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November 28, 2018

Dominik Wagner: SubEthaEdit 5 – Now free and open source!

It's story time.

Way back in 2003, when SubEthaEdit was still called Hydra, it won a round of the Mac OS X Innovators Contest from O'Reilly. My app at the time, VoodooPad (now owned by Primate Labs), also won a place in the contest. Audio Hijack Pro also made an appearance as a runner up to VoodooPad.

Because of international and political reasons, VoodooPad got first place with an award of a premier level membership to Apple's developer program. This was a pretty big deal! The regular membership cost $500 a year, but it came with a 20% discount on hardware which usually made up for the cost.

The premier membership was $3500, but it came with a pass to WWDC along with 10 hardware discounts. Ten! And a pass to WWDC!

My company was just me, so I only needed one hardware discount. But back in the day, indies helped indies and the hardware discounts were transferable, and I did what was the completely obvious thing to do.

So I sent a couple of the hardware discounts to the folks at Rogue Amoeba (makers of Audio Hijack) and the folks at the Coding Monkeys (who made SubEthaEdit). We were all pretty happy.

Then a few days later I got a call for ADC. "What the heck are you doing?" they asked. I said that I didn't need that many and gave a couple of discounts to them. "Are they doing work for you or something? Because the Coding Monkeys have a student ADC account, and it's not possible for them to have a hardware discounts and we're going to transfer those back to you."

Well crap. OK.

"And what about Rogue Amoeba?". Well, uh- yes. They are doing work for me. Yep. They sure are. Sub-contracting, it's completely official. Long pause. "OK."

To be fair, Paul Kafasis from Rogue Amoeba was helping me out a lot. Even though he's about 10 years my junior, he had been doing indie software development for a bit longer at the time and as far as I was concerned, was also quite a bit wiser about the whole business end of it. I got lots of good advice, and his company got some hardware discounts.

Anyway, that's my SubEthaEdit story. They eventually won an ADA as well, which I'd rather have than 100 hardware discounts.