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Re: tardy sarge to etch upgrade proceedure

On Thu, Nov 06, 2008 at 07:51:43AM +0100, s. keeling wrote:
> Mark Copper <mcopper@titaninterface.com>:
> > 
> >  I, ahem, need to upgrade oldstable to stable, but I cannot update my
> >  current oldstable system, no longer supported as it is.  How important is 
> >  it to do that before upgrading?
> But Geez, man, point some bucks at a competent consultant, and you
> wouldn't be in this mess.  He could keep you up to date with an hour /
> mo.  Stockholders shouldn't be getting ALL the profits, damnit!  IT
> demands maintenance to continue to perform as expected.  You should
> know that.
> For my $CLIENT, I'm currently updating a critical ksh program which
> hasn't been touched since it was implemented, fourteen years ago.  It's
> hell, and it needn't be!

Boy!  That captures a lot about free software movement in just a couple of
lines.  It is a wonderful thing that so many people have contributed so
much to the Debian project.  But isn't Stallman's idea (to name one
luminary) that there is (should be) a viable economic model in offering
just such consulting?  And certainly even a dyed-in-the-wool DIYer would
buy in that marketplace if prices and services were transparent.  The
range of skills and knowledge needed to do everything is just too big
for one person to handle with any efficiency.

But there are problems.  The marketplace is not very transparent (see
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Market_for_Lemons).  And the very
success of making the various software components modular leads to such
idiosyncratic systems as not to be economically viable.

Economics aside, I am still amazed after all these years at the power
free software has provided to the ordinary person.  No university or
corporation needed; just read and ask questions.  Cool.


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