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Hello everyone,

This is my first post on this forum and I wanted to let everyone know about a website that I've been working on called guntap (note: I received the thumbs up from the admin to post here). The website will be designed for all types of firearm owners, with quite a few features geared towards reloaders to help make their life easier. This isn't an advertisement since we aren't ready yet. Rather, we're looking for people to help us out with our upcoming private beta. If you're interested, keep reading.

I was amazed at the lack of quality software that can be used to keep track of your loads, inventory, firearms, target shooting history, gun manuals, calculators, etc... I, along with 2 other guys, have set out to design a website that will do all of this via the web. Our top priority is security and anonymity. The website will not require any personal information on your part, just a username and password (not even an e-mail -- please see the note at the bottom regarding our current page).

However, should you choose to enter your personal firearms data to take advantage of our inventory and management capabilities, it will be encrypted to the highest standard and will be transmitted securely to our servers. You will be the only one that can view your sensitive data (we won't even be able to see it). But if you prefer not to enter this information, you will still be able to use other sections of the website.

Some things we plan on including are:
- A reference library with different loads compiled from various sources across the web, gun manuals, burn rate charts, cartridge dimension diagrams and measurements, various reference material, and more
- Different types of calculators for the various ballistics and trajectory formulas
- A reminder system to help you keep track of things such as cleaning schedules, upcoming events or competitions, charity events, etc...
- Target shooting history that allows you to enter your target results interactively (we're trying to make this even better by automating it using your phone's camera or a scanner)
- Inventory management that lets you see what you have in-stock and what kind of loads you can produce
- Load history management that will allow you to keep track of your various loads and how they performed, while linking them to your firearms and targets (if you so choose)
- And much more

In a few weeks we should be ready for a private beta. Although we've already filled up about half of the available slots, we're still looking for experienced loaders and firearms owners who will help us evaluate and test out the site. If you're interested in participating in our beta, please send a PM or e-mail to beta[at]guntap[dot]com so that I can add you to our list.

After the beta, if everything goes smoothly, we'll open it to the public with free and paid subscriptions (the payment method will be anonymous as well). For the beta testers who take their time to help us out, we'll give you a little something at the end of the beta test as a way of saying thanks.

If you have any questions, PM or e-mail ray[at]guntap[dot]com and I'll try to respond as quickly as possible.

Thanks,
Ray

(Please note: The current page we have up on our site that asks for an e-mail is only there to reach out to people who don't read this forum and people who have been referred by friends. The e-mails entered there will not be linked to our site or user accounts in any way.)
 

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Welcome to the forum, Ray. Your website sounds interesting.

Tell us........ a little about yourself. (Where are you from, which guns do you own and shoot, what do you hunt, which forums do you belong to or have belonged to, do you write any shooting or hunting articles, eh.......for whom do you work :D etc. ???)

One of the reasons (I) would like to get to know you a little is because - whether or not an email address is provided is no guarantee of security or, more importantly, "anonimity". Where I work, one of our "authorities" has to do with computers and pictures....just to keep it simple, you understand. So with a little of that experience in mind, tracking a forum participant has little to do with email, usernames, and passwords. In todays world, or the world I believe we're entering, anonimity is more than just a "nice feature". Just some food for thought...........

Thanks! I look forward to hearing from you.
 

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Stretch,

Thanks for the welcome to the forum. I understand that you'd like a face behind the website to get an idea of who you're dealing with.

I've worked as a software engineering for many years now and I've dealt with pretty much every aspect of software and hardware, so there's little that I haven't done professionally. I've worked for several different companies over the years, but now I work for myself, which is much better than any corporate job. And with my passion for software development and firearms, I felt it was natural to combine the two with guntap. If this project takes off, then it'll likely be my full-time job, along with my co-founders (and so far it looks promising with the interest we've received).

With respect to anonymity, it's definitely is becoming more and more difficult to stay anonymous online. However, I'm building the website with anonymity in mind since companies of all sorts already have enough information about us. I feel the last thing they should be cataloging is our firearms data. It is possible to do this anonymously and securely, at least on my end.

I currently live in Illinois, which is possibly the worst state in the country to be a firearms owner. I guess it's kind of ironic I'd be working on a website like this in a state that tries everything to prevent people from owning guns. Although I hold a couple CCW permits, I can only use them when I visit my brother out in TX (which is where I plan on relocating soon).

My personal collection contains several handguns and rifles (including a few nice air rifles I had back when I was a youngster). I've also started getting into reloading after I helped my brother reload a bit while I was visiting during my last trip. I quickly realized how much bookkeeping it required and I couldn't find anything to help me manage all the data.

I don't blog or write articles on anything related to firearms or hunting simply because I don't consider myself enough of an expert in any of those areas to give a worthy opinion. But hopefully that'll change one day.

Anyway, don't want to make this too long. But I'll be happy to answer any other questions.

