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Freeware Software _ Developer Spotlight _ Spotlight: Oliver Pfister of FreeVimager

Posted by: marko Apr 8 2010, 02:34 PM

Your real name:
Oliver Pfister

Also known as:
Conta, my high school nick name, my site name contaware.com comes from that

How old are you?:
35

Your freeware software:
https://freewarebb.com/FreeVimager-file5792.html

Your website:
http://www.contaware.com

When did you started developing freeware?:
I started developing FreeVimager back in 2004. It was first released to the public in 2007. In 2006 I released it to my friends.

Why did you start developing freeware?:
Just out of curiosity in 1999 I started writing a graphics library.
In 2001 I used part of the library while programming on a GPS viewer for the company I was working. In 2004 I returned from my 2 years long around the world trip. At that time the mega-pixel cameras started to appear on the market and one of my friends complained about the slowness of loading its pictures on his laptop so I started to implement the fast loading algorithm of jpeg pictures available in FreeVimager and realized that the viewer could be useful to others.

Is it a career, or just for fun?:
It is both fun and work: during the week I develop FreeVimager and ContaCam (my commercial product), I do system administration for a company and sometimes I develop web sites.

What's the most difficult project/development you've done?:
It was hard to write all the metadata (EXIF, IPTC and XMP) handling for jpeg and tiff files: I wanted batch processing for XMP and many other special things that I wrote from scratch.

Please tell us a little about yourself:
I live in Switzerland, in the south part of it, very close to Italy. My mother tongue is italian, I love pasta and pizza. I will soon marry, no kids yet. Other than programming I like to practice sports, go out with friends and do long walks in the mountains with my future wife.

What would you consider to be your major accomplishments to date?:
Having more than 100'000 downloads on my site (without considering other freeware or shareware web pages). Despite the classical looking interface of my software I'm happy there still are people considering quality software over shiny GUIs.

Any failures you'd care to tell us about?:
I'm a bit slow in releasing software because I test them too much. FreeVimager could have been released one year earlier...

What advice would you give to someone starting out in developing/programming?:
I learned a lot about programming by just doing it. My approach is program something for fun and see what comes out. You can read a lot of books but they are useless without any experience.

What websites do you visit to relax?:
When I want to relax I do meditate, if it really must be a site then I check the progresses of the cool free Windows: http://www.reactos.org

Do you have any particular plans for your freeware in the future?:
Yes, I have a 32 bits DOS version of FreeVimager to release, meant to recycle old PCs as slide-show viewers.

What's your favorite book, movie, tv show, game, and food?:
I read a lot of spiritual books, I like the Matrix movie, I hate TV shows, I do not play computer games, I'm vegetarian and I like swiss chocolate, obvious ;-)

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