Usability and Software Fitness

Gary Lawrence Murphy
21 Aug 2001 15:45:23 -0400

>>>>> "t" == tomwhore  <Tom> writes:

    t> Bzt, Im sorry but you are dead wrong on this point. Cyberboard
    t> does not run a GameServer for the playability of Cyberboard
    t> games, It actualy use EMAIL as a transport mechanism. 

So?  Email is not a thing in itself, it is a software component that
must run on a computer and requires a connection to other remote
computers. Who pays for the email account?  Who pays for the computer
the creator of CB uses?  Who pays his rent, food &c?  All software
systems have consumable resources.

    t> ... The only cost to the
    t> creator of CB is in creating the app, and he seems to be one of
    t> them "weirdos" who likes to make cool things and "let" others
    t> use it without charging a pound of flesh and the users pass
    t> files around using Email, or other trasport methods already in
    t> use if they have the inkling.

So what you're saying is this particular software is a hobby, that it
has zilch to do with how he makes his living?  That's fine, but it
doesn't help people trying to deploy costly systems and hoping to make
their living off it.

I know a prominent Linux activist who's very pro on Linux in Business,
active in conferences, writes for 'zines, but he can only do so
because his wife is a lawyer; they don't need his income.  My case
is different: My wife is a songwriter, so we depend on my
opensource-generated income ;) That's not to say my friend is wrong in
spending his spouse's money to promote Linux, it's just that he can
make no personal claim to any business-case reasons.

By the sounds of it, the only business model this game app serves is
that of their ISP: Every time he sends out another email packet, they
make a little bit more money facilitating the transport.  My first
contract with Bell Canada had a primary requirement phrased as "Lead
our customers to waste more bandwidth".  Nothing wrong with that (I
only wish I'd had Napster back then ;) but it's not a business model,
it's a hobby.  Lots of people have a hobby of running a $1000 hardware
+ $100/month connect cost 802.11b nodes to provide their neighbours
with free internet, and their neighbours enjoy it, but it's not a
business model, it's an expensive hobby that's just more philanthropic
than, say, equestrian events or rock climbing.

Gary Lawrence Murphy <> TeleDynamics Communications Inc
Business Innovations Through Open Source Systems:
"Computers are useless.  They can only give you answers."(Pablo Picasso)