General discussion

  • Creator
  • #2288626

    Free software


    by jardinier ·

    How do people who create and distribute free software make a living?

    In a recent discussion, the general consensus was that AVG was at least as good as, if not better, than the major brand names.

    Everyone who knows about Firefox browser it switching to it.

    And now Open Office is gaining popularity.

All Comments

  • Author
    • #3344162

      Reply To: Free software

      by choppit ·

      In reply to Free software

      Some people don’t expect to make a living from it, they’re just passionate about programming and free software. In many cases these are community supported. Others hope to sell commercially licenced/supported versions or support contracts.

      I always look for free alternatives before buying commercial software both personally and for the business. The *nix platforms are particularly well provided for but the Windows side is steadily growing.

      Here’s my most used sites for free software:

      For *nix like distros (OSes) I use

      Whilst we’re on the subject does anyone know of a good list of commercial software with their best free alternatives? In particular I’d like to find a good free Windows alternative to MS Project. The best I’ve found is GanttProject but it’s nowhere near in the same league.

      • #3344112

        MS-Project, no but let me post if you find one.

        by tbragsda ·

        In reply to Reply To: Free software


        • #3337324

          dotProject and

          by 0ldan ·

          In reply to MS-Project, no but let me post if you find one.

          Two come to mind and they are very good.

          dotProject ( is about to make a 2.0 release and is an excellent piece of code — and free. Several companies use it internally to manage projects. It’s so good, I use it myself for my company’s IT projects.

          phProjekt ( is in version 4 and has higher goals – it claims to be becoming a groupware tool rather than simply a project management tool which are its origins.

          I recommend you evaluate them both before moving into something Microsoft-ish and spending the money. The reason is that you might find your needs are much simpler than you originally thought. Or you might find they are more complex. In any case, it’s an easy way to get your feet wet in online project management tools to see if it fits your workflow!

        • #3337317


          by russ ·

          In reply to dotProject and

          I also use dotProject heavily for internal project management and with customers who I have split project management duties with in some cases. It does not have all the bells and whistles that MSProject offers, but I’ve found it to be quite capable in handling most of our project needs.

        • #3337322

          Project Alternative

          by bbranstad ·

          In reply to MS-Project, no but let me post if you find one.

          Have you checkout AutoTRAX project manager?

          The site also contians a low cost schematic capture and PCB design software that I woudl recommed.


      • #3344055

        by jaqui ·

        In reply to Reply To: Free software

        is usually about 6 to 8 months behind in it’s data.
        if you know which distros you are interested in, then I would recommend going to thier own sites for most up to date info. is another good resource, and for the actual projects.
        savannah as a non gnu version also.

        have you taken a look at mr project as a replacement for ms project?

        • #3344031

          Reply To: Free software

          by choppit ·

          In reply to

          Yes, but it doesn’t run under Windows.

        • #3344007


          by jaqui ·

          In reply to Reply To: Free software

          since written in java is cross platform.

        • #3343991

          Reply To: Free software

          by choppit ·

          In reply to ganttproject

          I’ve used GanttProject and if you look back a few posts you’ll see that I’ve discounted it. It’s quite good, but not even nearly comparable to MS project. Ideally I’m looking for something which can be used collaboratively.

        • #3343937


          by jaqui ·

          In reply to Reply To: Free software

          for full collaboration tools, go with the commercial product that powers sourceforge.

          expensive. but can’t argue that it’s got the capability.

          some of the content management systems have support for project managment / collaboation also.

        • #3337530


          by choppit ·

          In reply to well..

          I went down this same route trying to find a free Windows alternative to Visio. End result….Microsoft got my money.

        • #3338278

          choppit went with Visio

          by crake ·

          In reply to well..

          But my money goes to SmartDraw.

        • #3337374


          by lucas rodriguez cervera ·

          In reply to Reply To: Free software

          As long as I know there is no advance open-source equivalent to MS Project. As you know, GanttProject may be a good alternative if you make only a very basic use of it.

          Same case for the visio equivalent. I have investigated deeply and there is no alternative with a significant amount of functionality. The best one I know is DIA.

          Although it is not very sophisticated, Gforge is a good project collaboration application. We have used successfully for one year.

          Just my two cents,
          Lucas Rodr?guez Cervera

        • #3338468


          by rojackson ·

          In reply to Gforge

          I’m suprised OpenWorkBench hasn’t been mentioned. It is the Old ABT WorkBench which has always been considered far superior than MS Project for leveling, etc. Niku has put the client in the public domain.

          If you’re looking for MS Project equivs in the OS Community this is the puppy.

      • #3343923

        Project Management

        by thechas ·

        In reply to Reply To: Free software

        I haven’t used them, but here are a couple of links:

        The program for the site above is Gestien de Projet.

        The web site for the program is in French which I cannot read.

        Another program I downloaded about the same time as these is titled itemX.

        I did not find any new information on it.

        I thought IMSI’s Turbo Project might be a low cost option.

        Seems that they have upscaled their pricing since I last looked.


        • #3337376

          Open Office Projectmanagement

          by b.evers ·

          In reply to Project Management

          The openoffice project has a projectmanagementtool in it’s incubation phase, oopm.

          At the moment there mainly is mail traffic about what is required for opensource projectmanagement.

          Perhaps people can give input to the list, about what is required to get a project up and running. Just subscribe to the mail list and give input.

          Also open workbench is a freeware PM tool for windows, but also has some limitations, mainly on scheduling resources.

        • #3337277

          Project Management

          by jim.robinson ·

          In reply to Project Management

          I don’t know Project, or use this, but here’s another, recently open sourced project management tool:

      • #3337807

        This website doesn’t have a complete program

        by faith_michele ·

        In reply to Reply To: Free software

        but it does have some noteworthy tools for Project Management. It has an Access DB that can track risks, changes, and issues, with the ability to assign ownership. It is only free if you already have Access 2000 or greater, so it doesn’t really fall in the free category.

        I also think MS Project is an outstanding product. I had a free trial (120-days) version with my college. You are right that there should be more free alternatives in this arena.

        Faith Young

        • #3337687

          free project management solutions

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to This website doesn’t have a complete program

          Actually, there are a number of free project management solutions out there that run on Linux. Doing an apt-get search for “project management” on my workstation here shows the following PM applications at my fingertips:


          You can probably find information on some of these and a few others not in this list by searching Sourceforge and/or Freshmeat.

        • #3337532


          by jaqui ·

          In reply to free project management solutions

          choppit wants a winders based app.

        • #3337520


          by apotheon ·

          In reply to but

          I didn’t reread the entire discussion before posting that. I just responded to the latest message.

          Mea culpa.

      • #3337327

        Free software

        by chrisvl ·

        In reply to Reply To: Free software

        While we are on the subject, does anybody know of a good alternative to quicken?

        • #3337314


          by mark.patelunas ·

          In reply to Free software

          Gnucash but it is linux only.

        • #3337279

          Free ‘Quicken’

          by mcs-1 ·

          In reply to Free software

          I recently seen something in my RSS feeds about a financial manager. Go to and do a search for Quicken … you’ll find something.

        • #3336605

          Re: Free Software

          by griesner ·

          In reply to Free software

          There are indeed several free programs similar to
          Quicken out there. Check at the Pricelessware site: under
          Business-Home with a subcategory of Accounting-Personal.

          It’s a good source for all sorts of freeware as
          is the group al.comp.freeware (read it through Google Groups).

          We do use freeware at the College for a number of
          purposes and some of it has come through these sources.

      • #3337189

        Open Source software Win y Lin

        by romerogt ·

        In reply to Reply To: Free software

        I also use an, but just found TheOpenCD, it is a CD with a lot of OS software that runs on Linux:
        What I liked about the CD is that software is real OSS and it is categorized so if you need something for CAD (for example) you will find at least one of this applications.

        For your colaboration project, there are a lot of (W)LAMP applications that you can use, like e-Groupware, dotproject, phpprojekt, cms like Mambo, CRM like SugarCRM. Since they use MySQL and PHP you can run them on windows and Linux on apache, and some of them even runs on Windows with IIS.

        At work we use mainly Windows but have a lot of OSS running, at client and webapp level.

      • #3338375

        FreeSoftware?? Starting point for new programmers

        by john_knickerbocker@altico ·

        In reply to Reply To: Free software

        Freeware (samples) are most of the time a sample of your work. In other non-computer companies samples are given freely to show just how good you or your company is. IF customers like you samples, chances are you will recieve orders (or job Offers).

      • #3336742


        by bixbyru ·

        In reply to Reply To: Free software

        Try Intelisys – it’s commercial but less expensive AND better than MS Project.

        There are some good free PM tools in OS/FS – try building one with CYGWIN.


    • #3344098


      by thechas ·

      In reply to Free software


      For most open source software, you have a combination of factors that fund the project.

      First off, most of the programming is done by people who donate their code to the project.

      Next, comes support from select companies.

      Open Office got it’s start from Sun and it’s Star Office.

      Firefox (Mozilla) gets significant funding from Netscape.

      Then, most free-ware and open source software sites have a donation link.

      Also, in the case of Firefox, the Mozilla group has a couple of enterprise applications that they sell.

      For AVG, along with AdAware and Zone Alarm, the situation is a little different.
      The authors of AVG (and a number of other “free-ware” programs) started out to hone and prove their software writing skills.
      Now, many offer premium versions that you must pay for that include additional features and support.

      So, it is a combination of enthusiasm for the idea along with reaching the critical mass to turn your hobby into a commercial enterprise.


      • #3338789


        by rodneyjohnson2005 ·

        In reply to Combination

        another new addition say to your anti-virus is prevx it prevents stuff from installing it tells you when a secure area is being acessed free home version another good idea made by securing the net starting form the home computer, you can also suspend the program say installing anther program it will pop up every thing during an installation and uninstalling, its seems to be the norm firewall, antivirus, prevention.

    • #3344050

      Variety of ways

      by maxwell edison ·

      In reply to Free software

      Updates may carry a cost, documentation and suppport, or perhaps an enhanced or better version later on.

      Did you know that McAfee started out as a FREE software?

    • #3343978

      AVG doesn’t fit the same category

      by oz_media ·

      In reply to Free software

      I understand what yu are saying. Some companies make money of of banner advertising while running their software, such as GetRight download accelerator, which essentially is free but with ads (therefore the banners pay for its use.) until you pay a nominal subscription fee to open up the no ad version.

      AVG makes money from selling Network Copies and Exchange protection with paid service ad suuport.
      It is common for AV builders to offer a home version for free, e-Trust and Trend Micro do it too, exculding NOrton and MacAffee of course who are juts in it for the $. By offering a free home version, it promotes people to try and trust it, then they will use the professional versions at the office.

      Open Source is just what it is, open source code that in most cases if MUCH tighter than retail offerings. NO there’s on instant money in it, but these devlopers do get picked up for high payign jobs as well as seeking partnerships with companies like Google or e-Bay.

      MI support all these guys as I can, whether through nominal PayPal donation for support, promoting their products (just look at the good name Firefox and AVG get on this site, how many people have sought free solutions for personal use and then used it at the office, I can think of several myself.

