this is more of a web design/web culture quibble but from my experience people tend to be very sensitive with any web service that advertises minimalistic but doesn't deliver Zen or Wordpress/Facebook like themes. Even twitter I think never got the minimalistic praise much because it had colors.
You are absolutely right perhaps I should focus on describing another benefits. Everything I wished to highlight is the fact that unlike the majority of others time trackers the process of adding things todo requires only one logical step: just write it, without any distractions on additional checkboxes or fields. Only you and thing description. The same way as you add things to do on usual sheet of paper. Of course we may not manage without additional fields or checkboxes on editing thing but when we adding things todo, or just looking at your thing daily list we shouldn't be distracted with these hassles.

  • I think if you're advertising something "as easy as paper" it must have (or the option must be clear to spot in a demo) where a user may print or export their list
Yes that'll be added in future. But actually I just meant that the way you work with Focuth is similar to the way you work with paper sheet. Just you and thing's text and there's no other additional complications like checkboxes or new terms.

BTW, what about you, do you actually need to print your things on a paper?

  • A question mark icon should not lead to the FAQ page but show a quick tooltip

  • Not so keen with the use of a default time + drop down more button for that.

I agree, that time re-estimation should be changed to editing the time directly on the thing (like we edit thing's description).

Regarding adding default time at all I sometimes also find this feature a bit annoying (e.g. when I'm creating the draft of todos and do not want to think of estimations). However I like it when we need to do something right now (so we need just to write "Respond to Paul #go" without adding time estimation). This is a kind of a double-edged sword now :)

  • Awesome implementation of quick additions to time estimate. I was going to suggest that to counteract the above issue but then I scrolled down and read about it. I do think the FAQ description can be shorter and clearer but even RTM has some trouble with describing their Smart Bar which uses the same principle.
Do you really have known about this feature only after reading the manual? Or you mean this little double arrow button that displays the small description on the blue background?

  • Awesome simple option on asking if the user felt productive or not after clicking complete. You definitely want to highlight this feature in the sign-up screen
  • Awesome addition of sub-task. Seems minor but too many online to-do list managers sell this as a pay option or don't have this at all.
I'll probably sell something else. Like synchronization between desktop\mobile versions and the web. Or maybe enhanced reporting on your productivity change.

  • -1 for no drag and drop feature to re-organize sub-tasks and turn them from main task and vice versa
Thanks for noting. Yes, it'll be added ASAP.

  • Steps sounds nice but I don't quite understand what that means based off on the FAQ
You mean that the term "step" sounds unfamiliar and it's better to change that to "sub-task"?

  • Great job on separating the to-do sheet. A clear print and export option feature wise is the only thing that I can think of improving on it.
Printing & export will be added without doubt.

For usability, maybe use the common e-mail term "inbox" as online productivity users are more used to that term.
 Then again this could be genius on your part because most paper users probably understand how this view is a todo[/li][/list]
You're right. I actually do not like any additional terms that a new user should learn. I meet this term many times in  software todo lists but to this moment I still do not understand  the difference between "today's todos" and inbox :) Anyway thanks for mentioning this I'll think about it.

All in all your online service really surprised me. No offense but my initial thought was..."great another minimalistic to-do list" but you really did a good job of making some basic features seem fresh. I'm sorry if many of my comments deal with design. I'm not a web designer but design (even the aesthetic ones) are such an important and often overlooked detail in productivity apps. That said, IMO,  speed of input and convenience is still king.
You do not need to sorry, you just describe the things that makes the first impression and they are very important.

If there's any big flaw I could think of is that I wonder whether you can get tons of users to sign up and use it long term
It's interesting for me too :) However Focuth is not a yet another todo list or time tracker. This is aimed to be nothing more than a tool to train your productivity habits :) There's much more another tools that promise you make you organized like pills in drugstore that promises to make you healthy in a click after you accept them :). But actually no one pill helps if you actually do not want to be health and do nothing except eating pills. My tool, on the other side, requires you to work (much), but that work may actually improve your productivity habits (like habit to create todo lists and do what you write on them) thus making your more productive. So my service is more like a usual gym. Of course pharmaceutics is more richer industry than sport, but gyms exist and do it well.

I probably don't fit your demographic but the main reason I didn't sign up for the service is because I no longer rely on structured to-do lists.
I absolutely agree, me too :) In future I'd like to make Focuth even less structured allowing you to navigate things only with keyboard. BTW you may take a look at (if you are not aware of it yet). They have made a very good unstructured todo (check) list.

Not that I found a better system but it seems much faster to just <right click + new text document + name of the item> -
You are right. I also used this system, however it has some lacks: the things may be lost and you do not have time tracking, and you can access them only with your computer. However in some cases this may be simpler :)

If you could provide a free downloadable app for Linux and Windows that has the exact same interface + features as your web service and have it sync to the cloud then the only other thing keeping me from signing up is an import feature. Not that there can't be improvements beyond that especially since your site is at the alpha stage but this is my minimum productivity requirement currently.
Thanks for noting on this. Desktop app is in my plans, but for the first I'll probably release Chrome & Firefox plugins. Just because that's much easier :)

Thanks again for your feedback!

P.S. BTW what do you think on the project's name? I'm not a native English so I wonder how does it sounds for  native English speaker.


Just would like to mention here another productivity tool: Focuth (I'm it's author). It's is an online free time\task management tool that allows you not only to manage your tasks but to track how productively you spent your time and help you concentrate doing things. Unlike many other time\task management tools it’s aimed to train your own productivity habits rather than to replace them with a software.

