Free Downloads

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Andy
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Free Downloads

Postby Andy » Wed Sep 10, 2003 10:09 am

As most of you are now aware, the free downloads have been temporarily removed.

The reason for this is due to us exceeding our quota of bandwidth for the month of August 2003. Although the hosting company have not queried this yet they do have the right to either limit future bandwidth or bill us for the extra gigabytes used.

Looking at the statistics we are seeing a rather disappointing average of 1 Pro sale for every 400 downloads and this is something that we cannot continue to support using the current method. It's now clear that our good will is being abused yet again.

Milonic have always stated that products are free for non-profit organizations and this is still the case. We want to continue offering our products free of charge to any entity whose main aim is NOT financial gain. Our problem now is how can we limit the downloads but still offer them to genuine non-profits?

The free licensing scheme is also something that actually costs us money. We have to employ somebody to audit the license requests and approve the legitimate users. This is something that we would like to continue to provide but not sure how we can finance this?

What we'd like from your guys is your thoughts on all of this, how do you think we can combat this problem and still offer free downloads? Currently, anybody who has a license, either Pro or free can download the menu. New users though do not have this ability and we'd like to offer it again. Initial thoughts is to ask for a small admin fee of just a few dollars to cover the cost of free license audits but this means that the menu might not be considered as free anymore, even though officially it is.

Anyway, I'd like to get this fixed ASAP so let me know what you think?

Regards
Andy Woolley
Milonic Solutions Ltd

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Free downloads

Postby 4viggo » Wed Sep 10, 2003 11:46 am


Here is a thought on the subject:
Drop the free stuff, charge a very small fee for a license without support (let's say 5 - 10 £)
Charge a larger fee for a license with support (as is)

I don't think anybody would mind paying a fiver or a tenner for a "free license"

P.S. I have currently following free license:
Your license number is 186285 and is for the use of http://home.online.no/~ga-pauls/
Should i still have the possibility to download a free license for v.5? I would like to upgrade the site to the newest version.

Regards 4viggo ( knut.olav.overby@akerkvaerner.com )
Last edited by 4viggo on Wed Sep 10, 2003 11:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Andy
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Postby Andy » Wed Sep 10, 2003 11:53 am

That would be the admin charge then?

We were thinking more on the lines of 2-3 pounds sterling to cover this, so should be less than five dollars. Less than five bucks for unlimited downloads is a great price but people still expect the menu to be free, anyone else care to add a comment on this?

As for your downloads, once you have a license you can download any of the samples (providing you are logged in correctly) and this is problem we face. To download the menu at the moment you need a license. But to get a free license you need to download the menu, vicious circle.

Cheers
Andy

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John
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Postby John » Wed Sep 10, 2003 3:14 pm

How 'bout this...

I have anonymous FTP on my personal setup with 10Gb transfer. Things have been pretty quiet on that account, so there's plenty of elbow room (unless you've gone over 10Gb!). I can offer that on a trial basis (depends on bandwidth) for the folks who want to try the menu, leaving those who have registered to get the menu direct from Milonic. PHP and MySQL are also available here if we wanted to get fancy and keep some kind of records, and I can even set up a sub-domain for it (milonic.tiggrsuccess.com).

Another thought - perhaps it's time to put a time limit on the free trial period. Offer the full-blown version, but with a built-in 30-day limit. After that, either you register it (free or paid, depending), or it ceases to function.
John

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Postby Maz » Wed Sep 10, 2003 8:08 pm

(Now mad at my computer for crashing at the end of my feedback :evil: )

Factors to be taken into consideration.
1. Menu development exceeded normal bandwidth.
2. Launch & press created an artificial excess of bandwidth.

Suggested Solution.
Create a mirror site for cost effective solution to temporary bandwidth fluctuations.

Non profit status.
Non-profit budget and scope of charitable giving. It looks to me like we now have global organizations on billion dollar budgets under the pretext of employent in underserved communities.

Suggested Solution.
Define a non-profit with a budget under $100,000.

