Linux/OSS Support, Part 1: Does Free Equal Shoddy?
"For eight years, John H. Terpstra has provided free technical
support to Samba users almost every day. Often, Terpstra--cofounder
of the Samba Team--answers users' queries for as much six hours a
day. From 1996 to 1999, Terpstra and his Samba Team cohorts handled
"Such generosity seems suspect in our capitalist society. What's
the catch? Well, there is no catch, Terpstra said. Free support for
Linux and open-source software (OSS) is available and, with rare
"Businesses doubt that Linux/OSS support exists, 'because they
can't 'see' it,' said Andrew Bartlett, network administrator for
Hawker College in Hawker, Australia. He serves as Samba Team's
manager of authentication subsystems. 'They doubt it because there
isn't an physical address, the 'bricks and mortar' that they have
become accustomed to seeing from some of the other vendors...'"
Linux/OSS Support, Part 2: Ten Reasons to Turn to Open Source
"Can businesses rely on open-source software (OSS) support
services? It all seems so nebulous. Why, most OSS support options
do not include an 800-number! For anyone who's reading this while
on hold for a 800-number support rep, that could be a plus. Others,
however, may worry about turning to a disparate band of techies for
help with enterprise systems...
"Here are their top 10 reasons why OSS support can make IT shops
"The trouble with evangelizing Linux/OSS support is that support
means different things to different people. Canvassing IT pros,
SearchEnterpriseLinux.com found that to be true.
"To some IT pros, support means being able to trust a product's
makers, having the 'goodwill' that comes from 'knowing I can count
on someone to help when I need it.' To others, it means that a
support person will always be on tap and will even jump in a car
and be on site in a certain period of time..."
"While IT pros find a lot to praise in free Linux and open
source software (OSS) support offerings, they also see its
weaknesses. In interviews with SearchEnterpriseLinux.com, they
pointed out these free support shortcomings.:
"There is no 800 number, said consultant Peter Rescinti. Most
initial contacts with free support services take place via e-mail.
Sometimes, free support teams will send a phone number in response
to an e-mail query. Of course, 800 numbers are as helpful as rubber