PerfectTablePlan Newsletter 74

15 Years of PerfectTablePlan

We made the first public release of PerfectTablePlan 15 years ago today. Here is v1 in all it's Windows 98 glory:

PerfectTablePlan v1

And here is v6 on Windows 10 today (v6 can still read the original v1 plan file!):

PerfectTablePlan v6

Despite a very low key start, selling only through a single wedding website with no advertising, we made our first sale of PerfectTablePlan within 24 hours. We have come a way since then, releasing 57 versions of the software. Along the way we have supported 22 operating systems: Windows 98, 98SE, ME, 2000, Vista, XP, 8 and 10 and macOS 10.2 to 10.15. We have sold over 55,000 licences and sent out around 5,000 CDs, before we stopped shipping CDs in 2016.

Plenty of strange and wonderful things have happened, including:

  • PerfectTablePlan was used as part of a demonstration of the (controversial) first commercial quantum computer by D-Wave.
  • A mock-up of PerfectTablePlan, including icons we did ourselves, was used without our permission by Sony in their ‘Big day’ TV comedy series.
  • We got to grapple with some interesting problems, including the mathematics of large combinatorial problems and elliptical tables. Some customers have seated 4,000 guests and 4000! (4000x3999x3998 .. x 1) is a mind-bogglingly huge number.
  • A well known wedding magazine ran a promotion with a valid licence key clearly visible in a photograph of a PerfectTablePlan CD. We worked through the night to release a new version of PerfectTablePlan that didn’t work with this key.
  • We found out that CDs are edible.
  • PerfectTablePlan has been used by some very famous organizations for some very famous events (which we mostly don’t have permission to mention). It has seated royalty, celebrities and heads of state.

We also released two other products:

  • Hyper Plan in 2015 - a flexible visual planning tool. Ideal for all your non-seating related planning.
  • Easy Data Transform in 2019 - a tool for transforming data. Ideal for merging, de-duplicating and re-shaping guest lists and mailing lists.

PerfectTablePlan is still going strong and we have plenty of ideas for how we can improve it further. Watch this space.

We would like to say a big thank you to all our customers for their support over the last 15 years. Not just financially, but also for taking the time to send feedback, report bugs and recommend PerfectTablePlan to others. We hope customers will still be using PerfectTablePlan in another 15 years.

Building a school

To mark our anniversary, and share some of our good fortune, we are sponsoring £10,000 towards the building of a small kindergarten school at Bampti in Nepal by the Juniper Trust. We hope it will be finished in the next month or so.

Juniper Trust Bampti school

The school is in an area that was badly affected by the 2015 earthquake and little help has been forthcoming from the Nepalese government. The Juniper Trust are aiming to build 20 schools in Nepal between the earthquake and the end of 2020.

The Juniper Trust are currently raising money to purchase school equipment and uniforms. The trust is run by volunteers and 100% of donations go to good causes. If you feel like contributing to you can donate here.

Andy Brice
Oryx Digital Ltd