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Hi, I'm Steve McLeod from Barbary Software


#1

You may remember me from other sites where I was active, such as Joel Spolsky’s “Business of Software” forum, Hacker News, and Stack Overflow.

My main product is Poker Copilot, created as part of a 30-day challenge issued by Patrick McKenzie in 2008. It has been a successful one-person, bootstrapped product for years.


#2

I remember Poker Copilot. Is that what you still spend most of your time on?


#3

Love this product, amazing. Adding a link because you didn’t and we should have one http://pokercopilot.com/

So, how does it work? The site doesn’t say. I’m assuming that it works with browser based poker games and that it has a browser in it that you actually visit the site through and then it’s just monitoring the data going back and forth to collect the info? Do they change the data formats much and break everything on you?


#4

When I work, yes, Poker Copilot is what I spend most of my time on. But actually my main time sink is travelling. I reached country #100 earlier this year. Trinidad & Tobago I think it was.

I still get a small thrill from running a software company yet issuing software updates from all sorts of odd places.


#5

Thanks Ian.

The poker rooms are native apps. After each hand they log the complete hand to a file on the user’s computer. Poker Copilot - also a native Mac app - reads, parses, and analyses those files.

Do they change the data formats much and break everything on you?

Occasionally, but not on purpose. Actually the major poker rooms ASK me to add support for their poker room. The nicer ones even inform me in advance of coming changes so I can prepare for them.


#6

[quote=“smcleod, post:4, topic:543”]
I still get a small thrill from running a software company yet issuing software updates from all sorts of odd places.
[/quote]If you ever want to write up your experiences, it might make an interesting guest post for http://www.successfulsoftware.net .


#7

Not a bad idea…eg. “Customer Support from A Soviet-Era Hotel in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan”?


#8

I ran this guest post on a similar theme in 2008:

It was quite popular. it would be good to get your perspective.


#9

Ah, well that’s amazing :smile:

Yeah, would love to see you post about your travels.


#10

Ian, after five years, I’ve finally starting paying someone to do some customer support for me…and I’m running into some communication difficulties, and I’d like to monitor combined progress…and make it easy for either of us to check up on the support history for a specific customer…I know you are probably biased…but is your Snappy site the thing I need?


#11

Andy, I think I’m listening to you right now on a podcast…some good stuff, sounds like we’ve learnt some similar lessons, really good to hear from someone else the same issues, such as “why don’t you do a SaaS version?”


#12

I wish I had a pound for every time someone asked me that. Now I am going to tell them to listen to the podcast. ;0)


#13

Definitely, Snappy would be the way to go there. It’s really simple to get rolling with and you don’t need a lot of the complexity of full on “help desk software” so Snappy would be the way to go.


#14

Ian, I’ve got some feedback for you from a first-time Snappy user (i.e. me). I’m trying to private message you about it but I can’t find a way to do so on this forum.

If you are interested, let me know who I should send it to.


#15

Hi Steve,

You can click my icon and private message is in the top left. You can also email us at hello at besnappy