Morbid use of Google Maps

Australians are obsessed with road deaths. Newspapers display “Road Deaths this year” on the front page as if they were lottery numbers. Therefore this use of Google Maps doesn’t surprise me. It shows every road death in Melbourne so far this year, detailing how the person died.

Nobody cares that you "rewrote from scratch"

I read this product announcement:

“As part of our ongoing commitment to our customers to provide the best software we can, we’ve rewritten […name omitted…] entirely from scratch!”

My opinion: users don’t care that you rewrote your software from scratch. That’s not a feature. It’s not a benefit. Nobody thinks, “this software I’m thinking of buying…they rewrote it from scratch so now I’m definitely buying it.”

Better is to announce the new features you’ve added:

“Because so many people requested it, we’ve added interactive charts.”


“The new release of XYZ now supports in-situ wiki editing.”

These are things that might make one curious and consider updating.

The technical details for those who really care about such things, I post in my blog. But I don’t think the fact that Poker Copilot was written in Java has swayed a single person for or against buying it.

Be Yourself

A tip I read on taking advantage of being a one-person software company:

Differentiate yourself from bigger companies by being personal and friendly
A lot of small companies make the mistake of trying to act big. It’s as if they perceive their size as a weakness that needs to be covered up. Too bad. Being small can actually be a huge advantage, especially when it comes to communication.

SEO is …

A strong and pithy opinion from Eoghan McCabe on search engine optimisation (SEO):

Maybe he’s says it a bit too strong. I think SEO has a place as a marginal exercise in tweaking and tuning a website. But that’s all.

Do Big Shiny Download Buttons Work?

A couple of days ago I uploaded a new version of the Poker Copilot home page. The new version has a enormous, bright, in-your-face download button that you can’t ignore if you try.

I’ve heard that this completely unsubtle approach maximises downloads. The idea is that when people look for a product – let’s say a poker hand history analysis tool for Mac OS X – you should make it as easy and tempting as possible to get the product on their computers. Did it work for me?

Let’s take a look at a chart:

The spike at the end of the graph says it all. Spike is not even an adequate word here. It’s a kangaroo leap to a new level.

I’ve not yet determined if there were side-effects, such as a drop in downloads from the download page or an increase in sales.

Why Poker Copilot stats differ from Poker Tracker stats

Some people compared the statistics Poker Copilot generates with the equivalent Poker Tracker statistics and have spotted differences. Why the difference?

Fair question. It’s matter of definition. Unfortunately there is no official organisation to issue precise definitions of terms such as “Blind Steal Attempts” and “Aggression Frequency”.

Consider “Blind Steal Attempts”. The current Poker Copilot definition is this: a raise on the button in the first round of betting when every player except the blinds have folded. But maybe the small blind can only make a blind steal attempt if the button folds. Or the player one before the button, who make be extremely courageous or have observed that the player on the button doesn’t like stealing. These situations are hard to detect pragmatically. However I feel the current definition is acceptable for making comparisons between players.

I added tool tips to each dashboard statistic defining Poker Copilot’s terms. There is also an explanation here. In both cases I’ve tried to use clear and concise terms.

The Future
I understand differing from Poker Tracker definitions makes it hard when comparing statistics on forums. Therefore at some point I intend to move my definitions closer to Poker Tracker, as it seems to be a de facto standard.

Poker Copilot 1.34 released

After a marathon debugging and testing session last night, I’ve now released Poker Copilot 1.34. The last changes were

  • a fix to the HUD grey bar problem
  • a correction to “Aggression Frequency”
  • a change in the definition of “Won at Showdown”

There are still a couple of known issues, but these only seem to affect two specific players. While I’m still investigating them, I didn’t want to hold up the release any longer for the wider public.

Many thanks to all who helped with suggestions and testing. Double thanks to Jerome and Matt who both seem to have a talent for finding bugs and tracking them down to specific hands where the bugs could be reproduced.

Download New Poker Copilot beta 1.33

Yesterday you saw the bankroll chart. Today you can download it:

Barring any further bug reports, I’ve got one issue left to deal with before I can move this from beta to full release. Thanks to all who have been patiently re-downloading the rapidly-changing beta.

Chief Community Officer

In the signature of an e-mail I received from Get Satisfaction:

Amy, Chief Community Officer, Get Satisfaction

First time I’ve heard of one of those!

New Chart: Bankroll by Hands Played

Every Poker Copilot user seems to want to see graphs by hands played. Currently I’ve only been graphing by date. There’s certain performance issues with the excellent charting component I use that was making this tough. But recently, that component’s developer supplied a nice patch to solve these issues. So I now added a bankroll chart:

But please, please, please don’t expect all the charts to get this new x-axis. It will be quite a bit of rework. For now, all I can offer is a one-chart taste. Consider it an appetizer for some delicious new charting morsels coming in a couple of months time.