Measuring success

July 24, 2008

Everybody has a way they measure success of their distributions.  For some it comes in sales numbers, others it stems from how much attention they get in terms of press and for others it comes into how many downloads they have.  For me, I dont care about any of those things.  When I got the idea for PC/OS my thought was not, how much money can I make from this thing and it still isn’t.  When I started PC/OS it wasnt to see how much of tech press I could get, all the tech presss attention I have gotten, what little of it that has been was submitted by other parties, not myself and while I do monitor the downloads its not my motivation.

What motivates me is how many people find PC/OS useful.  I have no delusions that I am the next great OS vendor out to take down Microsoft, Im not under the delusions that PC/OS will kill Ubuntu, Red Hat or Novell.  This is not the purpose of PC/OS and its not what PC/OS is about.  PC/OS started life out as a private distribution, I threw it together for a friend of mine, his company wanted a distribution that was easy to use on the desktop and for their server, their Linux expertise was limited and non-existant.  The original name was OS/4  based on Ubuntu 6.06 and was originally compiled using UCK and it wasnt even a snicker at IBM and their failed OS/2.  It was a play on words, OS/4U as in OS for You.  One employee found it useful, took a copy off site and distributed it to a friend and so on and so on.  I got an e-mail from a guy in Wilmington NC who was using OS/4 on his machine and his e-mail consisted of things I could do to make it better.  Another e-mail came from a student at a college who really liked it and was using it for his primary distribution to do some college work in comp sci and wanted some help compiling a package he really needed.  His e-mail was interesting as he told me he installed it on his parents computer and he wanted to get them off of Windows ME and he liked the fact that they could watch flash and could handle a wide variety of formats that the others couldnt and the machine was too old to run others.  I even installed it on my sister-in-laws PC because her Mac got hosed.  (I eventually fixed the Mac from parts ordered off of e-bay but I kept the cube) and she still runs the original version of OS/4 because it works for her and I have upgraded the machine with newer releases of OpenOffice, Wine and others.  She watches DVD’s downloads music on her iPod and Walkman, plays Pogo and makes mix CD’s.  I was encouraged to release it online and I did.  Do I consider it a mistake?  Nope.  There are people online who have found it useful.

Despite popular belief, I didnt start PC/OS to get attention.  The Be theme was used as the default because one of my users found it cool, I did too.  PC/OS is my idea of the ideal Linux desktop.  One that is useful and doesnt get involved in politics or tech religon.  Im sharing my Ideas and what I think is useful, sue me.  Two photographers, a videographer and a 4 DJ’s find PC/OS useful.  The funny thing is that a non-profit christian radio station uses it to stream audio, two baptist churches use PC/OS to record sermons and use a bible reader to perform their Sunday sermons and Monday Im installing it on some systems for a local Catholic church.  Now the funny thing is that I am not a really religous person.  I believe in god, but I dont lend myself to any faith.  When I thought of the idea of simplified computing and put PC/OS together, did I create it for Southern Baptists and Catholics?  No, but in the words of Guy Kawasaki, Im going to take the money.  Money may not be a motivation but if they offer it, I dont turn it down.  A couple of my users have installed PC/OS on an orphanages computer and I know of another that has put it on a set of libraries PC’s.

Now, thats not my attempt at bragging but do you know what the Southern Baptists, colleges, Catholics and the 64 registered forum users and the hundreds of downloads I have per day have in common?  Most of them found PC/OS useful and thats how I measure the success of PC/OS.  Some family and friends have been questioning my mental state since some press outlets and some bloggers have been relatively negative about PC/OS.  People dont like being thought of in a negative way, but I could really care less.  We arent the borg, we arent a collective.  People will never agree 100% with others.  As for my online “peers” if Distrowatch never lists PC/OS, I dont care.  If OSNews does a scorching review of PC/OS, I wouldnt care.  I dont care how many of the naysayers like Jan and others tell me Im wasting my time, my ideas are stupid and that Im not technical enough to sustain PC/OS.  I just grin and keep going.  I love naysayers, you piss me off and I just want to keep going and I will keep doing things to piss you off.  Like integrating the BeOS icons into PC/OS, using BeAMP skin as the default Audacious skin, I just laugh when i get negative e-mails and comments.  Why?  because they will never be PC/OS users, they dont care so i focus on the people that do care.  The many users who find PC/OS useful.  Am I a two man distribution?  Yep,  Am I having fun doing PC/OS?  Yep.  Do I think PC/OS is a success?  Yes I do.


