Category : Alternate Operating Systems - Quarterdeck DesqView, CP/M, etc
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W H A T I S S H A R E W A R E ?

W H A T I S T H E A S P ?

____|__ | (R)
--| | |-------------------
| ____|__ | Association of
| | |_| Shareware
|__| o | Professionals
-----| | |---------------------
|___|___| MEMBER

Copyright (c) 1990,1991 by Falk Data Systems.
All Rights Reserved.


Some Definitions .............................................. 1
The Shareware Concept ......................................... 2
The Virus Problem ............................................. 3
The Association of Shareware Professionals .................... 6
Contacting ASP Members Via CompuServe ......................... 7
Author Address Changes ........................................ 8
ASP Ombudsman Statement ....................................... 8
For More Information .......................................... 8

Some Definitions:
You've probably heard the terms "public domain", "freeware",
"shareware", and others like them. Your favorite BBS or disk
vendor probably has many programs described by one or more of
these words. There's a lot of confusion about and between these
terms, but they actually have specific meanings and implications.
Once you understand them, you will have a much easier time
navigating the maze of programs available to you, and
understanding what your obligations are, or aren't, with each
type of program.

Let's start with some basic definitions.

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"Public domain" has a very specific legal meaning. It means that
the creator of a work (in this case, software), who had legal
ownership of that work, has given up ownership and dedicated the
work "to the public domain". Once something is in the public
domain, anyone can use it in any way they choose, and the author
has no control over the use and cannot demand payment for it.

If you find a program which the author has explicitly put into
the public domain, you are free to use it however you see fit
without paying for the right to use it. But use care - due to
the confusion over the meaning of the words, programs are often
described by authors as being "public domain" when, in fact, they
are shareware or free, copyrighted software. To be sure a
program is public domain, you should look for an explicit
statement from the author to that effect.

"Copyrighted" is the opposite of public domain. A copyrighted
program is one where the author has asserted his or her legal
right to control the program's use and distribution by placing
the legally required copyright notices in the program and
documentation. The law gives copyright owners broad rights to
restrict how their work is distributed, and provides for
penalties for those who violate these restrictions. When you
find a program which is copyrighted, you must use it in
accordance with the copyright owner's restrictions regarding
distribution and payment. Usually, these are clearly stated in
the program documentation.

Maintaining a copyright does not necessarily imply charging a
fee, so it is perfectly possible and legal to have copyrighted
programs which are distributed free of charge. The fact that a
program is free, however, does not mean it is in the public
domain - though this is a common confusion.

"Shareware" is copyrighted software which is distributed by
authors through bulletin boards, on-line services, disk vendors,
and copies passed among friends. It is commercial software which
you are allowed to use and evaluate before paying for it. This
makes shareware the ultimate in money back guarantees.

The Shareware Concept:
Most money back guarantees work like this: You pay for the
product and then have some period of time to try it out and see
whether or not you like it. If you don't like it or find that it
doesn't do what you need, you return it (undamaged) and at some
point - which might take months - you get your money back. Some
software companies won't even let you try their product! In
order to qualify for a refund, the diskette envelope must have an
unbroken seal. With these "licensing" agreements, you only

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qualify for your money back if you haven't tried the product.
How absurd!

Shareware is very different. With shareware you get to use it
for a limited time, without spending a penny. You are able to
use the software on your own system(s), in your own special work
environment, with no sales people looking over your shoulder. If
you decide not to continue using it, you throw it away and forget
all about it. No paperwork, phone calls, or correspondence to
waste your valuable time. If you do continue using it, then -
and only then - do you pay for it.

Shareware is a distribution method, NOT a type of software.
Shareware is produced by accomplished programmers, just like
retail software. There is good and bad shareware, just as there
is good and bad retail software. The primary difference between
shareware and retail software is that with shareware you know if
it's good or bad BEFORE you pay for it.

As a software user, you benefit because you get to use the
software to determine whether it meets your needs before you pay
for it, and authors benefit because they are able to get their
products into your hands without the hundreds of thousands of
dollars in expenses it takes to launch a traditional retail
software product. There are many programs on the market today
which would never have become available without the shareware
marketing method.

The shareware system and the continued availability of quality
shareware products depend on your willingness to register and pay
for the shareware you use. It's the registration fees you pay
which allow us to support and continue to develop our products.

Please show your support for shareware by registering those
programs you actually use and by passing them on to others.

