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Aug 31

StoryZOT – A Mystery in 4 parts –

Part IPart IIPart III – Part IV

"Hello Sir, please take a seat; ZOT will be right with you. We just have a few questions for you before we process your application. Would you like a cup of coffee?"

"No thanks, I’ve had my double-espresso already. As for the questions, fire when ready."

ZOT: When you first heard about the StoryZOT, why did you decide to apply?

DEV 3: To get my app into more hands and allow the public a peak into the human behind the app (me). Plus it’s been fun to watch the comments with the insider info I’ve got

ZOT: If you were to tell the readers the upside and downside of being part of a StoryZOT process, what would you say?

DEV 3: The upside is knowing that a good amount of people get a super great deal. I think almost everyone will find one of the apps in this bundle worth the price tag. I haven’t found the downside yet.

ZOT: Right, so far nearly a thousand people are willing to risk their $5.95 using the Buy Button up top to support the developers involved. It’s quite inspiring.

ZOT: Can you discuss the experience of developing software, and then having to market it when you’re done?

DEV 3: It’s like finishing a race and then realizing you’re only at the half way point. And, if you’re like me, you’re unfamiliar with the terrain in the second half. It’s all new.

ZOT: How long have you been developing?

DEV 3: I’ve been developing for OS X for almost a year exactly. I’ve been programming for 11, 6 of those professionally.

ZOT: Where do your ideas for applications come from?

DEV 3: My ideas come from solving a problem that I have. If I find myself doing something painful. Healing that pain is a good candidate for an application.

ZOT: What does your spouse think about your work?

DEV 3: My wife isn’t technical, but she understands I jiggle bits and things happen. She respects the work and appreciates that it’s a passion of mine and supports that (although it probably helps that my passion helps support the family ).

ZOT: Speaking of support, how close are you to giving up your day job and making a full-time go of independent app development?

DEV 3: Probably a ways away. we need more savings. we’re not planning on taking any major risks yet. mostly due to the kids and my day job is pretty good. but that’s still the goal.

ZOT: You’ve got a couple of applications now, anything exciting that you’re working on?

DEV 3: My other app (free) has gotten stale while working on my app in this bundle. I have an update for the app in this bundle coming soon and then I want to focus on bringing my other app up to speed Mw/ the things I’ve learned recently. The goal is to update the free version and supply a shareware version as well. As for other ideas they’re always brewing. Deciding what to do next isn’t easy, but it’s a good problem to have too many ideas than not enough.

ZOT: What would be some advice to people you’d give who want to get involved in the Mac application market?

DEV 3: Advice I’d give is to get involved in the community. Blog. Read other developers blogs. Ask questions. I’ve yet to contact another developer and not get a sincere reply.

ZOT: It sounds difficult to juggle multiple apps, a family, a full-time job, and promoting your wares? Which piece is the most time consuming?

DEV 3: I’ve yet to accurately time how many hours I put where, but the most rewarding tasks are the family (I’ve got two small girls) and developing my apps and watching them progress.

ZOT: Are you developing any software for your daughters?

DEV 3: Hehe, no. Not yet. But my three year old loves art rage 2 (http://www.ambientdesign.com/artrage.html)

ZOT: What are 3 resources you’d recommend to somebody who wants to write a cocoa app for the Mac OS, but has a short attention span?

DEV 3: #1: Aaron Hillegass’s Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X
that book has fairly short chapters that you can go through here and there with a short amount of time.
it’s well written and got me started pretty quickly
#2: not really a resource, but just look around your desktop. as a ZOT’r I’m sure you’re running a handful of 3rd party apps. The quality of the 3rd party apps on OS X is really impressive. Analyze your favorites. Learn from them. Get inspiration from them. Use that when developing.
#3: If you can, find a "buddy" in a similar situation. Nothing’s easy. Having someone to help kick you through the "I don’t feel like coding today" or "this bug sucks" times is a huge resource.

Great resources! Thanks for your time.

"As the developer got up and walked out the door, ZOT made few notes on the application. It was clear there was some solid experience behind all the people involved.

But who would it be? Which developer’s products will be included in the final bundle?

If you’ve come this far, click Buy up top. The $5.95 is going to support young people with a passion. Some are supporting new families and juggling heavy work loads. However, it doesn’t quell their desire to deliver excellent applications.

The best part about buying a bundle backed with so much passion is you’ll likely get access to many more great products. You can voice your ideas and opinions and support these developers as they work directly for you — the Mac user.

Stay tuned.. the time of the reveal is the final Mystery!

