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Mandrake Asks for Support

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the give-till-it-hurts dept.

Mandriva 555

Many people wrote in with this news: "Mandrake Linux today reports having a short-term money crunch. They call for users to become members to help float them through the short-term viability issue. Membership dues are the preferred method over budget/project cuts."

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Rapist (-1)

The Lyrics Guy (539223) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146831)

Combat 84 - Rapist

He's a dirty and evil man
And no one wants to know
He could be living in your town
The sign of the Rapist doesn't show
Young girls come to me
Stalking victims in the street
When it happens no-one sees
You're just dragged down off your feet

Capital Punishment
A stronger Government

Plastic mask and hairy wig
You're too scared to show your face
You're acting like a dirty pig
You're a cancer of the human race
Filth of society should all die
We need a stronger government
All you gotta do is hang 'em high
We want capital punishment


We need a stronger government
Bring back capital punishment


Hang 'em, hang 'em, hang 'em high
You watch those fucking bastards die


Plex86 (1)

LiENUS (207736) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146832)

The plex86 guy was already hit by this (got laid off):/ hopefully mandrakesoft can get out of this

Re:Plex86 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3146978)

The Plex86 guy (Kevin Lawton) cost 'em a bunch of money and didn't produce much of anything. Plex86 is not exactly usable... after how much time?

When you're looking to cut costs, high cost / low output folks are toast.

we love page widening (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3146834)

bring it on klerck

I've got an idea (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3146836)

Just stop paying your employees for about a year. I heard it worked for Loki... oh wait.

Re:I've got an idea (1)

soulcuttr (555929) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146892)

No, no, you've got it all wrong. You have to start charging company expenses to employees' credit cards. That's the way to get out of a pinch!


how does the song go? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3146837)

duh... duh... duh... another one bites the dust.

Short-term? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3146840)

Giving away software that costs skilled programmers' time and energy sounds like long term cash flow problems to me. But what do I know?

Mandrake (1, Interesting)

littlerubberfeet (453565) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146841)

I will support them as long as they don't fall like a .com. Anyone know ehre I can find a more detailed financial report of the company?

Re:Mandrake (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3146876)

More detailed financial info available at: /news letter


Alan_Thicke (553655) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146842)

You have just received the Amish Virus!
Since we do not have electricity or computers,
you are on the HONOR SYSTEM!
Please delete ALL of your files....

Thank Thee.

Newsflash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3146843)

They call for users to become members to help float them through the short-term viability issue

When your business model revolves around giving your products away for free (with source code), you can not say it's a short-term issue.

I predict (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3146845)

...that the next Mandrake release will be codenamed "Spare Change?"

Mandrake Support (-1, Offtopic)

CokeBear (16811) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146847)

I have called the tech support at Mandrake, and found it to be acceptable. What is not acceptable however, is the behavior of Michael Sims []

Re:Mandrake Support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3146871)

What has this got to do with Mandrake? Or is it just a spam?

It's _under_ the subject (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3146907)

Mandrake Asks for Support
Posted by michael on Monday March 11, @11:23PM

hehehehe (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3146851)

mandrake suxors.

hasta la vista, fucknuts. you made a shitty distro of a free product. sounds like a moneymaker to me.

Fucknuts probably is using the product (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3146880)

What is most sad is how most people on this forum go out and "pillage" any site with free software -- gripe about how is bad, but yet complain that Microsoft is even worse. Why do you comdemn everyone. 2 choices here -- pick Microsoft a.k.a "Take up the ass" or support linux some flavor other than Red hat. Red Hat will not be a good product with just Mircocrap as a competitor. They need other linux companies to compete wit it.

Re:Fucknuts probably is using the product (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3146899)

I use Mac OS X. Fuck anything else.

Re:Fucknuts probably is using the product (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3146949)

I use Slackware because its just better.

And it doesn't come in colours.

Re:Fucknuts probably is using the product (0)

alowiches (306330) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146957)

Why would anyone want to support a company that uses a flawed business model of "selling" free software and for some reason expects to turn a profit? I don't care what your opinion is on the matter, the whole free-licensing scheme is flawed and any idiot can see that.

You're a fool (1)

Dave_bsr (520621) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146994)

Why would anyone want to support a company that uses a flawed business model of "selling" free software and for some reason expects to turn a profit?

Me: Why would anyone support a company that will continue charging them hundreds of dollars for a virus-prone mass of spyware?

I use mandrake, I like it. I won't buy another windows product again, as far as i can see - 98 is good enough for me, and Mandrake, the distro, is good to me. It fills my needs. it's worth money.

Sure, I could spend the million hours to put together a distribution, iron out the bugs, and develop even more software and support OSS authors as mandrake does. But then, that would be retarded, a waste of my time, and I sure don't have the money to do it. Mandrakesoft does good things, they fill a need - and I am probably going to pay for 8.2, in some way. Go annoy someone else, alowiches.

-Yes, I know he's a troll. I just felt the need to say a peice.

Darwin at it's finest... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3146854)

Earth to Mandrake: You have a neat distro, but this is survival of the fittest guys, and apparently you ain't it....