Shareware is kept alive by YOUR support!

The Virus Problem:
We've all heard the horror stories about computer viruses.
Unfortunately, we have also heard lots of conflicting statistics
and opinions. When it comes to the virus problem there is a lot
of confusion among users and even developers.

The sad truth is that some unscrupulous publishers of anti-virus
products are using half-truths, overdramatizations, and outright
fabrication to promote sales of their products. They delight in
manipulating statistics to support their marketing efforts.
While not illegal, these snake-oil tactics are certainly not

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To make matters worse, the media has frequently promoted the
misinformation promulgated by these unscrupulous individuals
rather than the straight facts. While the misinformation may be
more interesting than the actual facts, the media is not doing
the computer industry any favors by spreading inaccurate
information. To be fair, many newspapers, magazines, and news
networks are beginning to realize which "virus experts" are
reliable and which "experts" say whatever is in their own best

One of the most interesting myths that has been promulgated by
these snake-oil salesmen is that BBSs (Bulletin Board Systems)
and shareware programs are a major source of virus infections.
Some corporations are now afraid of shareware and BBS activity
because of this misinformation.

In the October 11, 1988 issue of PC Magazine, publisher Bill
Machrone's editorial was entitled "Shareware or Scareware?". In
his article, Bill Machrone points out "The truth is that all
major viruses to date were transmitted by commercial [retail]
packages and private mail systems." That sounds a little
different than the claims being made by less knowledgeable

Let's consider for a moment, the distribution differences between
retail software and shareware software. Company XYZ releases a
new version of its retail software product. At the same time
company XYZ ships tens of thousands of copies to its retail
distribution channels, it also ships 30,000 updates to loyal
users. Most of those loyal users will receive the update within
a few days of each other. This can be a big problem if the
update happened to be infected with a virus.

"Not likely", you say? It has already happened! Several times!
There have been seventeen (17) major incidents of virus and
trojan horse problems in retail software. Some of these
incidents affected tens of thousands of users.

What about shareware? To date there has been one case of a
shareware author shipping an infected product. The virus was
detected by the disk vendors and the problem was corrected
immediately. No users were infected.

"But it makes sense that programs which are passed around have a
greater chance of virus infections, doesn't it?" Think about it.
Who has the most to lose if viruses were spread by BBSs and
shareware programs? The BBS operators, shareware disk vendors
and the shareware authors, of course. Because of this, reputable
BBS operators, disk vendors and shareware authors are very
careful with the programs they handle.

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Think about it. Hundreds (even thousands) of BBS operators and
disk vendors are carefully examining the programs they receive
and distribute. Their business depends on it. This means that
any given shareware program can go through hundreds (even
thousands) of checkpoints where the program is carefully
examined. If a problem is found, word spreads incredibly fast.
News travels "on the wires" even faster than the proverbial small
town gossip. Programs have disappeared almost overnight as a
result of this highly efficient communication network.

If a shareware program has been around for a few months, it has
been checked for virii and trojan horses many more times than any
retail software could hope to be checked. Retail distributors
don't check the disks they sell. Even if the publisher checks
their masters for virii (few do), this is still far less than the
scrutiny to which shareware programs are subjected.

There's something else to consider. Most retail distributors
have a return policy. What do they do with packages that are
returned? They shrink-wrap them and resell them, of course. How
can you be sure that you are the first person to purchase the
package you just bought at your friendly neighborhood computer
store? You can't. On the other hand, most shareware authors
erase, reformat, and reduplicate the disks that are returned to
them. Which do you think is safer?

Bill Machrone's article in PC Magazine goes on to say "It's time
to recognize that there's nothing to fear in shareware. As a
distribution medium, it saves you money and helps you try out new
genres of software with minimum risk."

Does this mean that we should all start buying shareware instead
of retail software? Not at all (although few shareware authors
would object). Let's face it, more data has been lost to power
failures and spilled cups of coffee than all virii, trojan
horses, and worms combined! An even bigger threat is plain old
human error, a mistake, a wrong key press, turning off the power
while files are open, and so forth. Accurate information and
common sense (regular backups) are the best defenses against lost

Sure, the virus problem is real. Virii exist. But shunning
shareware is not the answer. Shareware and BBSs are, quite
simply, NOT a major source of virus infections. Some
corporations have even banned shareware entirely because of fear
of infections. This is not only unreasonable, it is also
expensive. Think how much they could save in software costs if
they would only try software before they buy it!