Aug 30

StoryZOT – A Mystery in 4 parts –

Part IPart II, Part III

Already dark by now , you could hear the guy working the counter at the 3 Bill cafe, "strawberry smoothie. Strawberry SMOOTHIE?" It was an underground part of the cafe on Marketing street in the land of ZOT. A place where you could see pedestrians walking up the hill at eye level. A perfect place to explain the StoryZOT.

"What is StoryZOT?" asked the platinum haired lady as she glanced down at the computer screen on which a document had the words StoryZOT titled across it.

"StoryZOT? Oh, what I’m writing. Well, StoryZOT is an opportunity!", exclaimed the young developer. "It’s an opportunity to help Mac users learn about the real lives of some Mac developers and…"

"And?" asked the soft hearted lady as she sat down on the couch next to the young man.

"And, in the process, they can buy a great bundle of Mac applications that have never been on MacZOT before, he said. It’s really a neat idea, if not a bit confusing at first."

"Why is it confusing?" she asked.

"Well, you don’t know what you’re paying for until the end. You’re reading the stories hoping the bundle contents will justify your small investment."

"So, they get to read the stories if they want, but really they just have to wait until the end to discover what they purchased?" she asked in a clarifying tone.

"Correct." said the young developer as he typed in some seemingly obscure Cocoa code into another window in the text editor.

"And, what’s your story?" asked the lady. "How did you get here?"

"Well, do you want the long story or the short story?" asked the young man.

"Honey," she said, "They don’t have to read it to be able to click that Buy button you were talking about, do they?"

"No, of course not. That’s just at the top of the page for the people who want the bundle of applications. The stories are really a bonus."

"Okay," she said as she sipped her double-short latte. "Give me the whole thing."

And so he did, as he closed his handsome, black MacBook and gave her his full conversational attention.

"Well, when I was young, I always liked to create things and was an inquisitive child. I wrote stories, drew pictures, read books and asked my parents far too many questions they couldn’t answer. My insatiable appetite for knowledge was only matched by my hunger to make things other people would enjoy. I was never bored.

I didn’t care for sport, but I liked cars. I knew them inside out, and all the names of all the models before most of my peers had learned to talk properly. I pulled apart anything I could to see how it worked and sometimes even put it back together again. I had a logical mind and would take things a little too literally at times. I remember standing next to my father, who was working on the car when he asked me, sarcastically, if I could get any closer. I told him I would try."

The lady chuckled as she held her coffee mug in both hands as to warm them.

"I grew up in the 80s. I was told I couldn’t have a computer because they were for games and we couldn’t afford one. I got a bike instead. While my father could seem to afford a new car every year, maybe he had a point. All my friends had computers and only seemed to use them for games. I didn’t use computers much in school either. The few times I did made me think I wasn’t missing very much.

However, there was one computer at school that truly captivated me. It lived under a dust cover, behind the doors of a locked cabinet in the corner of a room, jealously guarded by my design teacher. Why the school had this computer was a mystery, as he wouldn’t let anyone else near it. One day, he gave us a demonstration. His voice crackled with excitement as he showed us what it could do. Then he replaced the dust cover, slid it back into the cupboard and padlocked the door.

That single experience of an Apple Macintosh was enough to make an impression on me. It was better than all the other computers I had seen before and inspired me to think about the future. My ambition, by this time, was to be a graphic designer and this Mac could do that like nothing else. The only problem was that it would cost about the same as my father would spend updating his car, so that was the end of that.

When I was 15, my mother told me it’s not good enough to want to be a graphic designer, not with my brain, and then divorced my father for preferring cars to kids. I did what any good teenager would do under the circumstances and started sniffing solvents in the park, publishing my art as graffiti on walls and drinking cheap cider until it all came back up again, but not even that was enough to get me into art school.

Not knowing what to do at college, I took a random business course that mostly bored me senseless, but I liked working with the computers. Realizing I was a late starter, I quit college to take a vocational course where I could learn how to use them properly while earning some money. It didn’t take me long before I was fixing them too. That wasn’t part of my training, I just did it.

Ahh, you don’t want to hear this, it’s kind of boring." the yound developer hinted.

"Son, you have my full attention. Please continue."

"Okay, where was I?" he said thoughtfully.

"A business course and vocational classes where you discovered your interest in computers." the shiny blue eyed lady reminded him.

"Right. Well, that course ended and I eventually got a temporary job producing reports for an IT helpdesk. In characteristic style, I soon started answering support calls. Mostly, these were about big, ugly mainframe computers, but it quickly became apparent that I knew more about PCs than most of the people there, and that became my specialty.

