HP Touchsmart PC

Almost a year ago we purchased a Touchsmart PC by HP for our kitchen to run my recipe software, Chef.  It has been a great addition to the kitchen and is a perfect match for the software.

HP recently revamped the machine with the latest model, and it looks pretty darn cool.  If you’re looking for a computer to put into your kitchen, definitely take a look at the Touchsmart – then give Chef a try!

Chef 1.3.20

I just released the latest version, 1.3.20, tonight.  A few new things include: recipe rating; cooking times; preparation times; better search capability; ingredient preparations; bug fixes; and more bug fixes.

If you’re a user, go upgrade!  If you aren’t a user, give it a try!


And now it’s midnight, time for bed.

Some Chef Updates

Just a few Chef notes…

A couple weeks ago I reported that I had gotten rid of SWREG in favor of E-Junkie with PayPal and Google Checkout.  Since then I’ve processed a couple of orders successfully so it’s good to know I didn’t break anything.    That’s always a concern of mine when I make changes like these, Murphy has proven to be an evil guy at precisely the wrong times.

Early last month I decided to give Download.com a try so I signed up and submitted Chef to be listed.  So far it’s showing a whopping 53 downloads.

The past week has been pretty busy with bug fixes and other support things.  Tomorrow night I’m going to try my hand at connecting to a customer’s PC to see if I can check on a problem they’re having.  Since I haven’t done this before I decided to go with Fog Creek’s Copilot software to (hopefully) get us connected.  I use their (great) FogBugz software for Chef and at work, so I have high expectations for Copilot.

I just posted 1.3.18 with the bug fixes from the past week.

I think that’s it!


A little over a year ago I posted about Payment Processors for taking payment for Chef. Shortly thereafter I went ahead and signed up and integrated with SWREG.  Over the past year I have been pretty happy with them regarding the capabilities they provided, as well as their prices – I’ve been able to accept payments for Chef licenses and successfully ship new customers their registration keys without any intervention on my part.

So why Bye Bye SWREG?  It has come to my attention that they have started doing some shady (at best) things.  In short, they try to upsell my new customers into buying something unrelated to my software – that charges a $9-$10/month recurring fee.  And they make it look like it’s me doing the selling.  I’m ashamed to say that I learned of this just a few months ago but hadn’t gotten around to switching everything out to a competing service.

Well that changed this weekend.  After some shopping around and some coding, I am now a (trial) user of E-Junkie and have accounts setup and working with both PayPal and Google Checkout.  I hope that I’ve tested everything as thoroughly as I feel like I have and don’t delay getting any new Chef customers their registration keys!

SWREG and Digital River – goodbye and good riddance.  You’ll be getting no more commission fees from me.   To anyone using Digital River for eCommerce – I urge you to take your money elsewhere.

Chef 1.3

Chef version 1.3 is released!

The big change in this release was the conversion over to a tag-based system for Categories (both Recipe Categories and Ingredient Categories).  So now instead of going to a separate tab and drag-dropping a recipe into categories, you just type the categries in as a comma-separated list.  For example: “eric’s favorites, desserts, chocolate” will put that recipe into 3 categories that you can then search by.

The recipe slide show was also updated to make it more usable.  The ingredients are now shown all of the time alongside the directions, with the applicable ingredients highlighted for the current step.

And as usual there were bug fixes and other small changes here and there.

Visual Studio 2008 Setup Projects

This is going to be fairly heavy on the tech side, so you’ve been warned…

A couple weeks ago I converted the Chef code to Visual Studio 2008 – not a new .net version, just upgraded the solution and project files to the new format so I could start using the new IDE. I ran into just one small problem that was easily fixed when the conversion ran, that being a namespace getting mangled in one of the .designer.cs files that kept the code from compiling clean. Like I said, no biggie.

Continue reading “Visual Studio 2008 Setup Projects”


With just over a day to go on the Poll to the right (The TV show ER: Should it stay or should it go?), it’s 8-3 in favor of getting rid of it! Too bad I don’t have any pull on the matter.

This weekend I’m hoping to get version 1.3 of Chef posted on the website. Ana has been running it for a week or so now, so I’ll do a bit more testing and get it released. Among other things I’ll post about later, I made a couple changes to the Recipe Slideshow feature and Ana now finds it as useful as I intended.

Related to Chef, this week I had a long conversation with David about my dread of doing marketing. He gave me a good outline on things I need to do to increase traffic and actually start doing some serious internet marketing, for which I’m very thankful. I’ve made some modifications to the main page, but there will need to be lots more I fear. I would appreciate any comments and suggestions on this topic…