Barry Simon took the idea that arose out of a shareware meeting and dedicated time and energy to propel the idea of the ASP forward. Barry provided the skills and energy to get people like Jim Button, Don Watkins, Nelson Ford, and Tom Simondi involved so that the ASP would have the credibility and support of established companies, to encourage communication between members, and to have the talent to make everything move forward and be put into place. His was the guiding vision that a trade association made up of such disparate minds and geographical locations could actually accomplish something. Then he, through lots of time and energy, kept the ASP moving along by doing most of the actual promotion during the first few years.
In his side job as a writer for Ziff Davis, he wrote many articles spotlighting shareware products for PC Magazine and included shareware prominently in books such as “CD-MOM: The Mother of All Windows Books” (“requires Windows 3.1 running in 386 Enhanced mode; mouse highly recommended,” co-written by ASP member Woody Leonhard).
In his spare time he had a full-time job as IBM Professor of Mathematics and Theoretical Physics and Department Chair for Mathematics (now Executive Officer for Mathematics) at Caltech and was a winner of the gold medal of the International Association of Molecular Science for work related to quantum chemistry. In this role he wrote other books such as “The Statistical Mechanics of Lattice Gases.”
Official Capacities: Board
(September 1987-January 1992)
(Chair in 1991); President (March 1989-June 1990)
While hosting the first “Meeting of Shareware Authors” in February of 1987 in Houston, Texas, the idea for the Association of Shareware Professionals was born. The best way to set a date and a place was to hold this meeting in conjunction with an area computer industry meeting (HAL-PC or the Houston Area League meeting). Many “old-timers” (this is an affectionate term coined for those people that have been around for many, many years) attended and were enthusiastic about the “Meeting of Shareware Authors.” Included in attendance were Barry Simon and Tom Simondi. Most of the business was conducted and new business deals created in the restaurant, in the bar, and between formal gatherings. This is still the majority of ways that new friends and business contacts are made as well as bringing in new business relationships!
The very first version of the Shareware Guide: “How to Start/Survive in Shareware” was one of Nelson’s contributions to the ASP. Being the founder of PsL, short for “Public (software) Library,” Nelson created the guide to assist his business relationships with PsL clients, but because of the impact that it could have and the help that it could bring to ASP members, it was given to the ASP for the organization to use.
In the early nineties, Randy MacLean had an idea for mailing multiple software titles on disks to individuals and companies that subscribed. Nelson expanded on this idea and created a monthly feature of software titles sent out on floppy disks. That project grew into many large boxes of disks to be mailed each month.
Official Capacities: Board member (September 1987-January 1991) and again (March 1997-December 1997). Treasurer (August 1991-December 1997)
He started out in this industry before shareware, when the concept was known as “User Supported Software.” PC-SIG deemed Tom a featured author in the late eighties; he was invited to the HAL-PC meeting in Houston, Texas. When he arrived, he had no idea that by the time he left he would be playing a major role in creating and supporting the Association of Shareware Professionals!
Tom has continued to provide a presence in the ASP board room and was the primary librarian of the Shareware Guide, and he is very intuitive about the membership and their needs and expectations. He has acted as historian on many occasions, filling in the blanks on conversations about historic conversations. In addition to all of this, Tom is very knowledgeable about the Bylaws.
Everyone appreciates the work that Tom has done for the ASP. He usually takes a back seat, not preferring the lime-light. Tom still is actively involved with the day-to-day efforts in serving the ASP as well as being an integral part of the behind-the-scenes force that continues to drive the ASP forward.
Official Capacities:Secretary (January 1990 – February 1992),
Started ASPects, and remained editor for four volumes (Vol 1 #1- Vol 4 #9, from 1988 through 1991), sat on the Virus Advisory Committee and the Education Committee.