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HercGUI / CTCI-W32 Donations History

For the years 2003 - 2004

Note: you have my word of honor that what I say further below is absolutely true.

January 2003
February 2003
March 2003
April 2003
May 2003
July 2003
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
February 2004
December 2004

Situation Update:     (January 2003)

"The deal" is a bust.  :`(

The company that approached me (I won't mention their name but some of you know it) simply wasn't willing to offer me what I felt was a fair enough deal.

Part of the problem I think might have been that they weren't in much better of a financial position than I was! (nor still am unfortunately).

Basically, they were trying to emerge from bankruptcy and I felt my AdCruncher Proxy program was a way for them to make some fast money (since, because it's already written, would relieve them from having to spend a lot of money to develop it for themselves). Basically they thought they could purchase it from me for next to nothing and just start selling it and thus start making money right away (without doing much of anything to actually earn that money).

Unfortunately (for both them as well as me), I simply wasn't prepared to hand them over to them one of my hard earned pieces of intellectual property (that took quite a bit of time and effort to develop) without being fairly compensated for it. They basically wanted me to "sell it" to them (the complete rights! Source code and all!) for zero dollars and zero cents! (only offering me a mere 3% of their NET revenues in royalties! Yep! Net revenues, not gross! Completely unfair (not to mention unprecedented)(for those of you unfamiliar with such things, basing royalty payments on net revenues as opposed to gross revenues is unheard of for the simple fact that it's too easy for the one making those royalty payments to use simple accounting methods to show zero net income after expenses, thus resulting in not having to pay any royalties at all. Royalties should always be paid based on gross revenues (or per unit distributed (not sold; distributed, since they could easily make your product a "loss leader" by giving away umpteen zillion copies in a promotional campaign and thus if you only got paid for each unit sold, wouldn't earn you anything))).

To make a long story short, they simply weren't financially prepared to offer me what I felt was a fair deal, so I had to turn them down.  :(  

(I don't have a lot of assets to my name. My programming abilities and the programs I write are about all I have to my name, and I'm not about to give them away for nothing. Yeah, yeah, I'm already giving my programs away for nothing, right? Wrong. I'm distributing copies of my programs for free, but I'm not giving away all rights to them -- which is basically what they wanted me to do with AdCruncher!).

Anyway, enough about that. Thanks to "Ray's" nice donation, I actually received almost a Standard Deviation's (SD) worth of donations this month which is good. (And this without me doing much of anything recently to earn it. I haven't released a new version of HercGUI or TunTap in a while now. Hope to do so before too long though, so stay tuned.)

On the horizon I have plans ahead of me to try and start marketing some of my programs on my own this year (or with the help of anyone who's willing to offer such help to me) since I now know that at least one of them ( AdCruncher) is of high enough quality that it might actually manage to sell at a decent enough volume (units per month) to actually make me some money. Then too, there's HercGUI itself too. I've decided another goal is to start selling IT for money too. Yep. You heard that right: I plan to start selling HercGUI instead of just giving it away and simply asking (begging) for donations instead.

Not right away of course though. The version I plan to sell will be a brand new one, completely re-written, so the version you can currently download for free will continue to be free for a while yet. But eventually at some point in the future I'll be stopping development of it, so download it and the upcoming versions now while you still can folks! It ain't gonna be free for much longer!

Well that's it. I need to get back to doing some of these things I've been saying I'm going to do, so on to the donation totals...

Donations received so far:     (since original plea)

  April 2002    $710.00
  May 2002    $400.00
  June 2002    $510.00
  July 2002    $160.00
  August 2002   $1380.00
  September 2002    $135.00
  October 2002    $345.00
  November 2002    $175.00

    (subtotal)       $3815.00
anon   12/5/2002     $50.00
A.D.   12/15/2002     $20.00
J.T.   12/17/2002     $50.00
R.S.   12/17/2002     $250.00

  December 2002    $370.00

TOTAL    (thru 12/31/2002)     $4185.00             ( mean: $465 / month;   SD: $367 / month )

Thank You one and all  to everyone who has contributed so far.   I really appreciate it.

Situation Update:     (February 2003)

Not much to report. I've started development of a brand new HercGUI using this new GUI toolkit I bought and it's coming along just fine (albeit SLOWLY; this toolkit takes some getting used to).

Oh. Melissa (my daughter, the only one in the family that was, at the time, working) lost her job last week.   :(

(No, I'm not making this stuff up folks! Wish I were, but I'm not.)

Donations were about average I guess (almost anyway): two -- one for $150 and another for another $150. I also received $200 from that guy in Switzerland who I made my ClockMon changes for, so there's that too. His donation isn't listed anywhere below because it wasn't a HercGUI or Hercules related donation, but I thought I'd mention it anyway for honesty's sake (i.e. in the interest of "full disclosure").

