Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Version 1.0.7...

We're planning on releasing version 1.0.7 the week of MacWorld (January 9th) -- all current customers will get a friendly little in-app notice that there's a new version ready, which is a prequel to the full-blown automatic-download-and-update mechanism that's included in 1.0.7. Tim here just wrote it, it's pretty darn nice. I mean, I'm a techy guy, but I hate downloading new versions of apps, opening the DMG, figuring out where the old version is, replacing it, unmounting the DMG, throwing it in the trash, and running the new version. I can only imagine how my mom feels about this process. (Answer: she can't do it.)

Well, with the 1.0.7 version (and beyond) you just click a button, and in a few moments you're running the new version. No muss, no fuss, no fishy aftertaste.

1.0.7 will also feature a couple more bugfixes, and one or two kind of neat features, but nothing earth-shattering. We're simultaneously working on 1.1, which is the version that can download from any Amazon store anywhere in the world, and that one is really cool. 1.1 will be a free upgrade, as well any "." release, while 2.0 (and 3.0, and 4.0...) will require $$$.

Hopefully 1.0.7 be up on our website a few days before the 9th, so you can avoid the huge crush of people by downloading early. If so, I'll post a URL here in a week or so.


Friday, December 24, 2004

Shipping and/or handling.

If you check out our in-app store today, you'll notice that shipping suddenly got cheaper to everywhere. If you dig around, you'll also discover that we ship to more countries now, as well.

Mike didn't want to put out a press release on this because he fears over-exposure. I'm not really sure what that means -- I mean, it's not like we're Paris Hilton here. We're not even Nikki Hilton. Nor Susie Ramada. I don't think readers of Us magazine are going to get tired of reading about Delicious Library, since, uh, they've never read about us in the first place.

Anyways, since we don't have a press release, I'm announcing it here: we switched shipping companies, to our friends at (No, they aren't selling Olympias.) When we launched (a scant month-and-a-titch ago) we had the manufacturer of the barcode scanner drop-ship scanners to our customers, because we had no idea how many we'd ship and thus were worried about stocking a bunch in advance. Our plan didn't work out too well, it turned out, because they weren't prepared for the kind of volume we're doing (they assumed that since we weren't a Windows product we'd have almost no sales... heh), and their shipping department isn't really automated -- it's more intended for onesy-twosey kind of orders. (For instance, we couldn't get tracking numbers for the packages that got mailed off.)

Our new fulfillment company is actually the same guys I hired to do fulfillment for Omni, and they're really great. They also love Mac OS X and are very familiar with it, and they often write little utilities under Mac OS X to make their jobs easier. So, our computers and theirs should get along well.

The big upsides for customers are:

(a) These guys are in the shipping business, so instead of waiting several days for an order to be processed, it'll be processed in from 0 to 2 days. This is what we had hoped would happen with the previous company, but, they were really in the business of making scanners, and shipping was kind of a necessary evil.

(b) These guys are a lot cheaper. Their handling is lower and they use USPS instead of FedEx, which is way cheaper for the same kind of delivery times. We charge our customers exactly what they are charging us, so shipping rates just went down dramatically. (Especially outside the U.S.) (Sorry to all the customers who paid more already.)

(c) We deliver to many more countries now.

(d) Deliveries will happen a lot faster.

(e) Customers should get confirmations when their items have shipped.

So, all in all, this is good thing.


Wednesday, December 08, 2004

What are we working on?

Or, is it more correct to say, "On what are we working?"

Well, I'm glad you asked that question, whether you did it pedantically or not. It's been almost exactly a month since we released our software, and the response has been beyond anything I'd dared to image. Mike, characteristically, is pretty blasé about the whole thing: "I knew it was going to be huge. Yawn." Ok, he doesn't actually SAY "yawn," but it's implied.

I, on the other hand, assumed he and I would making ends meet by dancing nights at the local Chippendale's a month after release. Instead, well, we've hired a second full-time programmer, Tim, (sweet relief!) and a really great support dude, Drew. Many of you may have noticed that your mail to us does not get ignored! This would be due to Drew's efforts.

Tim playing with adding Tiger features, but his main duty for the next little while is going to be helping me get 1.1 out.

What's in 1.1? Mainly, we'll be trying to support a whole lot more Amazon servers around the world, and doing a better job of auto-selecting among the four we already do support.

Adding servers is tricky because Amazon only offers their convenient XML interface for the US, UK, Germany, and Japan. Their other stores, you're on your own. We've got some tricks up our sleeve, though.

One cool side-effect of this is we've found a more reliable way to change barcodes into Amazon numbers for the existing servers we support as well -- this is a big problem with videogames especially: lots of them are listed on Amazon but the XML interface we use doesn't have their UPC stored, so we don't look them up automatically. Our new hack will help us find more titles that are in Amazon but are mis-listed.


Sunday, December 05, 2004

First post!

Hey, look at me, I have the first post! I'm so proud of myself. I've never had one of these before.

So, in this blog the people involved in Delicious Monster are going to talk about our day-to-day experiences (well, the interesting ones) in figuring out what we want to do with our little company, in creating our products, and in getting the word out on them. For the sort of person who reads the rumor sites, we're also going to give hints of upcoming features in here first, as well.

Some things to remember are: the opinions expressed by people in this blog are their own, and are not vetted by Delicious Monster first. So, just because you see someone who works for us saying, "We're adding support for twisted-pair copper flux inducers to Delicious Library 3.0," that does NOT mean it's true, and you can't sue us if we don't, so nyah-nyah-nyah.

[One big reason companies don't like leaking info about upcoming software products is customers will buy the current product based on what they believe is coming in an upgrade, and then if the upgrade doesn't have feature X the customers will be (understandably) unhappy. To combat this, we encourage our potential customers to always buy our software based on whether the current version meets their needs and makes them happy. If not, write us, and then wait until we come out with a version that does.]

Thanks for reading our little blog!

-Wil Shipley
Chief Monster,
Delicious Monster Software