      Sometimes, a free offering or value added service is the best way to promote your products without even charging people for them. Once they like you, they will automatically buy your other products without them being thrust in their noses.

      I think it’s just good business in most cases.

      • #3337709

        free anti-virus

        by apotheon ·

        In reply to AVG doesn’t fit the same category

        AVG is great. It’s the best proprietary/closed-source antivirus solution I’ve had the pleasure to use.

        There’s a free/open-source antivirus solution out there, though, that by all accounts seems to be better. There’s a Windows port of ClamAV (ClamWin) available at for your convenience.

        By all accounts, it finds virus problems nothing else on Windows does, and nothing else finds virus problems ClamWin doesn’t. I haven’t actually run it head-to-head with AVG myself, and have never had a problem with either one failing to find a virus, so in my experience they’re both pretty much equally wonderful. I do like the fact that ClamAV/ClamWin source code is open to the public, though, and that it is Free (as in “speech”) as well as free (as in “beer”).

        • #3337665


          by oz_media ·

          In reply to free anti-virus

          I have heard of ti but never tried it. Perhaps I will try it now.

          You case was interesting and somewhat compelling yet neutral. The free beer was the closing argument that got me though. 🙂

        • #3337558


          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Thanks

          Quite welcome.

          I had a feeling “free beer” would get your attention.

        • #3337534


          by jaqui ·

          In reply to meheh

          I’ve seen, somewhere on here (TR) that AVG only catches 75% of viruses, as compared to Norton and McAfee’s 90%

          not saying that it doesn’t catch virues the other two don’t, lords know I’ve seen trojans, that I know were there, skip right past all three of them.
          ( killcmos to be specific, tamed trojan )

          no antivirus solution is perfect, run one constanly when online, shut down nic/lock firewall completely. shut down running av and use several others to scan to get best possible coverage.

          worst one I saw was bulldog.
          ( told me a linux archive had “drop.bat” virus when transfered to windows box to use cdrw on it. )
          yet never could find any data on “drop.bat” virus.

        • #3337521


          by apotheon ·

          In reply to but

          I haven’t seen that comparative failure rate. My personal experience has been that neither Norton nor McAfee has ever found a virus that AVG hasn’t. Then again, I don’t run into viruses too much outside of clients’ offices, because I’m not a nightmare end-user.

          If that’s the case, maybe you should switch to ClamWin.

        • #3338818

          got the best os.

          by jaqui ·

          In reply to interesting

          linux from scratch.

          yup I build my own, every time I install.
          and I only install from unaltered sources.

          my system is fsh and lsb compliant.
          ( gotta know that the customised *x systems are not good for developing on, as they aren’t standard to original source, mine is.)

        • #3338808

          ahem, re: LFS

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to interesting

          I was referring, of course, to Windows use. Every single post I’ve ever made to TR has been from a Linux system. At least, I’m pretty sure I haven’t made any posts from anyone else’s computers, or anything like that.

          I haven’t tried LFS yet, though I intend to at some point in the vague future. Debian just does everything I need, and does it better than anything else I’ve ever used, including software management. I love the apt system and I love the fact that, though other distributions have adopted apt, Debian’s apt repositories are so much more complete, extensive, and well-tested than any other collection of software for a given OS.

          This all makes Debian seem like pretty much the perfect OS, for my tastes. It makes system management absurdly easy, and scales to multiple-computer environments without losing any of that ease of management. Added to that is the fact that Debian installs so cleanly.

          I’m sure LFS installs more cleanly than Debian, if you have any clue how to set up a system from LFS, and that it’s every bit as stable as Debian (again, if you know what you’re doing), but I have a hard time imagining it being as easily managed as Debian, particularly in more-complex computing environments than simply one computer on one desk. I have a four-port KVM at my desk just to run the computers that I use locally, not even counting the systems I access primarily through SSH. Ease of system administration and software management is of paramount importance in my life.

        • #3338677

          My experience

          by dwiebles ·

          In reply to interesting

          I had AVG on my home network. We have 4 “kids” (<22 years old) using the computers, downloading all matter of music and games. I plugged my notebook running Symantec corporate, and it caught "Gaobot" in the shares folder on one of the home PC's. Since then, all Norton, AVG is good, but Norton beat it on this one.


        • #3338645


          by oz_media ·

          In reply to interesting

          IN that same sense, I have seen AVG pick up what NOrton has missed.

          NO one solution is foolproof.

          AVG is just as solid as Norton, but it is far more stable and resourceful on the stations it’s installed to.

          I am not saying you made a mistake in choosing Norton.

          I am merely saying that the issue that resulted in your going Norton is also an issue for some to LEAVE Norton for AVG. It works both ways, but ONE virus not being detected is hardly a measure of better software, especially considering what AVG MAY be finding that Norton isn’t.

        • #3338636


          by dwiebles ·

          In reply to interesting

          No software is perfect, at least that I have found (prove me wrong people…). AVG is good, I loved the low resources it used, has great features too. I have been using Norton for years before trying AVG, and still recommend it to people. I just wanted people to know that AVG does miss things too, despite the rave reviews it gets here (I have posted in it’s favor too). You always hear “I had Norton and AVG caught virus “x” that Norton didn’t”. But, it works both ways.


        • #3337147


          by jaqui ·

          In reply to interesting

          it’s not actually a ditro for everyone.
          it’s target is actually to tech you how the system works, and what are the minimums you need to have to get a functional system.

          to build an lfs based webserver you only have the absolutely required stuff, nothing extra at all.
          even with debian there are extra libs and apps.
          ( such as apt-get )

          my reson is that I then have a system with unaltered packages, no customisations, to use for developing on.
          by making sure my file system heirarchy is fsh compliant, and I install software to meet lsb compliance, I have a system wich allows easy compilation on all distros of packages built on it.

        • #3337146

          missing virus in scan

          by jaqui ·

          In reply to interesting

          which was the point of my post.

          use different anti virus software, and scan systems to catch what one misses.

          keep both updated.

          I wasn’t saying that avg isn’t worth using, but that no one app is 100% effective in stopping viruses

        • #3337129


          by apotheon ·

          In reply to interesting

          If I could set up LFS systems with full Debian software repository compatibility, I’d be more inclined to try it out sooner rather than later. As is, though, I love the Debian package repositories enough so that Debian’s facility with lean installs is quite lean enough for my purposes. Besides, I tend to use pretty much everything Debian installs (as opposed to all the extra cruft many other distributions install).

        • #3337043

          you can

          by jaqui ·

          In reply to interesting

          just install the .deb support software, then install the apt system.
          there may be bugs from debians customisation f the kernel etc, but there may not.
          debian doesn’t make the drastic changes most distros do.

          slak is one of the best known distro for a from source install.

          lfs is great, for it’s purpose.
          it’s not really intended as a production os, much more beyond lfs ( yes they have a blfs book also, and alfs [ advanced ] ) it is meant to be a teaching / / learning tool for the os, once you are familiar with it.

          go grab a copy of the book and check the intro, it says that right near the beginning.

          Why would I want an LFS system?

          There are a lot of reasons why somebody would want to install an LFS system. The question most people raise is “why go through all the hassle of manually installing a Linux system from scratch when you can just download an existing distribution?”. That is a valid question which I hope to answer for you.

          The most important reason for LFS’s existence is teaching people how a Linux system works internally. Building an LFS system teaches you about all that makes Linux tick, how things work together, and depend on each other. And most importantly, how to customize it to your own taste and needs.

        • #3336927

          Yeah, I know.

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to interesting

          The problem is that “bugginess” that might arise due to not being set up the way a Debian system is.

          As for the reasons for using LFS: I have those reasons to want to. I want to use LFS to learn about how Linux works. I’m just not doing it right now. For my primary workstation and production servers, however, I’m going to stick to what is most easily maintained while doing what I want.

        • #3337455

          oh yeah.

          by jaqui ·

          In reply to interesting

          for any purpose other than pedanticness about using clean sources for a development platform I would never recommend lfs for a production system because of the difficulty in patching.

          I put that effort in to have the original sources as a development platform.

          not for my server, for that I used freebsd.
          ( I don’t see any reason to worry about multimedia, and fancy graphics ability on a server.
          I don’t even have a monitor, keyboard, or mouse attached to it after boot.
          and only login when patching it. ( remotely so don’t need the keyboard/mouse/monitor then either )

        • #3337345

          One for AVG

          by americium ·

          In reply to but

          When I switched to AVG from Norton, AVG found a virus that Norton had overlooked.

          You go, AVG!

        • #3337201

          Another For AVG

          by future1investor ·

          In reply to One for AVG

          I’ve been telling people for years about the drawbacks of continuing to support Symantec with their often inferior product. It looks good and that is mainly a marketing ploy.

          Grisoft’s AVG AntiVirus is in my estimation tops because it actually does catch viruses AND they update frequently (sometimes daily). Which shows why they are catching what Symantec waits too long for.

        • #3337310

          Good, Bad, and Ugly?

          by lynbor ·

          In reply to but

          I remember when McAfee was new and FREE. I also remember when they went commercial and the quality of their product went out the window. It had real compatibility issues. I then switched to Norton. No compatibility issues, but their subscription fee for database updates was annoying. I purchased the software and didn’t feel I should have to also purchase a subscription to it’s database.

          I then found AVG. I was pleased when I installed it and it found viruses that Norton’s had apparently not found. It worked well, but for some reason I kept looking at alternatives. I eventually found AntiVir ( and after installing it even more viruses were discovered that AVG had apparently overlooked.

          As you say, no antivirus solution is perfect, but having used both AVG and AntiVir for little over a year I find I like AntiVir better. The only thing that has been a problem is that sometimes their update server is too busy to handle the load. But in those cases I’ve just aborted the update until the next reboot and that has worked well.

          Getting back on topic…..

          Free software is great, but I think there needs to be a happy middle ground.

          Commercial software tends to be considerably over priced. Especially in a multi-user environment.

          Free software or donation-ware doesn’t reward the authors well enough unless the program is exceptional or is badly needed and there are only very expensive alternatives available.

          I like the idea of a “basic” version that is free or very cheap and a more reasonably priced “pro” version. I have no problem paying a resonable fee for a tool that makes my life easier.

          However, there also seems to be a lot of pure CRAP software out there in both the Free and Shareware world. My observation is that “pride in workmanship” has become much less visable than it once was. Of course there are always exceptions to the rule of thumb.

          Some programmers can write very tight and good performing programs, but they should be taken out and shot for the extremely poor user interface they put on top of their baby.

          hehe, well, I could go on and on as this has been a subject I’ve been involved in for over 15 years. I’ve worn the hats of most sides to this issue. I praise the hobbists and creators of very fine products that are available for free and for a reasonable price and I scorn at the rediculous attempt at providing a kitchen sink that Microsoft has been able to do with all their products since DOS. 😀

        • #3337235

          I don’t know about that…

          by fresnotech ·

          In reply to but

          I have very little faith in the Norton and McAfee AV solutions. I don’t use them on my machine because of the problems I have seen on other people’s machines when I have to clean them up. There is nothing worse than going to a client to do a cleaning of their box only to find a fully updated Norton or McAfee on it that says there is not a virus on the machine.