Sorry, but I don't give money to beggars on the street, beggars who call me on the phone, or beggars who are on the net...

Pack it up - sell it, it was a good run... But stop with the begging... It's pathetic.

I've joined (5, Informative)

miracle69 (34841) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146856)

There are currently 2,000 Mandrake Club members. If they can get 8,000 more, they're fine.

There are multiple subscription options, all with the same priveledges. It's 5 bucks a month for the cheapest option (which I had to choose currently because of my financial situation).

It's totally worth it to me. 8.2 is showing how mature Mandrake can make a desktop distro, and I'm impressed with not only their attention to detail, but their attention to security, as well as decreasing the learning curve. They warn you during install about what packages may be insecure and what might be seen by the world. They packaged the Bastille firewall into the distro. And their draktools now have an option to display what the GUI tools are doing to which log files.

And to top it all off, 8.2 has had 4 betas and now 1 Release Candidate (which has some critical bugs, so expect a second RC). 60 bucks? Deal of the century. I run it on every machine I own, and install a copy on any Doze Machine that I build for friends.

Surely there are 8,000 more people here on /. that use LM enough to fork over 60 bucks.

Re:I've joined (5, Interesting)

jonabbey (2498) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146884)

Well, make that 7,999 members more, I guess, though I didn't see where they mentioned how many members they've got.

I don't even run Mandrake, but I have been giving it serious consideration.

It seems quite reasonable for a Linux company to operate like PBS and Public Radio do, to me.. free product? Used by millions? Sure, I'll chip in for that. They've even got premiums!

Seriously, though, this shit can't go on forever, can it?

Re:I've joined (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3146905)

Surely there are 8,000 more people here on /. that use LM enough to fork over 60 bucks

/. readers putting their money where their mouth is?

/. readers spending their own money rather than telling others, ex. software publishers, how to spend their money?

You deserve a score of 5 for humor value alone.


Re:I've joined (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3146916)

Great but for about 50 cents I can do this by downloading it and burning it myself.

$60 or 50 cents.... Hmm... $60 or 50 cents... Tough choice.

Why pay for something that you alreadt\y own? (-1, Flamebait)

glrotate (300695) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146932)

Mandrake is GNU. That means we all own it, so why should I pay for something I already own? It doesn't make sense.

Besides anything good they come up with they will sell in their boxed version, will I get my money back then?

And if Redhat incorporates some of mandrakes code will redhat pay me back when redhat sells it?

Re:Why pay for something that you alreadt\y own? (4, Insightful)

hal200 (181875) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146980)

Perhaps you should go check out the links at the bottom of the page. Specifically, this one [] .

The $5 a month isn't paying for something you already 'own', it's supporting open source development. Think about it. Mandrake releases their code under the GPL. However, if they must lay off their coders, then how will they continue to contribute to the body of GPL software? The answer is easy. They won't.

You're not paying for the code. You're paying for the developer's time, the machine, and the building in which he/she works. While the result is free, the development is not.

For years, the Open Source community has been releasing free code to the masses, many of whom do not, or can not contribute. Well, this is your chance. If you've never submitted code, artwork, documumentation or even a bug report, THIS is your chance to help support the community which has given you so much.

Mr. Anderson, this is your wake up call.

Re:Why pay for something that you alreadt\y own? (1)

Drakin (415182) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146984)

How about for maintained improvements of the project?

You're not paying for what you have -now-, you're paying towards the future. Infact, in this case to help make the future as brght as possible. If they have to cut costs down (which they will without donations) they'll have to reduce the people working on projects... which slows innovation(money is anice incentive for change)... which means the average linux user could possibly loose out.

Re:Why pay for something that you alreadt\y own? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3147000)

That's a good point. Why should I give money to PBS when I can watch their shows for free? It's not like they'll block my access. Why do religeous wackos give money to their churches? It's not like they'll get thrown out if they don't pay.

There is no possible sane reason for giving them money.

...oh wait... unless I want them to survive.

Goddam, you think there just might be a strategic objective behind giving them money? An ulterior motive that goes beyond merely getting this month's edition on CD?

It's like, spending money in order to make the world more like the way you want it to be. It's like getting something for something. What an alien concenpt!

Re:Why pay for something that you alreadt\y own? (2, Interesting)

Daffy Duck (17350) | more than 12 years ago | (#3147008)

Could you be any more whiny and obtuse?

"We all own it" sounds a lot like "I'm a spoiled leech, waaaa!"

I'm pretty sure the spirit of GNU was supposed to be "let's help each other out", not "gimme gimme gimme and don't let the free market hit you in the ass on the way out". In this case, many people are working FULL TIME to make Mandrake a high quality product that many people have enjoyed for free. They've supported themselves by selling box sets and support, but times are a little tough now and they're asking for some additional help.

If you don't think it's worth money or you're too cash-strapped to contribute, then don't. But it's childish to say "well I already own it, so if they can't give me updates for free in perpetuity then fuck them."