Once the new GUI makes it to market I should [hopefully] be familiar enough with it to start on a completely different project for a guy in Germany who's been waiting (hopefully patiently, but I'm sure his patience is wearing quite thin about now!) for me to write him a GUI for his mainframe product for a loooong time now. (Sorry M.S! It hasn't been easy on me these past months, not by a LONG shot!)

Well enough rambling. On to the donation totals:

Donations received so far:     (since original plea)

  April 2002    $710.00
  May 2002    $400.00
  June 2002    $510.00
  July 2002    $160.00
  August 2002   $1380.00
  September 2002    $135.00
  October 2002    $345.00
  November 2002    $175.00
  December 2002    $370.00

    (subtotal)       $4185.00
S.G.   1/10/2003     $150.00        (by check)   2
T.B.   1/13/2003     $150.00        (by check)   2

  January 2003    $300.00

TOTAL    (thru 1/31/2003)     $4485.00             ( mean: $449 / month;   SD: $352 / month )

Thank You one and all  to everyone who has contributed so far!   I really appreciate it!

Situation Update:     (March 2003)

New GUI development under way and progressing slowly but steadily.

Laura has landed a temporary job paying slightly above minimum wage that's scheduled to last for one or two months or so. Melissa is still looking for work, and I of course am busy doing my thing. :)

That's it.   No rambling this month.   (Yea!)

Much to do and not nearly enough hours in the day to do them all in, so on to the donation totals...

Donations received so far:     (since original plea)

  April 2002    $710.00
  May 2002    $400.00
  June 2002    $510.00
  July 2002    $160.00
  August 2002   $1380.00
  September 2002    $135.00
  October 2002    $345.00
  November 2002    $175.00
  December 2002    $370.00
  January 2003    $300.00

    (subtotal)       $4485.00
L.M.   2/12/2003     $500.00
V.H.   2/12/2003     $20.00
K.D.   2/28/2003     $10.00
   2/28/2003     ($10.00)       (refund)   3

  February 2003    $520.00

TOTAL    (thru 2/28/2003)     $5005.00             ( mean: $455 / month;   SD: $336 / month )

Thank You one and all  to everyone who has contributed so far!   I really appreciate it!

Situation Update:     (April 2003)

Laura is still working at her temporary job and Melissa is still looking for work (or at least she's supposed to be anyway), and I'm still hard at work developing the new GUI Which is progressing VERY slowly, me being the perfectionist I am).

Donations for this past month were practically non-existent. I received a grand total of TWO donations: one for $10 and another for $20, for a grand total of $30. My worst month yet.    :(

Perhaps that's my own fault. I've been working away trying to get this new version of the GUI written and haven't been very visible on the Hercules list. Perhaps I shouldn't have even mentioned that I'm working on a new version of the GUI. Perhaps people are saving their money to purchase a copy of the new version instead of making a donation for the free version they're currently using. Perhaps. Perhaps. Perhaps.

All I can do at this point is speculate.

What I do know is short of some type or miracle we're once again not going to be able to pay rent (either that or we're going to have our electricity shut off, to say nothing of having money to buy food. It's going to be one or the other unfortunately).

If you're reading this, won't you please, please, PLEASE consider making a generous donation to help keep me going until I can manage to get this new version of my GUI a new version of my AdCruncher Proxy written and available for sale!   (It's still going to be many more months yet before it's finished).

Pretty please?

I'm begging you!    :`(

(sigh!)   (I hate begging people for money...)

Donations received so far:     (since original plea)

  April 2002    $710.00
  May 2002    $400.00
  June 2002    $510.00
  July 2002    $160.00
  August 2002   $1380.00
  September 2002    $135.00
  October 2002    $345.00
  November 2002    $175.00
  December 2002    $370.00
  January 2003    $300.00
  February 2003    $520.00

    (subtotal)       $5005.00
K.S.   3/4/2003     $10.00
H.D.   3/23/2003     $20.00

  March 2003    $30.00

TOTAL    (thru 3/31/2003)     $5035.00             ( mean: $420 / month;   SD: $342 / month )

A sincere Thank You to everyone who's contributed so far.   I really appreciate it.

Situation Update:     (May 2003)

The rent and the electric bill have been paid and a few groceries have been bought, thanks to the generosity of the Hercules community. I thank you one and all. We couldn't have done it without you, believe me.

Our overall situation hasn't changed much (other than the rent and the electric bill being paid of course). Laura is still working at her temporary job and Melissa is still playing her games instead of looking for a job. (Just kidding! She has put in a couple of job applications at a few places, but nothing has become of any of them yet), and I'm of course still working on my new GUI (took a side track down a related road though, but that's drawing to a close and I'm about to return back to working on the GUI itself very shortly).