          I can think of one example of this happening that was extreme. I killed Norton on the machine, and installed AVG (the free choice at the time) and it found 50 viruses on that same machine that Norton said was clean. Some of those viruses were the same virus copied into other locations, but there were no less than 20 different viruses or variants of those viruses.

          I have since moved on to BitDefender ( for home use on machines that I clean. The scan process takes a little longer than AVG, but I did do a head to head on them. AVG said it was clean, and BitDefender found 2 viruses on the same machine. I haven’t tried Clam outside of work, where we have a Linux backend that is protected by Clam, but I might now that there is a Winblows version of it out there.

        • #3337989

          Don’t know the origin of your stats but they’re wrong.

          by sleepin’dawg ·

          In reply to but

          AVG and Avast are two excellent free programs and both have received higher ratings than either Norton or McAfee. Norton and McAfee catching 90%??Give me a break; these two are over priced and over rated and couldn’t catch cold in the Arctic. Run either AVG or Avast and back them with Spybot S&D, SpyBlaster and Ad-Aware and you might want to take a gander at the new Microsoft offering which is in beta. That’s supposed to be pretty good. Oh yes; they’re all free.


        • #3337984

          no thanks

          by jaqui ·

          In reply to Don’t know the origin of your stats but they’re wrong.

          I’ll stick with my no antivirus no anti adware system.

          linux does have benefits you know.

        • #3336495

          MS AS

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to Don’t know the origin of your stats but they’re wrong.

          The Microsoft Beta has already been exploited. I believe there’s a TR thread on it too. 😀

          What do you expect? Sure people can exploit AVG too but they don’t bother, MS is a target. Strap on that bullseye and go to work. 🙂

        • #3333581


          by anne.powel ·

          In reply to but

          I’ve seen comparisons where AVG beat both Norton
          and McAfee, I don’t think Trend Micro was in that
          I’ve run McAfee and AVG side-by-side and twice had AVG pick up things McAfee did not, so I’m
          much more inclined to believe you may have read
          something sponsored by one of the for-profit
          groups.?? What’s your source.
          Good luck either way, the nutsos are faster than the good guys most of the time, but we keep trying!

        • #3333552
          Avatar photo

          Actually what is wrong with running several AV products?

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to incorrect

          I do this all the time with every one of my personal computers and customers what one doesn’t pickup the others might and generally that is how things work out.

          I’ve yet to ever come across the perfect product in anything although currently one Linux Distro is driving me crazy because I can not break it. But that example aside we just have to accept that everything needs work and that some things will pick up a certain item while another vendors products may let it by and the same thing will most likely happen the other way around at a different point in time.

          I currently have a copy of Leprechauns AV which is an AU written product and has a relatively small sales base compared to some of the others that are around and it tends to be very good but I would think that is because most of the “Script Kiddies” are not aware of it so they just do not customize their scripts to exploit it. So far it has picked up everything that others have let through. I’m by no means saying it is the best product but it is very useful in any AV defense procedure.

          Col ]:)

        • #3332615

          Reply to HAL 9000

          by kaceyr ·

          In reply to incorrect

          The problem with running multiple AV products is that they have a tendancy to step on each others toes, especially when the “scan on open” functionality is active.

          Most AV products now have the ability to designate multiple directories to ignore so that they don’t pick up their own (or some other AV softwares) scanning pattern files, but the detection of other AV software is not automatic.

          If you only run one product in “scan on open”, and you have the ignore directories set up properly, then it shouldn’t be a problem to run multiple AV products side by side.

        • #3332409
          Avatar photo

          A perfect description of the way I set these things up

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to incorrect

          Each and every incoming and out going e-mail is scanned by at least 3 AV programs and really the only problem that I’ve run across is deleting the Virus Vaults of the different AV products from each others scanning directories that can cause a problem if it is missed {generally on a rush job at 3.00 AM after no where enough sleep!}

          But all of this stuff is getting to be second nature to me now and I just do not seem to have any problems even on the rush reloads.

          Col ]:)

        • #3337334

          Open Source AV???

          by swinky ·

          In reply to free anti-virus

          It seems to me that open-source antivirus is a bad idea. Wouldn’t that make it incredibly easy to develop/modify a virus that could get past the program itself? Once you know how something works, then you know how to circumvent it…

        • #3337319


          by mark.patelunas ·

          In reply to Open Source AV???

          Every new virus circumvents every anti-virus program out there. I think you should also do a bit of research on how an AV and Virus creators work. Closed source software is an easier target for for a Virus writer as the source is closed. They use tols to reverse engineer the software and then have unfettered access to exploit it’s weaknesses.
          With open source many eyes can openly see the code and submit potential exploit problems back to the maintainers who in return fix the code. This is why open source projects such as Mozilla can implement a fix faster than Microsoft.

        • #3338339


          by apotheon ·

          In reply to What???

          I’m glad you and david_heath said it so I didn’t have to.

        • #3338383

          Security by Obscurity?

          by david_heath ·

          In reply to Open Source AV???

          it seems you’re arguing for security by obscurity. This has never worked, never will.

          The more independent observers are able to verify the completeness of the solution, the better it works.

          If you want a great example of this, you can look no further than the encryption system used for GSM phones. The designers were absolutely certain they’d designed the most wonderful encryption ever. Infortunately, they were not experienced encryption designers and the system fell apart very quickly. I understand that once the source was seen, the mistakes were obvious.

          Peer review would have ensured this never happened.

        • #3336737

          Not really…

          by bixbyru ·

          In reply to Open Source AV???

          If you had the floorplan for Fort Knox, would that make it any easier to get past the Marines?

          If I give you the X-ray micrographic structure of an anvil, does that bean you can find a cleavage in it and break it over your knee?

          Knowing how a thing works is hardly equivalent to knowing how to break it, with the exception of things which are badly built and thence highly breakable.

          AVG is not poorly written. While someone *might* craft a virus which would hide from one test, they’d not evade them all – at least for long.

          At the end of the line, pattern recognition is not defeatable. You can get a false positive but NEVER a false negative.


        • #3338140

          good stuff

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Not really…

          I love that anvil metaphor.

      • #3338477

        A point about AVG and Windows ME

        by randy ·

        In reply to AVG doesn’t fit the same category

        I don’t know if this is common knowledge but I just wanted to warn everyone about putting the latest version of AVG (both free and commercial) on a machine with Windows ME. We had a few cases where all network services on the machines nearly came to a halt After installing the latest version of AVG or updating AVG on a Windows ME machine. Don’t expect a quick solution from Grisoft either, the only support you can get is through email. I found it faster and easier to back up the machine and lobomize the machine. I am now testing Kaspersky AV because they agreed to give me phone support if I need it.

        • #3338338

          Ahem. WinME.

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to A point about AVG and Windows ME

          There’s your problem right there.

          You mean there are people still trying to use that horrible, horrible travesty of an OS? How frightening. It’s literally the worst OS I’ve ever had the intense displeasure of encountering. Even Microsoft tends to try to pretend it never existed.

        • #3338273
          Avatar photo

          I actually have a copy of it somewhere here

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Ahem. WinME.

          I loaded it onto a new computer and after playing with it for about 15 minutes I thought I can not inflict this on my customer so I threw the disk in a corner and have never seen it since.

          I put 98 Se onto the computer and they where as happy as Larry with it but I never ever considered using ME ever again!

          Col ]:)

        • #3338188

          Scraping the barrel

          by choppit ·

          In reply to Ahem. WinME.

          ME was a really desperate attempt to scrape the bottom of the W9x barrel.

        • #3337988

          Windows ME??? You’re putting us on, right???

          by sleepin’dawg ·

          In reply to A point about AVG and Windows ME

          Windows ME??? On a network??? Ever here of a little item called Windows 2000??? My ten year old grandaughter is bitching about running ME. Hoooobah! Why blame Grisoft when even Microsoft has dialed back ME support. The only people still running ME are home users, grade schools and prison libraries. Then you want to go to Kaspersky because it gives phone support??? Unreal.
          This one is a no brainer but my grandaughter could probably give you tech support but she does insist on being paid.

        • #3348648

          Heard about the CE + ME + NT hybrid they were working on a while back?

          by afoshee ·

          In reply to A point about AVG and Windows ME

          Yea, I understand that MS was working on a new OS a while back that took the best parts of all three, and were going to name it… appropriately…


          Hard as a rock and dumb as a brick!

        • #3348950


          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Heard about the CE + ME + NT hybrid they were working on a while back?

          That’s hilarious! I’ve gotta remember that one.

        • #3348573

          WinME Comes Pre-Lobotomized

          by louiswood ·

          In reply to A point about AVG and Windows ME

          You lobomized a machine with WinME on it? Could you tell a difference afterwards?

      • #3338456

        AVG is NOT so good…

        by brendon ·

        In reply to AVG doesn’t fit the same category

        I work for a large IT company and support numerous large organisations. We have seen A LOT of pcs come in to be repaired that have AVG and are infected with viruses, but those that come in with Trend or Norton are not usually infected.

        It says it all really.

        • #3338337


          by apotheon ·

          In reply to AVG is NOT so good…

          That’s the complete opposite of my experience. I do system clean-up for clients whose machines have gotten gummed up with crap all the time, and what I’ve found is that people running AVG usually don’t have any virus issues, but people running Norton are usually swimming in virus issues [b]and[/b] have software compatibility issues with Norton software, pretty much universally.

        • #3338264

          AVG good

          by aactech ·

          In reply to odd

          I too have found AVG works very well.
          But many factors to consider:
          1.) Volume and type of email and client used
          2.) Web activity and type of sites visited
          3.) Do they download alot of dubious software?
          4.) the list goes on.

        • #3338256

          and . . .

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to AVG good

          If you want something more robust, feel free to get the paid-for version of AVG.

          You could always go with ClamAV or ClamWin, too, of course. I have it on reasonably good authority that it’s the best end-user antivirus available.

      • #3336661

        Why not two?

        by another computer guy ·

        In reply to AVG doesn’t fit the same category

        I have noticed from the postings here, that people are consistant in their either, or, policies of running AV apps. I am curious as to why you wouldn’t attempt a combination of AV apps. My home computer is (still) running WIN98 First Edition and I have Norton AV (Systemworks Pro 2003) running along side AVG 7.0. They both autoupdate and are both set to run automatic system scans at different times. I have yet to have a conflict running both AV’s. I also have Winpatrol and Spybot S&D Resident running to catch spyware, adware, malware. Notice that three of these are freeware apps. My hat is off to the people and companies who make these free security apps available to everyone. I view free AV and Spyware removal software as a public service. I believe that the only way to rid the internet of these baddies is to make it impossible for them to propagate.

        • #3338139

          multiple AV solutions

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Why not two?

          I actually do run multiple AV solutions on Windows machines, these days. For a while I was only using AVG because Avast! annoyed me and everything else I had used has at one time or another actually screwed something up badly (with Norton and PC-Cillin being particularly bad in that regard).

