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Software - Tested and Approved

First, testing comes through use.

There are many products I have used for more years than I care to remember.  Some of my software purchases go back to the late 1970's.  Remember ScriptIt for the Tandy Business System, Model II?  How about those 8" floppy disks?  If you do remember some of that, then you have some inclination of how far I go back.  That's not the first program I remember using - try DOS!  Not the later versions before Windows 3.0 or 3.1.  For other "old timers" out there, do you remember the VAX system?  Yes, my first experiences with computers and software started back in the late 1960's.  Programming language was Fortran or Cobal.  Oh, those Hollerith cards!  Do not bend, fold, mutulate or tear - and they meant it!

Are you an expert?

Sure.  If you do something long enough, whatever that may be, and practice every day then you are an expert in your own right.  Fact is, there are people out there that do not have any formal education beyond 8th grade that are truly experts in doing things.  You should find that encouraging especially if you dropped out of high school or college.  Mind you, I do not suggest you abandon high school or college but if you do, then you'll need to study even more to get ahead.

What constitutes Approval?

When I look at a software program I take the perspective of the everyday user who is just starting out to learn something.  Things such as:

  • Is it easy to learn?
  • Do I need to read the manual before I can get something done?
  • Does the software work without crashing?
  • Does the software do what it is intended to do?
  • Do I feel frustrated when I use the software because it's taking too long to get something done?
  • Would I recommend it to my clients?  (I am a private consultant for computers and their applications to business.)
    • Believe it or not, recommending a piece of software can have its drawbacks, especially if you're involved in the consulting business.  Why?  You'll spend more time trying to train people how to use the software than the cost of the program itself.  That is a major drawback because the client might very well say that, "You recommended this software!"
  • Are their videos explaining major processes?
    • Years ago, a video explaining something was unheard of.  People either learned by talking to their coworker or reading the manual - which nobody wanted to do.
  • Can I intentionally crash the program?

If these standards are met then I would not have a problem recommending a software package.  Of course, in some businesses there is highly specialized software such as the automotive repair business.  The companies that write this software really charge an outrageous amount of money, just for the initial package.  Then to top that off, they sell additional modules.  It is not uncommon for a business to pay in the vacinity of $10,000 for such a package!

No matter what package you buy, I don't believe it's worth such a high price.

Free Is the Best Price! or Is It?

There is an old saying that goes, "You get what you pay for."  Well, not always.

If I were to tell you that you can get a program that costs absolutely nothing and does pretty close to all the functions of a $400-$500 program, would you believe me?

If not, then check out this link and look at OpenOffice.  Watch the video.  Note:  This is only a recommendation.  We are not an affiliate of the company and make no money if you download the product.  It's a FREE download!  Use of the product is also FREE!

Try Before You Buy

There is a company that's been around since the 1980's that allows you to download software for free or purchase it after you try it.  Nearly all of the software at the site is very affordable and is created by programmers who just feel like making another software package.

By the way, did you know that the internet started out as a network that was totally free; main participants were government and education.  Fact is, most of the software you would find on it was freely downloaded and shared.  Programmers would write souce code (a program) and contribute it to the community.  For example, some of the most powerful servers that are around today started out in this fashion - most notable is apache and linux.

So, in a nutshell, when I recommend a product it comes with years of experience behind me and usually some insight.  I always try to find the least expensive software around that can fit the bill, or budget as some would say, to do the job.

You can always come back to this site to see what else I recommend.  Things do change over time.  Just bookmark this site.

Click here to view the index of software.


Many software packages started as either freeware or shareware. Then as they became more popular, they changed to a more commercial base package. The price, of course, becomes very high.

Wayne Strnad uses high-end software for many projects and if the software does not exist, he creates it. For the most part, his work is with databases.

However, there are still many good products on the internet that are absolutely free or are a part of shareware.

OpenOffice Suite

For instance, Sun-Systems offers one of the finest alternatives to a suite produced by one of the largest software makers. It is called OpenOffice. Data can be transported to/from Microsoft Office. You can get your FREE COPY by clicking on this link. This is not a trial version meaning that it will not work after 30, 60 or 90 days from now. It is a complete suite that you can continue to use daily, without any high upgrade costs.

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