Suggested Solution.
Catch up on current non profit license database to allow download.

Access to non profit license.
If a license is required for non-profit use, then there is a delay before the license is issued. You could require a license prior to download.

Suggested Solution.
Initiate request for non-profit license, state there is a (time) delay in receiving the license, to obtain a license and download sooner suggest purchasing the license for $.

Non Profit Status.
All valid charitable non-profits must have an EIN (employer identification number). This is used in receiving a tax receipt for charitable giving.

Suggested new Internet Foundation law and project for someone.
To create an internatonal foundation to offset funds and deductions internationally for the purpose of internet donations and deductions.

Suggested Solution.
You may still be able to recieve tax deductions based on receipt of small tax deductibles from UK, European Community, and international organizations. (may give you a headache). There might be foundation for support.

I need a nap now ;)

Regards
maz

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Postby Hergio » Wed Sep 10, 2003 11:05 pm

I certainly agree a small fee is required. Most other companies are doing the same thing. I think paying for the cheap license and THEN allowing download is a good idea. Not the other way around, I know it doesn't allow them to download it and try it but you have to draw the line. But...

The other thing that sounds good is if you allow them to download it, we try and put some sort of expiration into it. This would also require us to some how scramble the javascript and also not allow them to download the code from your site using view source. Somehow locking the menu on your site to your domain would be a good idea too to prevent "lifting".

I think if we get a menu builder going it would better allow for the scrambling of code or putting a 'watermark' in it if its not registered.
Dave Hergert
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Postby Ruth » Thu Sep 11, 2003 3:06 am

Well, one thing you might try is putting all the samples in one zip file. I know that when I first came and knew nothing about the menu or how to use it, I downloaded one sample I liked, then I saw something in another sample, I would download that one too. Now, I copy the code at the bottom but for many who don't know how to configure the menu, or who are really code illiterate, for whom html means nothing even, they will just download each sample. With one zip file, that would only be one download as opposed to however many samples there are. You could also put a note or alert or something that tells them when then download one sample, that for other samples they should copy the code on the sample page 'over' their existing sample and save it as 'whatever.js' file it should be. Then they wouldn't have to download anything but one sample.

As to the non profit not being charged, I'd think you could write that off as a business expense, meaning it has its upside, sort of...

There is also checking to see if there are other hosts which provide more than what you have at the same or a less price....

Finally, I believe someone suggested this before, but I think a paypal button for donations would be a good idea. It's supposed to be secure, paypal doesn't charge anywhere near what the credit card companies charge to let you accept credit cards, and I bet a lot of peopel would donate something, even if only a couple of bucks.

Personally, I'm buying the menu, even though I only have a personal site, I just have to research how much the pounds are in dollars. So I know what i'm paying. :lol:

Ruth

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Postby fredlongworthhighschool » Thu Sep 11, 2003 2:52 pm

How about a scheme where you have to register before downloading and then having the download as a password protected ZIP file with the password sent to their email address - barring Yahoo and MSN ones of course.

I also like the donate button. I'd like to donate something in return for my education licence.
Andy Davis
Web Designer & Smartboard Manager

Fred Longworth High School, Manchester, England.

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Postby John » Thu Sep 11, 2003 2:57 pm

fredlongworthhighschool wrote:I also like the donate button. I'd like to donate something in return for my education licence.

Buy a support contract, Andy. Very inexpensive, and available right now. We did for the same reason, and we're edu as well.
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Mirroring?

Postby akenger » Thu Sep 11, 2003 4:57 pm

Is there any reason you can't just set up a few Mirrors (as someone suggested offering up some bandwith?)?? I have my servers coming up back online soon - I have a commercial grade DSL circuit 3MB/768k - I would be happy to set something up to share off some of the DL traffic.

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Postby John » Thu Sep 11, 2003 5:06 pm

Andy's computer has been down due to a power failure, but it's now back up. He's been watching this topic and working on a solution. Stay tuned...
John

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Postby Ruth » Sun Sep 14, 2003 9:42 pm

Just what exactly is a support contract? I can't find that listed anywhere. I checked under products but I don't see any support contract available.