          Since my discovery of ClamWin, though, I tend to run both ClamWin and AVG on the same computer when I’m forced to use Windows at all. It helps that both of them are extremely gentle on the system resources, generally speaking, while pretty much every other AV solution I’ve run across is a resource hog of the worst kind.

        • #3336497

          re: multiple AV solutions

          by another computer guy ·

          In reply to multiple AV solutions

          I have to agree with the assessment that some of the big name AV’s are resource hogs and I do know when my expiration comes up for Norton, I’ll be looking elsewhere ( most likely freeware) to fill the gap. I keep seeing good things being said about ClamWin. Until this thread started, I had never heard of it. Guess which freeware AV I’m going to try next??

      • #3348446

        AVG and salaries of programmers

        by ·

        In reply to AVG doesn’t fit the same category

        Regarding AVG I think that you have missed something as to their income. All European users, like myself (Holland) had to pay for the privilege of using AVG, about $39.- It was only free for users outside Europe. Fine strategy for a European company! I protested against their business policy, but the replay was that somebody had to pay the salaries of the programmers etc.


    • #3343927

      Look at what happened to Netscape

      by black panther ·

      In reply to Free software

      In the early days of the Internet Netcape Navigator was the browser that everyone used along with an email program called “Eudora”.

      Along came B.ll G..tes who said “mmmm… how do I get rid of Netscape and get people to use Internet Explorer”

      Easy …. make it FREE……

      Then earn money from all the Add-ons etc

      But just because it’s FREE doesn’t make it a better product.. although which one do you choose — especially in today’s world and on a budget!


      • #3337826

        netscape free

        by jaqui ·

        In reply to Look at what happened to Netscape

        Netscape itself is free, even after being bought by AOL. no ads with it, tabbed browseing [ naturally, as netscape was first with it ] icq/aim client built in. ( AOL owns icq also )

        and Netscape is the origin of mozilla / firefox.
        ( both released under the NPL ( Netscape Public License ))

        Opera has free version with banner ads in it, small fe gets rid of banners.

      • #3337284

        NETSCAPE killed itself

        by tampa hillbilly ·

        In reply to Look at what happened to Netscape

        I was a Netscape user. IE-5 came out and was a MUCH better product, so I switched. Both were free, so how can that reason be used? Netscape is not even HTML 4.0 compliant and renders nothing if there is a page error. Try troubleshooting errors with that. IE renders pages with errors, and is sometimes too good at it. Netscape coasted on its butt while Microsoft built a smarter browser. That is why Netscape fizzled.

        • #3338387


          by jaqui ·

          In reply to NETSCAPE killed itself

          ie can’t handle the current standard for websites.
          xhtml ( xml and html )
          it craps out.

          and xhtml has been the standard for 5 years.

          that render a page with errors, is actually a security bug.
          those errors are frequently malicious code designed to breach system security.
          so go ahead, rave about using a product because it will allow viruses to come in when standards compliant browsers won’t.

          html is dead.
          there should be no html pages anywhere anymore, should all be xhtml

    • #3337740


      by jdmercha ·

      In reply to Free software

      Some open source code is developed by University professors and students.

      • #3337597


        by apotheon ·

        In reply to Universites

        That’s how BSD was originally produced, and in fact the BSD in “BSD license” (an “open source” software license) stands for Berkeley Software Distribution. MacOS X is built on the Darwin kernel, which is a fork of a BSD kernel. The Berkeley to which this refers is the University of California at Berkeley.

      • #3338355


        by bill.affeldt ·

        In reply to Universites

        I am sure most open source software is excellent quality. However if a business critical or business important piece of software breaks … I want someone accontable to fix it to keep my business running.

        While there may be work arounds to bypass the broken tool, there is also the possibility that my staff has become so dependent on the tool that they don’t remember how to do the work without a tool.

        How many people can format a document with a mark up language compared to how many people can format a document with a WYSIWYG editor. At one point the only way to format a document was with a GML. I used to use them but I dont any more and If I had to it would take me a long time to relearn it to be proficient. The same is true for any tool that increases productivity. You forget how to do the underlying function and then if the tool breaks you are out of luck or severly crippled in your ability to produce.

        Do I want a billion dollar business to stop because a free ware tool broke and I cant find anyone who remembers how to perform the native task and I cant find anyone to fix the tool…..

        My guess is it would make for interesting discussion in the unemployment line.

        I will pay the pro’s for the insurance that is included with a stable supported product. But I would also hire an open source developer because they love their work and are obviously good at it. And I would not let them give their work to my competitiors unless there was a way for me to make money from it.

        • #3338324

          Don’t you have it backwards?

          by david_heath ·


          >I am sure most open source software is excellent
          >quality. However if a business critical or business
          >important piece of software breaks … I want
          >someone accountable to fix it to keep my business

          Everything I’ve read suggests that ‘issues’ in open source products are fixed 10 or more times quicker than in proprietary software.

          Plus, if it’s open source, you have the source yourself and can fix it yourself.

        • #3338317

          Generally speaking, yes…

          by praetorpal ·

          In reply to Don’t you have it backwards?

          but the fact remains that usually open source has far fewer defects to begin with, and they are usually less severe. Here is a link where university researchers investigated Linux code.

          Linux: Fewer Bugs Than Rivals

          The same thing was in the press a few days ago with mySQL, far lower error rate than the proprietary equivalent.

        • #3338315

          That’s almost as silly as…

          by praetorpal ·


          risking the loss of mission-critical or customer data by continuing with the use of internet explorer, or risking the loss of hundreds of thousands (or more) of dollars in downtime when the next MS worm hits.

        • #3338314

          That’s almost as silly as…

          by praetorpal ·


          risking the loss of mission-critical or customer data by continuing with the use of internet explorer, or risking the loss of hundreds of thousands (or more) of dollars in downtime when the next MS worm hits.

        • #3338313

          That’s almost as silly as…

          by praetorpal ·


          risking the loss of mission-critical or customer data by continuing with the use of internet explorer, or risking the loss of hundreds of thousands (or more) of dollars in downtime when the next MS worm hits.

        • #3336787

          What you’re really saying is …

          by kaceyr ·


          … that you would gladly utilize the skills of an Open Source programmer, but only on a work for hire contract (where you retain 100% rights to the software that the person develops) not for a work product contract (where the developer retains the rights to the original code, but you receive royalty free rights to use the compiled code).

          That’s just typical contract work. What does it matter if the programmer is an Open Source contributor or not? I have no ties to any Open Source project and I love to program *at least* as much as the most avid techno-geek on any Open Source project.

          I interpret your post as displaying two basic problems to be solved:

          1) Someone must be accountable if the software breaks (or someone must be reachable to come and fix it)

          2) The software can’t be made available to your competition without you having some kind of profit center involvement.

          #1 isn’t really a problem. You hire a contractor (Open Source or not) to perform a body of work. Within the bounds of the contract you establish a support lifetime for the software developed by this contractor. Problem solved — HOWEVER … you should expect that the contractor will have a clause in the contract that states that they will only maintain the code that was delivered. This means that any in-house changes may nullify the support clause in the contract, or at the very least cause you to lose all of your in-house modifications.

          #2 isn’t a problem at all. Don’t have the software developed as Open Source. Keep it in your court. You win the ability to resell the software if you want, but you lose the mass peer review that the Open Source community would provide.

          I would also suggest that if you have staff that do not understand the underlying task that the tool actually does, then you need sell your GulfStream and invest heavily in some in-house training. Your staff will be the straw that will make or break your business should disaster strike.

        • #3338146


          by apotheon ·

          In reply to What you’re really saying is …

          That was a very good post. Thanks for raising the bar ’round here with that one, KaceyR.

        • #3336589

          Pay for it then

          by tony hopkinson ·


          The big fellas will be happy to provide support and technical help, and they’ve got the open source community backing them up.
          Have you seen Norton’s latest fumble ?. They patched their older software and now it lets viruses through.

          So closed, poor quality and risky, and given all that is available in the public domain, you could still be in the unemployment line.

          Put not your faith in vendors !

          P.S. there is a fix for Norton’s fumble, just pay for the upgrade to 2005.

          If you hire an open source developer the code he develops for you is yours to release and make money off, not his. You decide whether it’s open or not.

    • #3337707

      Not all …

      by kaceyr ·

      In reply to Free software

      … Open Source software is free, and not all free software is Open Source.

      Many times over the years I’ve written tools that helped me do my job with a little less work. Most of them I’ve given away for the asking (executables, not source). A few people have asked for the source, and some of them I’ve given the source freely, others I’ve charged for it.

      When I’ve created something that I feel others may be interested in, I take a good look at it, and if I would develop it from scratch rather than pay for it, then I give it away. If I’d be willing to pay something for it, I sell it.

      Back to your examples:

      Grisoft (the folks who make AVG) also has a server product that goes as high as $1,290 US (100 server license) for a two-year license. So they use the free product as an indoctrination to build product confidence in order to sell the higher end products (they have several, you should check them out

      Firefox has to be free. If it weren’t, it would never be an IE challenger because Microsoft will never charge for IE. I do take issue with your statement of “Everyone who knows about Firefox browser is switching to it.”. That is incorrect. There are a *great* many folks, even in discussion groups on TechRepublic, that have tried Firefox and like it, but have reasons that they will not switch. I’m one of them. My reason for not switching is my customers. They make decisions on which browsers to support and what level of support to provide based on Internet usage statistics by browser. Right now, Firefox isn’t even on the radar. 93% are using IE5 or IE6, 4% are using Netscape, and the remaining 3% are using AOL (a Netscape variant).

      Open Office is the one I can’t figure out. I’ve used it fairly extensively and it’s quite an impressive package. It even co-exists with MS Office 2003 and can share documents with it. The part that I don’t get is that Open Office is well worth some money. They *should* be able to sell it easily at, say $100, but when it was known as Star Office and got purchased by Sun, it wouldn’t sell. I can only assume that people don’t like the idea of trusting an non-MS entity for their primary business functions. Pretty good marketing on Microsofts part. I can only assume that Open Office has some big company backing.

      Anyway, that’s my 2 cents worth.

      • #3337593

        by apotheon ·

        In reply to Not all …

        Actually, and Star Office are related, but not the same thing. Star Office still exists, and is still being sold. Some parts of Star Office are proprietary and closed-source. is essentially Star Office without those closed-source components (often with an open-source implementation tacked on to grant roughly the same functionality). Thus, in a sense, is the free version of Star Office, much as there is a free version and a retail version of AVG.

        • #3337537


          by jaqui ·

          In reply to

          open office states that is is derived from Sun’s Star Office on the website. Sun does not own open office.

          open office has ( from last time I checked star Office out ) better support for m$ vbscript macros, though it translates them to javascript.

        • #3338588

          It does make you wonder …

          by kaceyr ·

          In reply to and

          … exactly what Star Office can provide that Open Office can’t. I don’t consider VBScript support to be a primary requirement for any office package, but I do consider scriptability in some form to be a very nice to have.

