MacDirectory Magazine

Fall-Winter 2011

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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Page 89 of 115

CLOSER LOOK KEEP YOUR CHECKBOOK IN BALANCE WITH SPLASM WORDS BY JONE DEVLIN Splasm Software started out as a manufacturer of shareware games for MacIntosh software. It had a lot of great ideas, but as the projects stretched out the developers were frustrated at the amount of time it would take to get their games from idea to released product. In 2002, while awaiting completion of their third game, graphic artist Randy Knoble began working on an application to balance his checkbook. Knoble showed his prototype to a colleague and both quickly realized the marketability of this new app. Thus, CheckBook was born and almost as quickly became Splasm Software's premier product. Recently, spoke to Terra Knoble, Splasm's market research and outreach director (and resident pixie). Terra told us that CheckBook is still just as popular today as when it was first developed – if not more so. "With the recession, people are becoming more conscious of their money and how they spend it. With CheckBook you can run summaries, schedule reminders for bill payments – it really lets you see where your money is going, and keeps you on track with your budget." The recent news that Quicken 2007 is going away has also helped CheckBook sales, but Knoble feels that the main reason the application is still so popular has more to do with Splasm's sticking to its original intent for the product. The plan was that the company would always make sure to take a "no nonsense" approach to personal finance management. Thus, Checkbook, in all of its many updates and iterations, has always been easy to use, easy to program, and extremely practical. It is for these reasons, Knoble insists, that CheckBook is still a huge favorite with Splasm's customers. Yet even though its flagship product is a practical one, Splasm Software has never lost the sense of fun that was the original motivation behind the forming of their company. It also has not lost its desire to create applications that enhance and broaden the Apple computing experience. As a result of this, the company has created several other applications, including ViddyUp! (originally named Podner) which allows easy iPod video conversion, and includes bonus features such as batch processing, cropping, and MPEG audio support. Another great application from Splasm Software is Audiobook Builder, which allows users to rip directly from audio CDs (or from previously downloaded audiobook CDs) into iPod-friendly audio book files. And for the creative individual, AudioBook Builder also offers options to add cover art, create artwork enhanced chapter stops, and more. Audiobook Builder, in fact, is one of Terra Knoble's favorite products. Fluent in both English and Portuguese, Knoble told MacDirectory that the Splasm team has been working hard (and very successfully) to localize the product and release it even in more languages. The most important thing for Splasm, however, is and always has been the response that customers have to its products. Because of this, the company not only spends a lot of time communicating with its customers, but takes everything they say (both good and bad), into careful consideration. Splasm also makes it a point to respond to everyone that sends a comment. Says Knoble, "We care about our customers, and we make sure that all emails we receive are answered and answered promptly." The company also carefully continues to follow developments in Apple computing since, as Knoble put it, "the iPod and iPhone and now the iPad present lots of opportunities (for new applications and software)." Meanwhile, if you want to try CheckBook, you can do it for free, as a trial copy is currently available on Splasm Software's website. Another great way to check out the company is to head out to MacWorld, where it will not only be exhibiting, but will also be offering, in the words of Terra Knoble, "some great swag. " Fun, practical, and extremely customer friendly, Splasm Software is definitely MacIntosh users to hang out. place for M a c D i r e c t o r y t h e

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