The overworked guy whose job it was to know about PCs had seen enough to own a Mac himself. He banged on and on about how Macs were better and how, if I was going to buy a computer, I should get one. I remembered the Mac in school and this stirred something inside me. I told him I would look into it, but now I knew all about PCs. I loved the troubleshooting and wanted this company to make my temporary job permanent. I thought if I owned a PC myself, I could be even better at my job. I could see his point about the problems with PCs, but could a Mac really be better?

Thankfully, I was saved from PC ownership when I was offered a permanent position on the condition that I trained as a developer, meaning no more PC support for me. I accepted the job and bought a Mac with my pay raise.

That was my first computer and I have never looked back. This Mac had character, it just worked and let me actually do things rather than spend all my time nursing it back to health.

Ten years later I felt I had done everything I could working for other people on big projects for soulless corporations. I needed more, something that could combine my love of writing, graphic design, making something out of nothing and everything I had learned in the previous decade. Without a doubt, I wanted to do this on a Mac. The answer was obvious: to start a business creating and selling my own Mac software on the ‘net.

Now I’m doing my dream job, one that wouldn’t have been imaginable when I was at school. It’s not always easy but that doesn’t matter, I do everything: programming, website, icons, support and more. This is my passion. Funny, I never think of myself as a geek but I guess I am. Most computers bore me. All except one." he concluded.

"Wow, neat story she said. I see your not the only one using an Apple these days."

As they both looked around the cafe together, you could see four other glowing Apple logos grazing the vertical part of open laptops. Funny enough, the people working on Mac laptops looked calm and productive, while the few people on Windows machines had scowls on their faces and urgency about looking for power outlets.

"So," the lady said, "My daughter has a new Apple laptop she uses to write the novel she’s working on. Would this StoryZOT Mystery bundle be appropriate for her?"

"You know, " the developer said as he looked out the window thoughtfully. "The contents of the bundle would be appropriate for most anybody using a Mac. And, at $5.95, if you only get one application that you used on even a semi-regular basis, you’d be way ahead of the game."

"Alright! I’m going to tell her to buy it. Where does she go?"

"Just go to http://maczot.com the StoryZOT Mystery bundle will end soon and she should make sure not to miss out.

Oh, and tell her that more than 400 people are already taking part, so she’ll be in good company.

It was nice talking to you ma’am. Thanks for listening."

"Son, it was my pleasure. It’s wonderful to see somebody doing their passion in life, and it’s obvious you’re doing yours. Thank you for sharing your story."

"My pleasure, " he grinned. "Now don’t forget to tell your daughter."

"Oh, and if she buys before Friday, she’ll get a bonus game to keep her having fun while she waits for the Mystery to be revealed."

"Okay, okay.. her kids loves games. I’ll call her right now."

Aug 30

Part II of the StoryZOT – A Mystery

And thus, the story has begun. A tale of primal code forged from the minds of commoners. Advanced technical training is often absent in the history of an application and the developers behind it. Apple, an organized and well lead group of people who are encouraged to THINK DIFFERENTLY have responded to the demands of the market.

The realization that providing great tools would enable smart people to begin creating games, organizers, and productivity enhancing applications was timely. There are now almost 750,000 people who have downloaded the software one can use to begin their application development on Mac OS X.

Back in the land of ZOT, a vibrant youth walks on stage to present his application, story and enthusiasm to the onlookers. He’s given the microphone, the crowd quiets to a curious rumble, and listenst to what he has to say…

"Thank you for allowing me to get up here and share a few thoughts. So far, I’m enjoying ZOT and find very intelligent and interesting people hanging out here. However, I digress and well, will just dive right in.

Our company got started by two friends who shared a fervor for developing better software. It journeys back much further than the debut of Mac OS X. I resided in Japan at the time and endeavored to unravel how to view and write Japanese characters in Windows 98. After a relentless yet fruitless pursuit for working software I found an article depicting how Mac OS X is bundled with an array of languages on 1 disc with screenshots of how easy it is to write.

After acquiring my first mac and OS X, I noticed it came with free developer tools. I was perplexed on how to actually author applications. I came from a background of windows, I had no experience in coding in any language.

This lead to the acquisition of a book by Aaron Hillegass on Cocoa programming for OS X. I plowed through the examples completely disregarding the pre-requisite of C knowledge before starting. Daily train rides to school were an invaluable time to read and re-read until it started to sink in.