Donations for this past month were better than usual (thank goodness!), due mostly I'm sure to my pitiful whining about not being able to pay rent (which was (past tense) absolutely true I assure you!), so we're still "hanging in there" thanks to you folks. For that I am sincerely thankful. I honestly don't know what we'd do without the semi-steady income from donations. Probably living in a refrigerator carton under a bridge somewhere I guess.

Anyway, like I said, the crisis regarding paying rent is over (for now anyway) and we're current on our electric bill, so it looks like we'll be able to continue living for another month or so (and hopefully long enough to get this new GUI written, but we'll just have to wait and see) and for that I'm very grateful indeed. A very heartfelt and sincere thank you goes out from us to each and every one of you who have donated so far, and especially to those of you who continue to make donations! [4]

Enough rambling.   On to this months' totals...

Donations received so far:     (since original plea)

  April 2002    $710.00
  May 2002    $400.00
  June 2002    $510.00
  July 2002    $160.00
  August 2002   $1380.00
  September 2002    $135.00
  October 2002    $345.00
  November 2002    $175.00
  December 2002    $370.00
  January 2003    $300.00
  February 2003    $520.00
  March 2003    $30.00

    (subtotal)       $5035.00
H.B.   4/27/2003     $30.00
A.B.   4/27/2003     $50.00
W.H.   4/27/2003     $25.00
D.T.   4/27/2003     $50.00
A.Z.   4/27/2003     $50.00
J.B.   4/28/2003     $25.00
   4/28/2003     ($25.00)       (refund)   3
T.T.   4/30/2003     $100.00
I.W.   4/30/2003     $25.00

  April 2003    $330.00
(aka S.H.)
  5/2/2003     $350.00

  May 2003   (so far)   $350.00

TOTAL    (thru 5/2/2003)     $5715.00             ( mean: $410 / month;   SD: $318 / month )

A very sincere and heartfelt Thank You! to everyone who's contributed so far!   I really, REALLY appreciate it.      :`)

Situation Update:     (July 2003)

There was no situation update for June. I got involved in some Herc changes and kept putting it off and putting it off until before I knew it, July had rolled around. Sorry about that.

Anyway, May and June's totals are below. Both month's donations were pretty good actually (a bit above average), so I don't exactly know what happened but we ended up receiving a past due electric bill anyway, threatening to shut off our electricity. The same thing happened around the same time last year too (see May 2002) and we ended up doing the same thing we did then: asking Hopelink (a charity organization) to help us pay it. Like I said, I don't quite know how (or why) we ended up getting behind on it (since the month's donations were as I said slightly above average), but, well, there you have it. Sh*t happens when you least expect it I guess. <shrug>

Anyway, the past due electric bill has been paid (by Hopelink) so don't worry about it; it's been taken care of.

Not much else to say. Laura is still working (thankfully!) and my daughter is still looking for work (although "laying around playing video games" might be a better description!<g>).  (In all fairness though, she did go out on a job interview but unfortunately she didn't get the job).

As for me, I'm still "doing my thing" I guess you could say. I've finally finished up with some necessary Herc changes for the new 2.18 version (which even as I type this should be about ready to be released any day now) and even managed to find one of those elusive "round tuits" that allowed me to make some changes to CTCI-W32 to support the new 3.0 version of WinPCap (which should be a boon to those lucky enough to have a multi-proc Windows system). I'll be releasing it just as soon as I can.

In the mean time, I've "hired" some people to help me with the new GUI. I say "hired" (within quotes) because I of course haven't actually hired them per se (since I'm not an official employer and besides, have no money to pay them any salary), but they're good friends of mine from way back (we all used to work together for the same company years ago) and are quite competent and, unfortunately, just as broke and struggling as I am. (sigh!) (Why so many older mainframers have such a tough time finding jobs these days I'll never know) (Actually that's not true: I'm pretty sure I do know why so many are unemployed these days, but let's not get into that; I could write volumes on that subject so it's best that we just leave that alone). So I thought I'd help them out by asking them to help me out, in return for a share in whatever profits I (we) may make (if any of course). They were (and are) both quite excited about the opportunity and were both quite impressed with Hercules and my GUI as well (well, one of them was anyway; the other still has Win95 if you can believe it, and thus couldn't actually try Herc out for himself, but what he saw on the web he liked a lot. I'm sending one of the computers that was donated to me to him since his was so old and wasn't powerful enough to run a more recent version of Windows). (Speaking of which, does anyone have a spare monitor and CDROM drive they could send me? My wife's monitor died and our backup monitor (which we dug out of someone's trash) is not that good, and her CDROM drive just doesn't want to work. Thanks.(A new computer system to replace the one I'm sending my friend wouldn't hurt either. And since I'm dreaming, how about making it a dual-proc system so I can test my code to make sure it works correctly on multi-proc systems? ;-)))

Anyway, we're only just getting started ("ramping up" you could say), but I already have a good start on the new GUI already so hopefully it won't take us long to "get up to speed" on this project and maybe have it ready by years end. (At least that's what I'm shooting for anyway. We'll see if we can pull it off (It's amazing how much effort it takes to write a nice GUI application. I had forgotten how long/hard I had to work getting the current one written, which is why I decided (or admitted really) I should probably have some help doing it)).

