Jul 17 2004

2004 SIAF banquet opening speech

Yours Truly exercises his speaking skills at the Shareware Industry Awards
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´╗┐First I want to thank Phil Schnyder for “Philling” in for me at last year’s award banquet. I couldn’t be your emcee last year because at that moment I was somewhere in Iraq with an M-16.

…”You’re welcome!” :-)

Now, I don’t know if you’re for the war or against the war. I don’t know if you’re proud to be a peacenik or proud to be a warmonger. I can only tell you that politicians decide on war — not the military. Please support our troops.

…And as one of the troops in Iraq, I can assure you that war has a sound. More importantly, victory has a sound. And I know what the sound of victory was in Iraq. I heard that sound every day and I want to play it for you right now. PLAY THE SOUND OF VICTORY.

Rob emcees the 2007 SIAF ceremonies

Rob emcees the 2007 SIAF ceremonies

…That’s right, folks: the Microsoft Windows 2000 logon sound. I heard that sound of victory all the time in Iraq. Computers brought a level of precision to this war that we’ve never seen before.

And shareware … was there.

The days of carpet bombing are over, folks. Shareware has helped to make war laser-precise.

I want to talk about the shareware that helps to keep our soldiers alive and raises their morale. Shareware that not only helps us to distinguish friend from foe, but also helps us to avoid killing innocent civilians, too. Shareware that is nominated for awards here at tonight’s banquet.

Iraq had no Internet to speak of when our troops went there. We quite literally dragged the Internet with us, and within just a few days our troops were logging in from all over the country. We were, as you’d expect, starved for bandwidth — and WinZip was a vital utility that helped us to squeeze every byte out of our Internet connections.

Battlefield commanders need a constant supply of digital imagery — and some of our intelligence officers use Paint Shop Pro to create that digital imagery.

When I got to Iraq, the average letter took over a week to arrive and packages took over two weeks. Telephone calls were a precious commodity, and so email was a godsend. Email gave us the opportunity to speak with our loved ones in a casual manner, as if we were just on a business trip. But if you think email is great for morale, then you should have seen mIRC. Husbands in the deep desert can chat in realtime with their wives at home. A girlfriend at a captured Iraqi air base can even chat in realtime with her boyfriend at some other captured Iraqi air base. mIRC’s effect on morale is incredible.

And if you think mIRC is incredible, you should have seen what we could do with a webcam and a copy of ICU2. Believe it, folks — video! In the middle of the deep desert, in a country that had no Internet when we arrived. ICU2’s effect on morale is equally stunning.

War is basically a lot of boredom followed by a few moments of sheer intensity. And while we were waiting, our folks pulled out their personal laptops & PDAs. They played games like Pretty Good Solitaire and (of course) UnReal Tournament.

Soldiers used to keep a deck of cards by their cots; now it’s a computer. And I can assure you that shareware games greatly improve troop morale.

We — us! — the shareware community — is so entrenched now, that armies need us if they want to win battles. Again, I don’t know if you’re for the war or against the war. But I do know that if politicians send you off to war … you go with shareware.

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the Shareware Industry Awards. I’m your Master of Ceremonies, Rob Rosenberger. Tonight, we honor the industry’s cream of the crop in the year 2004. This event was conceived to honor the very best products written by Shareware developers.

If you look at your printed program, you’ll see the many winners of past years. These are the soldiers who fought for shareware in earlier times. Tonight we honor the troops who break new ground and set new standards of excellence in the computing age….