Mon Feb 7 10:29:41 EST 2005
developers via buying distributions lies somewhere between poor and
It isn't terribly likely that a $50 box leads to developers seeing
more than about $5, once all the channels see their shares of the
pricetag. Of that $50, goodly chunks go to:
- Advertising (RHAT/SuSE have to pay for ads, store space, and
Then there's the big chunks of the pie
- Retail markup
- Wholesale markup
After all those charges, it's almost remarkable that anything is left
to make money on.
The approach I'd tend to commend for those that don't _need_ the bits
of "dead tree" manuals and toll-free installation handholding is to
look at the $1.99 CDs, and then send some gifts to some developers.
If you send $20 to someone, that's likely to contribute more to
_development funding_ than buying two or three "boxed sets."
It is not obvious what the direct merits are of sending money to
XFree86 or the FSF; it's hard to tell when exactly an increase in
funding leads to them being able to _use_ the funding to do something
I'd actually suggest the thought of looking at what software is
sitting on your system, and picking a couple of the non-obvious
developers to send a card with $20 to. Linus Torvalds is already
doing Fairly Well; there are other big names that are certainly
well-funded already, and who could reasonably be low on the priority
In Ottawa, David Skoll would be an obvious candidate if you have found
Roaring Penguin PPPoE to be really useful. But it's probably more
useful to take a look around and try to spread such bits of 'wealth'
around. Getting $20 in the mail would certainly brighten somebody's
(reverse (concatenate 'string "gro.gultn@" "enworbbc"))
Necessity is the mother of invention. Insanity is the mother of
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