Bits from Bill

Technology thoughts leaking from the brain of "Bill Pytlovany"

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Toolbars & Unwanted Programs Very Popular

Recently, a few people asked me about the “Donation” boxes that I have on my web pages.  I’m also questioned about how much money I’ve made from WinPatrol and other projects. There were good times and I never forget the folks who occasionally give $5 – $50 to show their appreciation.

In 2008-2009,  I wrote about offers I received from companies wanting me to include their toolbars in the free WinPatrol. It became clear I could retire early if I had decided to include what is now called a PUPs or “Potentially Unwanted Programs.” It still amazes me how many large companies use tricky check boxes to treat their customers as personal bank accounts.


I made the decision to keep WinPatrol clean. I was glad that some of the folks knew something about me but they still used WinPatrol because it protected them. I’ve also been asked about the decision so I agreed to share some more personal details which aren’t likely to make it into any book.

WinPatrol was holding its own thanks to great reviews by magazines but soon the rules changed and everyone moved to an Internet economy. It was also the time when family health problems would take my attention away from full time developing and promoting software.  No one expects a rare disease to take over your life.

behcetsBehcet's Disease is an autoinflammatory disease resulting in damage to blood vessels throughout the body, particularly veins. It is a form of vasculitis (an inflammation of the blood vessels). Inflammation is a characteristic reaction of the body to injury or disease and is marked by four signs: swelling, redness, heat, and pain.

Unfortunately, independent programmers don’t usually have pension plans or company

neck1retirement programs. When serious health issues attack both heads of the household the savings go quickly and income can dry up as well. While the government argued over health plans medical expenses took everything we had.

I’ve been lucky and had the opportunity to live a good life, in a dream house with income that allowed me to share the benefits with family and friends. I’ve had some amazing opportunities and experiences. I can’t complain even though having nothing may be harder if you once had everything

I’m now taking as many steps as possible to continue on.  Last year we put our house up for sale and to meet our responsibilities I sold the rights to WinPatrol. While I didn’t receive what you might think I found a buyer who would continue to support current users and agreed never to include toolbars or other unwanted software.

When possible, I have been working hard on other programs I believe are valuable. A few friends online have suggested it couldn’t hurt to explain the Donation links. They insist my policy on taskbars and work I’ve done with WinPatrol has generated enough good will to make it worthwhile.  Donations could give me a chance to continue the creation of new safe programs. 

So, the Donation boxes are there in case they can help allow me to worry about customers instead of medical bills.. It was a little hard when I sold  my car but it doesn’t compare to when a spouse asks about selling her engagement ring. That’s when anyone wishes they had included Toolbars or PUPs with their software.

Toolbar Features

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2010-06-28 Legal Software More Annoying than Most Viruses

2010-04-27 Where Can I Find an Alternate PDF Viewer?

2009-04-26 Sun Java Promoting Microsoft Toolbar
2009-03-31 No, I Don't Want Your #^$% Toolbar

2008-08-25 What's Wrong with Toolbars?

2008-01-16 Would you like Toolbar with your Software Order? 

2006-11-08 Intermix Media settles with California

2006-10-17 What is Zwinky?

2006-09-11 Response from MyWebSearch & FunWebProducts

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