Why I spent more than 400 EUR on software I didn't want

June 6, 2021

I’m working with a client right now that requires me to use a company-owned MacBook Pro to access their corporate network.

I’m not a Mac user (and not for lack of trying), so I put their MacBook in the corner, and connect to it using remote desktop software when I need to access one of their corporate resources.

There are many free remote desktop tools. I tried a fiew of them, but none of them worked quite right for my needs. I eventually settled on the free version of TeamViewer.

Then about a month in, TeamViewer started exiting after 1 minute. I searched forums, and found complaints about this, and many claims that it’s a bug. I tried updating to the latest version of TeamViewer on both the server and the client, to no avail.

After a couple hours of this, I finally just bought a license for a more than €400. Holy crap!

A part of me was cringing, for two reasons:

  1. I know there are free solutions that should work. So why should I pay this much?
  2. Even this commercial product should work for me, with the trial version, so why should I pay this company to fix their own buggy software?

On principle, both of those reasons might make sense.

But at the end of the day, I have a job to do. And spending €400 would allow me to complete the job more effectively.

Investing the time necessary to get a free solution working would have cost me much more than €400. In fact, it already had! I had already lost more than a full day fiddling with free software solutions. And that day I had lost 2 hours or more trying to debug the preview version of TeamViewer.

Related Content

Knowledge options

Normally when we think of up-skilling, we think of taking a class. But what if you never use that knowledge? A knowledge option is a tool to reduce this risk.

Defer commitment

This Lean software development principle of "decide as late as possible" is often criticized as too limiting. And rightly so, to a degree.

Reader Response to "Can you work from an airplane?"

If your application relies on serverless functions, often there's limited opportunity for "from an airplane" work.