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Postcardware, also called just cardware, is a style of software distribution similar to shareware, distributed by the author on the condition that users send the author a postcard.

A variation of cardware, Emailware, uses the same approach but requires the user to send the author an email. An example for emailware is the videogame Jump 'n Bump.[1] Postcardware, like other "novelty" software distribution terms, is often not strictly enforced.

Cardware is similar to beerware.


The concept was first used by Aaron Giles, author of JPEGView.[2] Another well-known piece of postcardware is the roguelike game Ancient Domains of Mystery, whose author collects postcards from around the world. Orbitron is distributed as postcardware. Exifer is a popular application among digital photographers that is postcardware. Caledos Automatic Wallpaper Changer is a "still alive" project cardware. "Empathy" is a postcardware for password-protected executables. Dual Module Player and Linux were also postcardware for a long time as well.[3]


  1. ^ Jump 'n Bump readme.txt JUMP 'N BUMP by Brainchild Design in 1998 Jump 'n Bump is e-mailware. That means you're supposed to send us an e-mail. Write for example where you're from and what you thought about this game. If you do that, you will greatly encourage us to make more games for you!
  2. ^ Giles, Aaron. "Aaron's Computing History". Retrieved 2006-08-07. 
  3. ^ Torvalds, Linus. Just for Fun. New York: HarperCollins Publishers. ISBN 0-06-662072-4.