Thanks for your info about Q9 on Mac.
As for the price $250-$350 for the Q9 software, I think it is very reasonable. I have two arguments
1. Q9Tech is doing this software for a very small market—only Hong Kong. This is because in Mainland most people can do pinyin 拼音 and they can use pinyin as a last resort (i.e. if they can’t master any faster input method). In Taiwan, most people can do phonetic 注音 , and the story is similar. Now for HK, I observed that there is a situation of 三分天下 , 倉頡、速成、九方 each gets about 33% of the “market share”, while the first two come bundled “free” on Windows OS.
I am very grateful that Q9Tech is still doing the software despite this smallness of the market. Because Q9 does help many people (myself included) regain their literacy again on the cyberworld (when it comes to the cyberworld, you are still an illiterate 文盲 even if you can use pen and paper but not the keyboard). I want Q9Tech to survive commercially, so I am very willing to pay ...
In some sense, my enthusiasm of promoting Q9 is to 掃盲 :D
2. We tend to be willing to pay for things that are tangible—something that you can touch and feel. If there is a cool gadget (such as iPhone, iPod, laptop, desktop, digital camera, DV, cellphone, portable harddrive, computer speaker, LCD monitor), we are very willing to pay for it, sometimes in the range of thousands of dollars. But when the thing is a piece of software, we are not so willing to pay. But why? We all know (as CS’er we should know this even better) that it takes time and energy and efforts and dedication to build a good piece of software, so why do we think it is okay that the people doing that need not get paid?
Note that I am not against the Open Source Software (aka “Free Software“) Movement. I agree with Richard Stallman, I support “Free” as in “Freedom” (free accessible to the source code), not as in “Free of charge”.
So much for now!