Kwakkelflap: tools for the IT pro

Friday, December 29, 2006

HOWTO: Start Watchdog - O - Matic as a service.

First of all, open the Watchdog - O - Matic application and disable the "Launch Watchdog - O - Matic at startup" option in the Options menu. We don't want the watchdog to start automatically. Close the Watchdog - O - Matic application (File -> Exit Watchdog - O - Matic).

Open Service - O - Matic. Create a new service "Watchdog", and point to the watchdog.exe (which is default in c:\program files\kwakkelflap\watchdog\watchdog.exe).

You can add a dependency for "Lanmanworkstation" if you want to make sure most other services are started before the watchdog starts.

All other options should be fine. Select "OK" in Service - O - Matic and Watchdog - O - Matic should start as a service right away.

Hint: you can run Watchdog - O - Matic professional as a service, and watch your applications automatically. You can buy both Watchdog - O - Matic professional and Service - O - Matic and save money.

Contact us in our support forums if you encounter any problems

Thursday, December 28, 2006

December sales

I have typical December sales right now. A good first part, partly because I increased the Adword campaign. And 0 sales from the 22nd December on. I don't expect any more sales this year. My products are primarily business to business based, and most people are on holiday (visits are way down). I should probably pause my ads and resume them next month.

If all goes well, January should be an excellent month. It is always one of the best months of the year for sales. I will post graphs of sales and downloads for 2006 in January.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Open TTD

I recently discovered an open source project of a game I used to play: Transport Tycoon Deluxe. In the game, you have a transport company. The goal is world domination making as much profit as possible, by transporting passengers and various goods by road, rail, sea or by air. Great game and highly addictive. And now, the open source project has added a huge amount of new features and bug fixes.

I'm glad I'm rather strict in my own deadlines. Lucky I can play this game on a laptop while working right? I’ll see you in a few days.

U.S. Dollar to Euro exchange rate

The current U.S. Dollar to Euro exchange rate is a little problematic right now. I'm European, selling my programs in US$. So each time my check arrives, they use the current exchange rate to convert the amount to euros (obviously). But the exchange rate is so bad right now that I feel like I'm losing money on it. Take November for example (the current check). I'd have almost 500 euros more if I cashed the check using the exchange rate of a year ago. A huge difference if you ask me.

I wonder if it wouldn't be better to sell my software in euros. That way, the exchange rate has no influence on me. The downsides: It would influence the US customers of course. And almost everyone sells in US$, which may make my system awkward for customers. In fact, I don't know any misv that sells in euros. All download sites work with US$, and so does the PAD file.

RegNow offers a system where you can set a fixed value for euros instead of using the exchange rate. But why would a European customer want to pay more when using euros when he / she can just as well pay in dollars?

This is as yet unresolved for me. I’ll have to do some research to see if it's feasible to use euros instead.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Secret astrophysics tools

One of the things that changed when creating the new site was some of the content. On the old website, I used to have other free applications. But they didn’t fit in with the “Tools for the IT Professional” philosophy. They are astrophysics simulation tools, not applications for typical IT people. So I wasn’t sure if I wanted to keep them on the main site. Still, they generated traffic. And some of those visitors might be interested in the other applications. One option was to create a second website with those astrophysics tools and link to my main website. I was in the process of creating the new site so I wasn’t that fond of the idea of creating yet another website. In the end I did convert the old pages to the new pages. I just didn’t create a link from the main website to these free tools. They still can be found through search engines and download sites though.

Want to see the free astrophysics tools? Check our Gravitational Lensing application and our simulation of the Pluto – Neptune orbits.

Maybe I will create a link from the main website. Or I might just create a new site for these 2 free applications after all. For now they’ll have to stay where they are.

So now you know what the "Other" part in the Forum is for. And yes, the source code is available on request for those 2 tools.

Monday, December 18, 2006

HOWTO: Watch applications automatically with Watchdog - O - Matic professional

Open the Watchdog - O - Matic professional window. Go to Options -> Profile and create a new profile using the "Add New" button for each program you want to watch automatically. You can enable or disable any option you want. The watchdog program will use these options to watch your application.

Next, go to the Options -> Extra options professional dialog. Enable the "Automatically watch all applications with a profile" option. After closing this dialog, the watchdog program will check all running processes for applications with a profile. Watchdog - O - Matic will attach itself to the process, and will automatically watch those applications using the features you selected.

Contact us in our support forums if you encounter any problems

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Native English speaker

The last few weeks, I have been extremely busy at my day job. I didn’t have much time for my misv in the evening, so I decided to spend the time I had on the most important things. Blogging about it is not on top of the “most important things todo” list, so it’s been a while.

Anyway, one thing that blogging has taught me is that I’m not a native English speaker, and sometimes it shows. I think I’ll probably have a few spelling mistakes on my blog, and that some sentences are not as clear as they could be. I’m not losing any sleep over it, but it had me wondering about my main website. Having a fault in my website was something that did worry me. I might lose sales due to stupid spelling mistakes, or not communicating clearly enough with a potential customer. So I contacted Software Examiner and asked them if they could check my website. I received a report after a day, showing that I had several mistakes on the website. All has been corrected now, and I feel confidant that most mistakes are removed.