More info on PC/OS 2008

July 22, 2008

Cris has submitted a new icon theme for use with PC/OS 2008v2 which has been accepted and will be used with the distro. They are based on the oxygen refit theme for gnome and look awesome with the distro. The official theme name is Oxygen-Refit 2 – Orange Version by

Some further improvements include.

The replacement of Firefox with Flock. The decision to do this was two fold. I wanted something a little lighter and for all of Flocks social extensions which are great. I tried a few months ago and the browser was very crash prone, with the newest version it has improved a lot and offers a great experience for users. So PC/OS will become the only Linux distributor to distribute Flock as the primary browser on the consumer oriented releases. All updates will also be distributed with PC/OS 2008 and the backports module will also be installed by default, making it optional was a pain point for users. Audacious will replace Rhythmbox, and the BeAMP skin will be the default muahahahaha, and GTKPod will be included so that users can still interact with their iPods. Other players act as removable media so this is not an issue.

Server has been a little more refined with just one major addition, the MuSE audio streamer. This was created by Dyne:bolic and can stream MP3 and a wide variety of formats. A few more server centric tools have been added. Xen was kept out this round, this was to satisfy users who didnt really want it, it also keeps the size down and becomes an optional. I found out a lot of my server users use PC/OS as a guest in either VMWare and Virtual Server so in a way, Im happy being a guest.

PC/OS FAQ released

July 20, 2008

This is the FAQ for PC/OS which should answer some questions and clear up confusion.

v2 series and availability. New team member

July 20, 2008

Well after my recent internet war its back to work.  Tonight I just finished wrapping up the v2 series of workstation and workstation lite.  Im also finishing up on Open Server System.  These will be extensively tested before public release and I look forward to the feedback from these interim releases.  There are massive updates to the included applications and for multimedia creation, a much bigger focuss and a wider variety.

No new cosmetic features have been added and I welcome Cristobal Molina to the development team.  Cris comes from a Be and Mac background and has been gracious enough to offer his assistance and is now the lead in Cosmetics Division.  Icon themes, window manager themes, wallpapers and anything having to do with the look.  I will continue to lead the course in technical and build and Cris will help in those areas but his main focus will be in the look.

PC/OS is now a 2 man team.  Rome wasnt built in a day.

Xubuntu + BeOS like theme + Remastersys = PC/OS?

July 19, 2008

Tuxmachines Linked to this article, to which the author fires off some commentary.  Seeing as though he suffers from the illiterate syndrome that plagues some OSNews users, I decided to answer him.  I made these comments in his comment section.  Judging by his demeanor he will probably be a tool and not let it pass moderation.  So here is my response, word for word.

” Thanks for the feedback and your opinion on PC/OS. Let me clear up some confusion, obviously the author is confused since he obviously is illiterate and cant read as well as offering uninformed opinion of what PC/OS is or what the goals are. I never claimed PC/OS to be a Be clone. What do I have in common with the BeOS. Ease of use, I package everything together for the user. Flash, multimedia codecs and Java are all installed for them and that believe it or not is a major pain point for new Linux users. Why did I use the BeOS theme? Because of the simplicity of it, and 1 of my few, yet growing lists of users, requested it. You are absolutely right, there is nothing BeOS about PC/OS and I am proud of that fact. If you had been part of the discussion instead of writing some rant piece like a rabid fan boy you would see that and possibly read that, oh wait my bad sorry, you cant read. What else do I have in common with BeOS? Multimedia focus. Content creation and delivery, Open Server System excels as a streaming platform. Is it geared for a major infiltration into the enterprise? No its not.

Will PC/OS fail? Unfortunately for you, no it wont. I have no delusions about being a great big OS vendor, I dont intend to be, I plan to share what I find useful, if you dont want to use it, you dont have to. I plan to keep distributing PC/OS, whether I have 1 user, 100 users or no users. This is the spirit of open source, to share, share ideas and share what you find useful and since you have written off PC/OS instead of actually READING, it just shows your lack of knowledge or comprehension of how Open Source works.

Why do I offer t-shirts, mugs, etc. The service is free so why not and I have sold a few pieces of fan apparel. Why do I sell DVD ISO’s? Convenience, you dont want to download it, fine, order a DVD. Dont want to go through an install process? Order a hard drive, slap it in your machine and go through some simple scripts and it runs.

Why am I working on a PowerPC version? Not for my health, people have requested it and donated the machine, so why not? I have had a couple of requests for 64bit. Jeez, for a project that NO ONE USES and that is failing, I have a lot of requests.

So who are my competition? Is it Apple, is it Microsoft, is it BeOS? No, none of the above. If you must label a competitor, and judging by your writing, you must be seeing this as a competition well, For you, and you only, say 64studio, and Ubuntu Studio.

