Bits from Bill

Technology thoughts leaking from the brain of "Bill Pytlovany"

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Retirement of an Independent Developer

As an Independent Developer I've experienced a couple common problems with growing old and planning for retirement.  The first is a challenge for anyone who works for themselves. When you have an occupation without  a pension or shared retirement plan you really need to put something aside for retirement. I reinvested most profits back into the business which mostly went to health benefits. Makes me wonder if adding 3rd party toolbars would have been the best long term business decision. 

Another more unique challenge is how to complete a product cycle.  Over the years I've developed special relationships with many of my customers. How do you notify a large user base that you no longer support a program because you want to retire?  In the case of my flagship WinPatrol product I found Bret Lowry. A young ambitious and experienced security expert Bret has an understanding and respect for his customers. Bret is now the face of WinPatrol and owns all its code, graphics and reputation. Many WinPatrol fans have been using it for over 10 years so it was important to meet everyone's needs. Bret has combined the best of WinPatrol technology with his own experience to create new solutions ready to battle with new security threats.

Over the last couple years, I've updated an old favorite called Task Catcher. I also created a service to let folks know what personal data has been compromised and how. Customers found the "BlueHat" service to be curious but most who took advantage of this service were already educated on best practices for personal security. As more attacks were acknowledged by large and small corporations it became increasingly difficult and costly to keep up. It also put me in contact with too many untrustworthy groups who were stealing personal information. 
I've had many ideas for the future but continued health issues have made me realize I won't be able to make the commitment required of an Independent Developer. As such,  I'm taking this opportunity to officially announce my retirement. I've had an amazing experience working in the personal computer; online service;  PC gaming; Interactive TV, Security industry and more. My brain will continue to think, "How can this be better?" as I use my laptop, phone and other programmable devices. Education is still important to me from sharing good computer stories to serving on the board of our local school district.

To my friends who have made donations during my toughest time of medical treatments, I will forever be grateful and will forward your kindness on to others.  If I do create any programs that might be useful I'll be making them available for free. I will also continue to live up to the honor of receiving the Microsoft “Most Valuable Professional” awards. I hope to have more time to help answer questions online, write useful Bits from Bill leaks and continue speaking engagements when possible.


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Blogger Unknown said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:17 PM  
Blogger Gord said...


Enjoy your retirement. I've been a long-time user of your various endeavors and really appreciate your efforts and forthrightness. So, to repeat, enjoy your retirement (but please keep people informed of any new items you may happen to develop).



1:41 PM  
Blogger David said...

thanks Bill, enjoy :)

11:54 AM  
Blogger Maybe Me said...

as a *very* long time user, I thank you for all your work with winpatrol and wish you a happy retirement.

3:58 AM  
Blogger Just Me said...

I wish the very best for your retirement and thank you for all the great things you have done to help others.

1:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Been enjoying your little 'woofer' for a long time now! Enjoy retirement, you earned it! Hope your health keeps up to scratch!

3:44 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I wish you the best in retirement. I'm there myself and just crossed the Medicare minefield. AARP helps me a lot. If you arn't a member join.

Most of I wish you health. It is the thing that makes everything else go. Guard it closely and wisely.

Farewell my computer buddy and stalwart guard of my PC's..


9:43 PM  
Blogger Semavi Lady said...

Wishing you the best health to enjoy your retirement, family and friends. Thanks for all you have done to help us all with great products over the years.

2:04 AM  
Blogger Cal said...

Enjoy your retirement Bill.... it's been a pleasure knowing you form way back in the Commodore years. As Ed said above.... if not a member of AARP then join as it has also helped me across the medicare minefield.


3:56 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...


As an old guy myself,I can certainly understand your decision and I hope you'll find happiness in many new directions.

7:32 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

At 76 and 13 years into retirement, I can neither imagine (nor remember, lol) using a personally owned computer without Scotty in the tray!

3:11 PM  

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