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Is there anything you can do to help protect yourself from virus
infections? Absolutely! Fortunately, the best preventive
measures are also the least expensive!

If you need informative, accurate and practical information,
please read the treatise on "Computer Virus Myths" written by Rob
Rosenberger and Ross M. Greenberg. This treatise is available as
a text file on many BBSs and online services. It not only gives
you the facts, it also provides the best overall strategy for
protecting your computer system.

As a service to our users, Falk Data Systems includes a copy of
"Computer Virus Myths" with every registered version we ship.

Don't let fear stop you from saving money on software. Don't let
fear prevent you from trying some of the best software available.
Shareware is an important market for software. Take advantage of
it. You'll be glad you did!

The Association of Shareware Professionals (ASP):
In the early days of shareware there were no real standards.
Independent authors had no efficient way to learn from each other
or to work together to improve the overall image of shareware.
There was no system in place to ensure that users were treated
fairly and professionally. There was no way for users to find an
address for an author who had moved. In short, the shareware
community was disorganized and each author did things the way he
or she thought was best. It was clear that if shareware was ever
to become a viable and respected marketing alternative, there had
to be some standardization. There had to be some guidelines to
best serve the users.

In 1987 a handful of shareware authors founded the Association of
Shareware Professionals (ASP). In forming this industry
association, these shareware authors had several primary goals in
mind, including:

o To inform users about shareware programs and about
shareware as a method of distributing and marketing

o To foster a high degree of professionalism among shareware
authors by setting programming, marketing, and support
standards for ASP members to follow.

o To encourage broader distribution of shareware through
user groups and disk dealers who agree to identify and
explain the nature of shareware.

o To assist members in marketing their software.

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o To provide a forum through which ASP members may
communicate, share ideas, and learn from each other.

The newly formed Association of Shareware Professionals worked
together to draft a code of ethics for all present and future
members. This code of ethics included several requirements that
soon became very popular among users (customers), including:

o A member's program (evaluation version) could not be
limited (crippled) in any way. In the true spirit of
Try-Before-You-Buy, users must be able to evaluate all the
features in a program before paying the registration fee.

o Members must respond to every registration. At the very
least they must send a receipt for the payment.

o Members must provide technical support for their products
for at least 90 days from the date of registration.

A new system was put in place to help ensure that users were
treated fairly and professionally. If a user was unable to
resolve a problem with a member author then the user could
contact the ASP Ombudsman with their complaint. The Ombudsman
would then try to help resolve the dispute. For more complete
details regarding the Ombudsman, please refer to the "ASP
Ombudsman Statement" below (page 8).

As of March, 1991, the ASP had over 300 author members and almost
200 vendor members, with new members joining every week.

Contacting ASP Members Via CompuServe:
There is an easy and convenient way to speak directly to many ASP
Members (both authors and vendors). Visit the shareware forum on
CompuServe. Simply type "GO SHAREWARE", "GO SHARE", or "GO
ASPFORUM" from any CompuServe ! prompt.

Here you will be able to talk to the authors of your favorite
shareware programs, learn about other programs, ask questions,
make suggestions, and much more. We'd love to meet you online,
please come visit us today!

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Author Address Changes:
People move. Forwarding orders expire. What can you do?

"I got a copy of a shareware program written by an ASP Member.
I sent in the registration fee and the post office returned my
letter saying that it was undeliverable. Now what do I do?"

If the author has moved then chances are very good that you have
an old version of the program. This is another situation that
the ASP can help you to resolve. ASP Members are required to
keep the ASP informed of address changes. If you need to obtain
the current address for a member, simply write to the following

ASP Executive Director
545 Grover Road
Muskegon, MI 49442-9427

or send a CompuServe message via CompuServe MAIL to ASP Executive
Director 72050,1433. You may also FAX your request to the ASP
Executive Director at 616-788-2765.

ASP Ombudsman Statement:
This program is produced by a member of the Association of
Shareware Professionals (ASP). ASP wants to make sure that the
shareware principle works for you. If you are unable to resolve
a shareware-related problem with an ASP member by contacting the
member directly, ASP may be able to help. The ASP Ombudsman can
help you resolve a dispute or problem with an ASP member, but
does not provide technical support for members' products.

