About Steven McLean, The Author of Spell Check Anywhere.
Dear Friend & User,
I am the author of Spell Check Anywhere, and many other software packages. I want to share with you a little about myself so that you will know that this more than just a simple business transaction, but a connection between two people.
I have been programming software for 26 years, since I have been 13 years old. I started by getting hooked on video games. I played them at the local electronics store. We could not afford to buy our own. It was an ATARI 64 console.
I became super at Pac Man. I could play for as long as I wanted without getting caught by those things running after Pac Man. It was amazing to me how something like this, a computer game, could be created. One day I decided that I wanted to be able to program for myself something as amazing as Pac Man.
I asked my father to buy me a computer. I just turned 13 around that time; the computer was my Bar-Mitzvah gift. I soon learned Basic. Within a few months, I learned Assembler. I programmed hundreds of little programs for many years for fun.
Eventually, it was time to enroll in High School. I decided on an engineering High School, where I could learn computer programming. I was accepted. It was competitive, tough to get in.
The computer classes were very easy for me. I stayed for hours, upon hours, in the computer lab programming in the main-frame computer. PCs where just starting out back then.
We were living in Israel at the time. I wanted, when time comes to serve in the army, as it is mandatory to serve in Israel, to join the computer programming division of the IDF.
God had other plans.
We soon had to leave Israel due to financial difficulties, moving to the USA, where I continued to study Computer Science at Tufts University. I was registered for a B.A. in Computer Sciences, but the courses I took were Ph.D. level. I formally earned a B.A., but I studied mostly graduate level courses in Computer Science.
The computer courses at Tufts University were easy for me. I graduated with a double major, Computer Science and Mathematics, with a minor in Physics, in two and half years, instead of 4 years.
I programmed in 2 hours what took other students 2 weeks to complete. Programming was in my blood since a very early age. Whatever you do as a child, like learning to play some instrument, you become exceptionally good at.
About six months before graduating from Tufts University (1997), I opened my software company out of my dorm room, and have been with it ever since.
It has been 15 years now that I run my software company. Spell Check Anywhere, one of my software packages, sold over 300,000 copies.
I enjoy writing software. Making it prefect. Beautiful. Comprehensive. Professional.
I don’t like the motives behind large software companies. The majority of their income comes from stocks, IPOs and investor money, not from actual software sales.
Large companies convince investors with hyped BS to hand them large sums of money, while they make little income from actual software sales.
Since their income is primary from investors, and not from actual software sales, their software products are difficult to use, do no work properly, very expensive.
These companies do not make customers happy. They frustrate customers. A typical customer is not relevant to these large companies as they are not dependent on software sales for their income.
This is not the case with my company. I earn my living by software sales. I lose money by software returns. So if the software is not good, I am lost.
The software must be good. The customer must be satisfied. Otherwise, they ask for their money back. Therefore, I am certain to make good software. The result is that the customer gets an exceptional software package, and loves it. We are both happy.
There is no BS going around in my company as there is with multimillion dollar corporations.
An example of such a BS company is Symantec. They have a big brand name. Even I end up buying software from them. Their software, like their Anti-Virus, is full of bugs, clumsy, slow, and does not have enough options. Despite the poor quality of their software, it’s on store shelves everywhere.
Not once, and not twice, did I buy their Norton Antivirus, only to disable it because it was slowing down my computer to a halt.
This type of nonsense, I do not pull. I have a direct relationship with you. It is true that sometimes there are 1 or 2 bugs in my software that I missed. Yet, as soon as I get an email about it, I fix it, and send a fresh download to the user.
When you call large companies with a bug report, they often firmly try to convince you that it is some other software on your computer that is causing the fault, not their software. When they do acknowledge a bug in their software, it could be six months to a year, or more, before they release a fixed version.
In my company, the turnaround on bug fixes has been a few hours in the last 15 years. It doesn’t matter to me if you are a single user, or a corporation that purchased a site license, you both get exceptional, fast, responsive, friendly, thorough response from me, personally.
Large companies let you talk to some entry-level tech-guy who doesn’t know anything. Wasn’t fully trained. Wasting your time, and causing frustration
Not me. When you send me an email, you are talking with a guy that has 26 years of programming experience. Not someone who has completed a 6-month course.
I have been programming Windows since Windows V3.1, some 15 or more years ago. I know the inner working of Windows because of that. I diagnose, and correct, problems fast, unlike new programmers of the last 5 years.
In the last 5 years, Microsoft has developed so many layers of programming that new programmers are far removed from the inner working of Windows. They really do not have a clue what is going on internally with Windows. Therefore, they waste a ton of time when troubleshooting, going on tangents in the wrong direction.
It is not their fault. The programming books for new Microsoft technologies are purposely vague, and purposely hide the inner working of the technology-behind-the-technology. New programmers are, therefore, in the dark when it comes to understanding how Windows internals work.
To put the new software technologies in perspective for you, consider this:
What I can program today in 30 minutes would have taken me 3 months to program 7 years ago, and was impossible to program 15 years ago.
A program that would have taken 3-4 years to program in 1997 can be finished today in about a month.
This rapid programming is possible because of the advances in software technologies that Microsoft developed over the years. Everything is ready you put it together like Lego. The downside is that the programmer has no idea what is going on inside each Lego piece. You use the Lego, and forget about it.
When something breaks with a Lego piece, new programmers are stuck; they don’t know where to turn to. Old, experienced, programmers know Windows internals, and therefore, find solutions to problems promptly.
I do an exceptional good job at programming. I take care of my customers. I answer emails quickly, within a couple of hours, often within minutes, and make sure everyone is happy.
I am the company owner. When you run into an issue, or have a request, you are talking directly with me, the owner and a professional software programmer. This combination benefits you in two important ways:
- As a true software developer expert, with two and half decades of software programming experience, I diagnose and correct software problems promptly, without wasting time, without causing frustrations, without giving you the runaround.
- As the business owner, I make decisions on the spot to help you out in ways that an employee handling your case, in large software company, cannot, because he or she, doesn’t have authority to make key decisions.
I take care of you personally, with deep software knowledge, and ability to make key decisions on the spot. Unlike a big company, where you are talking to a salaried person, who might, or might not, care if you are happy, upset, or if their software doesn’t work for you. After all, what is a loss of $100 or $40 to a multi-million dollar company?
Take note, I am not trying to sale myself. I am sharing with you my thoughts so that you realize that I am here, that you are embarking on small friendly relationship here when you buy, or just even visit my website, with a true professional computer programmer, and an honest, friendly small business owner.