Landmark SCSI Certify – still going strong!
1993… a trip to Clearwater
The radio is playing “Whomp!(There it is)”.
Our company and product is one year old.
The SCSI Toolbox runs under DOS, works “with any ASPI compatible SCSI Adapter”, including a little dongle that plugged into the PC’s parallel printer port on one side and had single-ended SCSI on the other!
In Clearwater Florida Landmark Research International has a big room full of telemarketers selling PC diagnostic software, like the Landmark CPU Speed Test. We thought that having that big roomful of folks selling SCSI diagnostics would be a good thing.
Must have colors!
Of course we were able put a deal together, after all we were the world leader in SCSI diagnostic software. Well, were really the only SCSI diagnostic software in the world, but still – we were certainly number 1 out of 1!
The deal was we’d write and support an OEM version of our full SCSI Toolbox and they’d market it.
It would be called “Landmark SCSI Certify”.
We wrote it, they produced it (boxes, manual, floppy disks) and marketed it with the room full of telemarketers, direct mail, industry trade mags and even end user PC magazines.
The only problem – Landmark was an up-to-date happening outfit, and they wanted their software to be state-of-the-art.
In 1993 that meant color.
Only problem was the SCSI Toolbox code was all written (In Borland C++ ) to use black & white text “graphics”.
We thought we were being awesome just having pull-down menus!
But no, the deal hinged on having those menus have different colors.
So – color it was.
Honestly, I can’t remember what our non-color toolbox looked like, nor can I remember what the fancy color Landmark one changed.
Here’s what the finished product looked like –
A full lab
Things plodded along as far as sales. Didn’t exactly set the world on fire or buy any of us new yachts.
Each month we’d get a report on sales, returns, and (sometimes) a check for our cut of the deal.
Just like rock stars! “Whomp! (SCSI Certify it is)”!
One day I went on a sales call to a well known company – a producer of SCSI disk drives. They took us on a tour of their facilities. They had a big room of test benches with PCs running tests on their products.
There were maybe 100 of these workstations, all with screens with familiar looking colors showing…
That’s right – their lab was chock-full of PCs running Landmark SCSI Certify!
We commented on this and they said “yes, it’s great, we just bought one for $99 and copied it to all of our test machines!”.
They were pretty proud of themselves – LOL!
If you ever wondered why we insist on protecting our product/IP – now you know!
They certainly got quiet when we told them that we were familiar with SCSI Certify…
Still going strong?
Now it’s 2015 – 22 years later! Amazing!
What’s more amazing is that SCSI Certify still seems to be around too!
When searching the web to research this article I found this ad on eBay – a company reselling disk drives –
A fantastic manuel (sic)…
What’s more amazing to me is I found several eBay ads for the SCSI Certify manual!
Or Manuels, as the case may be.
It’s vintage and it’s fantastic! Wow!
If only we’d saved some…
It seems the going rate for these fantastic manuals is $8.95.
If my fading memory serves me right I believe that is just about what our cut of each sale was back in 1993.
What a deal!
“Whomp!(There’s your 9 bucks)”.
If only I’d saved more copies…
Stay tuned – next time we’ll tell the story of the time we were asked “Can you make this for the Mac?”