International Shareware Day – December 11, 2021

International Shareware Day is celebrated on the second Saturday of every December. This year, the day will be observed on December 11. Programmers spend hours in front of a computer to make modern life better and easier. Shareware is software that is shared as “try before you buy”. Shareware includes software for hundreds of programs, among others, Donkey Kong, WinZip, YouTube Downloader, antivirus programs, and Adobe Acrobat 8. When the trial period for the shareware is over, the user either starts paying or has to stop using the program. This helps the programmers to find any bugs in the trial phase of the program, and also makes potential users aware of what is out there.

History of International Shareware Day

Andrew Fleugelman created the first piece of software called ‘freeware’, a PC-Talk telecommunications program. At that point, the term “freeware” was considered a misnomer and Fleugelman thought of it as “an experiment in economics more than altruism”. The term ‘shareware’ was first used for the program PC-Write, a word-processing tool, created by Bob Wallace in 1983. Prior to the widespread Internet access, shareware was often the only economical way for independent software authors to get their product onto users’ desktops.

Only a handful of shareware and freeware downloads are ever paid for. This makes it difficult for a programmer to rely on creating shareware for a sustainable income. It is a cause for concern since this mode of software production has created some of the most wonderful software tools that have been made available to users around the globe. This includes virus protection software, audio, and video file players, and many other applications. The lack of money in shareware, or, more precisely, the unwillingness of users to pay for shareware, means that a lot of this software isn’t updated regularly and becomes redundant with time.

Things as common as electric windows in your car, the blender for making healthy smoothies, and a smartphone taxi app are only some daily life examples of shareware and computer programs that we don’t think about paying for. The applications that help us save money and avoid paying for unnecessary expenses, often leave their creators underpaid! International Shareware Day is a day dedicated to the programmers who come up with innovative ways to make our lives easier, more efficient, and productive. This day was created to remind shareware users about the value they’ve gained through their use of these programs, most of them for free or low fees.

International Shareware Day timeline

1982
First Freeware

Andrew Fluegelman creates a program for the IBM PC called PC-Talk.

1983
First Shareware

Bob Wallace produces PC-Write, a word processor, and calls its programming shareware.

Late 1980s
Shareware Becomes Popular

Shareware is widely distributed over online services, bulletin board systems, and diskettes.

Early 1990s
Shareware For Games

Shareware distribution becomes a popular method of publishing games, especially for smaller developers.

International Shareware Day FAQs

When was the first shareware released?

Shareware was first introduced in the early 1980s, with its popularity rising in the 1990s as personal computing moved into the mainstream in both offices and homes.

Is it safe to download shareware to my computer?

Shareware is usually safe but can sometimes be a potential vehicle for delivering viruses and other malicious payloads. One needs to examine the reviews of shareware and use malware programming before clicking.

Is there a paywall for shareware software?

You often find shareware in formats that paywall advanced features or offer the full package for a limited time. Some software might even be fully functional and backed only by donations.

How To Celebrate International Shareware Day

  1. Pay the programmer

    Most shareware is available for free for a period of time. Celebrate International Shareware Day by sending off a few payments to the programmers of your favorite shareware apps and making regular use of them.

  2. Purchase a license

    If you are using shareware, be sure to tell your friends about it. You should also encourage them to purchase a license or make a donation to the programmer.

  3. Post on social media

    Spread the word by sharing #InternationalSharewareDay on social media. Thank a programmer friend by giving them a shout-out.

5 Facts About Computers That Will Blow Your Mind

  1. Hard drives have come a long way

    The first hard drive could only hold 5 MB of data, while modern smartphones have 500 MB of Random Access Memory.

  2. Hard disks have slimmed down

    The first hard drive cost $40,000 and weighed 550 lbs, while the average hard drive now weighs 1.6 pounds.

  3. 80% of emails sent daily are spam mail

    Most of these emails are ads, newsletters, and other junk emails, and most often scam emails sent out in bulk.

  4. The first computer mouse was made of wood

    Douglas Englebart invented the first computer mouse in 1964, consisting of a wooden shell and two metal wheels.

  5. Computer viruses are a fairly new phenomenon

    Creeper, written by Bob Thomas in 1971, is the first computer virus, infecting one computer after another with a printer command.

Why We Love International Shareware Day

  1. It celebrates unsung parts of our lives

    International Shareware Day celebrates unsung software developers. They have made our lives easier by developing software that we use every day in virtually every appliance we own.

  2. It defines modern existence

    Modern existence would be unimaginable without shareware. The simplest tools at our disposal use some kind of shareware software. This day also looks at how shareware has become indispensable to modern life.

  3. A day to say thanks

    Even though we use shareware regularly, we don’t really say thanks to the developers. International Shareware Day is also about saying thanks to those who work so hard to develop shareware.

International Shareware Day dates

YearDateDay
2022December 10Saturday
2023December 9Saturday
2024December 14Saturday
2025December 13Saturday
2026December 12Saturday

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