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Fun with royalties

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johnhattan

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Ahh the fun life of living off royalties. It seems to have become a little quarterly ritual that I end up calling up a software company and telling 'em that they're late with the check or have otherwise munged things up.

This time it's Expert, or more correctly Activision. Not only is the check two weeks late, but it's downright wrong. I've got three products selling through 'em, 24 Games, Arcade Magic, and 40 Games. The contracts clearly say that the products are independent and profits and losses from one product does not affect the others. They've usually done it correctly, but it looks like the transition from Expert to Activision has caused some problems. 24 Games and 40 Games made money last quarter, while Arcade Magic lost money. The Arcade Magic losses are supposed to be carried over to the next quarter, but this time they were subtracted from the profitable products. I've been working for a week and a half trying to get it straightened out, but looks like I'm not getting anywhere.

*sigh*. Such is life. Another quarter, another headache. I guess only four headaches a year isn't bad, though.




Just got my freebie books from AllBooks4Less.com. Service wasn't quite as snappy as Amazon, but I figure that going from zero to 25,000 orders in less than a week has got to cause some bottlenecks. The DirectDraw book looks fairly mediocre, but I might get some mileage out of it. I also got a biography of Thomas Paine that should prove to be interesting.

FWIW, the books aren't in pristine condition. They both appear to have been sitting on a shelf for a year or two. The pages of the Paine book are yellow, and the DirectDraw book has some scratches across the spine. I'm not sure if these are seconds or if they're bookstore rejects. In any case, they're worth the $4.90 I paid, but I'm not sure if I'll go with 'em again.




Speakin' of freebies, I've got a couple of good ones today. The first one goes into the "so simple, I should've written it myself" category. It's a gizmo called CodeKeeper. It's a small utility that manages little snippets of code. If you've got a hundred little pieces of code laying around that are copied from web pages or in email messages, then this is an absolute must. Since I started with CE, I found that I was accumulating bits of code to do interesting things like control the on-screen keyboard, ensure that only one instance of an app would load, etc. This tool has helped make me a lot more organized in that regard.

I'm rather surprised that MS hasn't included a gizmo like this in their IDE, as it seems to be awfully useful. I'm actually rather glad they haven't, though, as they'd likely mess it up with a thousand useless features. As it stands, this tool is small (250k with no extra DLL's required), and it does its job well.

The other one is TDB. Remember flat-file databases? Well, their function had been pretty-much supplanted when spreadsheet capacity went through the roof, but they're still nice to have around when you don't wanna deal with something like Excel or Access. A while back, I was musing about how nice it would be to have a little bug database so I can be a bit more organized than sticky notes and the marker board. Looks like this gizmo will do the trick. This tool does away with a database and form designer in favor of a script language. The script, which appears to be pretty sophisticated, allows you to design your fields and the entry screens.

Once again, this tool is small (300k with example database and help file) and free. I'll probably design a little bug database with it for current and future products. When I do, I'll make the definition file available for folks who want a personal bug database.




Still working on the Java project. Hope to get it all online by the beginning of the year.

My honeymoon phase with Java is now officially over. I've pretty much learned all I'm gonna learn from this project, and I've now just gotta get everything done so I can put it online and get back to more rewarding pursuits.
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