Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Intuit Turbo Tax for Business 2007

Intuit Quickbooks and Turbo Tax Software

We have it. That is, Intuit Turbo Tax for Business, 2007, New Retail Box for only $69.95 as of this posting. Yeah, tax time for 2007 is over, but what better time to pick up a bargain? Things don't change that much from year to year, so if you're looking for a solid business tax package, check out our current Intuit Software section, including Turbo Tax, Quickbooks Pro 2008, and Quickbooks Simple Start 2005.

Symantec Anti-Virus and Internet Protection Software

Oh, and if you're needing to update or expand your anti-virus protection, we've got Symantec Antivirus 10.0 10 User Business Pack (Part Number 10368462) for only $129.95. Now, that's a deal!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Adobe Acrobat Perseveres

Adobe Acrobat 8 Professional

Albeit a little slowly for me. I'm still not exactly won over by the Acrobat reader, or the full Acrobat Suite, but what are the alternatives? None, really.

And Adobe Acrobat as a file format has it's advantages, especially within the Adobe Suite. It offers generally decent cross compatability between applications such as Illustrator and InDesign, and even Photoshop can open PDFs. There are several PDF exporters an annotaters for popular applications such as Microsoft Word and Quark Xpress, and, of course, Mac OS X offers build in PDF support. Any PDF can be viewed natively, previewed extensively with QuickLook, and any thing that can be printed can instead be saved to a multi-page PDF. Which is, if you think about it, pretty darn handy.

And Adobe Acrobat PDFs are now common in pre-press--especially the type of printing one can get done online--as it is a self-contained file, with almost everything you could need. And almost all available browsers have built in PDF browsing, or an easy-to-get plug-in to do the job.

So what's my hang-up? Well, for one thing, it took forever for Adobe to deliver on the promise of PDF as a self-contained pre-press output format. Or, at least, it took forever for me to be able to send a PDF to a pre-press house and get out what I expected. Secondly, cross-compatibility between applications could probably still use some work--maybe Adobe Illustrator CS3 can open all the pages in a PDF document? I haven't checked that yet.

And the Adobe Acrobat Suite never seemed as full-featured, or as easy to use, as I would have expected from Adobe. Added features, such as the ability to fill out PDF forms, took forever to work out the kinks and actually become useful. And now that they've finally gotten all the kinks out and Adobe Acrobat is, on the whole, pretty robust (though still not perfect), I rarely have a need for it. Other than the Reader (which should have an easy way of bookmarking pages, or automatically converting--on the Reader end--tables of contents and indexes into clickable links that take you to that page, rather than depending on the author to set that up (which they rarely do).

But . . . still, on the whole, it's a handy, truly portable document format, and if you need to do more with it (and we can verify that you are a student or school employee--heh!) then Adobe Acrobat 8 Profession, for only $121.95 (as of this posting) is the way to go. We've got it in stock as of this post so, if you are a student or school employee or otherwise entitle to make academic purchases, I'd suggest you shop with us.

If you're not, we've got Adobe Acrobat 8 Standard, which has much of what you need but, like Windows Vista Basic, it'll be that one thing you need most that it doesn't seem to have. Still, we've had standard consumer versions of Adobe Acrobat Pro in stock before and we will again, so if it has been a while, come check out all our Adobe software.

And have a great (and blessed) day!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Software and Comic Books and Music CDs and

I sell a few items on eBay's, like Planet P's Pink World, for $75, if you want to pick it up. I started doing that around the time I was working for a company called Licensing Ventures Incorporated, who sold quite a bit through channels like Half, eBay, and the Amazon marketplace.

If you've ever bought or sold on, you've noticed, no doubt, they don't sell software of any kind, and precious little hardware. They also don't have a marketplace for odd or antique items that are eBay's bread and butter, like cigarette cards (I used to have a lot of these and somehow lost them all, some of them classics, and I can't tell you how depressing that is when I reflect upon it, but nevermind). More common and contemporary are comic books. So what's the big deal? Well, the best thing about is that it's not an auction site. It costs nothing to list your products, and you can leave them on there, at whatever price you set, for as long as you want. If you have competitve prices on software like we do, then it'd clearly make a great, inexpensive marketplace for our software. Even if they only took major products, like Microsoft and Symantec, it'd still be a great marketplace for us.

For people (like me) who have a lot of comic books but don't want to sell them unless I'm going to get a decent price for them, it'd be a great place to sell them.

The best thing about is that it's a straight competetive marketplace. It's not cluttered with auctions or a mix of "Buy it Now" and only "Buy it Now" and auction products sorted by the end of the auction, it's just a sales site where if I wanted to be a nickel better than my closest competitor, I can be, or if I want to be $5 more than the closest competitor so that I might sell my product after everybody else's is sold and gone, I can do that, too. As a seller of software in a competetive marketplace, I'd love to be able to sell Microsoft Office 2007 OEM that way. Right now, it's only $299.95, or $297.95 each if you buy 10 or more copies, BTW.