I started working as a programmer making very bad applications that were buggy, but they kept getting better as I started to learn more. Apple really provides us with amazing resources to making great applications for OS X.

I met a variety of people online while working and making programs leading to the collaboration of ideas. That quickly blossomed into a company that made apps that people actually wanted to use. After my marriage in Japan, my wife and I moved back to my hometown of Gilbert, Arizona where I continued to make applications for Mac OS X. I now knew how a software company works.

I left my job working for someone else, and that is when our company started. My wife would often help out with our localization, which was very easy for her as a translator by profession. We are now approaching our third anniversary and were just able to have a wedding in March of this year.

Our flagship application, is a collective idea of my partner and I that has been brewing in our heads for years. We always desired a way to make handle the functionality of our application in a simplistic fashion, similiar to a similar feature in a popular iApp. It has quickly morphed into an ever evolving jack of all trades.

We resolved the best way to accomplish our goals was to be extremely quick with support and listen to the requests. Most of the features in this application’s current incarnation have been user requests that are normally filled within 2 or 3 days.

If chosen to participate in the development of this bundle, I promise to provide inspired software, educate you all on the proper usage, and continue development so you’ll have excellent tools at your diposal. To give a hint without breaking the rults, let’s just say that our application is very relevant in regard to the way Apple themselves is positioning the Mac.

Thank you for your time."

As the developer walked off stage, standing tall, one could feel the sense of pride in the air. There’s nothing like doing something you love and giving back to a responsive community at the same time…

Stay tuned for more in Part 3…

Aug 29

Once upon a time… in a land not so far away…

This week, we’re offering a MYSTERY based on the novel written by our biggest fans. It’s called NO REPEAT and you won’t find it at Amazon.com

It’s a story of several competent Mac developers. They all share a similar backstory. You know, the kids in school that often forgot to tie a shoe, dribbled a drink and walked silently in a group of friends. They weren’t outcasts, they were coders. Geeks at heart, they all had LEGO as part of their formative years and just understood how pieces fit together. In fact, they still do.

These developers all have a passion for their work and want nothing more than to expose the culmination of their efforts to as large an audience as possible. They want validation, they want feedback, and most importantly they want their nascent applications to grow legs and be able to stand on their own in this global market.

The story continues as they journey into the land of ZOT! A land where all the people share a common love – a passion even. This thread is seen in their choice of operating system and identifies them as superior to all the neighboring lands. The land of ZOT holds for these young developers the unknown. A chance for adventure and success lies within their grasp.

And how they advance in the land of ZOT is entirely up to you. With the click of your mouse, YOU determine how this mystery ends. Click Buy Now! Let the story begin.

Aug 28

Musicast – ZOT Exclusive!

Share your iTunes playlists with anybody

Normal price: $18.00
ZOT price: $8.00

Click to download trial

 One of the most important parts of everyday life is music. Mac users can use GarageBand to create new music or iTunes to listen to existing music. We think sharing the music you own should be as easy as listening to it.

Musicast lets you broadcast iTunes playlists to the internet as a webpage and podcast. This allows you to access your music from any web browser, and subscribe to it in iTunes or an RSS reader.

Musicast

 

Musicast is unveiled to you here today, coming from the original developer of Library, the predecessor to Delicious Library, Andrew Kazmierski. It may possibly be one of the nicest Mac applications to come out this year with its delicious aqua interface and classic ease of use. Get in now on this exclusive zot, and get Musicast before anyone else at over 50% off of the original price of $18.

If you’re using Airport, open the Airport Admin Utility. Double-click your base station, press Base Station Options on the Airport tab, and check on the “Enable NAT Port Mapping Protocol” checkbox. Restart the base station and Musicast and you’ll be sharing your iTunes playlists with your buddies right away.

Aug 28

1 cent mystery bundle revealed

 
1 Cent Bundle Revealed  

We had an amazing response to this bundle. Stickler is a great little app that makes reading your RSS feeds fun. xPad is being touted as a tremendously handy way to manage multiple documnents in one convenient location. Together, they’re easily worth the ridiculously low price invested in the 1 cent bundle.

If you ordered these apps, please check your email.

 
Aug 25
One Cent Mystery Bundle

Pick up those pennies you see laying on the street and invest them in your productivity.

 

When we thought of the lowest amount we could charge without giving away the store for free, we came up with one penny.

So, we rounded up two applications and decided to spread out the value over a year. It’s 1 penny per day.

For only three-hundred and sixty-five pennies, you get two apps you might just use every day.

