A long time ago, in a galaxy far away...
Shokwave was founded in July of 1995. The founders had, however, been together as a group for a long time before the company began. The folks that founded Shokwave all used to work for Technology Works, Inc. The Shokwave founders, plus a couple of other folks who have gone other directions, formed the software development department of TechWorks.
Starting in 1987, TechWorks did contract software development for many different clients. General Electric Information Systems, Apple Computer and Data East were all clients of TechWorks at one time or another. During this time period the engineers worked on many types of software: communications front-ends, survey-taking software, games, test-design software for universities, device drivers and low-level test software. The earliest members of the Shokwave team came together during this time period.
By 1990, the engineers were tired of working on other people's software and they convinced TechWorks to take a chance on an idea for a new network management product. The resulting product, the GraceLAN Network Manager, shipped in January of 1991. Amyone who attended will still remember the huge rollout party that TechWorks threw in the Presidential Suite of the San Francisco Marriot at MacWorld Expo that year.
From that time on, the GraceLAN product line grew in products and features. GraceLAN won many awards over the years, including the MacWeek Target Award and the MacUser Eddy Award for best network management product. The team that eventually became Shokwave grew up around the GraceLAN products over the years.
In the summer of 1994, however, TechWorks was approached by Saber Software Corporation of Dallas, TX to buy the GraceLAN line. Saber had a complete line of PC network management products and they wished to expand into the Mac market. After much soul-searching, the management of TechWorks decided to sell the products. While the products had been successful, TechWorks was primarily a hardware company and they felt that they weren't doing the products justice by keeping them within the stifling framework of a hardware company. In September 1994, Saber acquired the products and the engineering team from TechWorks for $850,000 (the 13th amendment to the Constitution notwithstanding).
The engineering team moved a few blocks away and opened up an Austin developement office for Saber Software. For nearly a year, the team worked on new upgrades and enhacements to what had become "SaberLAN Workstation for Macintosh". It didn't last long, however. Only a year later, in the summer of 1995, McAfee Associates bought Saber Software.
It was clear from the start that McAfee didn't know what to do with the Mac products. Their sales and support organization was not geared up for selling or supporting a Mac network management product. Rather than wait to be downsized out of existance, the engineering team quit and formed a new company. In hindsight this was a smart move, since McAfee carried the Mac network management software only until the Spring of 1996, when it was discontinued.
Naming the new company was, of course, a problem (when isn't it?). Many names were suggested and abandoned. Finally, the on-line name used by one of the founders for many years was agreed upon and Shokwave Software came into being.
Since its formation, Shokwave worked on a steady stream of Mac and Web related products for a variety of clients. Our products include connectivity, utility, education and entertainment titles.
In the summer of 1998, most of the principals decided to go their separate ways, but one, Jim Hamilton, stayed behind and made Shokwave a one-man shop. The day-to-day grind of running a business soon became more of a chore than solving clients' problems was fun, and Shokwave ceased most operations in April of 1999.
In the intervening four years, we got to do a lot of fun things that have made life better for the Mac community. We would like to thank our clients and their customers for the chance to make an honest living, have fun, and show off our talents.
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