Selling FreeBSD

Paul Robinson paul at
Fri Jun 6 10:08:19 BST 2003

On Thu, Jun 05, 2003 at 05:48:12PM +0100, Paul Richards wrote:

> Yeah, I'm out of the FreeBSD business, though I do still have around 40
> handbooks that I'm really desperate to get rid of because they cost a
> lot of money to buy and I'd like to get some of it back :-) They
> actually cost 20 quid, and I'm willing to sell them on at cost just to
> get rid of them.

I might take one off your hands. I ordered a copy from the US and it never 
showed. Have to go do some checks. Anyway, next time we're in the same 
vicinity (I'm planning to be at the Cardiff do on the 21st) I'll grab one 
off you. I'll ask around and see if anybody else wants one too...
> If I was to give an opinion on why FreeBSD didn't work as a business it
> would quite simply be down to a lack of interest in the product. 

If they aren't enthusiastic, it's because it's not solving any problems for 
them. The fact it works great as a high-traffic MX or HTTP server isn't 
something most businesses need. As for desktop use, well, it does suck 
compared to something like Mandrake for an average run-of-the-mill office 
worker. Even Mandrake sucks a little bit compared to Windows XP these days.

> new kernel features and other "hard" coding projects. Whereas Linux
> has expanded it's community to include applications developers,
> graphic designers etc and therefore there's a lot more polish above
> the hood.

But those apps move over to FreeBSD easily, providing you're happy to 
swallow a GPL license.
> It's worth bearing in mind that the vast majority of people who sit in
> front of a computer are users and not developers, that goes even for
> people in the IT industry who want to get on and do their job, not play
> with the OS. From that perspective Linux is moving forward and growing
> it's base because it's appealing to the user, whereas FreeBSD is
> appealing to the developer.

And of course, if you were to point that out on -arch, -hackers or -chat you 
would be shot down in flames because the developers attitudes are still very 
much "I work on what I want" rather than "I work on what others would like". 
Which for a voluntary project is fine, but I think once I've moved house and 
got my new office sorted, there is a good chance I'm going to be starting a 
"what do others actually want" approach to this.

Paul Robinson

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