Monday, February 19, 2007 12:49 AM
EyeBatch to Charity - In Memory of Dad
My most memorable Christmas was the Christmas I got my first computer, a Commodore 128 when I was in 6th grade. The $1000+ my parents spent on that was at least 5 times what they had ever spent on Christmas for me in the past. While all my friends would later be playing video games on Nintendo, I was busy programming pixels in BASIC and hacking games on those 5-1/4" floppies. It lasted through my senior year in high school, and for creating spreadsheets for my landscaping business. Although neither of my parents used computers at their jobs, my Dad was friends with an appliance technician who also happened to service these computers that were sold at Sears. My Dad was a small engine technician as Sears. Looking back at it, I think that's how I got my first computer. In thinking about this, I realized just today that my Dad understood technology much more than I ever gave him credit for.
Now, after founding a successful and growing software company I often find myself pondering the question of how I got here. There were a number of factors that led me here, and I won’t bore you with the details, at least in this post. The single most important aspect of my life that influenced me to start a software business was my upbringing, and my Dad. I think about how hard he worked to support his family. How dedicated he was in helping others before himself. How even when he lost his job, he found satisfaction in whatever work he could find. More than anything, it was my Dad's work ethics. Not only did he work a full time job, he was also the town repairman fixing anything that had an engine including cars, tractors, lawnmowers, and more. This is how he spent his nights and weekends. Mostly as a favor, that only some would repay.
Two years ago today, my Dad lost his short battle with brain cancer. Brain cancer can affect a person in many different ways. It can lead to seizures, loss of memory, anger, and wild personality swings. Often the patient has no idea what's happening, or soon forgets. It can be absolute hell for anyone going through it, and their caregivers. The worst form of this cancer, Grade IV Glioblastoma presents a very slim chance for survival past a couple years (other than mis diagnosis), and a non-surgical tumor typically carries a life expectancy of 6 months, exactly the time my Dad lived since being diagnosed. The organization BrainTrust.org helped my family considerably during this time, with support services my mom and thousands of others latch onto during and after the ordeal. Here is an organization led by a survivor herself, Samantha Scolamiero, who has dedicated her life providing support services to those affected by this condition and their caregivers. Because this organization isn't research focused, an effort that is already funded with millions of dollars, potential supporters can be harder to find.
Today, in memory of my father, William M Bither II, I am announcing that 100% of proceeds from the sales of EyeBatch from January 1, 2007 onward will be donated to BrainTrust.org. My father was charitable to every one of his friends. Let this be my small part in being charitable to my friends dealing with this awful disease.
EyeBatch is an award winning batch image processor that can be used to process images using a simple drag and drop script language that can be used to create thumbnails, watermark images with EXIF text, and create complicated and interesting effects. After Atalasoft moved on into other markets, I had thought sales of this product would eventually die out, and admittedly, our company and myself had not given this product much attention. Despite its lack of updates, we sell licenses of EyeBatch every day, with customers continuously singing its praises. This partnership has given EyeBatch some new life, and this weekend a new version was released to support Windows Vista.