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  1.    #1  
    My trial with Verichat just expired, so now I'd like to try out Chatter so I can compare the two.

    But I have a couple of basic questions before I get Chatter up and running.

    First, why do I need to e-mail the Chatter creator in order to create an account on the IM server? Isn't there some automated process? My only guess would be that our e-mail addresses are being collected for some other purpose. I can't imagine that someone with the software engineering expertise to create an application like Chatter could not make a simple web application to collect desired user IDs and passwords and create accounts. With Verichat I did not need to e-mail anyone or even use a web page, it got everything it needed when I first ran it.

    Secondly, why does Chatter need my HotSync ID? Verichat did not need to ask for it.

    Thanks.
  2. #2  
    Your problem is that you need a better imagination... ;-)

    The process of creating accounts for the IM server is tedious and manual, and this is because I have been involved ONLY the "client" side of IM, and NOT on the "server" side (where registration is used).

    This is changing, however, as I am in the process of moving to a new host and a new (very likely automated) system.

    But for now, it takes me a good 2-3 minutes to create each account (painstakingly, and with much love, I might add).

    And when you send me a note, you get an answer that is altogether human (sometimes within seconds, usually within minutes); this is something that I'm pretty sure is beyond Verichat's computer-generated reply system.

    Regarding Hotsync ID, lots of software uses these ID's to generate registration codes and/or passwords that tie an account or piece of software to a particular user. Of course, that's not why I ask - I'm just nosy...

    (Sorry, I've had a couple drinks tonight...)

    Marc
  3.    #3  
    I suppose the problem is not that Chatter uses my Hotsync ID, it's that I have to send it over e-mail.

    And still, the fact that creating an account is "tedious and manual", seems like even more incentive to automate the process, not less. I'm still quite puzzled as to the motivation behind this system and usage of the collected information.
  4. #4  
    Originally posted by mblank
    [B]And when you send me a note, you get an answer that is altogether human (sometimes within seconds, usually within minutes); this is something that I'm pretty sure is beyond Verichat's computer-generated reply system./B]
    Coolest Palm software developer ever! Marc rocks, Chatter is awesome.
  5. #5  
    Originally posted by Im So Unpopular
    I suppose the problem is not that Chatter uses my Hotsync ID, it's that I have to send it over e-mail.

    And still, the fact that creating an account is "tedious and manual", seems like even more incentive to automate the process, not less. I'm still quite puzzled as to the motivation behind this system and usage of the collected information.
    I guess I am missing something here.... Do you think that an automated system of registration is any less capable of harvesting your information for nefarious purposes? Or that a sufficiently motivated bad guy (supposedly one that is monitoring your email) couldn't also be trapping out your data from some self registration website?

    I am a little curious about why Marc uses a manual system, but (shrug) he is incredibly responsive to these requests and many other Chatter questions and problems. It is amazing that you can post a question here or in an email to chatsw and he'll usually personally respond in a few minutes... (Maybe you should get out more, Marc)

    As far the use of the data, he DOES have a privacy policy on the imchatter.com website. A generic bit of boilerplate, to be sure, but still states that you can totally opt out of any use of the information you provide for Chatter.
  6. #6  
    Marc and his Chatter are so far above and beyond anything else you will try with regard to communications for the Treo the small amount of time getting Chatter up and running is inconsequential.

    Marc is a one-man shop who happens to have another career. This is a labor of love for him. He is not a corporation with a team of software developers. And once you try Chatter you will agree that it is an amazing accomplishment and a wonderful program.

    So hurry up and try it out. You won't be disappointed.
  7. #7  
    Originally posted by wmf


    I guess I am missing something here.... Do you think that an automated system of registration is any less capable of harvesting your information for nefarious purposes? Or that a sufficiently motivated bad guy (supposedly one that is monitoring your email) couldn't also be trapping out your data from some self registration website?
    I agree. The only difference I can tell from reading this thread is the customer service. If Sprint provided half the customer service people are receiving for Chatter...

    cash70
    Me = Nokia 5170/Palm III > Kyocera 6035 > Treo 600 > Treo 650 > Treo 700p > Treo 755p > Treo Pro > Palm Pre

    Wife = Treo 600 > Treo 650 > Treo 755p > Palm Centro > Palm Pixi
  8. #8  
    imsounpopular - eMail me and I'll send you a version that doesn't require knowing your HotSync id...

    Marc
  9. #9  
    I can see you are "so unpopular"...kinda needy, huh?
  10.    #10  
    Originally posted by 100thMonkey
    I can see you are "so unpopular"...kinda needy, huh?
    I would call it curious, not needy, as I have never encountered software that required sending a hand-made e-mail as part of the installation process, and since I just used a competing product which did not require it.
  11. #11  
    I use both Chatter and Verichat - each has their strengths. Support with Chatter far exceeds that with Verichat. Have a problem with Chatter and as the others have stated and I know for a fact, action is very quickly taken. As a note, I have two other specialized apps that require a manual setup by the author. It is not common, but frankly, the service provided by Marc and the other two people/companies far exceeds that of many other companies out there.

