The iCash development was projected in the late eighties but actually began in the early nineties. The very first version was released by the end of 1991. At the time, it was built to run on Microsoft Windows 3.1 and IBM OS/2. It was coded using the Pascal language. The development of the application continued up to the release of version 2.0 on May 1995.
The application wasn't known as iCash but as 'Peggy Première'. Peggy because of the Muppet Show character and the analogy with a piggy bank. And 'Première' refers to the shooting of the first scene of a movie (it means 'First' in french). Peggy Première was supposed to be the best Personal Finance software at that time. Well at least in Spain, where I was leaving. The software was only available in Spanish, not even in french my mother tongue nor English. There were no international sales projected.
I spent a decade selling Peggy Première, sending 3'5 floppy disks by mail with cash on delivery as the only payment method. The software was advertised by a third party shareware company based in Barcelona. That did not make me rich, it provided some spare money and lot of satisfaction. I am a vocational self taught software engineer and being part of that world was what I always wanted.
In the early nineties I was working for an important Macintosh compatible hardware dealer mainly doing support. I was connected to Applelink, the Apple Computer's online service for dealers and third party developers. I had an email address and access to development news groups. I later got a private Compuserve email address and something similar to a web page. Very few people knew what internet was at that time so I used my internet connection for development purpose only.
I completely stopped Windows programming in 1995 and started with Pascal on Macintosh, then C++ with CodeWarrior until I decided to start developing in Xojo, a cross-platform development environment that was just released a year before or so. I started coding a bulk email software at work, MaxBulk Mailer, in order to send offers to the company customers, I was then in charge of marketing. Then I developed several other email tools I needed, eMail Extractor, eMail Bounce Handler and eMail Verifier.
I started selling software by myself in 2001, thru the maxprog web site and Kagi as the payment processor. I left the company I was working for and I created my own. I needed a Personal Finance software and actually at the end of 2002 I had to spend long periods of time without being connected to the internet so I took my laptop and I decided to resurrect 'Peggy Première'. I no longer had the source code so I had to start from scratch. In a few months I had a working version, using Valentina, a SQL-like relational database management system, rather than a proprietary file format as before. I called it iCash, a contraction of 'Family Cash'. The 'i-' words started to be popular so it made sense. Note that I even own the familycash.com domain!
iCash 1.0 was released on February 11, 2003. The day before my 34th birthday. That first version was in english and for MacOS 9 and MacOS X. Two months later a German version was released, then French, Spanish and up to the current 14 languages. I have released 92 updates in the last 14 years. The Microsoft Windows version was released mid 2014.
So yes, the concept of Peggy Première, is 25 years old and the current iCash is 14 years old. iCash has gone from 68k to PPC, then to Intel, from MacOS 9 to MacOS X, from Carbon to Cocoa, from Windows XP to Windows 10 and now from 32-bit to 64-bit. I have no problem to continue for another 25 years :-)
As a final word let me say that I use all the software I made, including iCash, mainly for running the company, to have an idea on how it is performing, despite iCash was originally developed as a home accounting software.
You can download Peggy Première 2.0 here. Note that it only works on Windows 3.1, Windows 95, Windows 98 and OS/2. Have fun!
Marc Zeedar 2006 interview for the xDev Magazine
Tell us a little about your background. Where did you grow up? Where did you go to school?
Despite my name sounds English I was born and grew up in France. Actually my great grandfather was american so my parents decided to name me after him. Perhaps it was premonitory as nowadays most of my customers are american. I left France when I finished studying electronic engineering and moved to Spain where I reside since then.
How did you get interested in computers and programming?
My first contact with programming was when I was 12. A math teacher were giving free programming classes at lunch time. I enrolled and later found out I was the youngest of the classroom. We were Using Texas Instruments calculators, the TI-30 if I remember well. That was in 1979/1980. Later I purchased a Casio calculator and made a lot more programming. A few years later I went to Phoenix for holidays. I saw a ZX-81 for the first time. Once back home I bought one and started to learn Basic. It was the real start thus since then I have never stopped programming.
