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General Chat Thread, Looking for ideas: Programs/Scripts for portfolio in General; Hey, Long story short, eventually i'd like to get into my own software business, and obviously it's nice to have ...
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    Steve21's Avatar
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    Looking for ideas: Programs/Scripts for portfolio

    Hey,

    Long story short, eventually i'd like to get into my own software business, and obviously it's nice to have some kind of portfolio to show.

    Generally majority of my stuff I code/script nowadays is small, simple things, Either to make my life easier, helping someone or just for fun, and I'm looking for some ideas of a cool project to do.

    Whether it's a "doesn't really exist already" kinda program, or a free alternative to a paid program that's out there. (Obviously saying something like makeyourown Sims V2 (Sim sims, not game sims :P) would take ages)

    Even a bonus if its potentially useful to Edugeek in general :P

    Any ideas would be appreciated!!!

    Steve

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    cpjitservices's Avatar
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    something similar to Zenworks but free

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    Something similar to NoSafeMode but free. You would make a huge number of people happy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve21 View Post
    Whether it's a "doesn't really exist already" kinda program, or a free alternative to a paid program that's out there. (Obviously saying something like makeyourown Sims V2 (Sim sims, not game sims :P) would take ages)
    Ages, but if you did it right you could probably sell it

    As far as I'm aware, there is actually a potential area in which an alternative could fit quite nicely in to the market... >.>

    What kind of things are you aiming to add to your portfolio? Are they things specific to education or more general than that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JHeaton View Post
    Ages, but if you did it right you could probably sell it

    As far as I'm aware, there is actually a potential area in which an alternative could fit quite nicely in to the market... >.>

    What kind of things are you aiming to add to your portfolio? Are they things specific to education or more general than that?
    #

    Aye Or fail miserably as no-one wants to divert from "the norm!"

    Honestly I'm not too fussed what area. Just working in education (currently etc), seemed ideal. But yeah don't mind ideas either way :P

    Nosafemode looks cool, but will need to see if it's actually doable in anything I can code :P

    Any more ideas would be cool

    Thanks again Steve

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    I'm starting to get my teeth into game programming in my spare time. It's pretty tough but the rewards are really good (don't mean it terms of financial reward, just the satisfaction of getting your sprite moving to a console controller, or having him fire a laser beam)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve21 View Post
    #

    Aye Or fail miserably as no-one wants to divert from "the norm!"
    Well, there is that. It's why I've taken up doing it as part of a learning exercise for programming things that make heavy use of database connectivity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve21 View Post
    Honestly I'm not too fussed what area. Just working in education (currently etc), seemed ideal. But yeah don't mind ideas either way :P

    Nosafemode looks cool, but will need to see if it's actually doable in anything I can code :P

    Any more ideas would be cool

    Thanks again Steve
    Fair enough. What can you code in? NoSafeMode is definitely something that would be interesting to us

    I'm struggling to think of specific suggestions, despite having a list of some 30+ things I wanted to code for this place just a month ago

    Edit: A VNC server/client set with the ability to lock out the user's keyboard and mouse on the other end; there is a version that does this but it constantly seems to crash and become unresponsive. That would be pretty handy*.

    *Selfish, and non-serious, suggestion. >.>
    Last edited by JHeaton; 13th April 2011 at 11:46 AM.

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Something on the Windows 7 login page to select a domain like you can on Windows XP would be nice. I know some people are getting fedup of users phoning becuase the user hasnt specified the domain in the username feild.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JHeaton View Post
    Fair enough. What can you code in? NoSafeMode is definitely something that would be interesting to us

    *Selfish, and non-serious, suggestion. >.>
    Well I can do a few languages, (C/C++/Java/VB etc etc), I was more referring to the fact that if it's based on NTLDR etc isn't that going to be more pure machine code etc, as it's prior to OS loading. But yeah if it's something people are interested in, I'll have to take a look at it when I got some time.

    And selfish?!?! Ha! Even selfish ideas are appreciated!

    Quote Originally Posted by FN-GM View Post
    Something on the Windows 7 login page to select a domain like you can on Windows XP would be nice. I know some people are getting fedup of users phoning becuase the user hasnt specified the domain in the username feild.
    Silly question, but unless you're using multiple domains, Can't you just set the default domain to yours? :P So no prefixing etc. Or do you have lots?

    (Thanks everyone for their ideas so far)

    Steve

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve21 View Post
    eventually i'd like to get into my own software business
    The main business model for most software in most markets these days is in providing services, not neccesarily in actually selling software, i.e. selling customisation / subscriptions / support around an open source package is likely to earn you just as much money these days as simply selling shrink-wrapped software (games are still generally sold for a fixed price). This might be something to bear in mind as you look towards what you want to develope (or if you're approaching a bank with a business plan) - starting or assisting with an open source project might be more useful than simply sitting and programming on your own, working as part of a small team might allow you to get more done.

    On the other hand, if smaller, single-person projects are more your thing, maybe aim to do some educational resources / puzzles / games as a rapid application development exercise, i.e. see just how quickly you can turn out a single-topic learning resource or similar that's maybe used for 5 minutes in one lesson. That might not sound like much, but if it's the best resource around and everyone wants to use it you'll get your resource in front on a lot of people. My preference would be to put something like that together in HTML5/CSS/Javascript - Flash is probably still the widest-used RAD package, but HTML might be a bit more future-proof. Small, single-function web-based applications are increasingly easy to do these days, too - you can get a minimal hosting package from Amazon's Cloud service for free, and I think Google's system has a free option, too (you have to program that in Python, mind).