I am very happy with my 59 strong niche and my project. You arent, fine then, dont use it. Its a simple concept. Others may find it useful, you dont.

If you came looking at PC/OS, searching for the BeOS, you came barking up the wrong tree and maybe you learned you should look at the project, maybe contact the maintainer and check with him.

I’m going back to work on my PowerPC edition of PC/OS. If you have any other questions, or just want to throw an insult my way, send me an e-mail, I read them all.

BTW, give me some credit. I have a separate build machine for every build of PC/OS, I dont use my own workstation.”

Source code availability

July 17, 2008

OK, since source code availability now seems to be an issue I have decided what to do here to make my users happy and what would be feasible for myself.  The GPL doesnt say I have to provide a repository, so it will be a soiurce DVD, if you want a copy of media mailed to you it will be $30.00 US, the GPL says I can charge a fee.  This will be available at the end of this month.  If you want individual program files you can download it from the repositories.

Q:  If you werent in violation of the GPL why are you chaging source code availability?

A:  Well Im all into making people lives simpler, and instead of people mouthing off to the press saying Im illegal, I will take this further step.

A few more questions answered

July 16, 2008

Due to some major press we are getting from there are a few questions that need to be answered.  So here are the answers:

” This is a blatant ripoff of ZevenOS (all allowed due to the gpl ofcourse). Even uses their theme for the window decorations. And ZevenOS used to use Xfce too but nowdays the IceWM, have a BeOS deskbar and many other interesting features from the BeOS. look it up (used to be ZeBuntu) ”

Actually this is more who came first, the chicken or the egg.  My original concepts contained the original layout that was in use before Zebuntu used the layout, same may say they ripped me off.  But no matter.  They abandoned it, they didnt like it they didnt use it, I did and I did because of my users demanded it.  ZevenOS, is meant to be a ground up BeOS version of Linux mine isnt, sorry.  I dont claim to be the BeOS, dont want to be the BeOS those are some rather large shoes to fill.  ZevenOS is trying to be the BeOS so go knocking on their door and explain how useless and cluesless their efforts are.

” Finally, most one-man projects such as this one are bound to fail”

PC/OS is not a mass market infiltration, PC/OS will survive simply because Im just sharing what I find useful.  Isnt that what Linux and Open Source is about? sharing ideas? I have made very little money from PC/OS  and let me clear something else up, I have no delusions that I will become the next great OS vendor.  I have a niche audience, and I am happy serving their needs.  i offer the hard drives simply for convenience.  I do plan to offer preinstalled systems at some point.

” Unfortunately, you still can’t really replicate the BeOS Deskbar, so I stick with a simple Win95 layout. The PC/OS Deskbar is a pretty poor attempt.”

The “Deskbar” used by PC/OS is not THE DESKBAR, never meant to be.  Its totally different and made to stand on its own.  Once again, this is NOT a reimplementation of BeOS

” Speaking of GPL, both these distros seem to be playing fast and loose with the requirement to provide source code. Merely pointing to Canonical’s repos does not cut it.”

MEPIS was in violation because he made changes to kernel code and didnt contribute back to the Ubuntu source repository.   I make little if any change to the kernel because I want it in 100% compatibility that way if I develop a brain tumor and die, or if I get into a blazing car crash and die the users of PC/OS can and will be able to get important security and application updates from a reliable source.  Artwork, usplash and icon sets are not required to be in compliance.  I know this because I checked before I even went public with PC/OS.

” This is rather annoying, the name Tracker was taken by another project for extracting meta data and was then renamed Meta Tracker. The BeOS Tracker has nothing to do with this even though the first bullet implies that BeOS Tracker is used as the desktop causing some confusion, it uses XFCE instead.”

I have never made any claims that the PC/OS tracker is the BeOS tracker.  If you have read the blog and kept up with events instead of firing off with uninformed opinion, the tracker in this case is a way to “track” your removable media and useful directories.  Nothing more, nothing less.

” It’s “BeOS”. Sorry, that just gets on my nerves almost as much as /MAC/…”

Are these people ignorant or just dont know how to read, an excerpt from the article:

PC/OS is not a “reimplementation” of BeOS, says the group, but offers a similar layout and a shared focus on multimedia, simplicity, and ease of use. Launched in 1991 by ex-Apple exec Jean-Louis Gassée and others, Be, Inc. developed a cube-like BeBox computer that ran the BeOS multimedia-oriented operating system.”

Hopefully, this helps clear up any confusion.  if not by all means send me a private e-mail.  I have no intentions of entering an internet flamewar.