          I think I’ll take another look at Star Office’s specs, but for now I’ll stick with Open Office and Microsoft Office.

        • #3337144

          well you could..

          by jaqui ·

          In reply to It does make you wonder …

          work with koffice.
          or go whole hog nuts and use a TeX based editor.
          instead of using multiple office apps, why not standardise to only one?

          since openoffice can read and write the ms file formats, and has the scripting support you want, it could save you money long term to standardise onto it.
          you are obviously familiar with it so wouldn’t need to concider learning curve.

        • #3337276

          I would love to standardize on one …

          by kaceyr ·

          In reply to well you could..

          … but I have several clients who really are Microsoft shops. When they want a office-based application, they mean something that wraps together their stuff from Excel and Access into Word and PowerPoint using only the tools provided by MS Office. No exceptions.

          Microsoft Office is an exceptional product. It’s only real drawback is it’s high pricetag. The only reason I can run the enterprise version is that I use it for development work, and it comes in my (very expensive) MSDN Universal subscription. That’s the price I pay to stay on top of things here in the State of Washington!

        • #3337210


          by toomas ·

          In reply to It does make you wonder …

          1) Database (Adabas D IIRC with support for ODBC andJDBC)
          2) More filters like WordPerfect
          3) I’m not sure but SO 5.x was also e-mail client

          I use OO quite much . It’s writer have features what I like such has page styles and booklet printing. Last one is not so important because priter drivers work better but page styles are good when you need produce booklet number of pages in landscape following portait orientation. Also OO vector graphics is much better tham MS Office.

        • #3337382

          Look for the Ulterior Motive

          by jevans4949 ·

          In reply to

          Star Office comes frome the *nix world, and one of the major points when it was brought to the attention of the wider world was its high degree of compatibility with MS Office. If you want to sell *nix systems, or any other platform, such as Sun, interoperability with the Windows world, especially document exchange, is important, especially in the corporate market.

          Although I am not privy to the internal councils of Sun, I am guessing this may have played a major part in their decision to acquire Star Office’s owners. Giving away an adequately-functional version for free is a tried and tested method of building market share – in this case, not for Star Office but for non-MS operating systems.

          It’s my guess that, if the Open Office project continues to thrive and keep abreast of Microsoft, Sun will eventually drop Star Office. The important thing about Open Office for Sun and *nix vendors is “There are alternatives to Microsoft”.

          Personally, I prefer Lotus WordPro, but that’s just me.

          One business model I do like is that followed by Serif Software. They give away very old versions for free, recently-superseded versions for around GBP 10.00 over here, and make their money by aggressively marketing upgraded versions, usually with valuable new features, every year or so, and also useful complementary products from third parties. The upgrades are usually GBP 30.00 to existing users, or GBP 100.00 if new. The packages are also available unbundled, i.e. desktop publishing, photo-editing and vector drawing, although each product has some capability in the other areas.

        • #3337199

          Star Office vs. Open Office

          by future1investor ·

          In reply to

          Star Office is sitting on my bookshelf. It would not install on my new machine. I downloaded and have been using OpenOffice for some time now. Kudos to the folks who write such good software and are always improving it!

          Did you know that Bill Gates was and is totally against Linux and the whole freeware movement? Shows who’s interest he has in mind and it isn’t mine or yours!

        • #3338335


          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Star Office vs. Open Office

          I’m fully aware of the Gates software snobbery. He’s been running around sowing FUD about free and open source software for years now, basically lying about a competing software development model because he’s afraid of losing market dominance.

          The experience you had with Star Office not installing properly is interesting. I’m glad OOo worked out for you, though.

      • #3337241

        It Does

        by pka ·

        In reply to Not all …

        Try Sun. is a free version of their Star Office. By the way Open Office is yet another package not free.

        For the most part, I’m liking what I see with open source software. I think most of them will adopt a tailored version of it and hope to turn a profit their. Linux is a good example.

      • #3337214

        Something is wrong with numbers

        by fresnotech ·

        In reply to Not all …

        While I do agree with most of what you said, I think you have something just a bit off. I don’t have the exact numbers in front of me, but I think you have the statistics for browser use off just a bit. At last check, Firefox had been downloaded and installed about 10 million times, since it’s 1.0 release late last year. I believe that they are nearing the 6-7% usage mark right now, which isn’t too bad for a product out less than six months. Also, the numbers that are provided by whatever source is gives them are a little skewed also. You can’t not have IE on a machine. You can’t go to Windows update and patch your hole-y Windows box if you don’t have IE on the machine. Should you use MSN messenger, anytime you click on something that is a link (email messages link) it opens in IE no matter that you have Firefox as your default browser.

        Firefox is my browser of choice, and I don’t even consider using IE for most things, but if I need to patch Windows, IE is the only thing that will do it.

        • #3337202

          downloads and usage statisics

          by toomas ·

          In reply to Something is wrong with numbers

          Firefox is my default browser. Unfourtenately there is number of sites for what I must lie and using
          User Agent Switcher it lie to sites that I use IE.
          Usually sites pages are using Frontpage default scripts. It skews statistics.

        • #3338408

          Aside from impersonation …

          by kaceyr ·

          In reply to downloads and usage statisics

          … the numbers are on the mark and current as of 1/31/2005.

          My customers that track these particular statistics are government agencies in Washington State.

          The question of browser impersonation becomes more important for these statistics because if a content provider is tuning their site for the most popular browsers, they can only go by the data they’ve collected.

        • #3338407


          by fresnotech ·

          In reply to Aside from impersonation …

          Ok, so if these numbers are correct, someone else has them a little skewed. When you say Netscape, does that include Firefox? I ask because most things that I read say that Firefox has a bigger share than nothing (not listed) and since Firefox came out of the Netscape environment, does it fall into the numbers that you mentioned?

          I know that I read articles on differing news websites that say that Firefox is cutting the market share that IE has, but also taking the other “niche” browsers market shares. Last time I heard, Firefox was running at about a 5-6% usage rate.

        • #3336780

          I wouldn’t be surprised

          by kaceyr ·

          In reply to but…

          that the numbers are skewed or that some Firefox users are impersonating IE or Netscape, even if it’s just to get past a browser version check.

          I also don’t doubt the statistics that you present, I’m just presenting the statistics of where my client’s hits are coming from, not the internet as a whole. They make their decisions based upon their own statistics, not internet trends.

        • #3336211


          by fresnotech ·

          In reply to I wouldn’t be surprised

          I understand where you are coming from, and am not trying to argue about statistics. I was just a little curious about them since I had been reading some articles from some fairly respectable sources that Firefox had gained about a 6% market share in it’s short time in release.

          Thank you for explaining how it is that people are making decisions about which browser to support for their products.

        • #3348611
          Avatar photo

          Actually quite a lot of the reporting software

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to I wouldn’t be surprised

          Gets it wrong as well. I’ve had instances where I’ve ordered something on line and when I get the invoice it tells me I’m running NT4 with IE something but he unit in question that the order is placed from is running Debian and Monzilla. I suspose some software just was not written with the possibility that some other form of OS might be used other than Windows.

          Col ]:)

    • #3337068

      From what I have been reading…

      by bawd ·

      In reply to Free software

      atleast some of these people work elsewhere for a living. Google, for one, recently hired a lead firefox engineer who will continue to work on firefox while in Google’s employment. Check out the article on

    • #3336854

      a benefit to open source, other than cost

      by jaqui ·

      In reply to Free software

      –Source Code Analysis Reveals MySQL has Low Incidence of Bugs
      (4 February 2005)
      A source code analysis of the MySQL database conducted by Coverity found
      that the program has fewer flaws than (comparable) commercial code.
      MySQL averaged approximately one flaw for every 4,000 lines of code;
      commercial software has between one and seven flaws for every 1,000
      lines of code. MySQL, the company that develops and maintains the
      open-source program, requested the audit and has fixed the problems that
      were found.

    • #3337392

      World Peace?

      by munezrhep ·

      In reply to Free software

      They make a living. But not entirely on distributing free software. I think they do this for the good of those who can’t afford commercial software. And for those who are tired of writing software and knowing that some had already written similar ones. We really don’t need to use commercial software. Just find the appropriate software for your needs. And just pay a fee for support and development. Whatever!

      • #3337208

        whirled peas

        by apotheon ·

        In reply to World Peace?

        While I’m sure there’s some “betterment of mankind” motivation involved in most cases, I think the main reason in most cases is just a love of the work and a desire for the best software possible for their own use.

        There’s that “geek cred” issue as well, of course.

    • #3337377

      Bazaar ways

      by stomfi9 ·

      In reply to Free software

      Membership subscriptions with part of the subscription paying for personal benefits.
      Sales of other goods like penguin hats.
      Method patents (Not software methods)
      Creation and sale of vertical market devices and applications

      • #3338417


        by apotheon ·

        In reply to Bazaar ways

        How exactly do you think people are making money off patents in free and open source software? I’m a little confused by the inclusion of patents there.

    • #3337371

      Making money from free software

      by johnlil ·

      In reply to Free software

      Folks who distribute free software often make a living from follow-on consultancy. You save so much on something like LINUX that you can then afford to pay someone to come in and do all the hard work, and you still save yourself a wad!

      • #3337262

        Are you being sincere or sarcastic?

        by praetorpal ·

        In reply to Making money from free software

        I can’t tell if you are making a positive point here or are a cynic. If you think that you are going to save any money by getting IBM to do your work for you, you’ll probably be surprised. Purchase cost is just part of TCO.

        A product like SnapLinux when it rolls out, will change the equation. Anyone will be able use it, Linux skills or not. You will pay something for the convenience of a zero-config dedicated appliance, but after that you will really ahead in the game.

    • #3337357

      Free Software

      by jfreedle2 ·

      In reply to Free software

      Well I think that people who develop software for free generally make money in other ways unrelated to software. I know about Firefox and Open Office and I am not switching to either. Generally I don’t really care about the web browser, it is a very poor interface and well about the only think that I use it for is reading news sites. The functionality that I am using it for to post this would be better implemented in a rich GUI newsgroup reader. It is about like to you perfer a command line interface or a rich GUI interface. I prefer the latter so I do not prefer the broswer interface.

    • #3337352

      The joy of writing a good, useful program?

      by tracyf ·

      In reply to Free software

      At least, that’s what I would think many do, at the beginning. After the person/company becomes well-known, they then offer up “pro” versions with even more functionality- for a fee.

      However, not everyone is out to make a buck- some just like programming & I can’t think of anything more soul-satisfying than to give a gift & have it talked about & enjoyed by possibly thousands of people?

    • #3337350


      by bronzemouse2003 ·

      In reply to Free software

      The key to free software will always be support. When things go wrong, what kind of support can the author provide?

      When you use free software (freeware/shareware) you need to remember the disclaimer used by HavenTree for their EasyFlow software. It went something like this…..

      Honest Disclaimer
      We dont’ claim EasyFlow is good for anything – if you think it is, great, but it’s up to you to decide. If EasyFlow doesn’t work: tough. If you lose a million because EasyFlow messes up, it’s you that’s out the million, not us. If you don’t like this disclaimer: tough. We reserve the right to do the absolute minimum provided by law, up to and including nothing.

