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Why is it so difficult to get this software running?

Not everyone feels this way. It is pretty straight forward for those of us who are used to downloading and installing programs from the internet. However, for some people, they just want to use it without the hassle of downloading and installing it. So, why is it so difficult to get this program running?


Why not just a web application?


It would be simple to use if this was a web application. By web application, I mean you enter a URL in your browser, the application loads in your browser, and you just start using it. No installation is required. In fact, this is how many, if not most, enterprise applications are written these days. I know because I wrote enterprise applications for a living.


For many of us, including most gun owners I know, there is a major issue with this approach. Your data is stored on the internet. Once you post data to the internet you lose control over it. Yes, we can be reassured by the hosting servers and web application developers that our data is secure but how secure is it? Also, as a developer, I do not want to be responsible for other people's data stored by my application on the internet.


Yes, a web application would be really easy to get started (no installation required) but at what cost? No thank you. That approach is not for me.


Can't the installation be simplified?


In the old days I could have you download an executable and have at it! That was simple. However, that ended a LONG TIME AGO. As you can imagine, that is just too risky. Nowadays you have to follow certain protocols and standards to get an operating system to run a program downloaded from the internet.


At the very minimum you have to compress your program into an "archive" before it can be downloaded to a computer. Obviously, that means you have to extract it from the archive after you download it. This extra step causes many people to throw up their hands and give up on the program.


Installation can be simplified if a developer can get their application into the Windows and/or Apple stores. However, there are limitations on how applications get into those stores which often require developing the applications in proprietary technologies. Hey, they provide the service so they make the rules. If you want your application in their stores you have to play by their rules. I have not done that. My applications are written in Java so they do not easily comply with the proprietary technologies required to get into the Windows and Apple stores.


So, for now, you have to download an archive and extract the contents before you can use my program on your computers. I am always looking for alternatives and will simplify the installation if I can.


Suggestions


I know lots of people who do not consider themselves computer savvy but they have a friend or relative (usually younger than them) who is. These people simply ask that friend to help them. I know other people who will actually pay an "expert" to do the installation for them.


These are great options. However, why not take a computer course at a local community college? I used to teach "Introduction to Computer Concepts" to business school students. This would be a great way to expand your knowledge AND make life easier for yourself when dealing with computers. Just a thought.


One final suggestion. There really is nothing wrong with paper records. I have been developing computer programs since the late 70's. Back then we used to do a benefit/cost analysis before automating any process. I used to say if a manual system worked why automate it? These days we seem to think automation is the answer even if manual systems work. I have seen first-hand that automation can and does make things worse than manual system.


I strongly suggest that you stick to paper if you don't like computers and don't want to learn how to use them. You will be happier and most-likely better off!

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