Updated 1-19-17
What's all this about $5.00?
Q What's all this about $5.00, I thought you said it was free?

A You are probably referring to this notice that now appears in the POSCONFG.EXE program.

While this program is free that does not mean that you cannot help the cause. If you have a web site how about mentioning that you use the program and link to http://keyhut.com/pos.htm

If you write software you may want to write a 'helper' program like those listed at http://keyhut.com/3rdparty.htm

If you have surplus POS hardware like receipt printers, pole displays, scanners, cash drawers, etc. rather than throwing it away how about sending it to the address below so I can use it for testing.

As a last resort if this software has saved your business, sanity, and hundreds, or thousands of dollars how about mailing $5.00 (US) which seems like so little but would really help develop this software.

Dale Harris, 5654 N. Olcott, Chicago, IL 60631, USA

If you study it intensely (Magnifying glass? Microscope? Lawyer?) you will see that the program is still free but that you can do several things to help out. The last of which is to stick $5.00 into an envelope and mail it to me. All of these options are voluntary.

Q So I do not have to do any of those things or send you $5.00.

A Nope.

Q What do I get if I do send you $5.00?

A Absolutely nothing except a clear conscience and the feeling that you are a good person. As a matter of fact I will not even be keeping track of those people who do help out. So if you do not help I will still answer your questions, you can still download new versions as they come out, and still get notified of new stuff assuming that your email address is in the list of registered users.

Q Ah, so that's the catch, I can't be a registered user if I don't send you $5.00?

A Incorrect. Send me an email about the POS program and your email address goes into the list of registered users.

Q What are you going to use the $5.00 for?

A Initially we will use it to purchase stuff like receipt printers, pole displays, scanners, cash drawers, etc. to use with the program so that we can get the program to support them. Also we will use the money to pay some bills for the website, chatroom, forum, etc.

Q You can get all that for $5.00?

A I am hoping that several, possibly many people will send in $5.00.

Q How do I know that you will not be using the money to pay for food, clothing, shelter, trips to Aruba, etc.?

A And what would be wrong with that? Here is one of several emails that I have received...

Dear Dale,

I think your software is great. I would like to ask you a question. Would you have a problem if I bundled your software with my computers, receipt printers, scanners, and cash drawers to sell as complete POS systems? I would also like to charge my clients to teach them to use your software or to set it up for them, enter their stock tables, etc., would that be OK? Also if I print out the manual can I charge for that?

My answer was...

Sure, go ahead. The only thing that you cannot do is to sell the actual program, require that they purchase something from you to acquire the program (if they do not want to purchase anything from you then at least give them the website address so that they can download it) or charge for the content of the printed manual (you must tell them that the manual file is in the program) but you can charge for printing it out for them.

So as you can see many people are already making money from this program, some have even started their own businesses. In the last 17 years I have made almost nothing. So I have started a new industry where other people are making money, all based on my POS program. Is $5.00 for me too much to ask?

Q So if I use this on several computers do I have to send in $5.00 for each?

A You don't have to send in anything. But if you must, think of your $5.00 paying for an unlimited, lifetime, universal, all encompassing license to use the program for anything you want to forever. Except that you cannot sell it.

Q What about upgrades?

A Send in $5.00 once and it covers all new versions.

Q How about $2.00?

A Fine, since you do not have to send in anything I will be more than happy with $2.00. But I am assuming that since you are using this on a cash register that you are using it to make actual money for yourself and that I have saved you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, so is asking for less money than you spend on 2 rolls of paper for your receipt printer really that outrageous?

Q What if I am a complete psycho and want to send you more that $5.00?

A We have a well trained staff of professionals who are standing by in case of just such an unlikely event. However you can think of the extra money as kicking in a donation for one of the 99.54% of the people who are using this program but find the intricate complexities of sticking $5.00 into an envelope and then stuffing it into a mailbox to be completely beyond their comprehension .

Q What if I don't have a store and am just messing around with the program, or I am using it for teaching or other non-commercial purposes?

A Then do nothing. But if you are using this program to make lots of bucks for yourself then I do not think that $5.00 will send you into bankruptcy.

Q I live in Outer Wichestan, can I send you 12 Krupkas?

A Sure, I will stick them up on my corkboard. But the US dollar is available just about everywhere. I am sure that the vending machines at the South Pole will take dollars. Somewhere in Outer Wichestan you will be able to trade 12 Krupkas for 5 dollars which is much more likely than me finding a place that will do it here.