Tell us a little about your company and the products you make.
I founded Max Programming, LLC in 2001 right after living my previous job at an Apple wholesaler, in order to declare the incomes I was already generating from selling software in my spare time. I started developing email applications, a few internet tools and I finally created a Personal Finance software and a tool to control online sales. Originally my goal was to concentrate in developing Internet tools only but I needed some applications to control my company so I created and added them to my catalogue.
How did you discover Xojo?
I started doing shareware in 1989 for MSDOS using mainly the Pascal and C languages and later Delphi on Windows. Once I discovered the Mac it took quite a long time to continue programming as I was used to Delphi and there were no RAD tools at that time on the Mac. If I remember well I discovered Xojo in December 1999 browsing thru the internet. It simply changed my life. I started using it and one year later I left the company I was working for and funded my own.
Why do you use Xojo?
I use Xojo because it offers a great Rapid Application Development environment, it uses a wonderful easy-to-use language, it is OOP and because it is multi-platform. I don't imagine myself using another tool actually. I spent too much time fighting with Code Warrior when I tried to create my own OOP libraries to manage Windows, menus and so on. With Xojo you concentrate yourself on the real stuff. I think it is ideal for creating commercial software.
What are your favorite Xojo features?
I love the 2006 IDE and the power of built-in sockets. The list of favorite Xojo features could be long as I personally feel very comfortable using it. It is amazing how the product has evolved since I started to use it in 1999. I had no problem to adopt the new IDE as I was used to Delphi's in the past.
What's the one feature you'd like Xojo to add/improve?
I would love to see a full-featured DNS lookup socket. A profiler would be great as well. About improvements there are always a lot to do but right now I think we are going in the right direction. Bugs use to be fixed soon if they refer to something hot. However it can take sometimes months to get others fixed. It is a bit annoying but I guess a developer has to deal with that.
What's your biggest development challenge?
If you would have asked me last summer I would have responded 'Porting my products to Universal Binary'. Finally it has been much easier than expected. Right now my main challenge is to make all my products to evolve in the right direction and make time to create new ones. Perhaps porting a few of them to Linux could be interesting in the long run. I have no idea yet of what Cocoa support will represent in term of code portability but the switch could be really interesting.
For years I have been maintaining a list of the computers I have ever owned. Yesterday I came across that list totally accidentally and I decided to update it by including my current machine, here we go:
1986 Amstrad 6128
1987 Amiga 500
1990 Amstrad PC1512
1991 PC clónico 286
1992 PC clónico 386
1992 Apple Macintosh SE
1995 PC clónico 486DX2
1996 PC clónico Pentium 100
1996 Apple Quadra 650
1996 Apple PowerMac 7200/120
1997 Apple PowerMac 6400/180
1997 Apple PowerBook 150
1997 Apple PowerBook 3400c/180
1998 Apple PowerMac G3/266 Minitower
1998 Apple PowerMac 8500/120
1999 Apple PowerMac 6400/200
1999 Apple iMac 266
2000 Apple PowerMac G4/400
2001 Apple PowerMac 64/533
2002 Apple iBook 700 Mhz
2003 PowerMac G5/2 GHz Dual
2003 Dell Optiplex GX260 P4 2 GHz
2005 Apple PowerMac G5/2.5 GHz Quad
2006 Apple iMac 2 GHz
2006 Apple MacPro Xeon/3 GHz Quad
2007 Dell Dimension 9200 2.4 GHz Dual
2007 Toshiba Satellite L100 1.6 GHz
2008 Apple MacBook Air 13" Core2Duo 1.6 GHz
2009 Apple MacPro 2x Xeon/3 GHz Quad
2013 Apple MacBook Pro 13" Retina i5 GHz
2014 Apple MacBook Air 13" i5 1.3 GHz
2016 Apple MacMini 3 GHz Intel Core i7
That's a lot of computers and I did not include any programmable calculators :-)