Posting-Frequency: Every 15 days
Robert Lindsay Wells
Subject: Part 1 - Introduction to Shareware
Welcome to alt.comp.shareware (a.c.s.). This newsgroup is for
the discussion of computer software distributed as Shareware.
This includes requests to find programs, advertising by
authors and vendors, and general discussion of the Shareware
concept. Please follow these guidelines when posting here:
(1) KEEP IT ON-TOPIC AND TASTEFUL.
(2) "JUNK MAIL" OR "SPAM" TACTICS ARE NOT WELCOME.
(3) DON'T POST BINARIES HERE.
All participants are welcome, and a wide variety of
Shareware-related topics are open to discussion. However,
be advised that inappropriate or offensive posts will be
reported to the originating Internet Service Provider.
Part 2 of this FAQ lists many shareware-related links, see:
Subject: Examples of topics that are appropriate for a.c.s.
- Discussion of Shareware marketing and distribution.
- Discussion of registration incentive schemes.
- Advertising of Shareware products by authors.
- Press releases describing new versions of Shareware.
- Advice for new authors or users.
- Discussion of Shareware programs (eg: reviews).
- Where to find certain Shareware programs.
- Help with a Shareware program.
- Help locating a Shareware author.
- Discussion of general issues of interest to software
authors and users, and to the on-line community.
Subject: Examples of topics that are NOT appropriate for a.c.s.
- Binary postings of any kind (not a topic anyway).
- Chain letters and money-making schemes of any kind.
- Requests for pirated software or registration codes.
- Pornography or purient material of any kind.
- Spam advertising of any kind (including Shareware).
- Requests for "freeware" (which is NOT shareware - try
asking in the newsgroup alt.comp.freeware instead).
Subject: 1. What is Shareware?
Shareware is a distribution system for computer software based
on the "try-before-you-buy" principle. If you like a program,
then you make a registration payment to the author. If you
don't want the program after trying it out, then you delete it
or pass it along to a friend.
Shareware is NOT freeware. To legally use a program that
has been distributed as Shareware you MUST pay for it.
Registration usually gives the user extra benefits such as
the latest version on disk, a printed manual, technical
support, upgrade discounts and enhanced program functionality.
Subject: 2. Are there any Shareware trade organizations?
Yes. The Association of Shareware Professionals (ASP) is an
organization of Shareware authors and distributors. You can
contact the ASP through their WWW site:
The Educational Software Cooperative (ESC) is a professional
association of Shareware authors and distributors who produce
educational software. They can be found at:
The Shareware Trade Association and Resources (STAR) is a
professional association of American and European Shareware
authors and distributors. Their web address is:
Subject: 3. Are there other Shareware Usenet newsgroups?
Yes. Here is a list of Shareware-related Usenet newsgroups.
Please respect the posting guidelines for each group:
alt.comp.shareware - General Shareware discussion
alt.comp.shareware.authors - Authors' discussion
alt.comp.shareware.for-kids - Children's Shareware
alt.comp.shareware.programmer - Authors' discussion
Shareware authors are especially encouraged to subscribe to
alt.comp.shareware.programmer, which was created to discuss
writing software and marketing by the Shareware principle.
Please DO NOT crosspost to the alt.comp.shareware hierarchy.
Many participants in a.c.s. subscribe to the other newsgroups
as well, and don't want to see the same post repeated several
Subject: 4. Where can I find Shareware on the Web?
The Shareware Author Index (SAX) is a new searchable index
of Shareware authors and their products that contains direct
links to download sites and registration information.
Part 2 of this FAQ (Links to Shareware on the Web) contains
a detailed list of many web and ftp sites where you can search
for and download Shareware. Be sure to check it out :-).
Subject: 5. I'm a Shareware author. Where do I put my program?
First, NEVER post your program as a binary to a.c.s. Upload
your program to one of the top Shareware sites by FTP, and
then advertise what it does and where to find it in a.c.s.
Uploading instructions for some key sites can be obtained
from the following addresses:
Coast-to-Coast: Send E-Mail to cctarch@Mail.Coast.Net
For a comprehensive list of FTP sites, try downloading:
You may also want to use a Shareware file distribution
service. An excellent list of Shareware author resources
may be found at:
Finally, visit the Shareware sites listed in Part 2 of this
FAQ (Links to Shareware on the Web). Many sites have uploading
or submission information for authors.
Subject: 6. I'm a Shareware customer having a problem with an author.
Sometimes when you place an order to register a Shareware
program things don't go as planned (it doesn't happen very often).
The first thing to do is try contacting the author directly. Most
problems can be easily cleared up this way.
If the author is a member of the Association of Shareware
Professionals, and you are unable to resolve the dispute, you
can try contacting the ASP ombudsman for help by sending an
You are also welcome to request assistance by posting a
description of your problem here in a.c.s. (many authors
follow the newsgroup). Remember, give the facts of the case,
and avoid over dramatizing the situation.
Subject: End (shareware-faq/part1)
This FAQ is posted and maintained in the public interest by:
Jean-Claude Wippler - firstname.lastname@example.org (auto-posting)
Robert Lindsay Wells - email@example.com (content)
Special thanks to: Professor Timo Salmi - firstname.lastname@example.org
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