      I had an Engineering group using a freeware application for 5-6 years in a production environment. It suddenly began failing. We called the author and his comment was “I haven’t looked at that code for over 15 years. You should look for a different product.” Time lost on the line, and looking for new product.

      Like I said, what kind of support can you expect?


      • #3337342

        Similar support

        by gregry ·

        In reply to Support

        Actually, HavenTree’s support philosophy seems pretty close to Microsoft’s, assuming you aren’t a Fortune 500 company paying them lots of money. They don’t say it that way of course, but try to get them to help with something that is patently a software problem. Come to think of it, HavenTree’s philosophy may be the most common one in existence in any industry. Don’t most companies just leave you twisting slowly in the wind?

        • #3337236

          Not the wind

          by the computer doctor ·

          In reply to Similar support

          They really don’t leave you hanging in the wind. They are much more cut throat than that. They want you on a spicket like a stuck pig.

          Actually every software license I have read (oh aren’t they fun to read) they all have the disclaimer that they won’t be held liable for any loss of any sort.

      • #3337231

        I agree – some

        by the computer doctor ·

        In reply to Support

        I agree with the thought that support is a major issue with free software. Many times it just isn’t supported at all.

        I came to a completely different conclussion to your example though.

        Using any software package for 5 or 6 years is a pretty good lifetime for software. Then you put in the statement that it hadn’t been updated for 15 years. It lasted around 15 years without an update. That software was incredible!

        Daniel Blake

        • #3338100
          Avatar photo

          Actually I’d say unbelievable

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to I agree – some

          A piece of code that hadn’t been looked at for 15 years would also have been developed over a couple of years as well so it would have to be much more than the 15 years old and I would say I find it hard to believe that it would run on any of the modern computers no matter what the OS was. The fact that it ran at all for 5 – 6 years after it had been discontinued for 10 years is just a testament to just how good it actually was.

          But what is the betting that problems only started occurring after a hardware/software upgrade package? 🙂

          Well it worked on my 486 running DOS 1 so it should work on my new P 4 running Windows XP Pro shouldn’t it? 🙁

          Or it worked quite well on my Unix Mainframe but when I trashed that for something new with the latest Kernel that piece of critical software that I didn’t pay for in the first place no longer works why is it so? 😀

          Just when was the last time you rang MS with a problem? I’ve only needed to do it 3 times now and on each occasion I was treated as if I was ringing them as a first option and then when that is exhausted I was just told to wipe and reload. Which was pretty funny in the last case as it was durring the installation of SP1 on an XP Pro P4 that the thing wiped the HDD’s and lost the MBR’s.

          I think it was about the 30 th time I’d installed XP Pro and then SP1 on a clean brand new HDD that I finally rang MS for help and that was the best that they could offer.

          Sometimes the knowledge that you have no support is better than the false hope of really having support. Incidentally in the above case it was a DVD Drive which was causing the problem as it wasn’t XP SP1 compatible but of course it passed the XP compatibility tests. 🙂


      • #3338286

        Using 10 year old software?

        by crake ·

        In reply to Support

        “I had an Engineering group using a freeware application for 5-6 years in a production environment. It suddenly began failing. We called the author and his comment was “I haven’t looked at that code for over 15 years.”

        So, you had “your” engineers using a freeware product whose release date was already ten years old and whose author you had never spoken to until it failed? I think most folks would agree that this was poor judgement on your part.

        • #3336145

          Pre-existing condition

          by bronzemouse2003 ·

          In reply to Using 10 year old software?

          Don’t have time to post full stories … that was a short term assignment. Software was pre-existing decision of Engineering dept. Sales/Admin used boxed product from reliable software firm. Bottom line, company went from near $40/share to penny stock in under 6 years. Slow death spiral. Fortunately, I got laid off.

      • #3338257


        by apotheon ·

        In reply to Support

        I find it quite interesting that you’re equating the fact that the creator of something free stopped supporting it fifteen years ago with “poor support”, with the unspoken assumption that commercial software has “good support”. Keep in mind that Windows 2000 is only five years old and it’s getting its support cut this year. Five years. You didn’t have a problem with that thing until fifteen years after the creator stopped supporting it, and yet you don’t see how that’s better than Microsoft abandoning a product after five years.

        Keep in mind that fifteen years is basically the age of useful GUI operating systems. All of them. Like, there aren’t any GUI OSes that are older than that. Hello?

        • #3336143


          by bronzemouse2003 ·

          In reply to interesting

          The concept is that there is continued support.

          Shareware is typically downloaded from some free site. Users don’t check to see if it’s still actively supported by the programmer.

          In this case, an Engineering decision caused a lot of problems.

        • #3348711

          Shareware . . . ?

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Good/Bad?

          That’s entirely different from FOSS. There’s no such thing as a dead FOSS program, as long as someone likes it enough and has any programming ability (or has programmers on tap, or the ability to get them). Shareware, on the other hand, is just proprietary software offered under a completely chintzy limited-use license at first.

      • #3338180

        Software is innocent

        by choppit ·

        In reply to Support

        Software per-se doesn’t ‘suddenly start failing’. Either the installation has become corrupted or you’re trying to operate in conditions not foreseen 15 years ago. Either way the software hasn’t failed. The fact you’ve been using it for 5 – 6 years, presumably unsupported, suggests that the software is not to blame.

      • #3336543

        What happened?

        by thechas ·

        In reply to Support

        Did you take the time to ask yourself what happened?

        If the software worked properly for 5 or 6 years, the software is NOT the first place I would look for the cause of your problem.

        Did you move the application to newer, faster hardware?
        A lot of software code will not run properly on PCs that are a lot faster than the PC they were written on.
        Also, a newer PC might have hardware that the software calls cannot access.

        Did you upgrade to a newer OS?
        This is another major problem with old software.

        If this software stores records like a database does, when was the last time you purged the files?
        It is very possible that you have exceeded the number of items or records allowed.
        This may not even be a true software bug. Just a limitation from the hardware and OS the software was written on.

        I have to agree with a couple of the other comments.

        First, you got very good functionality out of this software.

        Second, it is penny wise and pound foolish to risk a production operation on software that does not include support.

        Take a look at what the downtime cost the company.
        That provides a clue as to the value of the application to your business.


    • #3337348

      Visio GPL alternative

      by dstahl ·

      In reply to Free software

      There are many choices available for a Windows platform. As most of them have already been mentioned in this discussion. But here are a couple that I use frequently.

      An alternative to Visio can be found here:
      Dia is a gtk+ based diagram creation program released under the GPL license.

      Dia is designed to be much like the commercial Windows program ‘Visio’. It can be used to draw many different kinds of diagrams. It currently has special objects to help draw entity relationship diagrams, UML diagrams, flowcharts, network diagrams, and simple circuits. It is also possible to add support for new shapes by writing simple XML files, using a subset of SVG to draw the shape.

      I am also a big fan of FreeMind.
      FreeMind is a free mind-mapping software written in Java.


    • #3337332

      Why do it for free.

      by myron_s ·

      In reply to Free software

      Here is my reason. I do it to excercise my skills on fery frequent basis and one major problem is motivation. As in why start a programming project in the first place when no one will really use it in anger. Yeh, I do have a job and it pays well.

      Look at it another way. Why do people pay to jump out of a plane when nothing is wrong with it? Oh, don’t forget the parachute!

      Problem is that too many people are obsessed with money and those that do, well, their brain’s get so totally cabbaged when they see something of quality and it’s free. Sometimes to the point that such people have to pay lawyers loads of cash to stop the practive of using free software.

      At the moment it seems in the commercial works there has begun a scramble to patent every possible idea possible. Research labs exist not really to innovate and discover, but to patent a programming idea before any one Joe Public beats the commercial world to it.

      Criky, if corporations could charge the global population for breathing they would!

      Look at Japan… Some placed in conjested areas there exist oxygen bars where the public can go and pay to breathe pure clean air! If that’s not a warning, what is.

      So, software. Reasons for `free`? Loads of them. From `Down with capitalism` right down to `It’s there do be done, so why not`.

      There is no definitave answer. Only thing for sure is that those who don’t understand the concept of `free software` will do everything possible to compete and tear it all down.

      Bottom line to your query? It’s a better between those who are down right greedy (and hide behind a mask while being greedy) and those who want to do it to assist humanity.

      Multi-million software companies really need to be banned globally. Sure, make a profit, if you built something up yourself, no problems, you deserve it, but at some point wealth transforms itself to utter and pure greed and power.

      Besides, Bill Gates didn’t invent MS-DOS. He purchased the rights off someone else outright, and in the process I think (correct me if I’m wrong) shafted the guy financially when MS-DOS became the hip thing.

      I rest my case.

      • #3337308

        How do you live with yourself, Myron, …

        by datman ·

        In reply to Why do it for free.

        charging to do LAN administration? Shouldn’t you do that for free? From all of your diatribes, I would think you wouldn’t have the nerve to expect payment. 🙂

        BTW, if you buy something, anything for that matter (house, car, business, etc.), because you see the potential in it and the seller doesn’t recognize its value or, more likely, doesn’t want to invest the work to develop it, the buyer has complete authority to use his purchase any way he wants to. The buyer takes on the risk that it could all be for nought. But if he can pull it off and make a profit, to the victor go the spoils.

        • #3337223

          Quite easily thanks . . .

          by myron_s ·

          In reply to How do you live with yourself, Myron, …

          Yes. I administer a network, support users and just about everything else for where I work. Also, a local business I’m right as I type fix-up one of his computers to he can operate the latest Insurance quotation system, and keep a loose eye on his network and I’m not charging him at all.

          So you think, shock-horror!, I’ve nicked business from someone else? Sure. I actually sidelined a IT specialist qualified to the eyeballs, but was shafting the guy. When I get to look at his initial set-up, there were things there that would warrant his return. The way is was done bordered on utter-dishonesty.

          I also do bits and pieces for other places, friends, etc… Keeps my experience sharpened.

          My friend, this is a free market. In thise case there are a select few who I give my services for free, and I’m happy about that decision.

          It’s not ALL about money and as you have demonstrated by your reply, seems I’ve cabbidged your head too. ;=)

          As to asking for payment if I feed payment is required. Well, I got loads of nerves to do that. It’s if I choose to or not.

          There is always a method to my madness and it’s not let me down yet. Annoyed loads of others, but works for me.

        • #3338136

          “Buyer has complete authority

          by Anonymous ·

          In reply to How do you live with yourself, Myron, …

          to use his purchase any way he wants to”? Ha. Try selling that theory to Microsoft and Symantec and …

    • #3337312

      Free graphics programs

      by raj_per317 ·

      In reply to Free software

      I usually use “20/20” and “Irfan View”, both are free. Recently I came across “Photofiltre”, which I have not yet tried.


