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LinuxPlanet: Casualties of the New Linux Economy

May 11, 2000, 17:58 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Kevin Reichard)

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"Chuck Smith called the other day to tell me that his Linux company, GNUPC.COM, was going out of business. If you've spent any time in the Linux community, you've probably ran across Chuck at a trade show or gathering of Linux aficionados. He's a bear of a man--6-7, 300-plus pounds--and his enthusiasm for Linux led him to put his own money and time into a company that built and manufactured Linux-based PCs."

"He actually had a twist that was quite useful both for new beginners and experienced Linux users: the first time you booted the PC it would install the Linux distribution of your choice (Red Hat Linux, Caldera OpenLinux, Slackware Linux, etc.) Nice idea, nicely executed. Trust me, there have been Linux companies founded on less, and many of us thought that Chuck would succeed."

"I can't help but contrast what Chuck Smith is going through with the recent layoffs announced at Linuxcare. When a company like Linuxcare announces layoffs, it's somewhat of an abstraction: in this tight job economy, chances are pretty good that everyone will land on their feet, and the corporation will keep chugging along in one form or another. But when a Chuck Smith closes up shop, the Linux community suffers, as Chuck is the kind of person that makes Linux such a unique quantity in the computer world."

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