Re:I've joined (1)

soulcuttr (555929) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146939)

Wow, you're making me feel guilty. Mandrake was the first Linux distro that I've stuck with (previously I had just tinkered with using Slackware and Redhat). On top of that I just installed Mandrake 8.2 on a machine at work for a staging server.

Surely there are 8,000 more people here on /. that use LM enough to fork over 60 bucks
Count me in.


Re:I've joined (-1, Troll)

jeffehobbs (419930) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146956)

There are currently 2,000 Mandrake Club members. If they can get 8,000 more, they're fine.

Hold on, I'm having trouble finding my credit card due to the tears in my eyes from gut laughing


Re:I've joined (0, Troll)

seann (307009) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146959)

What has Mandrake gave to me?
What has Mandrake gave to the community?

I don't mean to seam selfish here, but why should we donate to this company when there are many other ones that could use our support, eg:

What reason is there for me to donate? More people for me to answer questions for on how to "hlp nstal aol" and "does asp run on linux"

I know I'm coming off a little bithcy, but bare with me. I'm sure a lot of you feel the same way here.


L.Torvalds (548450) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146991)

I would much rather pay a subscription for Microsoft software. At least I don't have to worry about them having to suck dick to make ends meet.

Re:I've joined (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3147007)

...spend 5 bucks on a Mandrake subscription, talk about it on Slashdot, and get your 5 bucks back in karma points. ;)

OK, I will this time. (2, Interesting)

Guysdrinkingbeer (207045) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146857)

Mandrake is a great product. It is easy to use and has been free so far. This time I will help out. I am still fairly new to Linux but love what I see so far. Mandrake is by far the easiest to use and it would be a real losse to the Linux world if Mandrake went away.

Investing in Mandrake (-1, Troll)

CokeBear (16811) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146858)

It might be a good idea to pitch in and help out Mandrake, but it is surely not a good idea to contribute anything to Slashdot, especially when they employ such shady characters as Michael Sims []

hmm.. (4, Insightful)

Dr. Awktagon (233360) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146859)

From the page:

an award-winning Linux distribution that is a solid competitor to both UNIX and Window$

Window$? Very unprofessional.

All other trademarks are copyrighted by their respective owners.

Trademarks are copyrighted? What does that mean??

Well, anyway, I hope they don't go under, as I was thinking of switching from Red Hat to Mandrake on a new P4 (I always buy my Linux distros to support the companies, and so should you).

Re:hmm.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3146883)

"I always buy my Linux distros to support the companies, and so should you"

Why don't you just send them a check and download it? Why waste the packaging? Most distros are completely out of date by the time they hit the shelves.

Re:hmm.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3146895)

No... I shouldn't. I'm not paying for anything that's given away for free. Don't be silly. If Mandrake wanted me to buy their software, they wouldn't give it away.

Re:hmm.. (5, Funny)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146976)

I always buy my Debian distros also. To support the company. Oh. Waitaminute...

yes, support them. (1)

prizzznecious (551920) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146860)

Even though I have had my fair share of problems with the Mandrake distribution, it is by far the easiest for newbies (myself included) to learn on, primarily because it is the easiest to install properly. The install is extremely smooth and not the least bit painful, and while I wouldn't want every distribution to be this newbie-oriented, Mandrake definitely has an important role in the Linux community.

Most of us who haven't been working with Unix systems for years just want the distro to work so that we can begin to learn about Linux and actually use the thing. So if you really care about helping Linux GROW (and hint, hint: open source requires MANY people, so the more the merrier), you should contribute to them.

The question on everyone's mind (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3146861)

Mandrake roots are cool, but can you smoke them?

Re:The question on everyone's mind (1)

prizzznecious (551920) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146877)

Yes, you can, actually. Puts quite an interesting spin on the idea of being rooted.

Mandrake has some great Technologies (5, Interesting)

cnelzie (451984) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146865)

Of course, like most Linux companies, most of that work is based upon the OSS that they use.

I for one say that we must rally behind them and all other commercial Linux enterprises. Many of those enterprises pay to further the development of the programs that most all of us use. From GNOME to KDE and many other applications and environments.

I for one say, enough of the preaching about how great Linux (Jesus) is, how terrible Windows (Hell) is and how bad the great Microsoft (Satan) is. Enough of forcing Linux (The Gospel) down people'r throats.

We as a community have to back those companies that have brought Linux to where it is today. I do it and will continue to do so. I have a cable modem and can download a full 3 disc ISO in no time. However, when that distro hits the shelves, I pick it up and buy it. I am also going to be one of the first to buy a copy of StarOffice 6.0 when it is released.

Why? Why am I so "Crazy"? The answer is simple, I believe in the power of Linux and OSS and I know that the companies that back and push Linux and OSS forward simply are unable to exist without any money. Do the research yourself, find out who is paying the money to have people code free software like KDE, GNOME and many others. Find out who pays to maintain the bandwidth for those groups servers.

I, for one, say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3146937)

you are "Crazy". HIPPIES SUCK, GENTLEMEN !!

Re:Mandrake has some great Technologies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3146938)

Why? Why are you so "Crazy"? The answer is simple, you are a moron.

