Jim Button

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Jim Button (born James Knopf—"knopf" meaning "button" in German) is considered by many to be one of the "fathers" of shareware (so named by fellow software veteran Peter Norton). He released his first program, PC-File (a flat file database), in late 1982 as "user supported software". He has been quoted as saying this expression not only reflected the optional payment model, but also that comments from users drove the development of later releases.

He collaborated with the late PC-Talk (communications software) developer Andrew Fluegelman to adopt similar names (PC-File was originally "Easy-File"), and prices, for their initial shareware offerings; they also agreed to mention each other's products in their program's documentation. Fluegelman referred to this distribution method as "freeware".

The late Bob Wallace, a few months later (early 1983), followed suit, coining the term "shareware" for his similarly marketed product, PC-Write, a word processor.

Of the three founders of shareware, Button is the only one still alive, despite having a near-death experience in 1992, when his heart stopped beating.

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