Donate to the Black Lab Linux Project

When you donate to the Black Lab Linux Project it helps us with many things:

Domain renewals
Aging equipment replacement

How much should you donate? Any amount you wish. No matter how large or small it goes to the project. We also take hardware donations as well. Contact for details. We thank you for your support.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Misconceptions about OS4 Part 2

We keep hearing lots of misconceptions about OS4.  And while we try to answer some, others keep popping up.  So here we are going to, yet again, answer some questions about OS4 and some of the misconceptions regarding OS4.

1.  Why do you guys charge for Linux?  Isnt Linux supposed to be free.

A) This is one misconception that keeps popping up.  We dont charge for OS4 OpenDesktop.  When you order OS4 OpenDesktop on USB key.  What do you get?  You get OS4 on the USB key.  We do this for users who either, A) dont have the bandwidth to download OS4.  There are still places that use dial-up and have restricted bandwidth, or those that have a data cap with Verizon or whichever cellular provider they use and we offer the USB key to these guys, specifically as a convenience.  B) Some people want the piece of mind knowing that once they get OS4 its going to work out of the box and they feel more comfortable with a USB key thats already been pre-made and they know it will work out of box.  Buying the USB key also helps us with supporting the OS4 OpenDesktop project.  Now Enterprise, we charge for that release because of the work that goes into it and the fact we have to pay for certifications that other companies want for certifying their enterprise Linux apps on OS4.  Red Hat pays for it, SUSE pays for it, Canonical pays for it.  Some of these companies have it as a hidden charge so most of the time customers dont see it.  Unfortunately, PC/OpenSystems LLC is a startup, we cant hide it.  We dont have millions of dollars that these other companies have.  So we charge $100.00 per copy of Enterprise and we offer a free uninstallable Demo DVD or USB image so that users can look and see if they want to invest in OS4 to run their most mission critical environments.

Now, we do accept donations just as any other Linux or open source project out there.  When you donate 100% of those donations go into OS4 Online.  PC/OpenSystems LLC does not see that as a profit, it doesnt go into the books as a sale.  Those donations go into equipment maintenance, equipment replacement such as our NIC card that quit working on us, and BTW, I want to thank Interex Computers in Raleigh NC who donated a NIC card to the OS4 project.  Donations go to paying the developers who work on OS4 and it helps pay for name registration and the site.

2.  The OS4 kernel is so outdated arent you guys ashamed to ship it?

A) No, we are not ashamed to ship it.  In the 13.x series the 3.2 kernel has been the most stable that we have ever shipped and it just works.  Our enterprise customers use it and love it, and the average user who doesnt know what a kernel is really doesnt care about it.  But for those power users out there like myself, we offer all new released kernels in a script that you download from the site and run it and it installs the new kernels.  These kernels are tested on OS4 to make sure we dont break anything and they offer new functionality and some hardware support.  We are of the firm belief  "If it aint broke dont fix it" but if you want to break it go right ahead.  As new revisions and OS major updates come out we do upgrade the kernel for users. Support for these newer kernels is available to customers with support contracts.

3.  I like the BeOS/Haiku window manager and why do you change the UI?

A) Well let me answer the 1st part, the Haiku/BeOS window theme makes a comeback in 13.5 as a user choice. Now, we changed the UI for several reasons, A) our paying customers told us they liked our layout but the users were coming from a Red Hat world and they wanted the UI consistent with what they use in the Red Hat world to cut back on retraining.  We got alot of criticism for the BeOS look as looking outdated and in VM's it didnt quite fit well.  B) It would surprise you how much ZevenOS support e-mail we got and users wanting to know when Neptune was going to be released.  People had thought we had acquired ZevenOS and that didnt happen.  But alas, the UI change was brought about by our Enterprise customers and people have liked the change.  Not too many backlashes.

4.  KDE or XFCE make up your mind.

A) We did, we will continue to ship XFCE as the main desktop and the updated KDE will be available as a download option from the repositories.  KDE is once again, brought forth by customers who have invested heavily in QT.  We will always offer the most recent version of KDE and work very closely with the PC-BSD groups and the Kubuntu group to make sure we offer the best release of KDE.

5.  Are you guys going to keep offering a 32 bit release?

A) Yes.  As long as demand keeps up. The 32 bit releases have slowed down with 64 bit being the most of our downloads.  We are thinking about the next release.  Shipping either a PAE enabled kernel or staying with the non-PAE kernel, but once again, that depends on the users. We are committed to at least do a 32 bit build for OS4 14.

6.  We heard you guys are doing badly financially, is everything better now?

A) This got out in the community with an e-mail I sent out.  But, I will say this.  the future of OS4 depends on users and customers.  If OS4 Online cannot financially support itself then decisions have to be made.  OS4 Enterprise, PC/OpenSystems LLC stands firmly behind that distribution and we are committed to 5 years of support.  OS4 Online is a community driven project and is sponsored by PC/OpenSystems LLC and once again, is driven by the COMMUNITY.  Without community support, not many open source projects make it.  For right now, we are doing OK.

7.  I heard TuneTracker looked at OS4 and Haiku and decided to use Haiku, how does that make you feel?

A)  That was a rumor I heard about it months ago.  TuneTracker Systems never contacted us regarding targeting any product with OS4 and we never pursued them.  TuneTracker was a BeOS product and developing it for Haiku was a smart move because of the fact of the BeOS base and the fact of very little to no code rewrite.  Did they evaluate OS4?  Im pretty sure they did but once again no talks surfaced.  I think that Haiku for them was a natural progression.

Thanks for the questions guys and keep them coming.  Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to answer them and thank you very much for caring enough to send them.

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