Many of these projects were created on a shoestring budget, and I did most of my own fundraising. With the exception of two, the products below were my original ideas
...and when I wasn't the sole programmer I was always the lead programmer
Point of Sale (1983) As soon as I had access to my first hard drive, on a whim, I wrote what was essentially a “point of sales” system for the computer store I worked for. It handled invoicing, inventory, ordering, ...almost everything. It pains me that I did nothing with it commercially. This was way before RadioShack was asking people their phone numbers to buy batteries.
Sherlock Document Management (1993) My first commercial app, back when Microsoft still had a limit of 8 characters per filename. Sherlock for Windows replaced the Open & Save As boxes of third party programs with our own. It seamlessly gave the user the ability to give full names to their files. It even had a utility called Watson which let the end user quickly and easily teach Sherlock how to work for any app which we ourselves didn’t have access to. We created a real gem over the next couple of years.
Cortex Telecom (1998) One of the first Voice over IP systems out there. The program would connect local voice calls to our servers in one city to any of our other worldwide servers which would then place a local call in that city. Every three minutes the callers would be interrupted with an audio commercial of about 20 seconds
ModeEleven (2002) A broadcast screensaver. Our screensaver had content that could include video, and was interactive. During downtime the screensaver updated the content for whichever channels the end user was subscribed to. Channels could be produced by individuals or media companies. Users were able to subscribe to multiple channels.
No Name I was putting together a grammar school reunion so I made a quick website to unite people for the event. This was before there was even a MySpace and read this New York Times article it garnered. I did not pursue this app any further as I was committed to ModeEleven and the investors whom I had raised money from.
zReturn (2006) An online system that allowed electronic users to register their items (phones, cameras, etc.) should they become lost. If found the zReturn system would allow the finder to contact the owner while both remained anonymous via either email or AOL IM.
113 (back when AOL IM ruled the internet) Having written so many apps the details of this shareware piece elude me. There was an issue where you would be typing to one person, and another person would IM you and you’d now be typing to the new person and hit send without realizing it. This app kept the IM window you were typing in to the front, yet still alerted you that you had a new message from someone else waiting in the back. Pretty sure I also included a panic hot key feature which made all IM windows disappear without being erased while quieting alerts.
Shhh (2008) While I was writing the code for zReturn, email was still the main source of communicating and all Facebook notifications were coming via email. I found that, and other non-work related emails, broke my work rhythm. So I wrote an app that muted selected email folders whenever they received new emails. If those email folders got new mail, I would receive no sound or icon notifications. The emails remained unread so I never lost any emails. This was a 6 dollar shareware app.