How do you modify software?

I have purchased a software program that I really like for $20 (Fitday), but it has two drawbacks:

  1. You can’t switch the measurements to metric.
  2. The bar graphs give a visual representation of the calories you have eaten and burned, but I’d like to see the actual numerical figure within the individual bars themselves (for more precision, like).

The company does not plan on offering these two wrinkles to their program, so it got me to wondering: Are there programming whizzes out there who modify things like this? If so, are there intarweb places where people go to put out these types of requests? If so, would this kind of service be very expensive?

usually a software has to be “open source” if you want to be able to do anything with it like changing its aspect, adding some functions… in the case of this application, it’s not possible because it is commercial and thus closed source.

I’m no expert on calories and diet. Does your program have a listing of many foods and calories and what not. If, so it will be hard to emulate.

If not, it’s probably some simple equations you can do in Excel. There are also many free sites on the web that deal with this topic.
Good luck.

I just looked at the site… it is a pretty neat program. I a saw you that their looking for affiliates and agents. Get a bunch of fat foreigners to ask for the program. I’m sure that is would not be a very hard programming change if there are enough customers to make it worth thier while.

Perhaps you did not get through to a software engineer and just got a lowly customer support agent. We Americans are lazy… we won’t look up the answer.

You certainly can modify commercial software, though not usually for resale. it’s called reverse engineering then and is frowned on by M$ among others. not all programs are built the same way. In some simple cases, you can use a text editor to open it as raw code and type over values you want to change. you may need to decompile it. you probably will need some more-than-rudimentary understanding of coding in some object-oriented language (many programs are written in this kind of language) to figure out what the hell you are looking at.

Rule #1: always work on a copy.

If it was created, it can be ‘hacked.’


Look for a group familiar with this software or using it for their needs. Somebody may have already done the mods you are looking for.

Do a search for mods, or ‘hacks’ on this program. It may already be up somewhere.

If you can fine a ‘user group’, as in the first suggestion, post a request for what you want there. There are probably other people who would like to see it modded also. Someone might have the skills to do it.


Simple first action - Email the company who made it and ask if they have what you want available. They might just be able to post a patch you can DL that will meet your needs.

Although it’s possible in theory, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a modification like this being made to a piece of compiled software by reverse engineering or decompilation. I think it’s hugely unlikely that you could find anyone who would do it.

The second thing you want, the numbers on the bars, should be straightforward for the FitDay guys to add, and I’d suggest lobbying them some more on it. The first thing, metric measurements, might be more work.

I think Taiwan_Student has the right idea. Find some more people who want the same things. Write to FitDay telling them that these people will buy the software if it has these changes … or that if they own it already, they will pay for an upgrade.

Or do what companies do for open source software they want modifications to – offer FitDay a day’s worth of consultant fees for one of their programmers to make you a special build of it. It won’t be cheap.

Thanks for all the ideas. I’ve already approached the people at FitDay with my requests, but they responded without actually addressing my requests, so I can’t be bothered pursuing that.

I don’t know a thing about programming, so I guess I’ll have to just live with it the way it is. It serves its purpose, even if I have to look at Imperial measurements all the time.

I don’t know why anyone would hack this program to make it metric; they would more likely hack it so that it was free of copy restrictions. Figuring out how to generate a key code externally is much easier than changing software internals.

There are a couple workarounds you could do. You could enter everything in metric, and see if you can ignore the units. That failing, you might print a chart of conversions or download a metric converter.

Otherwise you could get a new fitness program, such as Fitness Assistant or Open Fitness, either of which give you one month trial before you buy so you know better what you’re getting for your money.

You’re on a wave of computer/console fitness. My mom swears by the XBOX yoga program she does every morning, and Wii just released its Wii Fit, which induces exercise by means of motion and pressure detection.