    Ben

    ---------------------

    Originally posted by Im So Unpopular


    I would call it curious, not needy, as I have never encountered software that required sending a hand-made e-mail as part of the installation process, and since I just used a competing product which did not require it.
  12. #12  
    Im So Unpopular, try not to take it too personally, I think they're just joking with you a little. You have to understand that Marc has a solid repoire with his users, and I think most of them would say he's the last author you would need to be scared of.

    And the some of you, have a little understanding. Seems like a totally fair question.

    I would agree it's a little unusual registration process, but I think Marc just likes to interact with his users this way, so that's cool. Also, I've registered several Palm apps that ask for you ID code. However, I would agree that it would be better if it was on a secure form on an SSL web server, instead of email. I hope that's something you can do at your new host, Marc. You wouldn't have to automate it, just make a form that is secure that you could retrieve from the server.

    BTW, it bears repeating, Chatter is very cool!
  13. #13  
    I was going to take a look at chatter, but this thread has swayed me not to.

    Here's why. (sorry marc)

    1. Manual registration on server. Sorry but the above 'reasons' are merely excuses. It is unprofessional to require potential customers to send an email to obtain an account. Especially as Verichat and Chatopus do not.

    2. Paypal??? Get real. Chatter must be available on Palmgear and Handango, last time I did a search it was not. Using paypal to buy software is unprofessional.

    3. Why is the middle server required. To be fair Verichat and Chatopus also do this, but at least Chatopus uses Jabber servers.

    4. 1-man shop. Yes I'm sure many of the PalmOS 'companies' out there are 1-man shops, but they don't feel that way. My main concern here is what happens when the chatter server goes down and Marc is on vacation or can't get away from his real job.
  14. #14  
    Originally posted by dgoodisi
    I was going to take a look at chatter, but this thread has swayed me not to.

    Then you are missing out on a very cool application and fantastic support.
  15. #15  
    Originally posted by dgoodisi
    I was going to take a look at chatter, but this thread has swayed me not to.

    Here's why. (sorry marc)

    1. Manual registration on server. Sorry but the above 'reasons' are merely excuses. It is unprofessional to require potential customers to send an email to obtain an account. Especially as Verichat and Chatopus do not.

    hmmm.... matlab requires me to send them an email to register my software... they must be unprofessional. pSOS realtime embedded software required me to send them an email to register their software, they must have been unprofessional. (Just because they were in half of the settop boxes shouldn't make a difference.) The registration process detail argument is pretty silly. There are plenty of 'secure' sites out there that are trivially unsecure.



    2. Paypal??? Get real. Chatter must be available on Palmgear and Handango, last time I did a search it was not. Using paypal to buy software is unprofessional.



    Huh? That makes even less sense. I buy many things with PayPal. I buy both hardware and software with paypal and find it an ideal solution. I would much rather pay using paypal than to give out my credit card information.



    3. Why is the middle server required. To be fair Verichat and Chatopus also do this, but at least Chatopus uses Jabber servers.



    Chatter uses a Jabber server.



    4. 1-man shop. Yes I'm sure many of the PalmOS 'companies' out there are 1-man shops, but they don't feel that way. My main concern here is what happens when the chatter server goes down and Marc is on vacation or can't get away from his real job.
    What happens is, Marc gets the server (or the people responsible for the server) back online in quick order. I have been using Chatter for quite a while now. (read months, not weeks) and the amount of time that Chatter has been off line seems to be less than the amount of time that Verichat has been off line. (Although I have no firm numbers to back that up.) Marc has his treo with him too, so emails are answered pretty quickly (think minutes or hours, not days). ... and finally... I keep wondering about that 'real job'? hehe
  16. #16  
    I gotta run to Marc's defense!
    I've known Marc ever since we all got together on this board and talked about trying to put together a free alternative IM solution for the treo... This was almost 1 year ago, and Verichat was still in beta! http://discussion.treocentral.com/tcforum/-t32001/s/h&highlight=chatter.html In that time Marc has developed a powerful application with the help of us here on this board as a pool of beta testers. This went from being a hobby to taking up just as much time as his day job (which is no doubt why he started charging the nominal $20 fee just to cover hosting the server.) The first IM server was just another free IM/Jabber host... When the Treo 600 came out he delivered this version that is even more reliable, and powerful than the first. Sometimes I am in awe becase this man doesn't seem to sleep, answering questions sometimes 3 and 4 in the morning! IMHO if you had to send this guy your hotsync ID by carrier pigeon and your money by way of message-in-a-bottle, it would be worth it! All the people I've ever sold treos to (I work for Sprint PCS BTW) when they see me run his app, that usually closes the sale. Im sure just about every treo carrying person in St Louis that works for Sprint, and anyone that has talked to me here with a treo has this app now. Try it and you'll see!
    ...This ain't a phone or a PDA, It's a way of life!
    for all your multimedia needs, it's gotta be Starrwulfe Ltd!
  17. #17  
    One other thing I would add. Chatter is a relatively new product, recently out of beta. If you're really worried about professionalism and uptime for some kind of mission-critical app, it may not be for you. That would only make sense, no matter what product it is.