Well, that's it I guess: new Herc version coming, new CTCI-W32 version coming, and new GUI development "still in progress", so on to the new donations totals I guess...

Donations received so far:     (since original plea)

  April 2002    $710.00
  May 2002    $400.00
  June 2002    $510.00
  July 2002    $160.00
  August 2002   $1380.00
  September 2002    $135.00
  October 2002    $345.00
  November 2002    $175.00
  December 2002    $370.00
  January 2003    $300.00
  February 2003    $520.00
  March 2003    $30.00
  April 2003    $330.00

    (subtotal)       $5365.00
R.S.  5/2/2003     $350.00
A.B.  5/12/2003     $50.00
I.W.  5/26/2003     $25.00

   May 2003     $425.00
P.R.  6/10/2003     $250.00
B.G.  6/13/2003     $200.00
M.H.  6/13/2003     $20.00
D.T.  6/29/2003     $100.00
I.W.  6/30/2003     $25.00

   June 2003     $595.00

TOTAL    (thru 6/20/2003)     $6385.00             ( mean: $426 / month;   SD: $310 / month )

A very sincere and heartfelt Thank You! to everyone who's contributed so far!   I really, REALLY appreciate it.      :`)

Situation Update:     (August 2003)

Things are still very much "touch and go" around here. Near the end of last month (July) it looked like we weren't going to be able to make our rent payment, so I made a plea to the list asking anyone who has not yet made a donation to please do so.

I was of course immediately overwhelmed with donations!  :)

Inside of a couple hours I received over $600 in donations! (with another $200+ trickling in over the following few days) -- more than enough to be able to pay rent.

So what did we do with all that money (besides pay the rent of course)?

Why, spend it, of course! We went out and spent over $400 on food (got lots of goodies we normally can't afford to get (like frozen pizza, and a couple slabs of ribs, a pot roast, etc)) as well as $100 or so on some new videos and books (one being the new Harry Potter book) and a few others misc. things I can't recall right now.

What I wasn't aware of at the time though was a 3 month past due telephone bill for $163 (seems I forgot that I spent some money I didn't have talking to my Dad a month or so ago (who at the time was in the hospital)) along with a current bill coming due on Aug. 14 for $76 (which includes a 1.5 hr. long distance call to one of my friends in Texas who is going to help me write this new GUI), so, believe it or not, even though we received much more than what we originally thought we needed, we're now, after the fact, right back to being broke again! (sigh!) Sorry about that. Guess we shouldn't go so crazy when we get a few extra dollars in donations, but when you're poor and end up having to cut corners and deny yourself the simple luxuries that others usually take for granted for so long, it's real easy to go slightly overboard when you end up getting a few extra dollars you didn't expect. We'll try to be more careful from now on.

So anyway, it looks like the release of Herc 2.18 is imminent and I'm now back to trying to get re-started on writing this new GUI, sooo ... since there's really not much of anything else to report, I guess it's on to this months donation totals...

Donations received so far:     (since original plea)

  Total for 2002   $4185.00
  January 2003    $300.00
  February 2003    $520.00
  March 2003    $30.00
  April 2003    $330.00
  May 2003    $425.00
  June 2003    $595.00

    (subtotal)       $6385.00
A.H.  7/21/2003     $50.00
I.W.  7/22/2003     $25.00
R.P.  7/24/2003     $25.00
M.L.  7/26/2003     $20.00
D.S.  7/26/2003     $500.00
M.L.  7/26/2003     $100.00
C.L.  7/26/2003     $20.00
J.B.  7/26/2003     $5.00         (refunded in Oct.)
A.K.  7/26/2003     $50.00
J.T.  7/26/2003     $20.00
N.H.  7/26/2003     $25.00         (refunded in Oct.)
T.H.  7/28/2003     $20.00
B.K.  7/28/2003     $20.00

   July 2003     $880.00

TOTAL    (thru 7/31/2003)     $7265.00             ( mean: $454 / month;   SD: $320 / month )

A very sincere and heartfelt Thank You! to everyone who's contributed so far!   (and especially to those who continue to contribute!)
I really, REALLY appreciate it...   .. a LOT!      :`)

Situation Update:     (September 2003)

