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Mandrake Appealing to Community, Again

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the maxing-out-the-credit-cards dept.

Mandriva 687

An anonymous reader writes "It seems that MandrakeSoft's short-term financial problem is worse than was thought. A new page on the Mandrake web site says: 'Everyone who is concerned with the company's future is encouraged to read and distribute the following message. In order to reach the next release, MandrakeSoft currently needs to raise cash, and quickly complete the Increase of Capital.' Darn, and I thought they were almost over this hump. Looks like a good time to help recruit Mandrake supporters for the Club."

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687 comments

no subject (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4932603)

do do do fp?
yep.

well... (2, Interesting)

mut3 (634239) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932613)

they made money with selling the box distros, but that is certianly not enough for all the iso downloads. they make a soild distro, so giving them some cash would be good.

Re:well... (3, Insightful)

avdp (22065) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932724)

Giving them some cash would not be good. It would only delay the inevitable (this is not the first time they do this). MandrakeSoft is a for-profit corporation. Clearly they can't make a profit - it is time to close.

Who knows, Mandrake-the-distribution may live after MandrakeSoft dies. If it's that good of a distro (I wouldn't know, never tried) volunteers will keep it going.

Pardon? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4932617)

Isn't Mandrakesoft a COMPANY? Why should we help a company? Is this "Charity for Corporations Week" here?

Re:Pardon? (1)

monoqlith (610041) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932671)

Yes. So are universities. And hospitals. All companies, some labelled non-profit. Please don't lump all corporations under the same umbrella. The point here is to donate money, and get a solid distribution in return. Not simple "charity."

Re:Pardon? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4932784)

Maybe I'm wrong, but isn't Mandrake a PUBLICLY TRADED company?
Very different than a non-profit.

Re:Pardon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4932799)

I believe mandrake has a stock listed on the French Stock Exchange (sorry, I don't know it's name); I don't think they are a non-profit. Thus, no charity, or $ from me.

Re:Pardon? (5, Funny)

British (51765) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932688)



"Please help these needy software developers. Your donation can get a Linux developer a brand new system, a 100 gig SCSI drive, or maybe a clean t-shirt. For the cost of a Mountain Dew you can give a developer some Mountain Dew to develop trivial new Linux applications you might not ever use or understand. Is that too much to ask for a command-line driven utility?"

For each Linux developer you sponsor, you will recieve a 45K JPEG portrait, and a monthly email detailing his progress."

Re:Pardon? (2)

Randolpho (628485) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932723)

Mountain Dew.On.Keyboard.

And.Monitor.

Mod parent underrated!! :)

Re:Pardon? (1)

Chicane-UK (455253) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932820)

Hahaha.....

Top notch.. not had many laugh out loud comments for some while :)

Re:Pardon? (2)

joestar (225875) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932698)

Do you know the Shareware model ? Why an "OpenSource Ware model" would not be a smart way of doing business. Mandrakesoft have one of the most popular distribution and one of the best community approach

Re:Pardon? (2, Interesting)

hudsonhawk (148194) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932746)

"Everyone who is concerned with the company's future..."

Clearly you don't meet this criteria, so don't worry about it.

Personally, I think its unfortunate most people don't see it this way - its the reason great companies with great products get gobbled / trampled by the Wal-Marts, Microsofts, and Sony's of the world. Economic darwinism (the idea that if a company fails, they must've had an inferior product) is a complete crock of shit, and leads giant uncontrollable monsters like the RIAA et al.

Scott

Re:Pardon? (2)

dirvish (574948) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932766)

Yeah, I was wondering about that also. I certainly care about the future of Linux and wish for it to prosper but there are better causes out there than a software company. A better way to contribute to the community at large might be to help out FSF [fsf.org] , instead of a corporation.

Slashdot confirms: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4932618)

Mandrake is dead

That sucks. (1)

Hanna's Goblin Toys (635700) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932621)

I guess I'll just have to mail more money.

