Visit Ben Haller's home page for info on the man behind Stick Software.

The Stick Software Philosophy

Our slogan is "Anti-Productivity Tools for the Discerning User", and that's what we're all about. We want to make your Mac fun, friendly, and aesthetic. Our software will probably never help you balance your checkbook, do your taxes, schedule meetings, or write the Great American Novel. But it will brighten your day – or so we hope.

As for the "discerning user" part, well, that's up to you. But our hope is that you will recognize that Stick Software is kind of a special company. We don't release software with known bugs – we ship our apps when they are ready to ship, not when we arrive at a management-chosen production date. We don't ever charge you money for upgrades to our products. We don't spam you with undesired advertisements and promotions. We listen to your feedback, and respond to you with emails written by humans, not with automatically generated notices intended to deflect you. We develop our software for the Mac first, instead of making inferior ports from Windows. We even take requests from our users! (Jiggler, for example, was written in response to a user request).

We're here for you, the discerning user. If you find bugs, or want features added, let us know. If you have ideas for great new products that fit in with our philosophy, drop us a line. And if you appreciate the software we've already made, or the philosophy behind it, please send in your payment – and maybe buy a Stick Software t-shirt, and maybe link to us. Thank you.

Stick Software I

Stick Software was founded sometime vaguely in the vicinity of 1986, but I really can't be more specific, I'm afraid. The name comes from the fact that my nickname in high school (the Alternative Community School of Ithaca, N.Y., left) was "Stickman". My friend Malcolm (who made up the nicknames of half the high school) felt that I "moved like a stick". I'm not sure what that means; all I can tell you is, I was taking karate at the time – maybe that's relevant.

The most famous title published by Stick Software back in the old days was probably Solarian II, a video game that won many awards in its heyday. Other Stick Software titles from that era include Mandel, ColorBits, Eyeballs, BigFoot, and doubtless some others that I've forgotten.

I left the shareware industry in pursuit of education, romance, and other things many years ago now, so Stick Software languished, gathering dust deep in the walk-in closet of my mind.

Stick Software II

After various adventures, I ended up working at NeXT, and got bought out by Apple. I worked at Apple for several years, but eventually decided to leave my job there to write shareware again, and so Stick Software was reborn based on Apple's new software stack: OS X, Objective-C, and Cocoa. This was the time period in which I wrote the products that are still Stick Software's flagship apps today, such as PhotoReviewer and Fracture. After a couple of years of that, however, I realized that the dissatisfaction that had led me to leave Apple ran deeper than I thought; I really wanted to leave software altogether in order to try to make more of a concrete difference to the problems that loom over humanity – things like global climate change and biodiversity loss. I believe that science-based policy and the public acceptance of science are the keys to navigating our way past those problems, and I decided that I wanted to be a part of making that happen. So Stick Software went back onto the back burner as I went back to school to get a B.S. and then a Ph.D. in biology.

Stick Software III

So now we are in the Third Era of Stick Software. At present, Stick Software is in kind of a holding pattern. My main focus in life these days is pursuing teaching, research, and related academic pursuits; you can read about Ben Haller in academia if you like. Stick Software limps along with work done in my spare time, but I don't have time for everything I'd like to do with it, so please be patient. I am trying to find a work–life balance that allows me to spend a little more time on it; we shall see!


We send out newsletters from time to time (guaranteed less than once a month) with news about things like new or upgraded products. You can subscribe (or unsubscribe), or browse our old newsletters, if you want to read old news:

September 2013
October 2009
September 2009
August 2006
August 2005
October 2004
September 2004
March 2004
February 2004
November 2003
October 2003
August 2003
June 2003
December 2002
November 2002
July 2002
April 2002
February 2002

We also publish an RSS news feed, for immediate notifications of new and updated products (read about RSS and learn how to subscribe).


Thanks to my mother, Dan, and Joe for their help reviewing this web site. It's a lot of work making a web site; your help made it a lot easier. Thanks to Ken not only for review work, but all sorts of other invaluable assistance and advice. Thanks to all our testers, localizers, the folks on the cocoa-dev list, and everybody else who has helped us out over the years! Thanks to all the folks in the Mac community. It really is a special group of people, with uncommon vision, creativity, principles, and unity.

Most of all, thanks to my wife Keewon for her support, companionship and love. Keewi, you keep me going on the days when the code is crashing, the server is down, and nobody is paying their shareware fees. I couldn't do it without you.

Contact Information

Feel free to send e-mail with comments, suggestions, bugs, ideas, etc. Please note Stick Software is not hiring, nor am I looking to be hired. Thanks!
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No unsolicited commercial e-mail (NO UCE) is allowed to these addresses. Mail servers are located in California.