(Donation totals only; see October 2003 situation update further below for combined narrative)

Donations received so far:     (since original plea)

   Total for 2002   $4185.00
   January 2003    $300.00
   February 2003    $520.00
   March 2003    $30.00
   April 2003    $330.00
   May 2003    $425.00
   June 2003    $595.00
   July 2003    $880.00

    (subtotal)       $7265.00
L.W.  8/17/2003    $10.00
J.Y.  8/22/2003    $100.00
I.W.  8/24/2003    $25.00
P.F.  8/30/2003    $20.00
R.F.  8/31/2003    $50.00

   August 2003    $205.00

TOTAL    (thru 8/31/2003)     $7470.00             ( 2003:  mean: $410 / month;   SD: $243 / month )

Situation Update:     (October 2003)

Well, here it is, October 7th, and I'm only now getting around to [finally!] updating my donations web page (which I haven't done for over two months). Sorry about that, but things have really been busy these past few months in the world of Hercules.

In case you haven't heard yet, a new version of Hercules is finally out: Hercules version 3.0, with Dynamic Loader and Shared Devices support. Really cool stuff!

Of course, I had only a small part in both (well, actually I had no part at all in the Shared Devices change; that was all Greg Smith's fantastic doing, but I did help Jan Jaeger out a bit with the Dynamic Loader part), but even so, I was nonetheless kept quite busy with many other changes for version 3.0, some of which were:

And if that weren't enough, I also released a new version (or rather will be releasing in a few hours here, as soon as I finish with this donations web page) a new updated version of HercGUI too with some needed fixes and enhancements to go along with the new Hercules, so needless to say, I've been one busy fish!

(Whew!)   Time for a breather.   :)

Anyway, given all the above, I hope you'll now forgive me for not having updated my donations web page on time like I usually do.   :)

I also hope you'll forgive me for not having had much time to work on the new HercGUI either for several months now, but now that Hercules itself is out of the way -- and now that Hercules has Dynamic Loader support -- I should be able to get back to working on it and [hopefully] knock out an initial release of the new GUI by early next year or so if things go well.

Part of the problem is whenever I concentrate on working on either the GUI and/or Hercules itself, people stop donating (maybe because they think I'm not doing anything?!) and my donations stream dries up (as you can see for yourself above and below), and I very much depend on a steady stream of donations in order to survive (literally!) from month to month.

For example: here it is October 7th and we still haven't paid our rent. I had to tell our landlord today we wouldn't be able to pay it until Thursday (when Laura gets paid) because donations have been so light these past two months. That's what happens whenever I stop being "visible" in the group and concentrate on what I really should be doing: writing cool code!

So if you haven't yet made a donation (or even if you have but it's been a while since the last one), I'd very much appreciate you taking the time to make one today. We (my wife, my daughter and I) really need them in order to survive. Honest. I'm not making this stuff up.

Anyway, enough rambling and enough whining; on to September's donations totals.   (August's are above)

Donations received so far:     (since original plea)

   Total for 2002   $4185.00
   January 2003    $300.00
   February 2003    $520.00
   March 2003    $30.00
   April 2003    $330.00
   May 2003    $425.00
   June 2003    $595.00
   July 2003    $880.00
   August 2003    $205.00

    (subtotal)       $7470.00
W.K.  9/11/2003    $10.00
D.T.  9/17/2003    $100.00
J.B.  10/07/2003    ($5.00)     (7/26 donation refund)
N.H.  10/07/2003    ($25.00)     (7/26 donation refund)

   September 2003    $80.00

TOTAL    (thru 9/30/2003)     $7550.00             ( 2003:  mean: $374 / month;   SD: $252 / month )

Thanks again to everyone who has contributed, and who continues to contribute. Laura, Melissa and I REALLY appreciate it.

Situation Update:     (November 2003)

Several items of good news, and one item of [slightly] bad news.

First, donation totals this month were way above average, thanks largely to one HUGE donation (see below), so things are, for the moment, okay (financially speaking).

I say "at the moment" because, even though we got lots of money this month (way more than what we normally get), "past performance is no guarantee of future results" as they say. As one can easily verify for themselves (by simply reviewing previous donations history), the "stream" of donations is not very consistent. It tends to come and go. Sometimes it's good. Other times it's not. Thus, just because this months' totals are way above normal, that doesn't mean we no longer need your donation(s). We still very much do! As I've said in past progress reports, we very much depend on a [semi-]steady stream of donations in order to survive, so if you haven't yet made a donation, we'd very much appreciate you making one today. Thanks.

