Aug 30

StoryZOT – A Mystery in 4 parts –

Part IPart II, Part III

Already dark by now , you could hear the guy working the counter at the 3 Bill cafe, "strawberry smoothie. Strawberry SMOOTHIE?" It was an underground part of the cafe on Marketing street in the land of ZOT. A place where you could see pedestrians walking up the hill at eye level. A perfect place to explain the StoryZOT.

"What is StoryZOT?" asked the platinum haired lady as she glanced down at the computer screen on which a document had the words StoryZOT titled across it.

"StoryZOT? Oh, what I’m writing. Well, StoryZOT is an opportunity!", exclaimed the young developer. "It’s an opportunity to help Mac users learn about the real lives of some Mac developers and…"

"And?" asked the soft hearted lady as she sat down on the couch next to the young man.

"And, in the process, they can buy a great bundle of Mac applications that have never been on MacZOT before, he said. It’s really a neat idea, if not a bit confusing at first."

"Why is it confusing?" she asked.

"Well, you don’t know what you’re paying for until the end. You’re reading the stories hoping the bundle contents will justify your small investment."

"So, they get to read the stories if they want, but really they just have to wait until the end to discover what they purchased?" she asked in a clarifying tone.

"Correct." said the young developer as he typed in some seemingly obscure Cocoa code into another window in the text editor.

"And, what’s your story?" asked the lady. "How did you get here?"

"Well, do you want the long story or the short story?" asked the young man.

"Honey," she said, "They don’t have to read it to be able to click that Buy button you were talking about, do they?"

"No, of course not. That’s just at the top of the page for the people who want the bundle of applications. The stories are really a bonus."

"Okay," she said as she sipped her double-short latte. "Give me the whole thing."

And so he did, as he closed his handsome, black MacBook and gave her his full conversational attention.

"Well, when I was young, I always liked to create things and was an inquisitive child. I wrote stories, drew pictures, read books and asked my parents far too many questions they couldn’t answer. My insatiable appetite for knowledge was only matched by my hunger to make things other people would enjoy. I was never bored.

I didn’t care for sport, but I liked cars. I knew them inside out, and all the names of all the models before most of my peers had learned to talk properly. I pulled apart anything I could to see how it worked and sometimes even put it back together again. I had a logical mind and would take things a little too literally at times. I remember standing next to my father, who was working on the car when he asked me, sarcastically, if I could get any closer. I told him I would try."

The lady chuckled as she held her coffee mug in both hands as to warm them.

"I grew up in the 80s. I was told I couldn’t have a computer because they were for games and we couldn’t afford one. I got a bike instead. While my father could seem to afford a new car every year, maybe he had a point. All my friends had computers and only seemed to use them for games. I didn’t use computers much in school either. The few times I did made me think I wasn’t missing very much.

However, there was one computer at school that truly captivated me. It lived under a dust cover, behind the doors of a locked cabinet in the corner of a room, jealously guarded by my design teacher. Why the school had this computer was a mystery, as he wouldn’t let anyone else near it. One day, he gave us a demonstration. His voice crackled with excitement as he showed us what it could do. Then he replaced the dust cover, slid it back into the cupboard and padlocked the door.

That single experience of an Apple Macintosh was enough to make an impression on me. It was better than all the other computers I had seen before and inspired me to think about the future. My ambition, by this time, was to be a graphic designer and this Mac could do that like nothing else. The only problem was that it would cost about the same as my father would spend updating his car, so that was the end of that.

When I was 15, my mother told me it’s not good enough to want to be a graphic designer, not with my brain, and then divorced my father for preferring cars to kids. I did what any good teenager would do under the circumstances and started sniffing solvents in the park, publishing my art as graffiti on walls and drinking cheap cider until it all came back up again, but not even that was enough to get me into art school.

Not knowing what to do at college, I took a random business course that mostly bored me senseless, but I liked working with the computers. Realizing I was a late starter, I quit college to take a vocational course where I could learn how to use them properly while earning some money. It didn’t take me long before I was fixing them too. That wasn’t part of my training, I just did it.

Ahh, you don’t want to hear this, it’s kind of boring." the yound developer hinted.

"Son, you have my full attention. Please continue."

"Okay, where was I?" he said thoughtfully.

"A business course and vocational classes where you discovered your interest in computers." the shiny blue eyed lady reminded him.

"Right. Well, that course ended and I eventually got a temporary job producing reports for an IT helpdesk. In characteristic style, I soon started answering support calls. Mostly, these were about big, ugly mainframe computers, but it quickly became apparent that I knew more about PCs than most of the people there, and that became my specialty.