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    Steve21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    The main business model for most software in most markets these days is in providing services, not neccesarily in actually selling software, i.e. selling customisation / subscriptions / support around an open source package is likely to earn you just as much money these days as simply selling shrink-wrapped software (games are still generally sold for a fixed price). This might be something to bear in mind as you look towards what you want to develope (or if you're approaching a bank with a business plan) - starting or assisting with an open source project might be more useful than simply sitting and programming on your own, working as part of a small team might allow you to get more done.

    On the other hand, if smaller, single-person projects are more your thing, maybe aim to do some educational resources / puzzles / games as a rapid application development exercise, i.e. see just how quickly you can turn out a single-topic learning resource or similar that's maybe used for 5 minutes in one lesson. That might not sound like much, but if it's the best resource around and everyone wants to use it you'll get your resource in front on a lot of people. My preference would be to put something like that together in HTML5/CSS/Javascript - Flash is probably still the widest-used RAD package, but HTML might be a bit more future-proof. Small, single-function web-based applications are increasingly easy to do these days, too - you can get a minimal hosting package from Amazon's Cloud service for free, and I think Google's system has a free option, too (you have to program that in Python, mind).
    Aye very true on the support front I guess. Only issue "I personally feel" on the open source aspect, is generally open source is free for a reason :P If people don't want to pay for software, "generally" they won't pay for support either (Whether that's due to lack of budget, or simply they generally know how to fix/support it themselves). Might not be true for all, but seems generally.

    Taking somethign like OpenOffice as an example, If you're willing to get it for free, and pay for support, Why wouldn't you buy MS office, and get free support :P

    But yeah, certainly education based resources seems a good suggestion. Reminds me of a few threads about "non-flash" based MyMaths style software i was reading last week.

    And generally I'd prefer to keep it single-person at the start, obviously be nice to expand later, but better succeed in something small, than fail at something big hey? :P

    Steve

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    Silly question, but unless you're using multiple domains, Can't you just set the default domain to yours? :P So no prefixing etc. Or do you have lots?

    (Thanks everyone for their ideas so far)
    I myself havent but i know someone who has a system with a number of domains

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve21 View Post
    Only issue "I personally feel" on the open source aspect, is generally open source is free for a reason :P
    If by "generally" you mean "a large amount of", and by "free for a reason" you mean "not very good" then you have a point - a large amount of open source software is not very good. Making a project open source does not automatically make it any use, and running a succesful open source project with an active, contributing community looks to be very hard. For every Apache web server or Firefox browser out there there's probably a couple of thousand half-complete, poorly-documented, last-activity-5-years-ago projects kicking around SourceForge.

    If people don't want to pay for software, "generally" they won't pay for support either (Whether that's due to lack of budget, or simply they generally know how to fix/support it themselves).
    Keep in mind who your customers are and what kind of profit you're aiming to get out of any potential project. If you're aiming at schools, you'd hope they'd have someone on hand who could install, maintain and possibly extend an open source application as needed. However, that school is paying for support - they're paying the network manager's wages. If you're aiming to create something to act as a portfolio, you can do worse than be the author of damn-handy-free-widget-that-fixes-problem-X when you're applying for jobs.

    Why wouldn't you buy MS office, and get free support
    It rather depends what you mean by "support". Every application should be well designed and documented enough so that people can figure out how to use it - if not, you've rather missed the whole point of software design in the first place. This is what rather puzzles me about the whole teaching-MS-Office-in-schools thing - you don't need to teach MS Office, the entire point of the whole suite is that Microsoft have spent billions employing very smart people to pore over every aspect of the design of every single, smallest detail and make it as easy to use as possible. "Support" for MS Office in Microsoft's terms would be application development on top of Office - building custom applications for bank traders on top of Excel, that sort of thing. That definatly doesn't come for free :-)

    But yeah, certainly education based resources seems a good suggestion. Reminds me of a few threads about "non-flash" based MyMaths style software i was reading last week.
    Absolutly. There's potential there for lots of small, single-person devlopment efforts to be amalgamated together into one large, all-conquering package. As pointed out previously in this thread (and possibly in that original MyMaths thread), I think the best development environment would be HTML5 - actually, probably HTML5 widgets that can then be embedded into other things, such as Sankore interactive whiteboard files, Sankore being handily re-distributable and useable on all models of IWB.

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    Steve21's Avatar
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    Think I worded that a little off :P When I said support, I was more referring to "subscription" based programs. aka expecting updates/new features/amg it broke, etc etc :P And yeah certainly, Money isn't really what I'm looking at currently (although I wouldn't argue with it!). Obviously getting a nice portfolio of active, wanted free software, helps a lot more in career terms than 1-2 brilliant, expensive, no-one bought pieces.

    Also anyone else with ideas (even weird/wacky ones) come on down! :P Prefer to hear them and have the option, than people think they may be silly

    Thanks all again,
    Steve

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    Here is a random idea, someone previously was after a mouse tutorial program it may sound lame in this day and age but you still do get 5 year olds that can't use a mouse. Appe had a good ne back in MacOS6 or so but it could be redone better and in whatever platform you wanted. HTML5 is probably the most futureproof but for the timebeing is not very presentproof given that many schools and institutions are still using IE6 - 8 or older versions of Firefox etc that do not yet support HTML5. In the future it probably will just run on everything but there will still be several years at least where this is not guarenteed.

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