-Ray
 

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Welcome to the forum Ray. This is a great place to be if you are interested in guns, hunting , shooting and reloading. Good luck with your venture, hope it pans out for you.

Thanks for the offer Ray, but personally I'm going to decline. Really don't want to put out that type of information on the web, anonymous or not.
 

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Ray, despite the experience I outlined briefly earlier, I'm a dummy when it comes to running websites and making a living doing that. .....Even when fees might come into play. Now, nobody that I can imagine "works for themselves". I'm sure you agree. In the end, somebody makes demands on and pays a sum of money or barter to the person who is "working for themselves".

There are many government grants that can be had that deal with, among so many other things, websites and information gathering...eh, sharing. Additionally, there are "organizations" that will pay for web services, often under the guise of providing a certain legitimate service. I can imagine that sometimes even the contractor may not be aware of the true intent of the client and the end-use of the gathered...er, shared...data. In today's America, people can;t be too careful, even when dealing with things long held to be lawful and acceptable. I'm just trying to be polite and kind. Certainly you understand...?

It's in my nature to be suspicious and careful. And if not, then it's been instilled through my choice of careers. So, don;t mistake my digging around here as any kind of ill will. Also, while you're proposed program seems a bit more involved when it comes to inventory and record keeping, you should be aware that there already are websites available that provide firearm and reloading data, ballistic tables, handloading data, the ability to share load data, etc. Chuck Hawks website comes to mind. There are also software programs that will track most all of the things that you mention, all on a personal computer and without the need to upload it to a different server. But, as I said, your idea seems to include all of that and the ability to gather, er...share data at the same time.

It's interesting. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Thanks for the responses. Just to clarify a few items, the website will not require any information from you in order to use it. If you want to use the site just for the reference materials, calculators and reminder system, that'll be allowed. Also, your information is not being shared with anyone, unless you choose to share it. I want to make that point perfectly clear.

However, for those who choose to enter some information regarding their loads, firearms, inventory, or target practice results to take advantage of the other capabilities the site has to offer, you'll be able to securely keep this information online and be able to access it anywhere from any computer that you choose (PC, Mac, Linux, etc...). I personally would like to be able to access all my information from home, work, at the range, on my phone, etc... but each person feels differently, and that's perfectly acceptable.

Most of the software out there is written for Windows and is quite outdated. And unless you're computer savvy, it's very easy (and possible) for those programs to be uploading your information to a server without your knowledge. Also, for those of you who backup your computer using cloud services, all the information stored on your machine is sitting on a server somewhere, sometimes unencrypted or partially encrypted. Just make sure to keep those points in mind before assuming the information on your personal computer is safe.

I understand that this website isn't for everyone, but there are quite a few people that are quite excited about this idea on the other forums (mostly reloaders, not sure if mentioning forum names is allowed). If anyone else has any other questions or concerns, I'll be more than happy to answer them.

Thanks,
Ray
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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Think I'll just keep my inventory and serial numbers to myself.
 

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Think I'll just keep my inventory and serial numbers to myself.
kdub,

That's completely understood and acceptable. It's probably my fault for not being clear on this point, but no inventory, serial numbers, or private information will be required to use the website. I guess it'll be more obvious once we have a version out there for people to use.

Thanks.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Guys, if you aren't interested, that's fine. If you are interested in this opportunity to try something for free - then go ahead.

Or, ask questions if it's not clear.
 

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guntap update

I wanted to give everyone another update on the project so you guys didn't think we've forgotten about you. We're still working on the website and there are still quite a bit of features that we want to put in-place before we release the beta. We'll be sending out an e-mail and PMs in the next day or two giving beta testers an idea of when to expect the website to be accessible.

We're still getting new beta testers everyday and we're getting close to filling up the initial number of slots we had allocated. If you're interested, please PM or e-mail and we can add you to the list.

Thanks,
Ray
 

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What is a Beta? I know a fish with that name and an index to stock volatility, but have no idea what is being referenced in this thread.
 

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What is a Beta? I know a fish with that name and an index to stock volatility, but have no idea what is being referenced in this thread.
Irv,

cvc definitely put it more succinctly, but here's the long version:

With software and website development, the product typically goes through stages, such as alpha, pre-beta, beta, production, etc... The beta phase of the lifecycle is the stage at which the product is ready for people to try out, but is not considered an official release of the product.

Think about a gun manufacturer and when they design a gun. The engineers will draw up the blueprints/diagrams and then send it off to be manufactured. Obviously they won't sell the gun at this point since they have to test it and make sure it works, which you could consider the alpha phase. Then when they're ready to have people try it out to see what they think, that would be the beta. And when they release it to the market, that would be production.

Hopefully that clears it up.