Aimed for people who find themselves being hard to concentrate on their work, those who are easily distractable due to their work online. Also it is for people who’s hard to force themselves creating todo lists every day but they wish being organized.

How it works?
Write any activity (or choose from the assigned for today ones) you are going to do and specify time to perform. Even time wasting activity like reading news\surfing the internet. After you have done it, check whether the activity was useful or not. Afterwards you can analyse how productively you spent your time, and how good you are in time estimations.

Also the project has built-in todo list with an ability to split complex things on steps (subtasks) and schedule them to a day, week, month and etc (not only days).

The project is in its early beta stage so any feedback highly appreciated.

Focuth's web-site's here:

Hope this is a good place to get a feedback for a web app. If not feel free to remove it.

@mauzer_tim / Igor Tkachenko, Crystal Rich Ltd:

Will drive speed test auto-disable the screensaver?
We didn't thought about it as usually drive speed test takes not more than minute. However you are right we need to fix that.

Thanks mauzer_tim for the explanations.  I'll likely get Zentimo, I don't mind having more features!  And like I said, I'm very supportive of the companies making great little tools like this.
Glad to hear that, thank you too!

superboyac, thanks for your kind words!

Very interesting.  USB SR is one of my favorite little utilities.  A very well made program.
I don't quite understand Zentimo.  What does it do that USB SR can't do?  I mean, i've read the features, but I don't quite get what the big deal is.  This is one of those cases where you need that comparison chart with the check marks.
We will add later this comparision matrix and here I'll describe above the differences. It's copied from the description we are going to put to so don't mind its a bit commercial style :)

So, what features has Zentimo over 'USB Safely Remove'?

<h2>More powerful and informative device menu</h2>
  <img src=""/>

Now with this menu you can see device drive volume and free space, display hidden devices in a click right in the menu, and do frequent actions in a click such as browsing a drive or launching a portable program

<h2>Honest drive speed test</h2>
<img src="">
The program can show the real performance of your devices

<h2>Portable application quick launch menu</h2>

<img src=""/>
Just a menu available via a click to the menu button where you can add programs from your drive and run them in a couple of clicks.

<h2>Strong TrueCrypt integration</h2>

Your TrueCrypt containers that are stored on external drives can be handled like a part of device: you can see them on the device menu, they can be automatically mounted\dismounted on device connection\disconnection and even if a program prevents TrueCrypt volume from being stopped
<strong>Zentimo</strong> allows you to see and unlock such programs.

<h2>Portable settings</h2>
You can set up your device name, image or app quick launch list once and these settings will be available on the other computers where Zentimo is installed
  <img src="http://crystalrich.c...0100729234237087.png">

I wonder if it was a situation where the author realized that he can't make enough money by offering these lifetime licenses.
That's true. Actually offering the lifetime upgrades isn't good for a company as the number of customer grows, but not the revenue. So we need to spend more time supporting rather than programming. We are going to change that model even in USB Safely Remove, however that affects only new customers, for those who purchased the license with lifetime upgrades nothing will change.

So he had to re-launch under a different product name and offer a normal 1,2-year licenses as well as a more expensive lifetime license.
That's not quite correct. I've already described the reasons why we created the similar product in Zentimo's blog. In short, USB Safely Remove is enough mature product and it has large userbase, and its users love its simplicity. So if we start to make hard experiments with its interface and add significantly more features not all people will like it (and this is not just a big phrases, e.g. Zentimo by default stores device settings on external drives as a small file in the drive root making the settings to be portable, however not all people like this feature they think such a behavior very obtrusive, they don't want a program automatically save any data to their drives). Therefore we decided to make a separated application which on the other hand will satisfy the needs of people who need more features, however we will continue developing USB Safely Remove however we will leave it such simple as it is now.

Conclusion: just compare for yourself Zentimo and USB Safely Remove and choose if you need Zentimo. If USB Safely Remove is enough for your need you should stay with it.

Kind regards,
Igor Tkachenko,
Crystal Rich Ltd CEO

Looks cool! Thanks for the tip.

Do you work for this company mauzer_tim?
Never mind: https://www.donation...ndex.php?topic=15892
Yes, I'm working for this company :) As I mentioned above, I'm a developer of the program.

USB Safely Remove is a USB device manager. It saves time and extends user abilities on active work with flash drives, portable drives, card readers and other gadgets.

The program gives a handy safe removal devoid of annoyances of the native Windows tool, displays what programs prevent stopping a device, hides drives of empty card reader slots, allows to return a stopped devices back and has many features for comfortable work with hot-plug devices (USB, SATA, Firewire).

Also the program was included into "TOP 100 Best products of 2008 year" by PCWorld magazine.

Read more about the program here:

Only for 16th and 17th January we offer the program with 50% discount, for only $10.

Discount coupon: JA17PROMO
Purchasing page:

USB Safely Remove developer

It's funny, when i clicked the link in the OP i got a message saying that the giveaway week was over but when i browsed the same page using anonymouse i was able to register. Maybe the deal is for americans only?
I'm an author of the program. There is no any IP filtering on our server. Perhaps it was a temporarily problem.

If someone cannot get a free license, please write us from our support form: BTW, free licenses giveaway will end on December 5th.

CWuestefeld, thanks for the post. In concordance with our rules (http://safelyremove....m/writeanarticle.htm), you may request a lifetime license if you need it. Contact us in case if you are interested in the license via the support form.

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