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Traffic Spike


Yesterday my beloved John’s Background Switcher got picked up by one of the big techie news sites – – the net result of which was that I had more visitors to my site in a day than I’ve had over the last 5 months combined! And more importantly well over 2000 downloads of the installer. I don’t know how many people are actually using it – I don’t go in for all that usage tracking spyware type stuff – but it’s safe to say that my user base has increased significantly (I normally get around 10 downloads a day).


I’ve been blown away by the amount of positive feedback from people out there! Reading comments like “This is probably the coolest tool I’ve found in the last couple years aside from Flickr” after I’ve poured in a lot of hours and late nights (just ask my girlfriend) makes it all worth while. I write software for a living and I can honestly say that creating JBS and giving it away for free is infinitely more rewarding.

What’s also been interesting is that only 4 crashes have been reported [so far] – I’d expected more with such a high increase in users. If the software crashes it gives you the option to send me a crash report which details the last few method calls so I can work out what happened. It’s completely anonymous although sometimes I wish it wasn’t – it would be handy to email the person and ask them what they were doing at the time – but anonymity rules. I’m close to releasing the next version which has given me the chance to fix the lot (which are all .NET issues – I thought .NET was supposed to run consistently across all machines?!).

While I come up with a fair number of the features, the people who’ve been using it up until now have suggested most of them and while I can’t do everything on the list – I do my best! So thanks to all those who took the time to try it out and suggest how I could make it better (oh yeah, and especially to Ian who suggested the whole Flickr thing in the first place!).

Now, if I can just get this much interest in my photography… 😉

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Creator of John's Background Switcher. Scotsman, footballer, photographer, dog owner, risk taker, heart breaker, nice guy. Some of those are lies.

17 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. Kudos and well-deserved praise! I know something of what it’s like to receive this sort of praise, having been involved with an open-source Windows Explorer replacement a few years ago. It’s definitely a great feeling when you get nice comments like those.

    Anyway, imagine if you’d have charged $10 for each copy! I’d have bought it…


  2. Cheers John!

    It’s funny, quite a few people have said that about charging (especially those from Yorkshire) but I stand by keeping it free! Although if you want to send me your $10 you’re welcome! 🙂


  3. Congratulations, John ! I am sure it wouldn’t have been any other way ! I have been playing around with it for the last day or so and I *love* it. Being able to get an overview of the hundreds of pictures I take on a regular basis from the places I visit is just so rewarding and relaxing during those long work hours that it makes it all worth while ! Thanks a bunch for keeping the tool for free to all of us. You just do not realise what you have done to most of us by creating and then sharing this tool with us. Thanks again keep having fun ! We will ! 😉


  4. I’d be delighted to, unfortunately that would mean buying a Mac first! Although John (Topley), has a Mac, are you listening John?! Opportunity knocking! 🙂


  5. I’m not lending you my laptop, you cheeky, real-ale drinking young scamp! 😉

    If you charged for JBS as I suggested you’d soon have enough to buy one!


  6. Muddy pants, three feet high

    Congratulations to John on having his excellent Background Switcher application mentioned on…


  7. Congratulations John! This is so fargin cool and well deserved:-))))


  8. It’s a very cool tool, especially the flickr tie in!..

    Keep up the great work


  9. John, that’s awesome and congratulations! Once I get all set up on Flickr I intend to download it as well. I got your email and thank you very much for the advice. Not one person has said a bad word about Flickr. I’ll point the people who emailed me to your download site. Congrats again! Couldn’t happen to a cooler dude. 🙂


  10. Wow John, you are the best. How about providing a ‘default set’ of photos of you? Personally, I can’t wait for the wedding version this summer 😉


  11. Ha ha! I was actually tempted to make it change to a photo of me on my birthday but thought better of it in the end – it’s sad and not really in the spirit of the app!


  12. How about some abstract wallpapers of your award-winning hairstyle, taken really close up so it’s not obvious what it is?


  13. Hmmm, I’ll see what I can do for the next version. Be warned though that if the installer is suddenly 5MB it’s because of the extra photos in hi-res mode! 😉


  14. Hi, I’m using your background switcher and love it so much! And because it includes pictures from Flickr is one of the main reason I decided downloading it at first place. Keep up the good work and congrats on your thingy =)


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