    • #3337303

      Define Free Software

      by aberzo ·

      In reply to Free software

      There is no such thing as free software; years ago Windows 3.1 was almost free as MS turned a blind eye to the massive number of people who got hooked by it. Everyone in colleges all over the world used it and the ‘gates’ were open to that. Free software demands energy and discipline from the user who will have to learn how to swerve away from its problems, contributing back to its development, be it with code enhancement or simply aesthetical opinions. People did it with MS and do it now with other software houses. MS got greedy and now threatens people with all sorts of punishing measures; one hopes the software houses that now do it for free won’t turn greedy too and become horrible monsters; these monsters tend to grow so fat that eventually die from their own diseases…

    • #3337298

      It’s a labor of love….

      by mrs1622 ·

      In reply to Free software

      For the last 3 years I have spent much of my free time and
      disposable income creating Caravel (, an
      open source web content management system. Why? Because I
      had a vision for how I felt technology could serve the church,
      and there were no projects that met my requirements for
      scalability, usability, functionality, etc. Caravel is now used by
      Goshen College and hosts 2,000 Mennonite Church
      organizations, a K12 school system and an increasing array of
      business and personal sites. We generate income from hosting
      and co-op fees, consulting and design fees. I make up any
      shortfall in paying my employees. The people who work for me
      are not well paid–yet, but it’s a mission for them too.

      BTW. Caravel has a project management tool in it that’s pretty
      good, also some very interesting e-commerce tools.

      • #3337239

        Best reason yet !!

        by datman ·

        In reply to It’s a labor of love….

        Good for you. Most of the other posts on this subject are drivel by comparison. Sounds like you run a great business. May you prosper and be in good health, even as your soul prospers.

    • #3337294

      Why pay for …?

      by georgeen ·

      In reply to Free software

      Everybody pay in general for something that they need and at least do the work as they expect. Commercial policies is pay for my products, MS are pretty good in offimatic solutions and are so advanced, but for average user, MSOffice offers a lot of things that they don?t use or need, but are paid. Open Office is so good, lighter and for the average users is more than enough, the same with Lotus Smart Suite isn`t free, but is so good product.
      By the other hand, open source importance is because is another option and is in general more standarized that their commercial counterparts, specially MS (because is the biggest commercial), and the interoperability -the final objective of the standards- should be done. MS understand it, and every products interoperate but with MS products not with others or better, the others must interoperate with their products not viceversa necessarily, because is the preferred way that commercial companies “lock” their customers. “If you need something more I’m the better choice -?or only choice?-” they says and of course you must to pay more and more. Real Open source software is for free people, who seek independence, and if you are developer has more independence and flexibility, the risk? of course, if the product has no acceptance or is unknown you will be alone. ?Why 30 years after PC, we don?t have a Real document standart supported by most companies? the last intention is XML (now plethoric of implementations and commercials usually have more features -out of the standard- and the standard isn?t real, the standard is always one step before, should be the contrary as in communications is), before PDF, but is propietary, etc.

    • #3337283

      For some a matter of Pride

      by andeanderson ·

      In reply to Free software

      For some of these people it is a matter of Pride, being able to point at a successful project and say “I did that.” It can also be used as a stepping block to a better paying position.

      But, you are in error when you say “Everyone who knows about Firefox browser it switching to it.”

      We know about Firefox and we are not switching to it. And, we are not even looking at Open Office. It is hard enough just trying to exchange information between the different versions of MS Office without introducing another new application.

      I can’t even get them to give up the old Lotus Spreadsheets in favor of the MS Excel which all of our systems have available.

      If I tried to introduce Open Office I might as well just pack my bags.

      • #3337275

        Users inercia

        by georgeen ·

        In reply to For some a matter of Pride

        Of course, this is the first cause because we have to use even bad software, other use it and they cannot or don?t want change. Is a human nature, sometimes good but is a disadvantage in the hot competitive and changing today?s world.
        Open Office helps you to manage major MSWord and Excel versions in one suite, if don?t want more back pains in the future, you have one now and you should work for that be the last, how?, switch to a tool that in every version maintain real compatibility (standard and industry-wide supported format) and preferable not propietary. In fact if you achieve it, users can use the tool they prefer (of course should be standard compliant, no more no less) and the information can flow between them, the tool shouldn?t be more important than the information, but the most important decision is the standard, seek, analize, probe and switch.

      • #3337273

        Is there no IT?

        by mcs-1 ·

        In reply to For some a matter of Pride

        When I am contracted out to perform IT capacity roles it usually means I am in charge of the computer/network situation, and the people at whichever office listen to what I have to say.
        I don’t go off the wall and tell them they have to change everything (or sometimes nothing at all – in your example of Lotus – if it works, leave it alone), but I at least standardize things like ‘everybody using the same version of Windows/*nix/Office’ and so on. Too many loose ends as you describe is an IT nightmare. I would sit down with somebody an re-evaluate what the IT job should involve: IT recommends to users the best solutions – the users don’t tell IT what they ‘have’ to run because they like it and have been using it since the Apple IIe.

    • #3337282

      There are 3 types of OSS programmers…

      by phil perry ·

      In reply to Free software

      The first type of open-source software is corporate-sponsored. These are the guys at IBM and Novell, for example, who are paid full-time to maintain open-source tools the companies see as useful in some way. If a company needs a particular tool, it makes more sense to hire an OSS guy to maintain it in-house than to buy a proprietary solution. With OSS, they aren’t at the mercy of some other company and its CEO’s whims. Plus, they get a P.R. boost when they release changes back to the community.

      The second type of OSS programmer is the one who works in I.T. (or some other type of position) who had a particular need of his own, filled it, and then released the software open-source to help other people with the same need. They, in turn, usually help him improve the software over time. It’s a collaborative, cooperative thing. He may not get paid, but he gets something important out of it.

      The third type is the person who just enjoys programming and works on projects he likes. He may be a college student or he may be an IT worker who’s bored with the stuff he does at work. He releases his code open source because he wants to meet people and work with others like him. He gets a great social benefit from this phenomenon.

      Note that all three types CAN make a small amount of money from open-source by selling copies on CD, T-Shirts, swag, books, etc. Their main living is in their regular jobs, though — NOT open-source.

      • #3337221


        by the computer doctor ·

        In reply to There are 3 types of OSS programmers…

        This was a really good explanation. I enjoyed reading it.

        Thank you Phil.

        Daniel Blake

      • #3337198

        OSS Benefits Everyone — Including Programmers

        by techrepublic ·

        In reply to There are 3 types of OSS programmers…

        I was just looking for this response. You’re exactly right, and this is what a lot of people don’t get about OSS.

        I’d say most OSS developers do get paid for their work, which is the answer to the original poster’s question. They get paid by companies using their software, because they are employed at those companies (or one of them.) The company gets a high return on their investment because of the collaboration with other programmers, being paid by other companies. In this way, a company gets a whole team of programmers working on a project for the price of one.

        OSS benefits everyone involved.

    • #3337256

      Free Software

      by goofytek ·

      In reply to Free software

      1/ it cost Nuffing to make it available FREE downloads online,
      that way it gets tested on many Different Hardware PC’s,with reports back for any changes needed,
      2/AVG,IrfanView,are enjoyed world wide now,
      3/AVG was first at looking inside compressed files
      ZIP,RAR etc,which Symantec Norton/McAfee missed on
      That is why AVG is numero one in Antivirus today,
      4/ AVG has no problems in selling its PRO version to anyone now,
      IrfanView was A University Student’s Project
      which has grown & put the University on the MAP now,making them proud about it all,
      FREE Software like Open Office is because others
      can improve it,as its open source code,
      VirualDub was for Programmers own usage at first
      now others have added addons,making it GREATER
      DVDshrink,Free to do DVD copying to fit DVD-R
      Popularity is makers fame chart,
      with its numbers off satisfied users,
      Lots are fed up with Symantec as it breaks XP-SP2
      Only Norton Utilities works,
      when PC breaks we use safe mode to fix it
      VoptXP Defragmenter & JV RegCleaner run in safe mode,others do not,Useful tools
      byee retired techie Keith

    • #3337234

      Software as enabler rather than product

      by gracedman ·

      In reply to Free software

      From my perspective as former CTO of a Managed Service provider, Strategy director of a Telecomm consultancy and the maintainer of an open source project, I’ve looked very seriously at this subject.

      There are serious issues regarding corporate use of Open Source as long as such projects are only based upon volunteer effort and have no guarantee of continuity. These are the non-technical issues that CIOs, CTOs and Directors must consider when making a product decision.

      Revenue from providing support services for ones own product is possible but difficult. It has an inherent alignment flaw. The better the community makes the software, the less support it needs the less income there is to continue development.

      I believe the most sustainable approach is to latch software development to a separate revenue stream. That is, the software becomes an enabler of a separate revenue stream such as hardware or service provision. I can illustrate with real world examples.

      We founded the Open Source Development Corporation ( to channel corporate funding into open source software development initially for the open source network security management project ISCS ( This should make financial sense to both hardware manufacturers and service providers.

      Let’s look at the hardware vendor. They may produce a network security appliance but then, when their client needs a large, enterprise management tool, they may refer or resell an expensivem five or six figure third party tool like Solsoft. That’s another $60K or $200K obstacle to their sale. It is also money that will go to someone else’s pocket and cannot be used to buy more of their hardware.

      By collaborating with the ISCS project, they have a much less expensive alternative that reduces the barrier to sales of their hardware and leave more money available for hardware purchases.

      There is a similar story for service providers. ISCS drives down the cost of managing security by over 90% in most instances over those third party tools that cost five and six figures. Instead of investing in these third party tools and having to recover that cost somewhere in their client support contracts, they can support the ISCS community for far less money, have a more efficient tool, reduce the cost barrier to their sale of services and reduce their operational costs at the same time.

      In all these cases, ISCS becomes the enabler of hardware and services (the revenue streams) and thus justifies an investment from those revenue streams for its ongoing development.

      OSDC is still an experimental financing model. If it appeals to anyone, please do not hesitate to use the contact links on the web site.

      • #3338309


        by jaqui ·

        In reply to Software as enabler rather than product

        I had thought a slightly different definition from the title.

        one where software as enabler was meant as software that is easily used, with very little learning curve, instad of as is all to frquent, software with a horrendous learning curve and obscure operation style

    • #3337203

      Free Can Be Great

      by future1investor ·

      In reply to Free software

      Not a software developer in the core sense but often when I find a really great or useful freeware, I’ll contribute to the cause or buy one of their other products.

    • #3338452

      Free software and open source has a cost

      by heybryan ·

      In reply to Free software

      Some of the other replies may have already addressed this but free software does not mean no cost. One of the first linux developers said “Free is as in speech not beer.” There is a documentary called Revolution OS that explains their motivations and how its supposed to work.

      • #3338310

        sometimes free is as

        by jaqui ·

        In reply to Free software and open source has a cost

        in beer.

        the majority of open source software is free as in beer, no financial cost for the software.

        but, there is the cost in piece of mind.
        how long will there be support for this software? if there is support at all.*

        when will this software stop being developed?

        * this is the single area where open source really falls flat for corporate needs.
        the entire open source system is voluntary, so it the participation by those who know in supporting the os and software.
        ( note to all support people, learn the open source stuff, then advertise that knowledge local to you, you could get a lot of contracts to support oss in local companies if they know they can get local support for the software )

        • #3348709

          I disagree.