Please write to the ASP Ombudsman at:

ASP Ombudsman
545 Grover Road
Muskegon, MI 49442-9427

or send a CompuServe message via CompuServe MAIL to ASP Ombudsman

For More Information:
If you would like to learn more about the shareware phenomenon,
there are several excellent sources of additional information.
Two of the best books ever written about shareware are described

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Dr. File Finder's Guide to Shareware:
By Mike Callahan and Nick Anis. Foreword by John C. Dvorak.

"[Mike's] book distills thousands of hours of his online
search for the crown jewels of Shareware into one usable
guide. As such, it may be the most valuable computer book
you'll ever buy."
--Jack Rickard, Publisher, Boardwatch Magazine

"No one combines Dr. File Finder's comprehensive knowledge of
the Shareware genre with his good taste in software. This is
sure to be the definitive place to look for insight and
program information."
--Barry Simon, Former President of the Association of
Shareware Professionals, PC Magazine Columnist, and
Coauthor of Stackey, Batutil, and Ctrlalt

"GREAT! Every PC user will find something of value within
these pages. This book will save you a bundle."
--Alfred Glossbrenner

"If I were going to buy only one computer book, this would be
--Tom Scott, Publisher, Telecomputing Magazine

Nobody knows Shareware like the illustrious Dr. File Finder,
known off line as Mike Callahan. Now, in Dr. File Finder's
Guide to Shareware, you can learn about dozens of leading
Shareware programs, including where and how to get them. In the
true spirit of Shareware, this book/disk package includes a disk
full of top programs that you can try out yourself before
registering. Send in the card at the back of the book and you'll
get two additional disks with more software.

Mike Callahan, AKA Dr. File Finder, is the world's leading
authority on Shareware. He regularly accesses thousands of
bulletin board systems and has been a major force in promoting
many of the top Shareware packages. Callahan has spent several
years and thousands of hours helping people around the world
learn more about Shareware.

Nick Anis is the coauthor of several acclaimed best-sellers in
the Dvorak*Osborne imprint, including Dvorak's Guide to PC
Telecommunications, Dvorak's Guide to Desktop Telecommunications,
and Glossbrenner's Complete Hard Disk Handbook.

$39.95, ISBN: 0-07-881646-7, 950 pp. 7 3/8 X 9 1/4. AVAILABLE
1-800-227-0900 (M-F, 8:30 - 4:30 PST)

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Shareware: "Try Before You Buy" Software:
Perhaps you've read Rob Rosenberger's well known and highly
acclaimed treatise on the computer virus problem. If you liked
that article then you'll love his excellent book on Shareware.
This book is a must for anyone who is interested in Shareware,
what to look for (and look out for), and where to find it. In
this book, shareware author and writer Rob Rosenberger delves
into the very heart of Shareware, telling you who developed the
concept and why.

You'll know why these programs: * undercut the price of retail
software * helped bring down the use of copy protection schemes *
receive numerous editorial and reader survey awards * generate
more sales than retail software in some cases * make retail OS/2
software developers so nervous * are falsely accused of spreading
computer "viruses".

Rob shows you where you can find good Shareware. You'll learn to
beware of companies that make money by abusing the "try before
you buy" concept. And you'll discover where Shareware is heading
in the near future.

"A lot of good books devote just one or two chapters to the
concept and history of Shareware. I'm pleased to say there is
finally a reference book on the subject."
--Jim Button, cofounder of the Shareware concept

"It's filled with accurate information for anyone who wants to
learn about one of the most significant sources of high-
quality software."
--Edward Mendelson, contributing editor, PC Magazine

Here's all the information you need to obtain your copy of this
outstanding book:

Shareware: "Try Before You Buy" Software. By Rob
Third Edition. Only $6.95!

Paradise Publishing Phone: (800) 233-2451
3111 S. Valley View Blvd., Suite B-105
Las Vegas, NV 89102 U.S.A.

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  3 Responses to “Category : Alternate Operating Systems - Quarterdeck DesqView, CP/M, etc
Archive   : DVFMT.ZIP
Filename : SHR-WARE.DOC

  1. Very nice! Thank you for this wonderful archive. I wonder why I found it only now. Long live the BBS file archives!

  2. This is so awesome! 😀 I’d be cool if you could download an entire archive of this at once, though.

  3. But one thing that puzzles me is the “mtswslnkmcjklsdlsbdmMICROSOFT” string. There is an article about it here. It is definitely worth a read: