[TriLUG] Open Source Propaganda

David McDowell turnpike420 at gmail.com
Thu Apr 20 17:02:48 EDT 2006

1) source code... so what - if you are just a user *shrugs* what does
that matter... sorry to throw a devil's punch in there, but I can't
code worth a crap and just b/c my smart guy got hit by a truck doesn't
make me feel any better if I'm now the one who has to make something
happen (sans finding a replacement that will understand coding).  I'm
sure you didn't mean to just state that from a developer's (or smart
and informed person's) point of view, but you gotta think of the lay
man too.  :)  Some people just "use" software that is available to
them, no matter how it got there, what it runs on, etc.  :p  so have
fun with those comments.  :)

1.1) if I got hit by a Mack Truck, my office would have a hissy fit! 
But it's good to know I'd be missed.  :D  the Mack Truck rule
definitely exists here.

1.2) when I started here, I had 4 Windows servers to admin... now we
have 14 servers, 5 of which are Linux.  yeah me!  ;)

1.3) my numbering of paragraphs is stupid... haha!

1.4) laters,
David McD

On 4/20/06, Charles Fischer <fischer at 4pi.com> wrote:
> As a one person image processing software company I choose to go the
> open source route for the following reasons:
> 1)  Mack Trucks.  Small companies have to compete with large
> companies and the large companies' sales people always bring up the
> question of what happens if the small company goes out of business or
> the main guy gets hit by a Mack Truck.  By using open source software
> the small company can counter that it does not matter (at least as
> much) because the customer has the source code, and the rights to
> have anybody modify it.  Some small closed source companies will put
> their source code in escrow as a counter to the Mack Truck argument,
> but this does not have all of the advantages to the customer as the
> open source counter argument.
> 2)  Open source has marketing cache.  When engineering customers here
> "Open Source" many relax, because all questions about modifications
> and third party access become mute.  Many PHBs now here "Open Source"
> and think cheap.  Both are good for the open source company and came
> without spending a dime on advertising.
> 3)  My business model is to make money on customized solutions for
> OEM's, researchers and quality control inspection stations.  Charging
> for the basic software is not a big money maker, nor is it a big time
> consumer.  Support is the biggest time consumer, and being able to
> charge for that time is necessary.  A lot of customers have a problem
> paying $4799 for a software package and then being charged for
> support.  Few customers object to being billed for modifications.
> In summary I feel that open source has the ability to level the
> playing field between large and small companies.  PHBs want to know
> why somebody writes open source software for reasons that PHBs
> understand.  My experience with PHBs points to money as the only
> motivating factor for PHBs.  So a small company can use open source
> as a way to penetrate markets that are dominated by large companies
> and make money by providing good service at a better price then the
> large companies.
> Good luck
> Charles Fischer
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