Andrew Cardozo Fluegelman
November 27, 1943
|Disappeared||c. July 6, 1985 (aged 41)|
|Cause of death||Alleged suicide|
Andrew Cardozo Fluegelman (November 27, 1943 – c. July 6, 1985) was a publisher, photographer, programmer and attorney best known as a pioneer of what is now known as the shareware business model for software marketing. He was also the founding editor of both PC World and Macworld and the leader of the 1970s New Games movement, which advocated the development of noncompetitive games.
Following graduation, Fluegelman worked in Midtown Manhattan before moving to California and working for a law firm in San Francisco. He was admitted to the State Bar of California in January 1971. He resigned in 1972 without any particular plan about his future.
The following year, Fluegelman started working for the Whole Earth Catalog, a job that lasted for about a year. During that time, he separated from his wife and starting living in Sausalito, California. At one point, he fasted for 49 days, drinking only water.
In 1981, Fluegelman was the owner and sole employee of The Headlands Press, a small book publisher in Tiburon, California. He had attended an early computer expo in San Francisco in the late 1970s, and after agreeing to publish and coauthor Writing in the Computer Age decided to purchase his first computer. In October, Fluegelman bought one of the first IBM PCs sold in San Francisco, and in two weeks began to write his own accounting program in IBM BASIC.
In late 1982 Fluegelman developed PC-Talk, a very popular and successful communications program. He marketed it under a system he called "Freeware", which he characterized as "an experiment in economics more than altruism". Freeware was licensed under terms that encouraged users to make voluntary payments for the software, and it allowed users to copy and redistribute the software freely as long as the license terms and text were not altered. He collaborated with PC-File (database software) developer Jim Knopf to adopt similar names (PC-File was originally "Easy-File"), and prices, for their initial shareware offerings; they also agreed to mention each other's products in their program's documentation.
Fluegelman suffered from ulcerative colitis. In July 1985, he was prescribed prednisone to treat the condition. Within a few days of beginning to take the medication, he became depressed and agitated. He started profusely apologizing to his colleague for perceived failures. In order to reduce his stress, his employer rearranged his work schedule; Fluegelman's behavior did not improve.
On the afternoon of July 6, 1985, he left his office in Tiburon, California. A week later, his abandoned car was found at the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge near San Francisco. His family held a memorial service for Fluegelman, and he is presumed dead, though his body has never been found. Kevin Strehlo, then an InfoWorld columnist, submitted a memorial column which mentioned that "friends say a suicide note was found inside" his car. InfoWorld rejected this column, but an online news service published it.
The Headlands Press produced books and negotiated publishing contracts for them with major publishers. Many of the books were designed by Howard Jacobsen and produced by his company, Community Type and Design. This list is arranged by year of book publication:
- A Traveler's Guide to El Dorado & the Inca Empire
- Familiar Subjects: Polaroid SX-70 Impressions
- How to Make and Sell Your Own Record
- How to watch a football game
- Worksteads: Living and Working in the Same Place
- More New Games
- Writing in the Computer Age: Word Processing Skills and Style for Every Writer
- Mime: A Playbook of Silent Fantasy
- California State Bar membership records.
- Rodgers, Michael (October 20, 1985). "The Mysterious Death of a Man Who Loved Life". Image. The San Francisco Examiner. p. 19.
- "Attorney Search – the State Bar of California".
- Hewes, Jeremy Joan (February–March 1982). "PC for a Publisher". PC Magazine. p. 64. Retrieved October 20, 2013.
- "Shareware: An Alternative to the High Cost of Software", Damon Camille, 1987.
- "The Price of Quality Software by Tom Smith". Archived from the original on September 6, 2012. Retrieved September 4, 2013..
- Kevin Strehlo (July 30, 1985). "Andrew Fluegleman: In Memoriam". Archived from the original on June 14, 2006. Retrieved May 29, 2006.[sic]. Note complicated provenance. The Textfiles website is said to be an archive of text postings from the days of text-based computer networking; this item is identified as being from NEWSBYTES (dated 7/30/85), an electronic publication available on The Source. NEWSBYTES says that it is the full text of an InfoWorld article that led to Strehlo's resignation from that publication "because the editors saw the last few paragraphs unfit for publication." Article says in part "Fluegelman had been missing for about a week when his car was found parked near the toll plaza on the Marin County side of the Golden Gate Bridge, the site of so many of his moments of inspiration. Friends say a suicide note was found inside. His family held a memorial service in New York the following Sunday. Yet, as this is being written, no body has been found. Police still list Fluegelman as a missing person."