Get off that sinking ship before you drown.

Re:Mandrake has some great Technologies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3147017)

I for one say, enough of the preaching about how great Linux (Jesus) is, how terrible Windows (Hell) is and how bad the great Microsoft (Satan) is. Enough of forcing Linux (The Gospel) down people'r throats.

I couldn't agree more (Praise the Lord!). It has always been my opinion (Glory be unto him!) that RMS and company (Street corner Jesus-freaks) sometimes detract from our cause (Jehovah's Witnesses). The more we can use their ideals (Hallelujah!) without their methods, the better off we'll be. As well intentioned as they are, sometimes we're just better off without them (Bone-throwing Jesus-monkeys).

After the Loki mess... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3146866)

...anybody who rushes out to support these guys are fools. It's business, not charity.


RoboTroll (560160) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146867)

Mandrake asks for athletic supporters, since they cant hold Bill Gates jock.

All Rob Levin's fault! (2)

RJ11 (17321) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146868)

Maybe if they didn't donate $1,000 to Rob Levin [] , aka lilo, they wouldn't have as many problems?

my company doesn't even license "real" software (1)

theBunkinator (204351) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146872)

My company doesn't even license what they'd consider "real" software - windows, office, exchange ... What are the chances of them paying for this awesome linux distro?

So it's up to me, ey? Well heck, I paid for WinAmp and IrfanView a few years back when I was a poor student. I guess I can shell out $60 for a year.

Sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3146874)

Open Source Business Model:

Step 1: Give away your product for free
Step 2: Beg users for money (2)
Step 3: ???????????
Step 4: Success.

(2) In some cases, this may involve begging your workers for money, not paying workers, or simply using your workers credit line to stay afloat, as in Loki's case.

They should generate revenue ... (5, Funny)

long_john_stewart_mi (549153) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146881)

... with in-your-face-advertising. Something like the new ads on Slashdot. I was almost killed by an IBM banner replying to this post. At least it got my attention... =)

Intereresting. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3146882)

From the article:

[D]espite producing an award-winning Linux distribution that is a solid competitor to both UNIX and Window$, the Mandrake Linux distribution's short-term future is in jeopardy due to a simple factor: money. Entry-level membership to the Mandrake Users Club is only $5 per month, which is less than one ticket to the movies. Is the future of the Mandrake Linux distribution worth that much to you? If yes, then don't delay -- join the Club today.

I seem to recall some comapny, I can't remember who, getting flamed endlessly for suggesting subsciption based software. However, this is a superb idea because it is open source, no? After all, it is important to support open source because it is free. All those economists that always say "there is no such thing as a free lunch" are wrong.

Read the FULL article you AC's! (0, Troll)

Khan (19367) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146888)

I love all the trolling the AC cocksuckers are doing with this one. Let's see..I wonder what IP block (Redmond) they are originating from? IF you read it, you will see that they are on track to actually make money this year. I for one have indeed contributed the paltry $60 USD for what I consider a great Linux distro. Compare that to the $299 that Uncle Billy will be taking out on your sorry asses, you M$ apologist. Oh wait, you guys can d/l that for free from the warez groups. Nevermind.

Re:Read the FULL article you AC's! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3146933)

Bwahahahahaha, this is great.

You said:
IF you read it, you will see that they are on track to actually make money this year

Madrake said:

It is estimated that we will "break even" by the end of 2002, but it is unlikely that MandrakeSoft can remain unchanged during these next few months without drastically cutting costs unless additional revenue is generated quickly.

Let me hit you with a clue-by-four: don't buy stock in any company that says "It is estimated that we will "break even" by the end of [whatever year]" - not only will they not break even, they are playing with definition of breaking even by enclosing it in quotes.

Learn some Internet economics (0, Troll)

Khan (19367) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146972)

Breaking even in the .com world means that you are actually MAKING money, assmunch. Nobody ever said anything about buyin stock in this company. Paying for a distribution that is actually worth it benefits everyone. Including your sorry ass, trollboy.

Re:Learn some Internet economics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3146993)

Are you trying to troll or something?

Breaking even in the .com world means that you are actually MAKING money, assmunch

This comment is so ridiculous that I am starting to suspect you are ust attempting to troll, but failing miserably. Good trolls do not make themselves look stupid.

Re:Read the FULL article you AC's! (1)

AHumbleOpinion (546848) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146962)

... Compare that to the $299 that Uncle Billy will be taking out ...

Actually I paid around $150 for WinXP Pro, OEM version, perfectly legal when buying a hard drive, motherboard, etc.

I also buy the distros of Linux and BSD that I use, and I buy directly from the publisher not a middleman. IMHO ISO downloads are for evaluation purposes, pay for what you keep.

Re:Read the FULL article you AC's! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3146981)

>Actually I paid around $150 for WinXP Pro, OEM version, perfectly legal when buying a hard drive, motherboard, etc.

And the hard drive and motherboard capable of running XP cost less than $150?

