Xenosoft in New Haven CT?

Fred Cisin cisin at xenosoft.com
Thu Feb 25 14:49:28 CST 2016

>> A lot of people have infringed upon my trademark.
> "Unfortunately, due to some major projects, we are temporarily suspending
> retail sales. Please be patient if we are slower than usual in response to
> inquiries during these projects. We expect to resume retail sales soon."

On Thu, 25 Feb 2016, Ali wrote:
> Is that just to torment people into thinking the products will eventually be
> made available again when they will not be? Just asking...

"they will not be"??!?   Of course I intend to reopen.
Calling it temporary was honest at one time, but then seemed necessary to 
discourage "abandonware" vultures.

"projects" was a euphemism for PROBLEMS.
I ran the company at a loss for a long time.  Then, I lost my lease, and 
had a crisis of storage space.  Still do.  I wonder how much stuff I can 
take to VCFWest, . . . 
The college discontinued all advanced programming classes that I taught 
(everything that had a pre-requisite).
Then they found out that one of my degrees is an MLIS, and they did an 
"involuntary reassignment" making me a librarian.
Then my mother's health collapsed and I took care of her full-time.
My best friend died in 2014
My mother died last year.
I now have two houses, with enough crap to fill three.

I always intended to re-open my programming business (and Lee Felsenstein 
says that he still wants to go back and fix problems with the Osborn 
design).  Now that I could again, should I?

There are still more disk formats to add.
There are plenty of bugs to fix.
I now know ways to make it faster.
I never mastered "Installable File System" to be able to mount an alien 
disk for active use, besides file transfer.
I want to add capability of working with disk images, besides physical 
I want to add flux transition board support, besides normal FDC.
But, disks needing to be converted are now finally fading away rapidly.

"Free download"/shareware software relies on minimal support requirement, 
and a larger volume than is realistic to expect for this kind of software, 
unless somebody else is supporting you.  (Realistically, what does it take 
to pay the bills?) The most successful model for this kind of software is 
to do it as a hobby with an indulgent employer, or charge [PLENTY] to also 
do it as a data recovery service operation.  Retail sles of it won't pay 
for an office and/or wage for support staff.

This kind of software has an astronomical level of support requirement, 
since most new customers need to be educated starting at "what is a disk 
format, and why are they not all the same", and/or "Which of the MFM disk 
formats on the list do I select to read Apple2 disks?  I KNOW that they 
can be done, because both turn at 300RPM."  "What do you mean 'file system 
structure'?  This machine just writes straight to the disk, and then you 
ask for your document by name", "XenoCopy doesn't work. When I try to 
open the Wordstar files that it supposedly transferred from my Kaypro 
disk, Word2015 says 'unrecognized document format'"  "Our college (UC 
Berkeley) is buying ONE retail copy, which we make available for 
all students and staff to copy."
I did not refuse to provide support to those who couldn't/wouldn't tell me 
the serial number.
After providing support help to administraors of a midwestern university 
who refused to pay their purchase order, "because it never arrived", I 
stopped accepting purchase orders.
"But we are government-agency/largest-distributor-in-Europe, etc."-
"Then buy it out of YOUR personal pocket and submit paperwork for petty 
cash reimbursement of 'prepaid purchase order'"  "Yes, if you intend to 
purchase thousands of copies, you still have to pay for the first one (at 
quantity one dealer price), and then we will deduct what you paid from 
your later full-size orders."   "Free copies for 'REVIEW' are not yet 
available to publications that have not put out their first issue yet."

Plenty of "please add this disk format.  Name of the computer?  On the 
front, it says 'ADM3A'" (BTW, "Pentabs" is Vector)  Even, "I will buy ONE 
COPY, for half the list price, if you make a special version with this 
format, and don't sell any other copies that have it, because I don't want 
anybody else to be able to do this one.", "How do I put a 5 inch drive on 
my Chromebook?" I used to have capability to input your own parameters. 
But, instead of an average of less than an hour to me to add a new format, 
it typically called for far more than an hour of telephone hand-holding 
support for each one, and IF it was successful, then I would NEVER receive 
a sample disk, or even a call back with the parameters that worked, so I 
couldn't add that format into the release version of the program!  That 
capability stayed in the program, but I stopped documenting the keystrokes 
to activate it.

I may be too old, too tired, and too burned out to try.

Grumpy Ol' Fred     		cisin at xenosoft.com

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