Q What if lots and lots of people start sending in $5.00?

A Dream on. However I do not see that that would be a serious problem. If a miracle happens and some real money started to come in first I would go to Wendy's and actually buy a real hamburger, sweet! But I am assuming that you mean what would happen after I bought receipt printers, pole displays, scanners, cash drawers, etc. and paying for the website, chatroom, and forum? Since this is so unlikely I have not given it much thought? I guess that I could work less overtime in my real job to pay the bills and maybe find time during daylight hours to work on this program. Catching up on a 3 year backlog of little sleep would also be pretty good.

Q Oh come on now. How much time could you possibly have used to write this thing?

A An old rule of thumb is that it takes one hour to write and debug one line of code. Which seems pretty generous but that also includes figuring out what the program is supposed to do (features), making a tentative plan on how the program is supposed to do that (file formats, etc.), designing the screens, then you write the code to do it. And then you find out it does not work and have to find the problem somewhere in 589 lines of new code or start over from the beginning. That takes a while. This also does not include maintaining the website, writing the program documentation, answering email and forum posts about the program and hanging out in the chatroom 1 to 2 hours every day to answer questions. Well POS has 50,000 lines of code written over ten years with me also working 45 hours a week in a real job. You do the math.

Q That leaves you 30 minutes a day to sleep, eat, go to the bathroom and have a life.

A Sometimes I multitask. But more money definitely means that I can do more work on cash register program and new features will come out quicker.

Q What if no money comes in?

A Well then I will continue as I have been doing or die which is getting to be a possibility.

Q Oh come on now.

A OK, I will try not to die.

Q If nothing comes in are you going to quit updating POS?

A I will continue. It just means that I am working to help out a bunch of cheap people. But occasionally I do get some really weird email which is endlessly entertaining.

Q People are always asking you for new features, why don't you charge them for them?

A Because no one has ever offered to pay for a new feature. Sure they will whine, beg, plead, and threaten but so far no one has ever offered to pay for a feature. They must think that this is a government project or something. This means that if you want a new feature that you must wait until I feel like it to add it to the program. Sometimes this means never. But if you have a new feature in mind that you really need and you can't wait, then make me an offer. Hint: it will be more than $5.00. Otherwise it goes into the "think about it" pile and you will have to hope that you get lucky.

Q But if someone really needs a new feature and they are too cheap to offer you anything for it don't you feel really bad making them wait, possibly forever?

A You must be kidding.

Q If I pay to have a feature added does that mean that I own it and only I get a version of POS that has it?

A Nope, it gets added to the next general release of the program.

Q You mean that everyone else gets it for free?

A Well they have gotten everything for free so far, so they will probably expect it. Anyway it is far too difficult to maintain multiple versions of the program.

Q Then why should I pay for it?

A Because you are a wonderful person, and you don't want to wait, possibly years, or forever, to get your new feature.

Q So if this is voluntary then it is a donation. Does that mean that I can deduct the $5.00 as a charity deal on my taxes?

A Yes and no. Yes it is a donation. No I am not a charity so you cannot deduct it as a charitable donation on your taxes. On the other hand give it a try and let me know how it works out. But if I get a letter from you with a return address from the local county lockup I think I will be able to guess that it did not turn out too well for you.

Q How about a deduction as a business expense?

A Well yes, definitely. Assuming that you are using POS in a retail business then the $5.00 you send me is positively a business expense and can be deducted from your business taxes. If you send me a $5.00 check you can use it as a receipt or send me a self addressed stamped envelope (or an additional fifty cents) and I will send you a signed receipt.

Q Well, will I get a receipt for $5.00 or $5.50.

A You will receive a receipt for whatever you send. If you send in $7.59 I will give you a receipt for that. And there may be an added bonus. Just think, many years from now when my Cash Register program has become ubiquitous and is used by everyone, from all the lemonade stands run by every kid in the world to the global Monster Megamart LLC. the then host of the "Antiques Roadshow" could be showing your receipt to an audience gasping in awe as he tells them that it is one of only 7 signed DHPOS receipts ever produced. And while it cost you only $5.00 way back in 2017, due to its rarity and the fame of POS, that it is now worth a gazillion dollars.

So send in that five bucks right away. You could be sitting on a fortune.

Click on [BACK] on your web browser to return to the previous page, or