Discovering Linux

Discovering Linux

Post by Nathan Han » Wed, 19 Mar 1997 04:00:00




> I've been using Linux now for almost a month, and I'm sold on it, and unix
> in general. Coming from MSDOS the vistas that have opened up are very
> welcome. It's like having my Amiga back but with super fast cpu & video.

> The trouble is, how to make money in the Linux realm. Everything is free.
> How do you pay rent + buy groceries in this world?

Several ways.

Cygnus (who write gcc) employ a couple of techniques. They charge
for support, rather than a copy of the software. If you want some
feature that isn't implemented, they can charge you $/hr rates to
implement it. If you need the software debugged, you can pay them
an hourly rate to find and repair it.

In all three cases you have paid for the programmer's service and
ability. This is similar to other service fields i.e. contractors
and engineers. It makes a lot more sense than charging for copies
of the programmers work (to me, at least). Software is very cheap
to replicate: the design and coding (ie service) is the expensive
bit, and the bit I reckon you should charge for. [1]

A recent thread on gnu.misc.discuss was related to what the world
would be like if every programmer used the service model, and all
software was free (the GPL sense). There was no general agreement
though I think it would result in much better software, no closed
systems, and fewer 2nd-rate programmers.  The reusability aspects
would probably lead to much more rapid development, too.

Quote:> I am in the middle of learning Xwindows + network programming. What I want
> to create are multiplayer Linux games. But I don't see any income coming
> from this...

Income from game programming is tentative at best, on any OS.

Quote:> I'm going to have to (shudder) learn Win95 + program in that just in order
> to pay the bills.

Go for it. Your choice.

--
Open mind for a different view, and nothing else matters.

[1] yeah I know charging for copies is how the company recoups the
    cost of the programmers time. it is too indirect, and it still
    doesn't make any sense.

 
 
 

Discovering Linux

Post by D.F. Yriar » Thu, 20 Mar 1997 04:00:00



----- snip ------
> The trouble is, how to make money in the Linux realm. Everything is free.
> How do you pay rent + buy groceries in this world?

You do custom programming that adds value. The base operating system may
be free, but there isn't any reason why you shouldn't find some need and
create and sell a solution for it.

Is there some network application that would help a doctor's office work
better? Something to help a law office track document and communicate
with a county clerk's office? If it's useful and well done you sell it.
Businesses will pay sizeable amounts of money for custom solutions to
their special requirements.

Maybe this isn't as exciting as game programming, but it's useful and
can produce income.

Quote:> I am in the middle of learning Xwindows + network programming. What I want
> to create are multiplayer Linux games. But I don't see any income coming
> from this...

If you have the skills to create a multiplayer game on a network you
have skills you can use to create a multiuser business application.

Doug Yriart

 
 
 

Discovering Linux

Post by Mats Andtback » Fri, 21 Mar 1997 04:00:00




>> I am in the middle of learning Xwindows + network programming. What I want
>> to create are multiplayer Linux games. But I don't see any income coming
>> from this...
>Income from game programming is tentative at best, on any OS.

i'm sure John Carmack, who just gave away his first ferrari due to
having bought his fourth, would agree.

idsoft made a fortune by "giving away" software. should be a lesson to
us Linuxites, IMO.
--
        "...it's all wrong
         but it's alright..."          -- Clapton

 
 
 

Discovering Linux

Post by david parso » Tue, 25 Mar 1997 04:00:00





>>> I am in the middle of learning Xwindows + network programming. What I want
>>> to create are multiplayer Linux games. But I don't see any income coming
>>> from this...

>>Income from game programming is tentative at best, on any OS.

>i'm sure John Carmack, who just gave away his first ferrari due to
>having bought his fourth, would agree.

  One success in a field doesn't mean that everyone will succeed
  in that field.

                ____
  david parsons \bi/ anyone can grow up to be president, but not everyone
                 \/                                                  does.

 
 
 

Discovering Linux

Post by Nathan Han » Sat, 29 Mar 1997 04:00:00





> >> I am in the middle of learning Xwindows + network programming. What I want
> >> to create are multiplayer Linux games. But I don't see any income coming
> >> from this...

> >Income from game programming is tentative at best, on any OS.

> i'm sure John Carmack, who just gave away his first ferrari due to
> having bought his fourth, would agree.

Neil Armstrong once stood on the moon. I guess it's pretty
damn easy for *any* Tom,* or Harry to do. (It's a*
poor example, but hopefully the point is clear).

My statement regarding game programming stands; one or two
exceptions don't disprove my remark, which wasn't specific
and didn't exclude the possibility of making it rich. It's
not the easiest area of programming to get into.

Quote:> idsoft made a fortune by "giving away" software. should be a lesson to
> us Linuxites, IMO.

ID hardly "gave" their software away. They released copies
which lacked features and levels and charged normal prices
for the full releases of the game. It's an example of very
good advertising; using existing communication channels to
gain effectively free publicity for your software. Lots of
* companies now follow the path set by ID, Apogee and
Epic Megagames.

btw: I'm not upset at ID. I love their games and purchased
DOOM, DOOM II and Quake. However, they are commercial, and
so their licensing schemes and practises have little or no
meaning for the typical Linux programmer.

--
Open mind for a different view, and nothing else matters.