Alas, we cannot. So, I'm selling some music and some books on personally, and that's about all it's good for now. I miss the days of my Filemaker Pro price harvester that I used at LVI, where I'd collect all our competitors prices and then try to price us a penny or two below them, in order to be more competetive. That was fun!

For a little blast from my past, check out in the Internet Archive of, which I have some fun stories about. Including how it may have floundered (in my opinion) because we were going in too many directions at one time, but also how they even had a Memphis office for me to get a job at because they had purchased, that boom company that was going to deliver music, DVDs, books, food and basics to anybody who ordered them in under an hour. Wonder why that didn't work out. Could be because they spent all their venture capital on limousines and embroidered shirts.

BTW, the beginning of the end of happened, in my opinion, when a guy named Jeff Abrams came on, a guy with a corporate background at big box retailer Best Buy, who some have credited with architecting the largely unsuccessful effort to use music CDs as a loss leader at Best Buy (the idea being that they'd come in for the cheap music and leave with a projection television set)that helped begin the process of putting stand-alone music retailers, like Camelot music,out of business. Click on his name above to read about it, or click here.

One of the big pushes while I was at LVI was to get off the ground, and I guess they did, because unlike, that URL still works, and much has been done since I worked there. Hope it's working for them, I know most of the the stripmall stores I've seen spring up to take folks stuff and list it on ebay, etc., have all ended up closing. I'm not sure there's that big a market for Internet middle-men in the Web 2.0 era. Time will tell, I suppose.

Anyhoo, I still think it's unfortunate that HitMeNow tanked, but it was a fun job and a very interesting place for an entertainment geek like me to work. On the whole, I look back at it with fond memories.

And speaking of entertainment, we've got Roxio EasyMedia7 Basic for $5.95 and Roxio Easy CD Creator for $11.95, as of this posting. If you're interested in that kind of thing.

The Market for Older Software is Growing

And we sell it. Like, for example, Microsoft Office Pro 2002 for XP. It includes Access XP, Excel XP, Outlook XP, PowerPoint XP, Publisher XP, and Word XP. Does almost everything you need, runs great on XP, and people are still buying it.

There are a lot of reasons for that. It's a bit more compact that Office 2007, a little speedier on old machines (for the most part, there are some exceptions) and, quite frequently, the revision of specifications for large corporations and government agencies is a lengthy process. And that's understandable--in big organizations with a lot of machines to support, upgrades can be expensive and paralyzing. Yet sometimes they need to expand departments or deployment of software, and even if there is something more cutting edge on the market, it makes more sense to go with what is tried and true. And if those applications or operating systems are not widely available, then it's up to software resellers like us that have inventory or can locate stock for certain products to fill in the gap.

Another reason is that sometimes the upgrades make radical changes to the interface that are difficult for some people to navigate, or might necessitate updating inhouse documentation (which can be a pricey proposition in some places). Office 2007is an excellent example of that. I'm not a big fan of the ribbon interface in 2007, and if it weren't for certain features (a speedy patch available for searching Outlook and, most importantly, Excel 2007's leviathan ability to open gigantic spreadsheets), I probably pick Word XP 2002, or earlier. Just because none of the interfaces in 2007 struck me as a solid improvement--in fact, they mostly just frustrate me, even though some reviewers have praised them as being wonderful and revolutionary, so I suppose it takes all kinds.

With the release of Microsoft Vista, even Microsoft had to acknowledge the increasing size of the "older" software market. Microsoft announced will effectively be selling XP through 2010.

More of this in the future, especially if we get even more popular older software into inventory. :)

Friday, April 25, 2008

On Being a Yahoo! Store

This post is a bit "inside baseball", BTW. Forewarned is forearmed. Now, on with the show:

An Example of Yahoo! store RTML

Being primarily a PHP/MySQL developer (with a little thrown in), I miss the customization that those development environments allow, what with Software Supply Group being a Yahoo! store and all. Still, with custom templates and Yahoo's deeply goofy Lisp-ish RTML development environment, customizations can be made, though stuff I could put together in PHP in 20 minutes ends up taking me all day. Yahoo's RTML is not, BTW, the same as Remote Telescope Markup Language, though when I first started working with RTML, it was actually easier to find information for that than Yahoo's RTML. I certainly got a lot more hits on Google for telescopes than Yahoo! stores.

Anyway, here's one of my proud RTML achievements: A page designed to sort through all the products currently in our store and list them in order of price, from highest to lowest. May seem simple (and would have been for me in PHP), but it was, I guarantee you, a Herculean labor. Doable--and I finally did it--but the development for me is not intuitive, I don't always understand exactly why I finally got it working (and why it didn't work before) and it seems like such a simple and common thing. It irritates me that I have to struggle for it.