-Ray
 

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Sell me a piece of software I can install on my PC that does not involve any subscriptions or the uploading of ANY data to the web. If it helps me catalog various pieces of information about my guns, reloading data, groups fired and game harvested, I would be interested. If it involves the make/model/serial number or even quantity of guns I own becoming part of the "cloud"...no thanks. :)
 

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Sell me a piece of software I can install on my PC that does not involve any subscriptions or the uploading of ANY data to the web. If it helps me catalog various pieces of information about my guns, reloading data, groups fired and game harvested, I would be interested. If it involves the make/model/serial number or even quantity of guns I own becoming part of the "cloud"...no thanks. :)
Sorry, but we won't be offering that now. If the website gets popular enough, a standalone version is definitely a possibility. However, with just three of us working on this, there just isn't enough time in the day to do something like that. Also, just to reiterate, no make/model/serial information is necessary to use the website.

But thanks for mentioning game harvesting, that's something I hadn't thought of which could be useful.

-Ray
 

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Sorry, but we won't be offering that now. If the website gets popular enough, a standalone version is definitely a possibility. However, with just three of us working on this, there just isn't enough time in the day to do something like that. Also, just to reiterate, no make/model/serial information is necessary to use the website.

But thanks for mentioning game harvesting, that's something I hadn't thought of which could be useful.

-Ray
I guess I am struggling to see where your market is. You keep saying no personal information is "necessary to use the website". I'm sure there will be aspects of the site that will not result in a registry of information that most of us would just as soon keep private, but what does that leave for you to sell, as a service? I can tell you right now that there are VERY few people naive enough to enter data on a website that puts the specifics of their gun collection into the cloud.

So, given that I'm not going to enter that information onto your site, exactly what is left for which you would recommend your service?
 

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Welcome, Ray. I hope you like it here enough to participate in the forums.

IIRC from the original email, once you finalize the site/service (beta testing concluded) this will be a paid site, right? So, for those here who are paranoiacs, how can they pay you if they don't want to provide the required personal information (and be subject to the attendant tracking, even if you are not the one doing the tracking) necessary to engage in e-commerce?
 

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I guess I am struggling to see where your market is. You keep saying no personal information is "necessary to use the website". I'm sure there will be aspects of the site that will not result in a registry of information that most of us would just as soon keep private, but what does that leave for you to sell, as a service? I can tell you right now that there are VERY few people naive enough to enter data on a website that puts the specifics of their gun collection into the cloud.

So, given that I'm not going to enter that information onto your site, exactly what is left for which you would recommend your service?
What I mentioned in the first post goes through just some of the things we'll be offering in this beta version of the site. We have many more features that we plan on building out after the beta, potentially even a marketplace at some point.

As for people being naive, that's a matter of your opinion. I've stated before, we are not going to sell or give this information to anyone, the data is encrypted, and we're not working for, or funded by any government, multinational organization, etc... Granted, no matter how many times I reiterate these points, I understand that some people will never be convinced and that's fine. However, I would like this topic to remain informational to the service and have people ask questions related to the website.

Welcome, Ray. I hope you like it here enough to participate in the forums.

IIRC from the original email, once you finalize the site/service (beta testing concluded) this will be a paid site, right? So, for those here who are paranoiacs, how can they pay you if they don't want to provide the required personal information (and be subject to the attendant tracking, even if you are not the one doing the tracking) necessary to engage in e-commerce?
MZ5, that's a good question. Right now we're looking at a couple different vendors, but it is possible to engage in e-commerce without revealing any personal information. One vendor that does something like this is Rixty. To give a quick overview of their service, you purchase one of their prepaid cards from a grocery/convenience store with cash or you can get one from a CoinStar machine. You then use the Rixty code on the back to make your payment, and that's it. Their service is almost exclusively used by online game vendors, but any website is able to use their service.

For people who don't want to go to those lengths, we'll also accept credit cards to make subscription payments.
 

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This may sound unreal but everything you put out on the web can be hacked. Just the fact that you are recruiting is being observed by unknown persons that can indead be looking at ways to gain access to your data base. What is to stop some agency from raiding your information data bank to gain access to all this information when things get bad as they surely will. How can you weed out your beta testers to insure that they don't have less than honarble intentions? All of these forums can be viewed by anyone without being a member so think about what you are setting up here. Stand alone on a flash drive only is the way to go that is only used on a computer not connected to the internet.
 

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This may sound unreal but everything you put out on the web can be hacked. Just the fact that you are recruiting is being observed by unknown persons that can indead be looking at ways to gain access to your data base. What is to stop some agency from raiding your information data bank to gain access to all this information when things get bad as they surely will. How can you weed out your beta testers to insure that they don't have less than honarble intentions? All of these forums can be viewed by anyone without being a member so think about what you are setting up here. Stand alone on a flash drive only is the way to go that is only used on a computer not connected to the internet.
Like I just mentioned, I can keep talking about the security and so forth, but there's no point in going over it again and again. This beta and website is for those people who don't have the same security concerns about hackers and agencies raiding data. I won't get into a political, governmental, or technical discussion over this point.

I'd like to keep this topic for questions related to becoming a part of the private beta test.

Thanks.
 
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