FW Editor: What are your plans or objectives in the near future?
Spencer Salva: From the beginning, System Nucleus was intended to manage both local and remote machines. I hope to have the remote functionality implemented for the next major version, 3.0. Also, I've been working very hard on reconfiguring the app to support localization. The first languages available should be German and Portuguese - outside of the United States, I'm seeing the most downloads from Germany and Brazil.
FW Editor: How and when did you start writing the code for System Nucleus? What inspired you the most? Do you plan to develop new software, or are you more focused on optimizing the current ones?
Spencer Salva: I started writing it in 2006 as a project to teach myself C#. At the time I was using tons of different tools all the time, and I had so many different tools that I didn't remember what they all did. Also, as part of my job, I often need to stop several Services or processes at once, but the built-in tools only let you do one at a time. I figured I'd try to do something to make my job a little easier.
FW Editor: System Nucleus is one of the best system managers from the market. What is the secret?
Spencer Salva: It serves a major need for myself and I use it all the time, so it's been designed to make my own tasks easier. I saw certain functionality missing or difficult to use in a lot of the tools available, and I've focused on adding those features. I know from experience that sometimes software developers never actually use their own products, and don't think about how things should work from an end user's perspective.
FW Editor: Do you plan to improve or change System Nucleus in any way? If yes, how are you going to do that?
Spencer Salva: I have a long list of new features and improvements, there's over 150 items on the 'To Do' list for System Nucleus right now. Since it started out as a learning project, there are some things I set up early on that could be done more efficiently to improve performance. There are also a number of interface improvements planned, things that have taken a while to research and require major customizations.
FW Editor: Can you tell us more about the System audit feature?
Spencer Salva: I spent a lot of time on this, there is so much information available about the various hardware and software components, and many of the tools I have used either aren't detailed enough, or present a ton of information in a very difficult to use format. I've tried to gather as much information as is possible while keeping it usable. Most of it is based on WMI, but a lot is pulled directly from the registry as well, and translating that info into understandable information can be tricky. The original intention was just to display some basic system info on the Welcome screen, but that sort of spiraled out of control as I added more & more info, so I figured if I was going to do it, I might as well do it right.
FW Editor: Why would you recommend System Nucleus over any other similar product?
Spencer Salva: It really is different than other products. I've used a lot of similar products, and I still do, many of which do certain things very well. I've concentrated on things other tools don't do or that I think can be done better.
FW Editor: It is safe to use Backup and Recovery tool? Many similar applications register serious problems with this particular feature.
Spencer Salva: I've actually been surprised at how much attention the backup & recovery features have gotten. They're actually very simple. The backups are either copying files, or using tools built-in to Windows to export data; nothing is ever moved or deleted. The recovery features are an interface to Windows' System Restore, so its all pretty safe to use.
FW Editor: Is there any customer support service for System Nucleus users?
Spencer Salva: There is a link to email support in the Help menu, and an error reporting screen that can email error details directly to me, where users can elect whether to be notified of a fix or assist in testing it. Its just me working on this project in my spare time, but I do respond to all emails, except those where the user has not chosen to be notified. This has actually been very valuable, a lot of problems have been fixed that I probably never would have come across on my own, and I think the software has gotten a lot better because of it. The support requests have been very scarce since the latest release, so I'm hoping that means people aren't having problems, and not that they aren't using it.
FW Editor: Now, to end our small interview, is there any message you would like to send to System Nucleus users?
Spencer Salva: Thanks for all the support, it can be very difficult trying to make everyone happy and still stay interested in what is ultimately a hobby. I do read a lot of the reviews and comments posted on various sites and blogs, many are favorable, some aren't, but that's to be expected, System Nucleus isn't perfect and neither am I. I just ask that anyone having an issue let me know with as much detail as possible.
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