    However, if that's the case, that IM is so important to you, I would recommend buying Verichat as well. I did. Well, to be fair I bought Verichat before I had learned about Chatter. It's one of the reasons I felt totally confident about trying Chatter out.

    And after all, it's not like we're talking about a life's savings here! So, if you ever have a serious problem with Chatter, you can use Verichat as a backup.
  18. #18  
    IanL - I'm not sure I understand what you're getting at.

    First of all, Verichat isn't perfect regarding uptime, if for no other reason than Sprint's SMS system isn't always reliable and timely. The Chatter server brings itself back up if it's down for more than two minutes, and it's been weeks since I've had to intervene manually. Starting next month, our 99% uptime will be improved even more with a move to a new server host.

    Another point: One could easily argue that having one fewer servers in the loop (Chatter server vs. Verichat server + Sprint server) is likely to ENHANCE reliability, rather than diminish it, and that therefore Chatter, by its design, a more reliably system than Verichat's. But let's face it ... there is no such thing as perfect reliability on this kind of device.

    (Just after writing this, I noticed this thread ... How convenient!)
    http://discussion.treocentral.com/tc...-t44589/s.html

    I have no problem with you or anyone else buying Verichat, but your argument would lead me to conclude that every Verichat owner should also buy Chatter, wouldn't it??

    Whatever.

    Marc
    Last edited by Chatter; 12/17/2003 at 02:28 PM.
  19. #19  
    I won't deny that Chatter is probably a well designed product, so was betamax.

    The treo 600 is introducing a whole new type of user to the PalmOS world, specifically John Q Public. The following hopefully clarifies my points.

    If you only want to target us geeks, then yes manual registration, paypal, and the like are just fine.

    But if you want to support the brain-dead masses that are about to come onboard then "professionalism" has just as much to do with ease of use, and comfort level than it does with anything else.

    Paypal? John Q Public will not feel comfortable with going to a third party just to give money. As geeks we are well aware of the realities of secure transactions, but the public is not. They want to pay on the same site as the one they browsed to, and they want to see that little lock icon on their browser. You really need to use Handango or Palmgear to collect the money, or do it yourself using a secure server, merchant account, and a payment gateway (authorize.net is not so bad).

    Send an email to get an account setup? Again John Q Public will balk. You gotta make it easy for them. Verichat makes this process painless. (the "demo" forum page will also make them feel all warm and fuzzy).

    Jabber. Not sure it was a good idea to let this out. Chatopus let's you configure for whatever Jabber server you want to use. I would expect the same from chatter. However this might affect the planned revenue stream. Incidently this is the main reason why I haven't and won't register Verichat (I don't want a subscription service).
  20. #20  
    dgoodisi -

    Chatter started as an app that I wrote for myself. A month or two later, I sent it to some folks who had asked about it on TreoCentral. For nine months, I had about 40 testers using Chatter for free, and encouraging me to keep enhancing it. It's now a year later, and I finally believe that it's ready for "release".

    Rather than starting with PalmGear or Handango, I decided to release it myself first to those who have supported the effort during its initial development: the good folks here at TreoCentral.

    I assume it's obvious that I don't particularly enjoy creating accounts by hand (although I do enjoy talking to Chatter users personally); this is simply an interim step toward ... frankly, I'm not sure. Maybe it's PalmGear, maybe not.

    Let's face it - Lots of the stuff sold at PalmGear and Handango is amateurish. Paying by credit card or buying at such-and-such an online site doesn't exactly guarantee excellence; indeed, I'm not sure that it even correlates. What's more, dealing "direct" allows me to charge less and receive the same amount to help support the effort (Handango and PalmGear taking, typically 30% plus of revenues).

    I've done my best to make an innovative, reliable, user-friendly, technically-excellent, and well-supported product. This isn't my business, but it's the way I've always made software in the past. The fact that more and more folks are enjoying Chatter and (particularly) the joys of IMAP email is far more satisfying to me than any potential income could possibly be.

    Anyway, I appreciate the comments. And, for what it's worth, I really do like geeks.

    Marc
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