Free but not free or “I’m off to Cancun”

You wake up and the sun is shining. Yep, it’s a great day. “I fancy a bit of that electronic designing that I keep hearing about” you proclaim as you drink your first coffee of the day. So you power up the laptop, click on Google and, wow, loads of PCB Design Software, “I’ll have a bit of that” you announce to the world, but only the cat is in the room. The cat gives you a funny look.

You download the freebie, feeling well pleased with your mastery of the internet and the bundles of cash you have just saved. You make a mental note to “book vacation in Cancun”.

You start up the software and off you go, Edison “eat your heart out”.

Your first Gizmo is a success.

A couple of months pass by. Now “let’s turn Gizmo into Super Gizmo” you say with a big smile. So off you go, the freebie is up and running and you are well into the new design then bang, smash, wallop a dialog pops up saying you have reached the freebie limit and it’s time to pay up. You yelp in pain. The Super Gizmo must be done; you’ve spent another 2 weeks on it. Out comes the plastic, you tap in a few digits ($500) then you are up and running.

The following week Super Gizmo is let loose on the world.

A couple of months later, you wake up with the cat licking your face, you thought it was the girl you met last night, but she dumped you as you both were leaving the bar. A bright idea enters your head “let’s turn Super Gizmo into Mega Gizmo”. So off you go, the not so free freebie is up and running and you are well into the new design then bang, smash, wallop that darned dialog pops up again saying you have reached another limit and it’s time to pay up. You yelp in pain. The Super Gizmo must be done; you’ve spent another 2 weeks on it. So you look for alternatives, you see AutoTRAX; it’s real cheap and no limits. , “I’ll have a bit of that” you yell. Download AutoTRAX but what’s this? You can’t move your design from the not so free freebie to AutoTRAX, the not so free freebie developers keep their file format secret. Nobody else can read it. You have been well and truly screwed.

Out comes the plastic, you tap in a few digits ($1000) then you are up and running. You make a mental note “cancel Cancun”. The cat hisses at you, turns round and legs it for the door.

The following week Mega Gizmo is let loose on the world and you wonder what to do during your vacation at home.

You have just been stung.

In the business it’s called the Trojan Horse.