The overworked guy whose job it was to know about PCs had seen enough to own a Mac himself. He banged on and on about how Macs were better and how, if I was going to buy a computer, I should get one. I remembered the Mac in school and this stirred something inside me. I told him I would look into it, but now I knew all about PCs. I loved the troubleshooting and wanted this company to make my temporary job permanent. I thought if I owned a PC myself, I could be even better at my job. I could see his point about the problems with PCs, but could a Mac really be better?

Thankfully, I was saved from PC ownership when I was offered a permanent position on the condition that I trained as a developer, meaning no more PC support for me. I accepted the job and bought a Mac with my pay raise.

That was my first computer and I have never looked back. This Mac had character, it just worked and let me actually do things rather than spend all my time nursing it back to health.

Ten years later I felt I had done everything I could working for other people on big projects for soulless corporations. I needed more, something that could combine my love of writing, graphic design, making something out of nothing and everything I had learned in the previous decade. Without a doubt, I wanted to do this on a Mac. The answer was obvious: to start a business creating and selling my own Mac software on the ‘net.

Now I’m doing my dream job, one that wouldn’t have been imaginable when I was at school. It’s not always easy but that doesn’t matter, I do everything: programming, website, icons, support and more. This is my passion. Funny, I never think of myself as a geek but I guess I am. Most computers bore me. All except one." he concluded.

"Wow, neat story she said. I see your not the only one using an Apple these days."

As they both looked around the cafe together, you could see four other glowing Apple logos grazing the vertical part of open laptops. Funny enough, the people working on Mac laptops looked calm and productive, while the few people on Windows machines had scowls on their faces and urgency about looking for power outlets.

"So," the lady said, "My daughter has a new Apple laptop she uses to write the novel she’s working on. Would this StoryZOT Mystery bundle be appropriate for her?"

"You know, " the developer said as he looked out the window thoughtfully. "The contents of the bundle would be appropriate for most anybody using a Mac. And, at $5.95, if you only get one application that you used on even a semi-regular basis, you’d be way ahead of the game."

"Alright! I’m going to tell her to buy it. Where does she go?"

"Just go to the StoryZOT Mystery bundle will end soon and she should make sure not to miss out.

Oh, and tell her that more than 400 people are already taking part, so she’ll be in good company.

It was nice talking to you ma’am. Thanks for listening."

"Son, it was my pleasure. It’s wonderful to see somebody doing their passion in life, and it’s obvious you’re doing yours. Thank you for sharing your story."

"My pleasure, " he grinned. "Now don’t forget to tell your daughter."

"Oh, and if she buys before Friday, she’ll get a bonus game to keep her having fun while she waits for the Mystery to be revealed."

"Okay, okay.. her kids loves games. I’ll call her right now."

59 Responses to “StoryZOT – The Interview – Part III”

  1. Mark Says:

    So now we have clarification and a game. Glad I bought into this!

  2. Cory Says:

    Gotta love a company with a sense of humor. macZOT managed to explain away everyones questions, and stick to the story theme in the process. Well done.

  3. Erichd Says:

    I love games! where’s mine?

    And what about the secret club that was to come with the penny a day deal?

    The special offer / thing for those who referred a new person?

    ColaboZot? . . . .

    . . . . . . .keep on keepin’ on.

  4. Mickeh Says:

    All I have to say to this is “Bravo, bravo MacZOT”. As Cory said you have taken an application like a MyzteryZOT and used it in a different context of a story. People were starting to doubt what you were doing here, but now you have fully explained it. On the first day when I clicked the blue “Buy” button I thought to myself “This is going to be good, MacZOT are going to come out with something good”. Three days later you have fullfilled that, congratulations. You have done an extremely good job on explaining this through a story which makes it a fun, addictive and great thing to do.

    I speak on behalf of all the people that visit MacZOT every day when I say congratulations, you have done a great job.

  5. Kaktus Says:

    The story is about Brian “ZOT” Ball. I’m not buying this one.

  6. Richard Baskett Says:

    Now the question is will we be able to gift whatever it is? I just might bite if I can at least give it away if Im not going to have any use for it.

  7. Mark Says:

    Bonus game
    Forget all I said about MysteryZots being forgotten about for a while …

    I’m in!

  8. Mickeh Says:

    What is this game that they are giving us? Sounds fun!

  9. Dan Says:

    I’m calling in Scooby and the gang to solve this mystery for me…

  10. gryphonent Says:

    It’s a bundle of four apps? For $5.95? And I can use them every day? Hmm: AppZapper, HoudadhSpot, xPad… and Cast Life? I’m drawing a blank for the game… but it cannot be any worse than Stickler (which AppZapper got rid of pronto). Maybe freeware Quinn… the best Tetris clone out there and worthy of support. I reckon we will have to wait until Monday for this Mystery to be revealed.

  11. Don Says:

    They sai never before seen on MacZOT. This means no dupes! I am so in!