I suppose its possible, but I don't think you could beat 3 digits. :)

Re:Read the FULL article you AC's! (2)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146966)

It's also a better idea and more honest than slashdot, who has asked for essentially the same thing, with NO promise of profitability.

Why? (5, Insightful)

markj02 (544487) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146893)

By all means, if you think Mandrake is the best thing since sliced bread, support them. However, I think given that they want to be a company that wants to derive profit from making a Linux distribution people will buy, one may well ask the question: why? There is nothing wrong with being for-profit, but if they can't make a good business out of it now, why should they be able to in the future?

Re:Why? (3, Informative)

nzkoz (139612) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146982)

There is nothing wrong with being for-profit, but if they can't make a good business out of it now, why should they be able to in the future?

Well they're claiming that it's a short-term cash crunch. Often this sort of thing happens because businesses sign up for large contracts paid in installments. i.e $1m paid quarterly over 15 years. If they've got some big cash due in soon then this could all be temporary.

But, this sort of situation is why companies go public (like mandrake did) and I'd wonder where their capital has gone. Perhaps they haven't been as frugal as required to survive in these recessionary times.

They could well be able to survive (and thrive!) after this short hurdle. But given how close all this is to their IPO...... Maybe they won't

Re:Why? (2, Interesting)

bhsx (458600) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146983)

Because mandrake is providing a 'public service' without public support (i.e. government grants, tax monies). They don't receive tax money for any of the service they provide to the french population, let alone the rest of the world. They would love to contain 100% GPL code in their commercial box sets; but considering what they give you, it's just not possible. Their download versions however, if not as 'all inclusive' as their box sets, are quite a nice representation of just how usable, efficient, beautiful and refined a Public Service Software offering can be.

come on (4, Insightful)

wunderhorn1 (114559) | more than 12 years ago | (#3147004)

I'm sure you can think of a few reasons why a small company in a niche market could have trouble getting started, but might still grow to be successful.

And a few reasons why users of said company's products might have an interest in seeing that company survive.

Especially when said users have probably been using said product for free.

Personally, I've been downloading new Mandrake ISOs for 3 years now, and I'd much rather donate than buy a boxed version of the distro. More of my $$ go to fund development that way.

I'll probably do it. (5, Insightful)

object.orient() (150871) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146903)

I mean, it's only $5 and it was the first distribution I thought got it right for intermediate/beginner Linux users. Folks like me who, at the time, knew quite a bit about computers and programming, but knew nothing about Linux. Plus it was the easiest to install early on for folks (again, like me) who had grown used to the relative ease of install and use of Windows and the Mac.

FWIW, I first installed an early 5.x of Red Hat but got ticked when it didn't work with my sound card. It took me about a month to learn everything I needed to get sound working. After that, I muddled along with Red Hat for a while, but Mandrake came along and really added some value to what Red Hat had done, IMHO. The install recognized everything and even got X working properly. It also helped that the distro included more up-to-date packages (esp. of GNOME and KDE) and the -- probably worthless to me in the grand scheme of things, but still a factor -- pentium optimizations.

Best of all, I think they've kept up their end of the bargain. They consistently provide a really good distro with up-to-date packages. They've done a lot of work on getting Linux to recognize hardware more seemlessly.

Yep, all things considered I think they're worth $5.

It's a great system (2)

Tony Hammitt (73675) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146904)

When you can pay for software after you've evaluated that you like it and that it's worth paying for. The only other way is to 'borrow' the warez and then decide whether to pay for it.

I like this system better. C'mon everyone, give them some money. They really have earned it!

Support Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3146906)

I have been buying Redhat and Mandrake box products for a while now. Is this better support? Or should I keep buying the box products and forget this method?


Free licenses (0)

alowiches (306330) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146908)

Ya know, if you just give a product away for free, I hear that you might not be able to generate much in the way of revenues.... I mean what kind of friggin business model are you people perpetuating here anyways? Start charging licensing fee's and you might be able to get off unemployment.

Alow, the off-topic troll

Donations (0)

CmdrTaco (editor) (564483) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146910)

If you have ever used Mandrake, I'd recommend sending them a donation/voluntary contribution [] .It even lets you specify what project your money goes too.

The don't make money from you downloading their iso's, so if you don't buy their CD's at least throw them a couple bucks.

From the site:
This way of donating is much easier for us than receiving checks or cash via postal mail :-)

Paypal (0)

Solidblu (241490) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146913)

Isn't there a paypal account they also had were you could donate them money? Maybe if it was more visible more people would donate a buck or two

Short term issue? (1)

yobbo (324595) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146925)

The whole business model is suspect! While companies like Red Hat scramble to create a viable services based model around their product (Red Hat network), Mandrake continues to try flogging off a free OS which comprises some 80% of their total revenues, then is late to the game tacking on a subscription service which some club which offers... wait for it...

* Club-only download of commercial applications normally only available in retail products (even before the commercial packages are available in the shops!).
* Discounts on products and special offers (would you like us to negotiate a discount on Sharp PDA or Win4Lin ?).
* A place in MandrakeSoft's "Hall of Fame".
* Direct trading of MandrakeSoft shares.
* Possibility to ask questions (and receive answers) in "Ask Mandrake" series. The first one was with Gael Duval - the creator of Mandrake Linux
* Special Internet services that will be created by the suggestions of members (such as voting rights, special chat sessions with Mandrake team members, etc.)