Okay, that’s also only 5 quarters, nineteen dimes, and 10 nickels for those of you who empty the change out of your pockets each day.

Paying in Euro’s? It’s even less for you.

If nothing else, this could be a great way to realize the value of MacZOT! Buy the 1 cent bundle and you’ll think about it every time you empty change from your pocket or each time you drop the 3 pennies, 2 dimes and a quarter into the tip jar for your favorite barista.

Now, here’s what $3.65 would get you if you’re where we are:

1. 73 minutes of meter parking in downtown San Francisco

2. 1.23 gallons of 87 unleaded gas ( maybe a 15 mile round trip in most cars)

3. A backup pair of socks

4. A hotdog on the street in NYC

As you can see, your choices might be virtually unlimited. The real question is. can you buy any of those right now?

If you’ve never seen a Mystery Bundle on MacZOT, this is a mini version. You won’t find out what you purchased until Monday at 12:00 am PST and the wait could kill you. So far, it hasn’t happened.

One more thing. This 1 cent blog gets you… membership into the MacZOT buyers club. It’s a semi-elite group of people who love their machines. They love treating their hard drive to some new bits and MacZOT deals are just the sort that make any Mac owner feel like they’re working the system.

Stop reading, scroll up and click buy. You’ll be one of those people who will have a fond memory when they see kids making wishes with their pennies in the fountain.

Throw your penny in (each day – but all at once – today) and make a wish!

Enjoy this bundle and your weekend.

ZOT!

Aug 23
Meander

Meander – Map Maximizer

Normally $19.99
ZOT! Only $5.99 – WOW!

Click to MacZOT Download and try it now

Meander plots points, plans routes and measures distances using any map, including maps you’ve scanned or those you’ve found on the web. Save your routes for later. Export or print and share them with others.

Meander includes these Key Features:

  • Plot Anything: Plot on top of any map – be it from software, a website, or scanned.
  • Plot Routes, Measure Distances: Plot routes and then manipulate them – move points around to plan the best route. Meander tells you length of your route in real-time.
  • Save/Load/Export/Print Routes: Plan routes and save them for later, or print and share them with others. Export to JPEG or print as a PDF.
Aug 22

Mac Pilot

Normal price: $19.95
ZOT price: $9.95

Click to MacZOT Click to Download a Trial

Scared of the terminal or can’t be bothered to remember those commands to customize your system the way you want? Mac Pilot is your digital savior. Easily enable and disable hidden features in Mac OS X, optimize and repair your system, and perform numerous routine maintenance operations with the click of a button!

Pro user or not, you can now increase computer performance with only a few clicks of the mouse. Optimize your network for broadband connectivity, completely customize Apple File Sharing, perform essential maintenance without having to remember mind boggling acronyms, and much more. However, those are just a few of the many reasons why Mac Pilot is your choice over Cocktail, TinkerTool and Onyx!

Enable the “cut” option in the Finder, disable menu items for security, disable icon caches, set history limits, erase recently used files, prevent your dock from being modified, turn off all system animations, increase the speed at which windows resize, change which format screenshots are taken in, set a default name and location for screenshots, disable a secondary processor, disable the startup chime, and even change the login window picture!

Put Mac Pilot to the test against the competitors. Features, stability and interface say it all – but why don’t you be the judge?

Aug 21
iLing Euro Pack

iLingo – Euro Pack 2.0

Normal price: $49.95
ZOT price: $12.95

This is the same app that’s a best seller in the Apple retail stores.

Click to MacZOT Try the online demo
Talking Panda iLingo sets a new standard for language translation software. Designed for the iPod, it’s stocked with over four hundred essential words and phrases of the language you want to speak, organized for instant access.Euro Pack 2.0 (French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian)

Organized for Quickness and Ease

iLingo is organized into categories such as: Greetings, Shopping, and Emergency, so if you are lost or stuck without a bathroom, you can find the sentences you need instantly.

A Lot To Talk About

iLingo contains all the basic phrases you’ll need while traveling. To add to the fun we’ve tailored the translator for each country you’ll visit. You’ll be able to find a vegetarian restaurant in Paris.

Perfectly Pronounced

Conventional language phrase books can’t teach you proper pronunciation. With iLingo you can replay the words and phrases as many times as necessary for you to sound like a native.

Local Lingo

Discover local conventions, traditional cuisine and historic landmarks with our customized database of words and phrases unique to specific countries. Going to Germany? Make sure you know how to order some delicious Schweinebraten!