  12. Mickeh Says:

    It wouldn’t be those… They would be made by the same developer. Where does it say that there are four applications involved in this?

  13. gryphonent Says:

    Well, it’s more than one according to the story (”The contents of the bundle would be appropriate for most anybody using a Mac. And, at $5.95, if you only get one application that you used on even a semi-regular basis, you’d be way ahead of the game“). And if you buy BEFORE Friday you get a free game on top… which makes it three (3) apps. Sorry, calculation mistake… still, it could be four (4) as well.

  14. Blender Says:

    Yes, but theses applications have never seen the light of day on macZOT before… So no AppZapper, HoudadhSpot, xPad, or Cast Life. Who knows???

  15. Mars Says:

    So when do those of us who purchased already get the info for the game?

  16. Jean-Franc Says:

    ZOT, can we get an update on Collabozot? I’m on a winning team (MH-Zeta) and I haven’t heard of any of those promisez prizes yet….

    Oh and I bought the storyzot already, can’t wait to know what’s in the deal!

  17. offline Says:

    I’m begining to hate this site. but I bought in, anyway.

  18. lonniehb Says:

    I’m enjoying this, nicely done Zot man.

    The “game” could easily be the mystery of the story itself. Trying to figure out what you’re buying before it’s over.

  19. Frank Says:


    What is the story?

  20. Takeo Says:

    I was sure not to buy this time… and again I did after this whole story-thing… You’re fools ;P

  21. a-nony-mouse Says:

    ok, well, if it’s a “bundle” i guess I’m in but the stories are starting to make me sick…

  22. edmb Says:

    I thought people complaining about deleted posts were paranoid but now I see that both my post and Josh’s are missing. We both gave a link to our suspected developer. Hmmmm… what’s the deal?

  23. mattt Says:

    “I thought people complaining about deleted posts were paranoid but now I see that both my post and Josh’s are missing. We both gave a link to our suspected developer. Hmmmm… what’s the deal?”

    Was it the same developer?

  24. victor Says:

    Uh? Just the app and a game, that is the bundle. Not 3 or four apps.
    To me, it sounds like one of those full-screen text editors to me… I already dig TextMate, but the game could interest me… not that I play that much, though

  25. edmb Says:

    “Was it the same developer?”

    Yes Mattt, it was. Will they let me post the link again?

  26. edmb Says:

    the link

  27. orb Says:


  28. Frank Says:


    I for one would not have posted about deleted messages if I had not experenced it.

  29. Frank Says:

    One time I wrote a post in an other app so I could spell check. The first time I posted it the post was later deleted. I copied, pasted and posted the same text again and it wouldn’t even show up. This was under a different name and email address.

  30. edmb Says:

    I don’t know whether posts get deleted on purpose or whether there is just a glitch in Zot’s system. Posts appear out of order all the time. It does seem weird sometimes. Anyway, my post is still up for the moment so I’ll assume it is a glitch, but Josh’s post is still missing.

  31. Jim Says:

    hmmm…at least the bonus game is obvious now. That certainly does nothing to sell me on it so I guess I don’t have to worry about dropping a lunch for it.

    It seems like some here are talking like this is one item and then the bonus game makes it a bundle. There are multiple references though to it being a bundle and then the game is a bonus.

  32. Josh Says:

    My post was deleted, that is sooo nifty.

    I am Encyclopedia Brown and Cam Jansen’s unholy lovechild! Fear me.

  33. Josh Says:

    Awwww. My post is still there with URL and all. Check the end of part two for my mad decoding skills. Or look here if you are a bit lazy:
    Monkinetic –

    It may be 100% off but it was the only item that was even close. Too many similarities to be a coincidence, no?

    By the way, I really enjoyed this entry. I heart mysteries. :D

  34. Frank Says:


  35. Andre Says:

    This seems fun. I’m really tempted to buy in…

  36. lonniehb Says:

    Anyone have an extra xPad registration (after the last mystery) they want to gift away but have no mac friends :) lol I was thinking of putting it on my wifes comp and have used mine already.

  37. minezamac Says:

    Well I can’t believe I come to this site everyday. Not only that but I read the comments. Oh Well, I already paid for the StoryZOT, I just wish he would have said to the little Blue haired lady when her daughter or whatever could expect to get said bundle. I am not going to check back until Monday.

    Seriously i am not.

    Oh Well see you tomorrow.

  38. Chris Carter Says:

    Wow, that was long…and boring… I’m just gonna come back on friday once the four parts are done.

  39. mattt Says:

    Frank said,

    I for one would not have posted about deleted messages if I had not experenced it.”

    Okay. I’m not questioning that. I was just wondering if the deleted posts pointed to the same developer. If so, that would imply that those guys were on to something.