So in other words, you pay for the privelidge of having them buy some commercial software for you and chuck it on cd, discounts on niche products which you're most likely not to want, direct trading of shares in a company which relies on BEGGING people for money to stay afloat, and the chance to hang around with our heroes in a chat forum! Well, hold me back, and let me slam my 5 bucks a month on the table right now!

Come on. I LOVE the distro, and have used it since 7.1. But to think that they're trying to run a business based on begging people, and floating shares in the company just to raise some cash to stay afloat - then have the nerve to put the onus on the users to keep them going with some 60 dollar a year subscription which gives you next to nothing is laughable.

Re:Short term issue? (0)

alowiches (306330) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146942)

Welcome to Nirvana Mr. yobbo, here you will see that you are surrounded by the enlightened capitalists of society who rightfully believe that free-licensing is for unemployed-socialist-retrohippy-idealist-schmucks who will be stuck on unemployment and foodstamps for the rest of their lives continually pumping out free code.

Short Term (3, Funny)

Henry V .009 (518000) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146929)

Mandrake is great and all (I use it), but how short term is this money crunch going to be?

Could it be that they don't have any viable business strategy, and too much competition?

I love linux and open source dearly, but when it comes to my money, I am cold and calculating. I'll send a check to Microsoft because they force me to. That's a business transaction. I'll use Mandrake's products that they give away for free, that's another business transaction (dumb on their part).

But when they start asking for handouts, that's when I ask "Why don't you guys get real jobs?" I like your products and all, but I am not grateful, any more than I am grateful for any consumer product. I am not grateful for my TV set or my DVD player. Some engineer probably enjoyed designing them. Designing the specs may have even been like masturbating for him. I don't care. I bought a product. If a company was running itself into the ground giving me those things for nothing or next to nothing, I still wouldn't be grateful. I'd be happy, but my feelings toward the company would be those of pity.

I mean it, start a viable company that actually benefits the capitalist system. Pay some taxes and fund a war or two in the Middle East, why don't you?

Re:Short Term (2)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146958)

I can't help but notice from a quick scroll through your recent posts that you have not made a similar comment vis-a-vis slashdot. Any particular reason for the double standard?

Re:Short Term (2)

Henry V .009 (518000) | more than 12 years ago | (#3147006)

Double standard? I simply haven't posted anything about the topic before. As far as slashdot goes, they are an entertainment company providing a service. They charge people through either commercials or for direct commercial-free access. If that makes them money, good for them. If not, well, I'm hardly about to start distributing my own personal coporate welfare.

Mandrake may be trying to make money by suppling support, but it's a fools game. Either their product is so bad that most people need support and give up, or it's too good, and they still don't make money. Plus they have too many competitors. Well, time for Corporate Darwinism to the rescue.

the next generation is rising. (1)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146930)

the first generation of Linux companies is going by the way side. next dsistros for the desktop will be Xandros and Lycoris.....sure, others will still exist, but distros that put out crap that is not well integrated will not make it.....mandrake I thinkwill be gone in a few years.

"Short-term" viability issue? (1)

whatthef*ck (215929) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146934)

Get real.

Mandrake worth supporting (1)

Eric Damron (553630) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146936)

I have used Slackware, Redhat Suse, and Mandrake. Mandrake is without doubt the easiest to install and configure. The team at Mandrake have done an outstanding job in creating a distro that configures itself with little or no user intervention. (Windows users can even set it up!)

The one "flaw" that I have found is that they are sometimes so far ahead of other distros as to be incompatible with main stream Linux. For example Kylix 2 has a real problem working under Mandrake 8.1 partially because Mandrake uses some of the newest libraries and Kylix is lagging behind a bit.

Giving it's customer's the latest greatest is Mandrakes style. It would be a real blow to the Linux community if they don't make it.

I plan on supporting them and I hope you do too.

What a surprise (-1, Troll)

Temjin (254851) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146943)

when a commie OS runs out of money. It doesn't take a genius mind to understand how free OS + restrictions on OS license to make money=no profit. Too bad the Linux community can't understand this, ne?

The fundumental problem Mandrake has is that it's not around for it's own well-being, but rather for the sake of the community. They, as well as most socialist outfits, seem to think the community is more important than their bottom line, than the self. But when it comes to making money in a capitalist system, the ideal is to work for the self, to produce, to create a product desired by the consumer. The capitalist produces for his own benefit, the consumer buys for his own benefit. It's a mutual exchange.

Now, when Mandrake begin asking for money, they're depending on the community. Why? Because they're not a real business. They're a socialist outfit. By its very nature, socialism cannot earn money through capitalistic methods, so instead it has to rely on the immoral "begging for money" alternative.

You can't troll worth shit... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3146967)

You're wasting your time, especially when you flag your troll out with that sig.

