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February 09, 2022

Freecheckip.com – My New Website

Even free stuff needs to be sold or it won’t be used; that’s why freecheckip.com.

In retirement I can’t seem to stop programming. I have been doing it for 60 years; it put our kids through college and software has been an important component of the companies Mary and I started. These days I write open source shareware: code any one is free to use, modify, or include in their own products. Most of what I write is to help people monitor and hopefully improve their IP connection. We’ve all seen how important a good IP connection is during the just-ending (I hope) pandemic and good connections are a particular problem out here in the sticks.


zoomready monitoring starlink connection

zoomready, pictured above, is my most ambitious project so far and is one of the tools available at freecheckip.com. It can be used to continuously monitor the status of any IP connection. There are also some nerd tools for doing speed checks from Python (a cool programming language) and clients I collaborated on to report the status of Starlink connections around the world to starlinkstatus.space, a very helpful website shown below.


map of North American starlink status

Some background on open source shareware

As nerds already know, there a huge amount of code in every programming language under the sun available on the web to learn from, to copy, or to us as the basis of new projects. Some people contribute because they believe all software should be free and are practicing what they preach. Others know they benefit in their own work by being able to build on what their predecessors  have done and feel a need to give back . Some (like me) just like to see their code used. Also, I’ve just found out, there is also a good business reason to write shareware; it’s an advertisement for what you can do. I am getting requests for paid custom versions of what I’m giving away. If I were still running a software company, I’m sure I’d be encouraging our programmers to post lots of shareware.

The open source part, the fact that you can actually see the code the programmer wrote, is important. For one thing, I’d be reluctant to just install something from somebody I don’t know on my computer unless I at least had an opportunity to look inside and see what it actually does. If I were thinking of hiring shareware writers, I’d certainly look at the quality of the code they write. Making the source code public also make it much, much easier for people to build on what you’ve done and to help you find your bugs.

Please take a look at freecheckip.com and see if there’s something there that might be useful to you. I am very grateful to all those whose open source I’ve built on and learned from: thank you.

See also:

Another Free Way to Tell if Starlink Broadband Will Work at Your Location

How to Find Out Free If Starlink Will Work at Your House

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