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Kevin Walzer, software developer.



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Sun, 16 Nov 2008

Why some software is worth paying for

It does more, that's why.

Someone posted a review of Manpower 2.0 at a download site, comparing the program to a freeware alternative and saying it isn't worth what I'm charging for it.

I've linked the review, but here are a few salient excerpts:

Manpower is pretty and costs $25...[the other] is freeware. Manpower does everything it says it does. The only real, functional difference I can find in casual use is that it divides the commands into categories (User, System, Library, File, etc.) and has a brief description of what each command does available before clicking and viewing the individual command, while the free [alternative] requires the user know what command he's looking for, and to type the command name into the input field.

In other words, Manpower offers navigation and search capabilities for OS X's man pages, not just displaying of them. The alternative (which is a nice little program, by the way) requires you to know what you are looking for.

This is a pretty big difference. It's the exact reason I wrote Manpower--I could not find a program that would give you a simple, easy-to-navigate overview of the man pages that come installed on OS X.

The review concludes with this advice:

Try them both. Keep the one that makes sense for you.

Fair enough. Individual users can decide whether the price I'm asking for a program that saves them time and effort, and (in the reviewer's grudging admission) is well-designed to boot, is worth it. I certainly think so.

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