The second item of good news is the government (Department of Social & Health Services, i.e. "Welfare") has finally approved our application for assistance! Starting November 1st, we'll be getting $159/month in Food Stamps through January 2004. (At the end of January we'll have to re-apply again.) Also, since we've now been approved for government assistance, we're also automatically approved for telephone assistance as well. Our phone bill will, according to the phone company, be reduced by about $12-$15 per month. (Not much, but hey, every little bit counts!)

That's basically it for the good news (other than the fact that I also finally managed to release another new version of HercGUI this past month (two of them back-to-back as a matter of fact), but then most of you should already be aware of that), which brings us to the "bad" news: Melissa is still unemployed.   :(

I don't feel it's good form to publicly bash (bad mouth) my own daughter, but suffice to say my wife and I are having a hard time dealing with the fact that she doesn't seem all that interested in finding a job. It's starting to really tick us off. But enough about that. Like I said, I don't wish to lambaste her publicly. I only really mentioned it because I promised you all that I would always be completely open and honest about my present financial situation and not hide anything. Thus I felt somewhat "duty bound" to at least mention it. Sorry.

Anyway, enough about that...   On to this months'  [rather impressive!]  donation totals!   :)

(p.s. I'm currently working on a new TunTap32.dll. Expect a new version to [hopefully] be released sometime this month (November) if things go well)

(p.p.s. No progress on the new GUI yet; too busy with Herc, the old HercGUI and CTCI-W32 (TunTap32) at the moment, not to mention the fact that one of my partners that's supposed to be helping me with it is experiencing severe hardware problems (his hard drive crapped out on him and he's as financially broke as I am unfortunately![*]))

[*] But I sent both him and my other partner some money to try and help them out (since this months' donations total was so nice, and since they need it just as much as I do!), so hopefully we'll be able to get up to speed on this project (once I get this new TunTap32 out of the way of course).

Donations received so far:     (since original plea)

   Total for 2002   $4185.00
   January 2003    $300.00
   February 2003    $520.00
   March 2003    $30.00
   April 2003    $330.00
   May 2003    $425.00
   June 2003    $595.00
   July 2003    $880.00
   August 2003    $205.00
   September 2003    $80.00

    (subtotal)       $7550.00
I.W.  10/1/2003    $25.00
A.G.  10/9/2003    $30.00
M.R.  10/9/2003    $50.00
J.T.  10/9/2003    $50.00
R.P.  10/9/2003    $20.00
J.T.  10/9/2003    $25.00
S.B.  10/9/2003   $1200.00   (Wow!!)
J.M.  10/10/2003    $50.00
U.J.  10/13/2003    $15.00
C.K.  10/15/2003    $25.00
A.W.  10/24/2003    $100.00
I.W.  10/29/2003    $25.00
K.K.  10/30/2003    $10.00
D.D.  10/30/2003    $10.00

   October 2003   $1635.00  !!!       :`)

TOTAL    (thru 10/31/2003)     $9185.00             ( 2003:  mean: $500 / month;   SD: $447 / month )

Thanks again to everyone who has contributed, and who continues to contribute (but especially to S.B.!). We all really appreciate it.   :`)

Situation Update:     (February 2004)

(No narative this month, only donation totals; too depressed)       :(

Donations received so far:     (since original plea)

   Total for 2002   $4185.00
   January 2003    $300.00
   February 2003    $520.00
   March 2003    $30.00
   April 2003    $330.00
   May 2003    $425.00
   June 2003    $595.00
   July 2003    $880.00
   August 2003    $205.00
   September 2003    $80.00
   October 2003   $1635.00

    (subtotal)       $9185.00
A.B.  11/6/2003    $50.00
P.J.  11/26/2003    $20.00

   Novenber 2003    $70.00
D.T.  12/20/2003    $100.00
I.W.  12/24/2003    $50.00
P.O.  12/24/2003    $50.00

   December 2003    $200.00
N.H.  1/23/2004    $25.00

   January 2004    $25.00

TOTAL    (thru 1/25/2004)     $9480.00             ( 2003:  mean: $439 / month;   SD: $431 / month )
            ( past 3 months:  mean: $98 / month;   SD: $74 / month )     :`(

Thanks again to everyone who has contributed.

Situation Update:     (December 2004)

Well, what can I say? I'm no longer depressed! :))

My pitiful whining near the end of January caused a sudden flood of donations (just as it seems it always does) and we were able to pay rent and buy food, so a big thanks to all of January's donators for that.

The next situation update item I should probably mention is just what the hell I've been doing for the past year seeing how I've been pretty much ignoring all email and keeping for the most part a rather low profile of myself for all these months (which is rather atypical of me to say the least).

Well, for one thing, I've been working! :)

Yep. 'Tis true. Someone contacted me around May of this year and hired me to do temporary part-time Hercules related contract work for them for a few months. MAN did THAT help a lot! It's been years since I've enjoyed having so much money! (Granted, it's not nearly as much money as I used to make but it was a sh*tload more than I was making (which was next to nothing at all even taking sporadic donations into consideration).

