>From: email@example.com.EDU.AU (Jenny Edwards)
>Subject: Macintosh programming
>>Date: Wed, 3 Jul 1996 18:15:58 +1000
>>From: Leo.Prendergast@nospam.uts.edu.au (Leo Prendergast)
>>Subject: Macintosh programming
>>I have a problem and am not sure how to proceed. Perhaps you can help ?
>>I am looking for assistance from a programmer who is familiar with
>>Macintosh and hopefully with a Program called 4th Dimension, a relational
>>I organised some 18 months ago for an application to be written by a
>>contracted programmer to calculate child care fees and childcare assistance
>>and keep parent fee accounts for our four UTS child care centres. While
>>there are a number of DOS & Windows programs available to do this job, I
>>have not found any MAC programs.
>>Unfortunately we made a couple of errors in not specifying matters clearly
>>enough in our original agreement with the programmer. He produced a program
>>that worked and did the job we required. We tested and started using it at
>>one of our centres and it was great. Insearch came to look at it and said
>>it seems quite good and were keen to be involved in marketing it to other
>>outside child care centres. However, first we needed to get it running at
>>our other centres to test it further.
>>Thata when our problems started. To operate it at other centres we needed
>>copies of the Runtime version of 4D for each centre. We found we could no
>>longer buy the software. Our contracted programmer had worked in an out of
>>date version (V. 2) of the software. As the software version was out of
>>date we could not buy runtime programs to enable us to use the program
>>unless we updated to the new version of the software.
>>We updated to the new version (v.3) and since then our program has had a
>>significant level of bugs. We have had our programmer back on 5 occasions
>>since then and each time he fixes something but then another thing is
>>wrong. I am concerned that our programmer has not kept up to date (as
>>evidenced by his use of obsolete versions of software), and that we now
>>face endless problems over the next few months while he learns how to use
>>the new version at our expense !! I no longer have confidence that he knows
>>what he's doing.
>>The software distributor states that we should experience no problems in
>>converting to the new version. I have spoken to a couple of other companies
>>who use 4D programs who confirm that they had no problems when they updated
>>a couple of years ago.
>>Since there is no-one in UTS Child Care with any programming knowledge we
>>are in a bind. We cannot make an independent assessment of the program and
>>can only rely on the word of our original person, who says each time that
>>everything should now be right. We do not know if the progam is very close
>>to being alright or whether it has major problems. If we spend more time
>>and money now are we throwing good money after bad ?? On the other hand
>>having invested about $12,000 so far I am loath to throw it away at this
>>I need the assistance of a different programmer who is able to look at the
>>program independently and give me advice as to whether we have a viable
>>product that we should persevere with. As far as I understand our agreement
>>with our original programmer, we own the program code, so there should be
>>no problems re ownership.
>>I longer term issue involves whether we can get to a point where the
>>program can be marketed to other organisations, and whether anyone within
>>UTS is able to help us with that project. While Insearch can help with
>>marketing and production they cant help in actually developing the
>>Is there someone within the SOCS who may be able, interested and willing to
>>help us ??
Industry Liaison Officer
Faculty of Mathematical and Computing Sciences
University of Technology, Sydney
PO Box 123
BROADWAY NSW 2007
Phone: +61 2 330-1804 Fax: +61 2 330-1807