I just came back from Webb.it where Prosa had a booth. I had a conversation with a guy who told me that IBM, RedHat or even Prosa are illegal, because free software is illegal. Software cannot be free. Software must be sell for a fee. Uhm ...
I made a quite interesting experiment with free software, that I want to share.
EtLinux is a quite well known embedded Linux distribution. Our ftp site is overloaded by people downloading 180Mb of sources and packages. So I decided to offer the possibility of getting a freshly burnt CD with EtLinux directly via snail-mail for free, in order to reduce load on our ftp server.
The offer was put half-hidden in a sub HTML page of the EtLinux web site. After only few hours I got 10 requests for the CD from China, India, Germany, etc. So I spent the day after burning CDs, packaging and sending them around the world.
I needed to reduce requests quickly, because I don't want to spend my time (or my employee's) burning CDs, packaging and sending them: I have other things to do.
So I set up a paypal account, and ask 10$ for burning the CDs and sending it (and maybe saving some money to fund future development).
I'm now surprised: among the people who requested the CD when it was "gratis", there were big corporations, companies and institutions, that can easily spend 10$, but since the new offer is up (10 days) no one has requested the CD.
Now, there are two options: 1) I made something wrong in paypal setup (I'm new to it) 2) people will ask for everything which is gratis, no matter if they really need it or not, and will not spend 10$ no matter if they really need it or not.
I will try to learn from this experience :-)
Business: waiting for a better time.
Free Software: waiting for a better time.
Things aren't going bad, after all ... :-)
I can't remember why I didn't post any entry in the last year. Anyway, I'm still in the process of running a start-up (Prosa).
The statute that force the company to use, modify, develop and sell only ``software libero'' has been legally accepted and everything else seem to go smoothly.
It's nice to see mperry hanging here. (Hi Mike!). It reminds me how many good people I met during my Linuxcare experience.
My hard drive died. My "stinkpad" has never worked well. I'm now spending my day reinstalling and reconfiguring everything, like in my "windows 3.1" days ... shit.
Everything with the re-founding of PROSA is working well. For those who asked, yes, we are still looking for hiring some more people. There is yet a lot of work to do.
I finally decide to re-create Prosa, the italian company forced by its statute to exclusively use, develop and sell free software.
I will stay away for a while, because I need some rest, but at least now I know what I will do in the future.
I decided to give up. I will not work for any Linux companies anymore, and I will not start any Linux companies again. I need a long vacation, and a long de-stressful period.
I'm fairly confident that this period will lead me to something new in the future.
Linuxcare Inc. has officially shut down Linuxcare Italia.
We are taking care of the process.
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