And to this day, I haven't figured out how to increment a value arbitrarily in RTML. I can do it in as part of a FOR loop, but I can't do something simple like say "x=x+1". Huh? But, it does have several tools customized specifically for the making of Yahoo! stores, and that's a big plus when it comes to displaying product images or generating links that take you where you want to go in the backend or on the site. And I've seen people do some elaborate things in their Yahoo! stores, although most of them end up using some combination of Ajax to get it working. I've heard promises of Yahoo! getting their Yahoo! stores working with PHP and MySQL in such a manner that you might be able to access the Catalog Manager, thus allowing greater flexibility by pointing to a Yahoo! Web hosting account where a fellow like me could do some customized PHP/MySQL magic on the store. But, so far, no such luck. And while there is much to like about the Yahoo! store platform to like, the creakiness of things like the built-in Yahoo! store search engine demonstrate that Yahoo! is slow to add new features and capabilities to their platform. But, it is a generally robust platform (that's why we use it), so I'm not complaining. Or, only complaining a little.

Anyway, in addition to my list of products sorted by price (I know, it doesn't seem like much, but I did it in RTML which, believe me, for a developer steeped in PHP and and MySQL, it's like a successfully navigated the Klingon initiation into manhood) I also managed to develop a sitemap that works the way I wanted it to. See my fabulous Software Supply Group Sitemap here!

As a point of clarification, in the old days site maps or indexes were always a page where you could get to most anywhere on a website, and see it's structure. Nowadayas, they often mean an .xml file describing the site, often for search engines. We also have one of those here, keeping in mind that some browsers may not render XML prettily, or at all, in case you click on it.

Sage ACTX2008RT ACT! 2008 Preimuum EX Single User
BTW, we've got Sage ACT! 2008 RT Premium EX, single user, and for only $308.95 as of this posting. Now, that's a bargain, people! Do you need contact management, project organizer, and day planner? Well, here ya go!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Mac OS X Leopard Is Pretty Cool, And We've Got It

Apple Mac OS X Leopard and other Apple Computer Software

We've got Mac OS X Leopard (10.5) in stock, for, as of this post, $109.95.

There are a lot of nice things in Mac OSX Leopard, especially in the integration of the Mail app. The new Finder has some plusses and few minuses and, overall, it is a worthy upgrade. Spaces are nifty! The additions to the dock are okay, but I wouldn't write home about them. The idea behind Time Machine is great, but I'm sure the implementation is quite there yet--or perhaps there are custom settings I have yet to discover.

The Quick Look previews are very robust, nd very handy. Much can be done. And, natch, if you have an Intel mac, Boot Camp comes standard as a supported part of the OS. On the whole, a worth upgrade to the already laudable Macintosh OS X family. And, unlike Windows Vista, there's only one version to buy, and it does it all.

Apple Final Cut Express 4

Also, if you've already got Leopard and are interested in moving beyond iMovie, you might want to check out Apple Final Cut Express 4, Full Version, Retail Box (MB278ZA) for $138.95, as of this posting. And we've also got the upgrade for Final Cut Express 4, part# MB339ZA for only $83.95, as of this posting. It's a robust, pro-level video editing app--and it works right on your Mac. There is no limit to what you can do with it, video-wise, and if you want a good source for what can be done with Final Cut Pro on the Mac, check out some of the great how-to reviews with Alex Lindsay at, or check out some of the videos at the Apple site here.

We've Got Some Great Deals on Microsoft Office 2007 at

Microsoft Office 2007

Like Microsoft Office 2007 Basic OEM (S55-01347) for only $173.99, as of this posting.

I use Office 2007 every day, and I confess I'm not a big fan of the revised interface. But Excel 2007 offers the ability to open much larger files, and given I was dealing sometimes with spreadsheets with over 200,000 rows, I needed something that could open them. I believe the old limit was something like 56,000 rows--well, whatever it was specifically, that's gone in Office 2007 Excel. It'll open anything, of almost any size.

The search is blazing fast in Outlook 2007, but required that I install Windows desktop search for XP (since I'm still using XP), and download this patch from Microsoft, and run it.

While I'm not a big fan of the new Office 2007 toolbar that was supposed to be the "next big thing" with Office 2007 (while obvious improvements, at least in my opinion, were left out), being able to open huge spreadsheets and search my giant .pst file in Outlook quickly made it for me a very worthwhile update.

We also have Microsoft Office 2007 Professional (269-11094) for only $299.95 each (0r $297.95 each if you buy more than 10), which includes all the big productivity apps from Microsoft: Access 2007, Excel 2007, Outlook 2007, PowerPoint 2007, Publisher 2007, and Word 2007. Alas, no Microsoft Project (why don't they support Project anymore?)

All prices in this post are as of this writing. We often drop prices--and, occasionally, we have to raise them. If you've been wanting to upgrade to Office 2007, I'd suggest you move now.

Wholesale and reseller inquiries are always welcome, BTW. Call us at 866-437-0287 and ask for more information.