Ruth

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Postby Hergio » Mon Sep 15, 2003 3:26 am

At http://www.milonic.com/pricing.php click on the Details of the professional license and you will see the mentioning of support for one year. This is also included with the other, more expensive licenses. This support allows you to place a help ticket from the home page that will be personally answered by someone at Milonic, and you have MUCH better chances of getting whatevers wrong fixed for you, even if it means them working one on one with you personally or getting it all working for you and then you download it. Where on the forums, we generally tell you what you could/should do and you take it from there.

So its generally alittle better help, its thats even possible, cuz the forums are pretty darn good. (Gotta toot our own horns once and awhile, eh John? :lol: )
Dave Hergert

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"Helping to make the menu better, one :?: at a time."

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Postby Ruth » Mon Sep 15, 2003 7:45 am

Oh, ok. I thought it was something different than buying the menu. I'm saving up to get it....figure it will take about another month or so. :) I still think little donation buttons would be a good thing, some really can't afford to buy, when your income just about equals your outgo, you don't have much left for 'frills' :lol: . But some would really love to be able to donate a few bucks.... :) With the site taking credit cards they could set up a 'product' that's really just a donation of whatever the person wants to give....for those that could afford a couple of bucks, it would probably end up being enough so the really poor ones dont' have to pay anything.
Just a thought
Ruth

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Postby John » Mon Sep 15, 2003 2:49 pm

Hergio wrote:So its generally alittle better help, its thats even possible, cuz the forums are pretty darn good. (Gotta toot our own horns once and awhile, eh John? :lol: )

Every chance we get, Dave. ;)
John

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Postby John » Mon Sep 15, 2003 2:51 pm

innkeeper9 wrote:Oh, ok. I thought it was something different than buying the menu. I'm saving up to get it....figure it will take about another month or so.

Ruth, your extra mile of buying the menu and support, especially in your situation, is most appreciated.
John

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Postby Ruth » Mon Sep 15, 2003 8:18 pm

All the support and help I've gotten in the forum is worth it to me!!!

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Postby John » Mon Sep 15, 2003 8:40 pm

innkeeper9 wrote:All the support and help I've gotten in the forum is worth it to me!!!

Thank you.

You keep us on our toes, darlin' :!: ;)
John

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Free vs FreePlus

Postby mfurf » Tue Sep 23, 2003 1:01 am

Andy et al: Here I am back after a long hiatus due to a project that left me no time for forums. What a neat re-write: I left with Version 3 in full swing and come back in time to be duly impressed with 5.0.

I've had a look at the new tidy and elegant code: this version will be great for generation of menus from a database. Beautiful menus. I am entirely grateful.

Now our site [http://scripturewall.com] is a non-profit [owned and operated by Christian Ireland Ministries Inc.] but just like we paid for the Pro edition of the older version, I have today purchased the same level for the new version even though I could have asked for the non-profit freebie. Not only do I wish to support such wonderful codewriting but I have a suggestion after reading your initial post on the topic of freebies,etc.

We non-profits do not get freebies at the shops, stores or supply houses. We get tax-exemption from the government but we must budget for everything else. There is no reason we cannot budget for the Milonic menus, especially since the prices are so reasonable.

My suggestion is for everyone now eligible for freebies to be charged the basic rate. However, to maintain the honorable and generous distinction between commercial & non-commercial, non-commercial sites would be offered an optional rebate after 3 months [following a single inspection of the website, assuming you have time to take a look].

But the rebate would have to be applied for [you can have a form on your site to accommodate this], and I think that many users, grateful for the menus, will simply not apply. Non-profits could be offered a full rebate and private individuals could be offered a percentage rebate. At the very minimum you would get the 3 month float for each customer, but it's my guess that you'd also reap the whole amount in many cases.

Hey, :) I'm full of good ideas! /mfurf
Oh Saratoga!


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