Anyway, I managed to earn myself (man, is that a nice word or WHAT?! "Earn!" I actually "earned" an income! Feels damn good to feel useful and wanted again) some much needed income for a few months and used the money to upgrade my hardware and sock away a couple of grand into the old Savings account for those "rainy days" when I'll be needing it (which won't be long at the rate I'm burning through it I can tell you!).

As a result I've taken down my hardware donations and my checking account web pages. (I only put them up so you could see how truly poor I was but now that I'm [temporarily] no longer poor, their need no longer exists so I've taken them down).

The next thing I should mention is that I'm unfortunately no further along in my plans to create a brand new whiz-bang HercGUI for you. The project seems to have temporarily stalled due to other things that keep cropping up (not to mention the fact that "all the pieces aren't in place yet" in order to proceed; that's what I was working on when the world suddenly changed on me), so if any of you are still waiting for this fancy new HercGUI of mine, DON'T! It's still going to be quite a while before it's finished I'm afraid. (Truth be told, I haven't even had time to work on it at all this past year amazingly enough; too busy with other things and trying to lay the groundwork so that I can begin work on it again).

The last thing I should mention is simply my sincerest apologies to all of you who made a donation this past year and haven't received a personal thank-you from me. I feel really bad about that, but, well, allow me to explain.

Whenever I get involved in Hercules (i.e. am active on the Hercules list helping people, answering emails, dabbling in Hercules development, etc) it tends to suck up all of my free time. All of it. So much that my other many unfinished projects end up sitting gathering dust. And it's these other projects that I very much need to make progress on in order to have all the pieces necessary in place in order to make the new HercGUI (not to mention my other projects like AdCruncher and a few others I have in mind) a reality instead of the pie-in-the-sky dream it is right now.

Thus my (albeit reluctant) decision to [temporarily] "go away" for a while so I could concentrate on my work in the HOPE of managing to make enough headway so as to maybe actually make some progress on the damn thing.

At least that was the plan anyway.

Then along came the Hercules contract work I mentioned, and, well, "the rest is history" as they say.

Bottom line is I'm unfortunately no further along (well, not MUCH further; I did make a little bit of progress) in my plans than I was almost a year ago.

But the GOOD news is that now that I have a little bit of money and some newer hardware to work with (and now that, due to the money I've earned, I don't have to rely so much (at least for a little while longer anyway) on donations to survive), I hope to start fresh this coming year at trying to turn my plans into reality.

At least that's the plan anyway. :)

I'll try to be active on the list for a SHORT while during the initial release phase of this new version of HercGUI, just as I plan to do a bit of Hercules-development-proper work too (i.e. Hercules related and not HercGUI related), but once that's out of the way (and I'm guessing a month or two here) I'll be "going away" again to concentrate on my work in the hopes of eventually being able to complete all these things I've been wanting very much to do, only surfacing on occasion to beg for money whenever whatever I've got runs out.

In the plans for the upcoming year (we'll see how much I can accomplish out of all this!) are:

(not necessarily in order)

  1. Port Hercules entirely to Win32 (i.e. get rid of Cygwin completely!)
  2. Release a slightly newer version of AdCruncher
  3. Release a new version of CTCI-W32.
  4. Release an initial alpha/beta version of the "New" HercGUI
  5. Spiff up and add eCommerce support to my new domain
  6. Other miscellaneous programming projects/ideas.
In short, I've still got a LOT of hard work cut out for myself so it's still going to take a lot of effort on my part to try and accomplish as much of this as I can (especially given that I'm pretty much doing it all by my lonesome).

So hang in there with me folks and keep those donations coming! I may not need them right now, but in all likelihood I will be needing them later on once the money I've got is used up, so make that donation today if you can, and help contribute to the survival of a sincere, hard working and unfortunately still unemployed fellow mainframer!

Thanks. :)

(p.s. And for those of you still waiting for a "Thank-You" from me for your donations, hang in there! You will be receiving one, I promise! Just as soon as I get this new HercGUI released I'll be sending everyone their long overdue Thank-you's)

Donations received so far:     (since original plea)

   Total for 2002   $4185.00
   Total for 2003   $5270.00
N.H.   1/23/2004    $25.00
D.S.   1/27/2004    $100.00
B.S.   1/27/2004    $100.00
I.W.   1/27/2004    $25.00
P.S.   1/27/2004    $500.00
J.T.   1/27/2004    $25.00
M.B.   1/28/2004    $50.00
F.H.   1/28/2004    $5.00
B.H.   1/28/2004    $25.00
B.B.   1/28/2004    $30.00
A.G.   1/28/2004    $50.00
G.M.   1/28/2004    $50.00
R.P.   1/28/2004    $25.00
J.T.   1/28/2004    $50.00
T.S.   1/28/2004    $20.00
A.T.   1/28/2004    $20.00
D.W.   1/29/2004    $40.00
S.G.   1/29/2004    $100.00
A.B.   1/29/2004    $50.00
A.W.   1/29/2004    $150.00
J.B.   1/29/2004    $10.00
J.B.   1/30/2004    $25.00             (different person)

