Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Not all its cracked up to be

I recently had my shareware network monitoring tool, PingerThinger, posted on It is getting more downloads than I had expected. I have 3 "versions" of PingerThinger, a free one that monitors up to 10 IPs, and two that cost money that monitor 100 IPs and an unlimited number of IPs.

I was watching the log for my website and noticed something interesting, a people were being referred to my site through sites I had never heard of. I took a look at a several of these sites and noticed a few things: 1) they were all in Chinese and 2) most of them were posting cracked versions of my software. Slate had a related article here. I felt slightly flattered because someone thought my software was worth cracking (although I suspect all the software on is cracked at these sites).

Mostly, however, I felt annoyed. I figure I'm not really loosing any money from it directly. I'd assume most people who would go to the crack sites wouldn't pay anyway, but it bothers me because I'm loosing bandwidth to people who are doing something unethical.

I guess I can be foolishly optimistic and hope they are using the cracked version to see if PingerThinger really can handle the number of IPs they have (it can, don't worry) and then they'll license it. Or maybe I'll say my software is leading network monitoring tool in China :)

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