Re: [rp-ml] Zcorp!?

From: Markus Hitter <>
Date: Wed Nov 23 2011 - 15:34:57 EET

Am 22.11.2011 um 15:22 schrieb Jeremy Pullin:

> Just think how much computer hardware and ancillaries have been
> sold to
> linux users over the years. Giving things away free does not nor
> will it
> ever remove or even reduce the necessity for money and financial
> exchanges.

This is true and there are a few additional points:

- If you buy a consumer PC, you get a closed source operating system
for free, preinstalled. Well, perhaps not for free, but you can't
avoid it anyways. So, the cost of proprietary stuff in the PC world
is very low and undoubtly a noticeable number of PC users use the
preinstalled OS just out of laziness.

- In the computer server market, where people take a lot more care
what variant of software they're running, open source OSs are on par
or even dominant over proprietary counterparts.

- Sheer price. Windows server costs a 3 digit number, a Rapid
Prototyping machine costs a 5 digit number. The more digits, the more
people think.

- An important difference between open source software and open
source hardware: with hardware, you can make quite some money by just
manufacturing copies. Material price for the plastics parts of a
RepRap is about EUR 5.-, still the price of such printed sets
currently settles somewhere at EUR 65.- to EUR 80.-. No such thing
with software, nobody would pay you a single Euro for just
downloading a Linux kernel or Ubuntu OS*.

This later point leads to quite a number of people doing financially
healthy business by just making copies - not just Adrian with his 5
friends. It also leads to many people designing something new in the
prospect of selling the result. It also leads to some RepRappers
saying: developers do the work, copy shops collect the money.

To keep the topic: open source hardware is very obviously a working
innovation model, not just a freetime hobby for altruists. Think of
your engineering textbooks being full of downloadble designs and you
concentrate yourself on just the new part. That's close to what
happens in the open source hardware community.

Markus Hitter
aka "Traumflug" on RepRap

* When downloading legal music, you don't pay the download either,
but a licence fee for "owning" the music.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Dipl. Ing. (FH) Markus Hitter
Received on Wed Nov 23 15:31:21 2011

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