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What's the last piece of software that you paid money for?

Ben Sinclair
I've been a professional C, Perl, PHP and Python developer. I'm an ex-sysadmin. Back in the day, I had a geekcode which I'm not going to share with you. 418 I'm a teapot.
・1 min read

We all love free software.

Today, I got my company to spring for a license for TablePlus for me. It got me thinking about how infrequently I use anything that you have to buy. I'd have preferred to use something that was free (as in speech) but don't resent paying for something I'm going to use.

How do you choose which products to shell out for?

Discussion (18)

dmfay profile image
Dian Fay

I think the last one for me was renewing my IntelliJ license. As Java IDEs go, Eclipse gets more hate than it deserves but IDEA is a substantial improvement.

I spend most of my time in the shell, nvim, and psql anyway so there aren't a lot of things I even need to look at paid solutions for. Java development is the major exception.

samuraiseoul profile image
Sophie The Lionhart

Interesting that you spend a lot of time in psql. You mean the command line client right? Any reason for that over using some gui for it? I hate everytime I have to go into sql from the command line.

dmfay profile image
Dian Fay

I'm a very fast touch-typer and mousing slows me down + isn't great for my wrist (hence vim; I even use i3, a keyboard-driven tiling window manager). I can easily write select * from tbl limit 100 in the time it would take me to navigate the menus to do the same in a graphical tool.

psql looks spartan at first, but a little configuration fixes that. pspg is also quite nice. I can write a simple query, navigate and search the results, open it back up in vim with \e, save and quit and get the new results, and so on, all without moving my hands away from the home row.

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samuraiseoul profile image
Sophie The Lionhart

I'm sure you can make it very nice, but I like having my DB tool centralized in my IDE I guess and I'm pretty mousy. I guess for me its lack of experience in it and also the help command isn't great for getting you connected to DB or even realizing you need to. Haha. Thanks for sharing though!

michaeltd profile image

UltraEdit32(!!!), back in 2003 (lolz?).

No need for that either since I've wrapped my head around emacs not long after that.

Generally I'll try to overcome any rough edges and short comings in FOSS alternatives before giving up and call it "savings" and "FOSS advocacy".

For postgresql for example squirrelsql for the most part seems to have me covered and even netbeans (out of the box iirc) and eclipse can highlight and execute scripts when configured.

xngwng profile image
Xing Wang

a lot things. I think it is crazy people refuse to pay for software. Few example of software that I pay for:

  • Slack
  • Sketch
  • I paid for Webstorm until Visual Studio Code got so much better.
  • Github
goober99 profile image
Matthew D. Miller

I'm a Linux user, and the stereotype is that we're not willing to pay for software, so often I don't even have the option of buying software. Many companies only make their product for Windows and/or Mac. There are some companies I would happily buy their product, but it simply won't run on my computer, so I have to find an alternative.

The last software I bought was Fade In. I had tried a few free screenwriting apps such as Celtx and Trelby, but none really hit the spot. Fade In has been a great purchase. It works on Linux. On top of that, I bought it years ago (it's been a long time since I bought software) and I've been able to download every new version since I bought it without paying any extra or having to buy an upgrade.

arjenpostma profile image
Arjen Postma

The last thing I bought was a PyCharm license. I tend to go for free software first. I don't mind spending money on software but when I buy something I always feel te need to use it or I feel like I have wasted my money and that doesn't feel good.

stephanie profile image
Stephanie Handsteiner • Edited

According to Revolut, the last time I spent money on software was for Apollo Ultra. 🤔

I spend most of my working/productive hours in the shell, thus I don't buy much production software I guess, the last bit would be Sublime a few years ago.

brandelune profile image
Jean-Christophe Helary

BBedit because it is still easier to do batch regexp jobs there than in emacs and Script Debugger because there is no alternative. Both are Mac indies and are really good. I did spend money on other pieces of software, also to support indies development but asked (and got) a refund.

For the free software I use, I try to choose not corporate and I make donations, either in money or in time.

phlash909 profile image
Phil Ashby

If you count cloud providers (it's mostly software right?), then I'm paying monthly for a few Azure services myself.

Locally installed stuff... I can't remember, most likely a game or 3 for the Wii or XBox 360 now sat unused by the TV.

Work of course buy licences all the time for everything, we willingly trade money for people time :)

jaakidup profile image

I once bought a Game, It was Dungeon Siege...

But I had a voucher, so I'm not sure it counts


moopet profile image
Ben Sinclair Author

If you'd paid money for that game, you'd have got your money's worth from studying the interesting UI decisions. I remember getting it and being so very impressed with how the menus and combat worked, while simultaneously being disappointed because it was one of the worst games I'd ever played.

jaakidup profile image

Haha, yes, but it was good enough that I ended up playing all the later editions too. Our whole group of friends actually played it and those spiders scuttling about in the dungeon still haunt us.

I totally agree with the combat and teamwork! The menu systems are great, the folding and selections, all with a somewhat mechanical 'thunk'.

I actually started replaying a while ago, still impressive.

nikakhtar profile image

An english learning app...

scottshipp profile image

LucidChart! I love it!

amielucha profile image
Sławek Amielucha

Any WinRAR license holders here?

jorgecc profile image
Jorge Castro

PHPStorm is a must have and it worths every penny and cent.