  January 2004   $1475.00
M.C.   2/1/2004    $100.00

  February 2004    $100.00
D.T.   3/2/2004    $25.00
T.A.   3/17/2004    $50.00

  March 2004    $75.00
J.R.   4/30/2004    $500.00

  April 2004    $500.00
A.B.   5/17/2004    $50.00

  May 2004    $50.00
  June 2004    $0.00
  7/1/2004    $700.00             (contract income!)
S.G.   7/7/2004    $300.00             (by check)
  7/17/2004   $2569.50             (contract income!)

  July 2004   $3569.50
B.J.   8/15/2004    $100.00             (by check)
  8/17/2004   $2960.00             (contract income!)

  August 2004   $3060.00
K.P.   9/11/2004    $2.00
J.Z.   9/17/2004    $10.00
A.B.   9/20/2004    $50.00
  9/22/2004   $2587.00             (contract income!)

  September 2004   $2649.00
  October 2004    $0.00
  November 2004    $0.00
  December 2004    $0.00

      (2004)       $11,478.50

TOTAL   (since April 2002)     $20,933.50

Thanks again to everyone who has contributed. Special thanks to those of you who've donated several times over the past months/years, and to those who continue to make regular donations. Your kindness is appreciated more than you could know.

And a special SPECIAL thank you to those of you (and you know who you are!) who believe(d) enough in my abilities to hire me to do part-time Hercules contract work for them. Life would hardly be worth living without people like you. You're the greatest.   :`)

Here's that link again:

Make a donation via PayPal - It's fast, easy and secure!

(Remember, I'm not trying to get rich off this deal; I'm simply trying to survive!

(if you wish to donate by personal check, see my resumé for my mailing address)

My Promise to You

I hereby promise to update this page as my situation changes and donations come in (or not), and if you're one of those people who needs proof, (just to be sure I'm not making all this stuff up just to "get rich" somehow), I stand by ready and willing to work with you in providing whatever evidence you might need to satisfy yourself that what I say above is absolutely true.

   Private joke.  ;-)

   In the interest of "full disclosure", I have actually received a few other donations by check too ($100, I think, from S.G. and $50 I believe from R.T. and maybe another one but I forget off the top of my head since they were so long ago), but at times in the past whenever I'd update this web page I'd always use my record of emails from PayPal as the source of information for donation amounts and thus inadvertently overlooked a few non-PayPal donations a few may have made. I'm not trying to be dishonest or to "snub" those few who have donated by check. I'm just not that organized, that's all. Most of the donations are simply made via PayPal, and since I always receive an email whenever anyone donates via PayPal, it's simply easier to use that as the record of donations, that's all. BUT, in the interest of "full disclosure" (i.e. honesty), I thought I'd at least mention via this footnote that yes, I have indeed received a few other donations by personal check too. Not enough to significantly change the above reported totals in my opinion, but nevertheless I have received a few. Just thought you should know that.

   Some people send me donations even though admitting that they too are unemployed! Knowing from personal experience all too well how much it sucks to be unemployed, I always refund all such donations, explaining:


I'm returning your donation not because I don't appreciate it (because I DO appreciate it very much!), but because you're unemployed.

I don't expect people who are unemployed to feel they have to pay for HercGUI. In fact, just the opposite: I want unemployed people to take comfort in the fact that they DON'T have to pay to use HercGUI.

Being unemployed sucks. Believe me, I KNOW.

So while I certainly DO, as I said, very much appreciate your kindness, I would therefore appreciate the opportunity to return that kindness back to you in the form of a refund.

Please, <whoever>, feel free to use HercGUI to your heart's content without feeling any guilt whatsoever. People who are working, yeah, I'd expect them to make a small donation.

But not people who are unemployed. People who are unemployed should be able to use HercGUI for free.

So please, enjoy HercGUI for free, and please don't feel guilty about not making a donation.

Best wishes and warm regards,

"Fish" (David B. Trout)

   Several people have made new donations in addition to the ones they've already made in the past!   To that I am VERY grateful indeed!   You guys are the absolute greatest of all!   As for the rest of you who haven't donated yet  (and are lucky enough to still be employed!),  well...  here's hoping you'll at least feel compelled enough to pay for a copy of my new GUI  (once I get it written of course).   ;-)