Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sometimes being the best is not enough

This past weekend I was looking through some boxes filled with "stuff" - things I have acquired over the years, and kept for reasons I don't really know. One of the things that I uncovered was a promotional giveaway for an application called Aldus Persuasion. Remember that? Probably not. I was a presentation software introduced circa 1989 that was around until about 1997. At the time, it totally kicked PowerPoint's a$$, offering features that Microsoft took years to copy and include in PowerPoint. I remember many occasions when I was running a slide show and people would run up and ask how I did that, because clearly they were PowerPoint users and knew that what I showed them wasn't possible in their software.

Unfortunately, one of the things that lead to the demise of Persuasion was that it cost around $300, compared to the "you get it free in Microsoft Office" for PowerPoint. And since PowerPoint came "for free", no one went looking for other presentation software. So even though it was w-a-a-a-a-y better than PowerPoint, Persuasion eventually lost the battle, because of the cost and the lack of awareness of the product.

So why am I bring this up? Well, it occurred to me that there are probably other products - and people - out there that are great but we don't know about them. So if you use a plug-in or camera accessory that you think is fabulous, tell people about it. If you see amazing work from a designer or photographer that isn't "famous", give them some love on Twitter, blog about them, or leave a comment here.

I'd hate to think of other cool products or talented people that don't get their due recognition, just because no one has heard of them.


Fred Klee said...

Think you can talk about all little companies who were doing some nice and powerful program, some disappeared because Microsoft or another one bought then with only a little part of their software. !

Peter Schold said...

OMG, I remember it :-)
I had it on my first PC (around 1994 I was only 15)
A friend of mine had it and I "borrowed" it from him...
I remember that ALDUS had a few cool things including PageMaker...
Another thing I remember playing around with at that time was a software called SCALA
I think it is still out there somewhere.

/ Peter

Toby Fairchild said...

One such program i use when logging hours spent on client projects and need that time log to incorporate into an invoice is called "Virtual StopWatch". It is cheap and invaluable. Here's the url: http://www.springcreeksoftware.com/

Another uber-useful app I use is called "Evernote". www.evernote.com. You have to check out there explanation to see what it does but its fantastic.
Lastly, this one is pc only i believe but it's called "Search Everything". Its a file indexer that will find any file on any of your connected drives almost before you hit the last keystroke. Instantaneous search. One bad side effect is I don't spend time organizing my clutter of files 'to someday sort' anymore. I can find them even more quickly with Search Everything. Anyway those are my recommendations.

Jan Winther said...

Aldus Pagemaker!!!

Man, I remember that program, and I still think I have it somewhere on floppy disks of course.

I used it when I was the editor of an aquarium magazine back in the day.

Those where the days.


Joseph Flores said...

I am wondering if Gridiron Flow is a nice program that is will be overlooked because of its price? $300 is pretty high. I was looking into buying it until I added it to the cart and saw its price. I was thinking $100-$150. I couldn't bring myself to justify $300!

DrKoob said...

That is beyond funny. Just last week my daughter asked me if I still had the slide show we did for her high school graduation. She wanted it for her 10 year reunion. I dug through my backups and sure enough I found it. Only problem is, it's in Persuasion. So I started looking and sure enough, I found Persuasion. Then I tried running it on my Intel iMac--no luck. Then I tried my G5 tower, no luck. Then I pulled an old PowerPC 6500/275 out of storage and what do you know, it worked. It was (and still is) a great product. Now, I can upgrade this slide show so it runs in Keynote? At least all my old PageMaker files will open in InDesign as long as I have them all the way up to PageMaker 7. So on that old PowerPC I have five versions of PageMaker installed. Anyone know an upgrade path for Persuasion. ;-)

Anonymous said...

The problem with Persuasion was that clients wanted to edit the text, fiddle continuously with it. Since they did have PowerPoint, that is what we used. To buy an extra piece of software, just to made edits, when you had one installed was never going to sell.

Ileane said...

Hi Dave,
I thought I would share this comment under what you call "Misc Rant". I wrote a poem that I think will give you and the other PS guys a laugh. http://ileane.wordpress.com/2009/08/10/ode-to-my-podcasts/

Love YA!