Linked by Howard Fosdick on Sat 24th Nov 2012 17:52 UTC
Editorial Do you depend on your computer for your living? If so, I'm sure you've thought long and hard about which hardware and software to use. I'd like to explain why I use generic "white boxes" running open source software. These give me a platform I rely on for 100% availability. They also provide a low-cost solution with excellent security and privacy.
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RE[2]: Time vs money
by WorknMan on Sat 24th Nov 2012 23:21 UTC in reply to "RE: Time vs money"
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Depends on your own income and efficiency, does it not?

I can see how someone who's well off would just prefer to pay others. But if it took you a week or two to earn $400 of disposable income, then in theory you might be better off spending a day to do it yourself.

Yeah, it certainly does depend. For example, I'm not going to pay $400 to save two hours of time. On the other hand, I would probably do it if it saves me two hours every week.

Obviously, one has to consider the cost vs efficiency ratio. And yes, sometimes I do pay somebody else to do a task which is more than I would make in the same amount of time, mainly when it's something I REALLY don't want to deal with. For example, I paid 2 guys $100 to set up a power rack that I bought, and it only took them an hour, since they put these things together for a living. I do not make $100 an hour ;) But it would've taken me at least an entire day to do the same thing, and would've been a complete pain in the ass. I pay somebody else to change the oil in my car for the same reason. It just all depends on the situation.

My point is that it is my belief that too many people are of the opinion that saving money on software is always a good thing, no matter how shitty or disfunctional said software is. Granted, sometimes the free or cheap option is better (or at least good enough such that more expensive options don't provide you with any real benefits), and that's great. But when it isn't, you should really stop and think about how much your time is worth. We can always get more money, but we don't have the option of getting more time.

Edited 2012-11-24 23:31 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[3]: Time vs money
by Alfman on Sun 25th Nov 2012 04:19 in reply to "RE[2]: Time vs money"
Alfman Member since:


I hear you.

Additionally, my luck with cheap devices is getting worse than it used to be. I've needed to RMA monitors, power supplies, sata adapters, ram, hard drives, etc. My experience doesn't prove a trend, but I'm inclined to believe that manufacturers are racing to the bottom by cutting costs sourcing the cheapest quality components & workmanship they find.

It's impossible to tell which products are solid based on price. Sometimes good brands fail as well, unfortunately consumers don't have access to failure rates. Expensive devices will sometimes use the exact same boards under the hood as unknown brands. Never the less, I've decided to pay higher prices to try and increase the odds that I won't have to waste my time dealing with a lemon.

Edited 2012-11-25 04:28 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: Time vs money
by zima on Thu 29th Nov 2012 11:00 in reply to "RE[3]: Time vs money"
zima Member since:

Hm, looking at the past through somewhat rose-tinted glasses again? ;p (IMHO; and that is about what the article mostly is to me, going beyond economic stats, mostly talking about how badly societies remember their past conditions; in a way, it was also "right" in pointing out the general economic craziness WRT goals and such)

There were also tons of lemons in the past (8bit micros had meagre reliability), but we remember those less than the examples which survived longer and/or are still working.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Time vs money
by moondevil on Sun 25th Nov 2012 13:40 in reply to "RE[2]: Time vs money"
moondevil Member since:

I have been using open source since the late 90's, but I still buy software when I see the need for it.

And I do it, because as a software developer I also need to buy stuff, and not everyone will pay me to work on open source stuff.

Now if people are not willing to pay for software, why do you care to pay for hardware? This is the question it keeps popping on my mind.

Ideally you don't want to depend on anyone for the full stack, while getting everything for free (gratis).

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[4]: Time vs money
by WorknMan on Sun 25th Nov 2012 23:17 in reply to "RE[3]: Time vs money"
WorknMan Member since:

Now if people are not willing to pay for software, why do you care to pay for hardware? This is the question it keeps popping on my mind.

Because unlike hardware, software doesn't cost anything to make copies of. I'm not saying that is a legitimate excuse, but that seems to be the rationale.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Time vs money
by Lennie on Thu 29th Nov 2012 11:13 in reply to "RE[3]: Time vs money"
Lennie Member since:

I think you should re-read the article, I think they point it: price is a bonus, if a Linux was only available from RedHat at $250 which you can install unlimited on as many machines as you want.

Then I think people would still feel the same.

(obviously, Linux being vendor neutral and free to try and experiment helps to make it spread. I'm sure that is why newer versions of Windows have a 'grace period')

Edited 2012-11-29 11:13 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2