    Saying that…I see they’ve reposted the links and, going to the site, I must say I’m not sure what the app is we’re supposed to look at. Most of this guy’s development stuff seems web-based.

  40. Rob Says:


    I have an xPad I can give to you if I can get your name and email info.

    Send it to rob at designdiversity dot com

  41. ZOT Says:

    The Mystery is being unveiled.

    For those who are on the fence, the value of the bundle has been released and you can confidently fall one way or the other.

    It’s going to be $69.85 worth of apps in the StoryZOT bundle.

    And, when you get these, I think you’ll appreciate the prose that have literally been the creation stories for many of the folks behind these developments.

    Okay, okay, go tell your friends you still don’t know what it is, but the value is ridiculous.

    more to come…


  42. Sturek Says:

    The E-Mail I just got also says that there are over 500 people participating in the StoryZot woohoo :D And I like the stories, I think it’s interesting how those guys became developers.
    Oh and btw….I got a Disco Admission Ticket… exciting: “app or art – discover both this fall” What is this thing ?!? Can’t wait…..

  43. Matthew Williams Says:

    Did anyone else get this email? Was it sent on accident?
    Retail Price: $69.85

  44. evariste Says:

    Please let it be Midnight Inbox!

  45. evariste Says:

    (Loving this. Shut up whiners, no one’s making you read the story and no one’s twisting your arm to buy the Zot).

  46. evariste Says:

    I bought Disco but I don’t have an email about any admission ticket yet. I also don’t have the email Matthew Williams got. Hmm…Zottery is Afoot.

  47. happy Says:

    notice on the ticket it says disco and then under that, inferno….disc burn?

  48. Rick Baskett Says:

    Ugh.. ok im going to bite. $5.95.. even if it’s junk, at least hopefully the $5.95 will go towards some developer who will one day create a piece of software that I will actually use :)

  49. Chris Says:

    Now I really wish I had gotten in on Disco. Darnit. Well, I hope once it’s really released ZOT has another good deal on it. I’m not even 100% positive I know what it is, and I really want it bad.

    Possible, ZOT!? Another chance at a pre-release purchase of “Disco”? C’mon. You know you wanna.

  50. greenldr Says:

    I am seeing a lot of compaints about this storyZOT and I really can’t figure out what people are complaining about… I think everyone should be giving macZOT a standing ovation for responding so quickly to the complaints that were expressed after the last mysteryZOT. Come on people, you asked for a mysteryZot with NEW to the site apps… AND NOW macZOT is DELIVERING! What is there to complain about, just because you don’t like the “story” thing? No one is forcing you to read it, all you have to do is click the buy button and wait until the apps are revealed, just like any other mysteryZOT
    I for one am very impressed that ZOT has responded so quickly to the complaints about repeat apps. Bravo, keep up to GREAT work.

  51. rds Says:

    I paid the $5.95, now, stop the horrendous stories!

  52. Chris Says:

    greenldr: exactly.

  53. Dan Says:

    It HAS been over two months since we were told who won CollaboZOT and that we should expect prizing soon. The good news is, the longer the wait, the better the prize ZOT is obliged to come up with, so I am hoping we will be getting CS3 when it comes out!!!

  54. edmb Says:

    Oh man! Josh I am so bummed. I was sure the thought police had deleted both of the posts with links but now I see they were just listed in Part II. I was really hoping for Big Brother rather than the normal paranoia.

    $5.95 for S69.85 worth of stuff. Not bad. Not as bad as parts of the story anyway :-)

  55. Mickeh Says:

    Wow, that is a hell good price for this… I am still waiting for it to come out! This is ridicolous value for these; I think more people will be buying it now, now that they know the pricen of it!

  56. Justin D. Morgan Says:

    If you didn’t get the Disco admission ticket, check your Junk mail box…

  57. Dan Says:

    Scooby and the gang have solved the mystery! It turns out the Mystery Coder is Old Man Jenkins, a former software engineer on ClarisWorks. He lost his job when Claris sold the program to Apple, and he never forgave Claris for the insult. He decided to get even by writing programs as the Mystery Coder that would take market share away from Claris, forcing them out of business. And he would’ve gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for those meddling kids and that mangy mutt!

    Too bad he didn’t know Claris has been out of business for years, though…

    Now come on, I MUST deserve a fifth install of AppZapper for my creative writing, right? ;)

  58. ZOT Says:

    Well, I for one enjoy reading the comments more than the actual story.

    That being said, I invite anybody to chime and try your hand at solving the Mystery.



  59. Claire Says:

    Would you still think the story was boring if you knew it was true? Because to me that story is autobiographical. And what do you care, either you ignore it or buy the bundle and get a bargain. Either way you don’t have to participate.