The Back Story

My name is Jacques Chester. By day I am a software engineer. By night I am a computer science honours student, operator of the Ozblogistan blog network, hobbyist Olympic weightlifter and startup wannabe.

While talking on a thread at Hacker News, I offhandedly made a joke at Trumpet Winsock’s expense.

In a comment below mine, another poster called nailer mentioned that the creator of Trumpet Winsock saw very little money from one of the most widely-used pieces of shareware then in existence. Magazines and ISPs distributed the full version of his software but very few paid for it.

My first experience connecting to the internet was using Windows 3.1, Trumpet Winsock and Netscape 1.22 (I think) to browse the nascent web. Later I wiled away (too many) hours on IRC.

At the time I didn’t have two 50c coins to rub together. Today, partly due to that early internet exposure, I am doing alright for myself.

Well I was struck by the sad story that a man who opened up the internet to millions largely missed out on his fair share of the outcome. I suggested that perhaps we could look for a way to help out the creator.

A poster called badmonkey0001 identified Peter Tattam as the creator of Trumpet Winsock. The two of us contacted him independently — in my case by telephone.

At our prompting Peter set up a Paypal account where you can make donations. I invite you to chip in to reward a man whose work let so many of us open the door, for the first time, to an important part of our lives.

Now hundreds of people have donated at Hacker News and at reddit. And you can too.

5 Responses to The Back Story

  1. cash says:

    Recognising an unsung hero – with cash. I guess recognition is not enough?

    • Malachi says:

      Really?! In a day and age of wide spread lawsuits aimed at feeding the belly of corporate and mostly criminal lawyers and partners.

      You would actually begrudge a donation link put up not by Mr. Tattam but by appreciative geeks who recognize and amazing contribution that helped jet propel the Internet to the heights it enjoys today.

      It’s obvious your one of the types who believe no one has a right to an idea, once the people find out about a product or idea it’s perfectly fine to reap the benefits of someone else hard work with out even missing a beat, thinking nothing of the time and effort put forth by the person you are ripping off.

      The mindset you have displayed tells me that with almost total certainty you know Trumpet is but you have never actually had to configure this application and make use of it to connect to the Internet.

      Your comment is shameful and criminal.

  2. William Gordon says:

    If it’s anything like donation stories I’ve heard before, you should quickly move away from Paypal — they’re not reluctant to close accounts in the slightest if they get a huge influx of money. Happened to a Reddit charity drive and one on Something Awful a while back, too.

    • geeknik says:

      Dwolla is the way to go these days. 25 cents to send/receive a payment. No other arbitrary fees or the risk of them closing your account based on a whim. =) No, I don’t work for them. I just like them.

      • John says:

        Sadly, Dwolla is yet another US-only operation and of no use to Peter Tattam who is one of my fellow Australians. Why is it that you Americans (just 5% of the world population) think US borders define the whole world? When your US economy sucks, have a look at your attitude to trade with the other 95% of the world!!! Ok, you hit my hobby-horse buttons. But you get the idea…