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to sometimes free is as

          Actually, support is an area where FOSS stands head and shoulders above closed-source proprietary software. Y’see, if a company vanishes or cancels a product and/or its support on a whim, you’re screwed, blued, and tattooed, as far as your software support is concerned. With FOSS development, however, that’s not an issue, because if you like it enough you can always support it yourself. Unlike the case of the intentionally obscure and legally restricted source code for various Windows OSes, you can actually get good support for FOSS without having to have the organization behind an application’s development at your beck and call.

          Free and open source software never dies until nobody needs it enough to support it. Closed source software can’t claim the same thing.

    • #3338440

      Making money from freeware

      by brian.walters2@btinternet ·

      In reply to Free software

      I don’t make anything from installing freeware such as AVG, Spybot S&D, etc on a private user’s machine, but I do gain respect and a reputation for not “ripping off” a customer.
      That way, the work comes in because the reputation preceeds me and I can then charge realistically for other services and the customer is only human after all and they love “something for nothing”. Everybody does!

      • #3338385

        That’s the Point

        by rojackson ·

        In reply to Making money from freeware

        You’ve hit the nail on the head. You don’t make money on the software, you make it on the value add that you contribute to the software.

        Why the OS movement?

        Alot of smart guys realized that if they quit rewriting bubble sorts every time that they had to develop code, and they started actually sharing in each others efforts that it would become a significant force for change.

        It is nice to donate to the guys that actually write this stuff too, especially if you’re using it to build your business.

    • #3338411

      Reply To: Free software

      by realgem ·

      In reply to Free software

      Some don’t want to make a living. Programming is fun and is it’s own reward. There’s a lot to be said for the status and pride of someone who creates something new.

      This is part of the “net culture”, too.

      Some of these developers are doing it as a hobby, some in their spare time, some to buff up their resume.

    • #3338332

      Free Help Desk/Trouble Ticket software

      by shook4brains ·

      In reply to Free software

      Does anyone have any suggestions for a free help desk / trouble ticketing system software. I’m looking for something with a web front end form that users can fill out or choose options that I can customize with a DB backend and reporting features. Thanks for the help…

    • #3338326

      Free as in speech

      by acyberpunk ·

      In reply to Free software

      Some companies that release Open Source and/or Free Software products offer customization services, training, support/maintenance agreements and such. As someone else mentioned they also offering add on products, etc. So, there is money to be made. Its not the classical “buy my software” scenario, in the new model the software itself is almost a “lost leader”. Not all users want the services nor do they have to have them…But some do.

      MySQL is a great example, recently SugarCRM is doing the same and countless others.

    • #3338187


      by mcs-1 ·

      In reply to Free software

      After reading through most of these messages I see there is a ton of concern about future development. Some software I can see the need for development, but I use many OS and Freeware titles (and even some old DOS titles) that do exactly what I want them to do, and future development would be a mute point.
      I have friends who spend most of their waking hours getting updates and newer versions of software that has been performing perfectly, and doing exactly what they want it to do. I’m just wondering if this “let’s get the newest version” thing is simply a way to fill somebody’s time, or the cyberspace version of a pissing contest to tell all our buddies that we have the newest version of ‘whatever’?
      My point to this is … if I find an OpenSource or Freeware solution, and it works exactly as I want it to, I have very little concern for future development – remember … if it ain’t broke …
      To the people I’ve read about in here concerned with future development, I would say: Go ahead and give OpenSource a try – you’ll probably find that most of it does exactly what you want it to do. I became a big fan of OS a few years back, and I always look there before I head to commercial developers.

    • #3336746

      Why do people keep asking this?!?

      by bixbyru ·

      In reply to Free software

      How doo OS/FS programmers earn their daily bread? Well…

      There are companies which *pay* them to write FS/OS. These companies usually plan to recoup their expenses in the services sector.

      There are students doing a lot of the coding out there. How students feed themselves has always been open to conjecture.

      Lastly (and largely) there are people who write software in their spare time. Instead of playing solitaire, “reading” Hustler, watching football or the thousand other things most people do with downtime, they drive a keyboard and thus do their part for the greater good.


      Russ Bixby, geek of the plains

      Power without wisdom is akin to an adze with a ruined edge, suited more to the vandal than the builder.

    • #3336633

      spare time

      by mrafrohead ·

      In reply to Free software

      a lot of the people that I know that do that, do it in their spare time.

      they do it for the love of doing it. Kind of like professional sports players used to do back in the 30’s-50’s…

      I personally don’t believe that it’s right to sell software, you do it for the betterment of the world. That’s why.

      I can tell you, I work my job and when I go home, I help to keep servers running, admin chans and help forums and sites up for free on my spare time. Because it helps everyone in the long run.

      I also donate my time and bandwidth to sites that may need it if I can help them.

      what comes around goes around. you can’t always just take…

      • #3338086

        How many “hands” do you have?????

        by maxwell edison ·

        In reply to spare time

        On one hand, you say that people should do things for the “love of doing it”. On the other hand, you criticize those who aren’t savvy enough to protect their computers from a nasty virus. On a third hand you profess to “help everyone”. But on another hand you call them “stupid users”. On still another hand you spew some silly platitudes about doing things “for the betterment of the world”. And then on another you preach “stoning people” because “they deserve it”. Do you really do all those things that you said you do, or do you really “sip a glass of lemonade while laughing at this jerks’ problems”?

        You know what? You need to quit smoking that crap. It’s taken away so many brain cells that you apparently don’t know if your helping or hurting, praising or criticizing, or coming or going. What a confused person you are appearing to be.

        • #3337979

          Two, one for typing and the other for…

          by mrafrohead ·

          In reply to How many “hands” do you have?????

          Oddly enough, they all go “hand in hand”… Here’s why…

          You do what you do for the love of it. I work on computers because I love doing it. I do it in my spare time and work on them professionally because I love doing it.

          I don’t criticize those that aren’t savvy enough to do it, I criticize those that are so freakin lazy that they just don’t and then they bitch about being hacked or worse.

          I try to help anyone I can, but you can only help someone if they are willing to help themselves.

          I personally don’t really contribute crap for the betterment of the world. yet. I haven’t gotten there yet, but I have hopes.. Am I not allowed that privelege? Just refer to paragraph 4.

          Re the stoning people, refer to paragraph three.

          I sip glasses of lemonade while reading TR… And that just so happens to be while I’m on my computers. Oh wait, I’m ALWAYS at my computers, so I guess it all goes together.

          You know maxwell, you may be right. BUT, when I’m coming it’s white, when I’m going it’s yellow. As for the rest of it, I try not to think too hard about it, as I have better things to waste my thought process’s on. Like when the next episode of Lost is coming on and who is doing what and what’s going on.



        • #3336493

          The trick to sipping lemonade while on TR

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to Two, one for typing and the other for…

          The trick is to have the right balance of vodka in your lemonade. A fresh lime juice blend works well too.

          Evenings are still a warm fire and a glass of Scotch though, you get that romantic glow on the white background, TR’s sexy you know. Damn, I need to go out or something! 😀

        • #3335941

          Reply To: Free software

          by mrafrohead ·

          In reply to The trick to sipping lemonade while on TR

          or off…

    • #3338153

      first-hand answer

      by apotheon ·

      In reply to Free software

      When I write software for my own use, I make it open source. When I write software for a client, and the client doesn’t pay for exclusive rights, I make it open source. Of course, the “open source” license I use isn’t the usual (the license I use is called the CCD CopyWrite, at for public display), and is as suitable for text licensing as it is for software licensing.

    • #3338094

      The live

      by lebdenat ·

      In reply to Free software

      When people make free software, they do their publicity so they think of celebrity. This celebrity brings people to accept their products and the effects of their software is constated a long period after. During this time, they try to find some occupations to live.

      • #3337987

        I would imagine learning to spell is not high on their list of priorities!!

        by sleepin’dawg ·

        In reply to The live

        What like stealing hubcaps and holding up convenience stores?????

    • #3338044

      Free Software.

      by Anonymous ·

      In reply to Free software

      From what i have seen over the years, it has been a pretty good strategy for some software authors to make their software free or at least shareware in order to get a good spread into the market with a quality product before making it payware. This seems to be working for Zone Alarm, AdAware, SpyBot and has worked well in the past for products that are under the gun from these upstart Freeware products.

      • #3347684

        Bring on the free software

        by rodneyjohnson2005 ·

        In reply to Free Software.

        I love free software, or open sourse code, I have just installed fodora core 3. The internet should be freedom of information, that is what is need for evolution of socities. The advantage of free is an operating os that is community based, sometimes people get paid for working, through donatations made from people who support open sourse of information it shows resourse from the community,
        its having a positive impact on people, all communties benefit from 1% of information from 100 poeple vs 100% from 1 person.
        Evolution has step up from being just your community on your street, town, city, state, country, its now based on the world, the main reason is free os can be installed on computers that has beed donated to other people around the world, take a 486 drop linux on it and a community can now be part of the world, So in “effect vs cause” other poeple can look at what we have to say, the things we do, people influence people in thier community, we as the established people can influnce other cultures in a positive manner, so if i have to donate 100 dollars for 1% of a programers input, its money well spent.

        • #3347681

          Any time mate

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to Bring on the free software

          Anytime you want to send me $100.00 I will offer you 1% of my programming knowledge or help.

          Sounds like a deal to me! Wohoo, anyone else want in? 😀

    • #3336499

      sell out the company

      by bryan lee ·

      In reply to Free software

      some company will push the product’s profile and sell the company out to others like wat happen as in one of the antivirus company i can’t remember the name. This company is given the antivirus software for free those for personal use. They are bought over by CA few years ago.

    • #3336120

      By keeping the information distributed along with the profits

      by j.penney ·

      In reply to Free software

      Free software allows you to borrow the work of others and improve on it, and charge people for the time you’ve spent improving it.

      It prevents people from removing good ideas from the community, so the wheel need not be reinvented unless you feel like it’s easier to do that.

      Because I can charge someone for my time spent improving a software product, adding a needed feature, simplifying an interface, etc. I can get paid for my labor, I have low market entry costs, I am participating in a free market.

      The original authors can sell their software – free doesn’t necessarily mean “no money” – but they can’t necessarily profit forever on one idea and one chunk of labor.

      But the original authors get recognition, reputation, etc. by writing a good piece of software, and this can bring them other business (possibly for more free software)

      So it’s actually not hard to see how they make money. Obscene amounts of money would be a different story, but a living wage should be pretty easy to earn.


    • #3349706


      by jrisner ·

      In reply to Free software

      Some people write the code because that is what they love. Others may hope to put the product out there for free in order to make a name for themselves in programming. Others may make money from support. I believe that there are many great products out there like VNC, Some versions of Linux\Unix etc… If it were not for the gifted programmers who wrote this code where would the world of computers be today?

    • #3333519

      Best list of freeware

      by al k ·

      In reply to Free software

      This is the best liist of freeware I’ve found:

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