Tonight is Shareware Industry Awards Foundation (SIAF) banquet.
The SIAF banquet is the major event that concludes the Shareware Industry Conference. It features a nice meal, a comedian for entertainment, and then the actual awards ceremony. The highlight of the evening is certainly the presentation of awards to friends and colleagues. This year, there is added anticipation, as three products on which I have worked received SIAF nominations:
Action Solitaire was nominated for Best Action/Arcade Game
Pretty Good Solitaire was nominated for Best Non-Action Game
SnagIt was nominated for Best Graphics Program or Utility
First, though, the evening starts with the annual waiting around by the bar while the room is prepared. Many (and this year, most) attendees dress up for the occasion, though some of us still keep the affair casual. One unnamed person even commented that he always felt comfortable knowing that at least he would be more dressed up than me. I have to say in my defense that I have it on very good authority that this was the way the event was intended to be, so I am upholding tradition.
Once the doors opened, we found some good seats. We were close enough to see well, with chairs facing the stage, but out of “heckle range”: perfect. At our table were Thomas and Anne Warfield of Goodsol Development, Paul Scandariato of Intelli Innovations, Suda Pethe of Centered Systems, and Michael Halls of FileKicker.
After the usual introductory words and a very tasty meal, the comedian came on. This year, it was Bryan Kellen, who was billed on the SIC site as follows: “With his high-energy physical style of comedy he’ll be sure to make you laugh!” Well, I certainly laughed, but he is almost the same age and also grew up in the Midwest, so the references were directed straight at me. There were a few reviews that were not totally positive, so that may be too narrow a target.
There was a short break before host Phil Schnyder (yes, that Phil Schnyder) began the awards ceremony. The first set of awards were the People’s Choice Awards, presented based on customer voting on popular download sites. There are no nominations, per se, so it was a pleasant surprise when Pretty Good Solitaire won the award for Best Non-Action Game the second year in a row. The full list of winners, current and past, are available on the People’s Choice Awards page of the SIC site.
In the second half of the program, the Shareware Industry Awards were presented, in reverse order. Unfortunately, we did not have to wait long for Action Solitaire and, immediately thereafter, Pretty Good Solitaire, to remain nominees in their respective categories. However, several friends won awards, and SnagIt won the award for Best Graphics Program or Utility, though I doubt that my contribution a dozen years ago (literally) had much impact. A full list of 2005 SIA winners and nominees can be found at the 2005 Shareware Industry Awards page.
With the “formal” festivities complete, many of us retired to the hotel bar, so many that the service came to a grinding halt. After a wait that was more easily measured by parts of hours, we managed to get a few drinks. Much of the alcohol at our tables was on SophSoft, but the poor service was working to keep our tab down.
The list of people to whom I owed a drink kept the conversation lively: Sheila Manning of Grand River Software, Mike Stevenson of Shareware Junction, Danny Weidig of AcroVista Software, and, of course, Thomas Warfield. We were also joined by Carl Gundel of Liberty BASIC and Ed Pulliam of OUISoft, among others. A Good Time was had by all!
Unfortunately, the final ice cream run of SIC 2005 became the FINAL ice cream run for Eric Issacson‘s previously trusty old car, so we will end with a short moment of silence…