[Novalug] Is Microsoft dying???
Joseph K Umstead
navl.290 at verizon.net
Thu Oct 28 14:32:18 EDT 2010
On Wednesday 27 October 2010 10:42:02 pm William Sutton wrote:
> I want to echo what you just said, but I want to shed a little light on
> the subject of support that probably isn't generally known.
> First, a little history.
> Back in the late 90's ('97-'99), I was an undergraduate student at Auburn
> University. One of the other undergraduate students in my department was
> Mark Spencer. Mark has been the master, and many of us (myself included),
> the apprentice. I learned how to install and use Linux from him, back in
> the days of Red Hat 4.x and 5.x. He was (and I believe still is) a big
> Red Hat enthusiast.
> He's a software master--wrote a Linux implementation of L2TPD, founded the
> Gaim project, started a network discovery tool called Cheops, etc. He
> also, as many of you know, owns and runs Digium, makers of Asterisk and
> various support hardware for it.
> At the time I knew him, he decided to start a Linux support business
> called, appropriately enough, Linux Support Services. There was a
> two-tiered business model, offering some basic free help, and paid
> support. It was originally run out of his dorm room, but then he found an
> office space in an industrial park and ran a dedicated T1 line to it.
> That was all really cool, except that the support numbers were for dorm
> and office, and he couldn't really be in two places at once. From that
> need came his first PBX, to route calls to wherever he might happen to be.
> The PBX thing took off, and now we have Asterisk and a whole host of
> companies whose business model is based on VOIP using Asterisk.
> The support business fizzled. In retrospect, it was fairly easy to see
> why: those who knew what they were doing would support themselves, those
> who had businesses to run using Linux would hire competent support people,
> and those who were just starting out figured that since Linux was free
> (beer or speech, whichever you prefer), help should be free too (beer).
> Maybe things have changed significantly in the 10-12 years since that was
> true, but I seriously doubt it. It might get somewhere if Dell started
> providing support with their Ubuntu installs, but I don't think even that
> would help. The fact of the matter that much of the Linux community
> consistently turns a blind eye to, even denies, is that at base open
> source systems, particularly operating systems and windowing environments,
> are written by techies for techies. By the very nature of the type of
> people that contribute to open source, things will remain that way.
> If you want a system that Just Works out of the box, get an Apple or a
> Windows PC. If you are willing to support yourself, share what you know,
> research what other people know, and generally troubleshoot your problems,
> Linux or *BSD will suit you fine. It's a tradeoff--ease of use generally
> equals less freedom and flexibility, while freedom and flexibility
> generally equal more burden on the user.
> William Sutton (Perl programmer, Windows/Linux user at work, Linux/Mac OSX
> user at home, and techie at heart)
Joseph K Umstead wrote:
Thanks for your post, I am new and read here hoping to learn more.
I see this group is for professionals and that ok it's their group.
But you are right about new people getting help.
I like LINUX but if I can not get a printer to work or use the net
then LINUX will not get my work done For new users, were can
they go? Windows.
Joseph K Umstead
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