If you're gonna troll, try doing it with some style next time.

Time to rethink strategy (5, Insightful)

rho (6063) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146952)

This seems to be a losing proposition, in the end. Begging users for handouts? Will Mandrake move to the public radio-method of fundraising? "Hi, your boot is interrupted this week to ask, 'User, do you enjoy Mandrake enough to pay $10 a month, or $20 a month? Become a member now, and we'll throw in a Signature Logo t-shirt, signed by RMS'"

This is where normal businesses say "what we're doing isn't working--let's try something else". Mandrake (or any Free Software-based business) doesn't have to show massive profits, but it does have to keep the doors open.

Selling the CDs don't work. Too easy to download ISOs, too easy to simply compile new apps. Selling services works, but only to a select few. RedHat may be able to get away with it, but isn't Mandrake a French company? Too far away, conceptually if not literally.

What is Mandrake's raison d'etre? A desktop-friendly Linux, if I'm not mistaken. Mandrake used to be a rip-off of RedHat, before it matured.

If Mandrake can cut costs by returning to that model--a "wrapper" around a RedHat install that caters to the needs of a desktop user. It can leech off RedHat for the hard stuff, and focus it's energies (and money) on keeping the doors open.

I hate to see them die, but duplicating effort can kill a small company. Unless Mandrake decides to finance the nerds with MandrakePorn. That, I understand, is doing okay.

Re:Time to rethink strategy (1)

AHumbleOpinion (546848) | more than 12 years ago | (#3147015)

This seems to be a losing proposition, in the end. Begging users for handouts? ...

It works for churches, and there is a certain religious component to Linux usage ... Let Darwin have his day a we'll see if the "begging" mutation is viable.

What's that? (5, Insightful)

Tester (591) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146960)

Why the heck would I want to subsidise a for-profit company? If they want money, they should issue more stock. This is a for PROFIT company. They seem to be trying to get money from people without having to dilute their stock... They are a publicly traded company (on some french micro-market). RedHat issued stock twice in a very succesful IPO and post-IPO offering. Why can't they do the same? If I give them money, I want to share the profits if there ever are any.

This is not a charity! If you want to help Free Software, give to the FSF or SPI ( aka the debian foundation).. They will even give you tax deduction.

Giving Mandrake Inc. money is just throwing it out of the window! If they can't make money as a for-profit company, well they should and they deserve to go bankrupt. At least, its all free software and someone else can maybe pick it up and make a business with a serious business model.

Please stop that non-sense! If you want to give, give to a charity!

Selling free software (1)

spike hay (534165) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146965)

I use Mandrake 8.1. It's great. But it's not surprising me that they are having budget problems. It's just hard to make money when you give your software away for free. It aint a good business model. This is a company who recoups the time and money of making a wonderful OS by trying to get people to be members of their club and getting them to buy Linux t-shirts and coffee mugs. I love linux, but I sure as hell wouldn't go into the software business giving my product away for free.

But don't get me wrong. I am very, very, very thankful for what the folks at Mandrake are doing. I just don't think they are going to make the big bucks off of it, though.

Anyway, just do little things for Mandrake to help them along. Join that Mandrake club. Or buy the 8.2 CD pack instead of d/ling the ISO.

Weed the Herd ! ! ! ! (2, Flamebait)

evilviper (135110) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146968)

I always hear people making noise about supporting your favorite distro. Personally, I could care less if 90% of the Linux distros disappeared. Let Mandrake die... It's just a bastard distro of a bastard distro.

Would anybody really be upset if we were only left with SuSE, Slackware, Debian (& RedHat I suppose). You can always make your own, and/or customize one of the existing distros to fit your needs.

Save the money would would normally spend to bail out a distro company, and instead spend it on Linux apps. (Have you forgotten about Loki already?)

Oops at bottom of receipt, heh heh heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3146969)

Fatal error: Cannot redeclare gethead() in /var/www/html/80pre/functions.php on line 46

This is pathetic! (0, Troll)

leonbev (111395) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146974)

You know this publicly-traded company is screwed when stoops to begging for donations to stay afloat! It's not like these guys are a bunch of hackers banging out code in their spare time, this is a corporation that should have the financial smarts to keep a few months of cash in reserve. Hey, I like Mandrake as much as the next guy, but it's obvious that their programmers are FAR more talent than their accounting and PR staff.

I wonder what their few remaining stockholders think of this obvious mis-management of funding? I'd bail out now, before this company becomes nothing more than a headline on

Ironic: It's better for newbies when it's free (4, Interesting)

dstone (191334) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146975)

I see Mandrake as a fantastic Linux distro. I commonly recommend it above Red Hat and even above the otherwise really great (but more effortful to install) Debian. Definitely, it's what I suggest to my Windows colleagues for a taste of Linux.

