Measuring success

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.


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