Free, and open source
While they were eating Tom went up to the mound, and looked throught the treasures. Most of these he made into a pile that glistened and sparkled on the grass. He bade them lie there 'free to all finders, birds, beasts, Elves or Men, and all kindly creatures'; for so the spell of the mound should be broken and scattered and no Wight ever come back to it. (Tolkein, 1955)
All the software on this website is free and open source, released under the MIT License. Why the MIT License instead of the GPL? Because I work as a programmer and want to be able to use this code in my own, closed-source programs that I write at work. Apologies to all you copyleft purists out there.
Free. There is no charge for using this software, and you can redistribute it to others as long as you include with it the copyright and licensing information. Knowing that people are benefitting from my work will give me more satisfaction than earning money from it ever could. If you are using any of these programs, I'd enjoy reading your feedback (email michael at zahniser dot net). You might also consider donating the amount you think the program is worth to charity.
Also email me to report bugs or to request additional features. But bear in mind that I do this work in my free time, so there is no gurantee that I will make any changes that you suggest.
Open source. If you are a programmer, rather than asking me to make changes to these programs, you can download the source code and modify it yourself. I have tried to make the code clear and well-documented. If you add something useful, send me your changes and I may incorporate them (giving you credit, of course). For programs where my "Project Status" notes indicate that I have no intention of doing further development (Strange, for example), you might volunteer to take over the project completely.
You can also borrow pieces of my code for use in your own projects. For example, the text-rendering code used in HyperList and hsiloP is a quick way to add well-rendered text to an application that is based on the SDL graphics libraries. See the code library page for a list of modules of my code that may be of general interest to programmers.