Anyways, that's what's kind of ironic about their plea for a subscription-based Member Club. Their perfect niche is Linux newbies, but those newbies probably won't grok the concept of why they should subscribe monthly for their OS. (In fact, it tends to be the Linux crowd shouting at them to NOT buy into evil subscription models that are coming down the pipe by Microsoft.) And those of us that "get" it and recognize how important Mandrake could be are likely "move on" to other distros like Debian (for their social contract [] )), or maybe even dip into something like OpenBSD (for its priorities on security and robustness [] ). Anyways, as I'm skipping around installing different distros for different purposes, it's hard for me to buy into a Membership for just one. Sigh.

Mandrake, your excellent installer has probably got you unfairly pigeonholed!

Why We Should Support Them (3, Insightful)

Ashcrow (469400) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146979)

Mandrake makes a very good product. It's easy to isntall, update, and use. It is the distro of choice (for the most part) for those Windows refuges. I urge users of Mandrake that do not purchase the boxed sets to support Mandrake for at least a few months.

I've noticed a few people posting saying that it is a bad idea to 'come crying to the users for money.' I see it a diffrent way all together. It seems that they are asking the community in which they have dedicated time and development to for some support to continue their work.

I'm not sending them anything (5, Insightful)

tmark (230091) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146990)

I use Mandrake, but I for one do not plan to send them anything. And I plan to continue using Mandrake, for free, because that is exactly what their business model calls for. If open-source is a viable business model, as is so often argued here, then it deserves to be judged by hard, cold, business metrics - namely, whether companies based on this model can survive on their merits alone. Contrary and au-courant opinions aside, it appears that most companies based on this model CAN'T survive, and Mandrake appears to be just one in what is a growing list of failures. Consumers AND the capital markets appear to have spoken somewhat decisively on Mandrake.

And if Mandrake ultimately ends up surviving, by measure of donations/contributions, I'll judge it as a feasible example of a charity case. Because it seems clear that Mandrake is not going to survive on the merit of the saleability of its products and can only survive by appeals to the goodwill of the open-source community. But the long-term problem is (and it IS a long-term problem, not a short-term one as the source post claims), the community only has so much pocket change to give to so many panhandlers. There is no reason to suspect that a bit of cash here and now is going to somehow change the fundamental, underlying economic reality that there aren't many people willing to pay for software which by rights they don't have to pay for.

Support your Distro (2, Interesting)

Apostata (390629) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146992)

I think anyone who's had a Mandrake system on their computer for more than two point-releases without paying for a box should join their Club or buy their boxed 8.2 when it's released.

It's as simple as that. Try it out free? Absolutely. Test-drives are good. But if you're not moving to anything else (even though you swear that "some day I'm going to try ...") give back to Mandrake for turning their distro into something very distinctive.

It would be a crying shame for this company to fall down at this point in their growth, especially when so many of it's users never spend a cent to support them.

WELL worth the money (5, Interesting)

enigma48 (143560) | more than 12 years ago | (#3146996)

bias: I'm not a linux guru, but I've had other CS students ask me a thing or two about linux.

Back in my early teens, I thought I was *the* power user. I wrote help files telling people how they could put "C:\BATCH" in their path and start up wordperfect, games, anything at all by just typing "wp" or "wolf3d".

Thinking about starting my own ISP, I had heard about this thing called Unix and BSD being really, really good for running servers. Having lots of time on my hands, I got a copy of FreeBSD and threw myself at it, sans manuals or knowledge of "man" (at first) for 48 hours. I made SOME progress and can still remember how weird it was to have a hard drive as a file! (mount /dev/whatever seemed so stupid when I could just do C: before...) Eventually I got my system accepting modem calls from two modems, but it was painful.

My ego smashed, I didn't touch anything resembling Unix for a while.

I started playing around with Linux a few months before I started my CS program - not knowing that it'd end up being my developement OS for a few years - and I picked up SuSe, RedHat and Mandrake.

Suse had hardware issues and I just didn't get like their config utilities. Redhat was a step up, but I tried Mandrake and found my distro of choice. Things weren't easy at first but with a minimum of effort, I got things going.

After finding out "Mandrake = stupid user linux" and "Debian = if you are smart enough, THEN you can use this one", I started feeling I need to prove myself. Which put me back to my teen years and reminded me *way* too much of high school. This time, I didn't bend and I stuck with Mandrake - I could get things done, the company seemed to be going in a direction I liked and the software seemed to be fairly new and easily updatable (when MandrakeUpdate worked).

Mandrake might not be the best linux for everyone. But I wanted to get something done, without learning EVERYTHING. I had time for that when I was younger.

The $60US I just sent (direct credit card payment, SSL and took less than 30 seconds) might not save the company, but for the effort they saved me, it's not nearly enough.

I hope Mandrake has a long and successful future, and if you are using Mandrake now - how much time has it saved you? Can you afford to eat if you give them $60 per year? Likely, yes.

tes (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3146999)


maybe... (1, Redundant)

LiquidPC (306414) | more than 12 years ago | (#3147001)

they could start putting ads in all the programs and require you to subscribe to remove 1/100th of the ads.

I just ditched Mandrake for Slackware (1)

javacowboy (222023) | more than 12 years ago | (#3147005)

Too bad. I just switch from Mandrake to Slackware a week ago.

You're on your own, Mandrake.
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