Yeah... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4932693)

I have a big fucking sack of cash that I don't need; I'll send it to them. Poor company...

same here (1)

SweetAndSourJesus (555410) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932768)

I've got bundles of the stuff rotting away in the back of the garage. I tried to get rid of it at a yard sale, but nobody wanted to pay me what it's worth.

Since this Mandrake thing doesn't seem to be tax-deductable, I'll just give it to, oh, I don't know, STARVING HUMAN BEINGS, just for the write off.

If you're not a real (Section 501 (c)(3)) charity, don't beg for donations.

Let them go (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4932622)

The thing is, if Mandrake can't survive, all they'll do is pull down the rest of the Linux community.

And frankly, after having bought a copy of Mandrake Linux, and being very unsatisfied with the support, I don't really think they should survive.

Re:Let them go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4932713)

> The thing is, if Mandrake can't survive, all they'll do is pull down the rest of the Linux community.

"Insightful"?? On what planet?

How does a failure of Mandrake pull down the rest of the Linux community? Red Hat, SuSE and the United Linux companies, to say nothing of Debian, Gentoo etc, have *substantial* stock investments in Mandrake?

Yes, it would certainly be a blow, but I can't quite get my mind around that parent post.

Mandrake is French right? (0, Flamebait)

glrotate (300695) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932624)

Then to hell.

IN NAZI GERMANY (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4932626)

You get SHOT for appealing to a community!

My appeal (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4932627)

This is my appeal to the Slashdot community:

I am a 31 year old male virgin and I really, really need to lose my virginity this year. At this point I don't care if you're a guy or the world's skankiest geekette. If you are willing to finally make me a man, please reply to this post with your address. I'll fly over next week.

Re:My appeal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4932721)

Hell! If you REALLY, REALLY need to lose your virginity, you'll come (no pun intended) over the minute you see an address here, and not wait till next week. \/1rg1|\| SuXoR... =P

Re:My appeal (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4932754)

Ok, if you insist...

Alan M Ralsky
6747 Minnow Pond Dr
West Bloowfield Township, MI 48322-2663

hey (5, Informative)

Slashdotess (605550) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932760)

509 Pepperidge Ln
San Antonio, TX 78213

rawr!

Re:hey (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4932803)

So, are you a guy or the world's skankiest geekette?

Re:My appeal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4932780)

the world's skankiest geekette

Jesus Christ! Don't talk like that.

You made me think of what world's skankiest geekette might be like. I couldn't quite decide whether a fat slob (and I mean Rosie O'Donnel-class fat) with enormous ass and breasts and sweaty heir or an anorectic reed that always smells like piss would be worse before my brain went BSOD.

Mandrake: Embarrassment (3, Insightful)

davie (191) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932629)

Mandrake should either go non-profit so they can beg for money without being an embarrassment, or shut the doors.

Thinning the herd (5, Redundant)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932630)

Even if I were to give money to Mandrake, what sort of information do I have that would lead me to believe that they wouldn't just be in this hole again six months from now? Throwing good money after bad is a real pet peeve of mine.

IMO, Mandrake is about to get thinned from the herd. And it'll be too bad, since they've provided a lot of leadership in terms of desktop Linux, but I think we're all a lot more realistic about business realities than we were a few years ago.

Re:Thinning the herd (2, Interesting)

Hanna's Goblin Toys (635700) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932643)

This is called the "Prisoner's Dillema". It's the reason people don't do a lot of small things, from vote to stop tailgating in traffic. It's because they think that no one will co-operate with them, and their action will be futile.

Don't give in to the prisoner's dillema. Always do the right thing, and others will follow.

Re:Thinning the herd (5, Insightful)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932735)

You've failed to make the argument about why saving Mandrake is "the right thing".

Not everything is worth saving, and particularly not everything with good intentions. Why does Mandrake offer that is so great that it's worth dumping $4M into? And note that that $4M is not going into new development -- it's to resolve outstanding debts from all the wasted money of the past.

Re:Thinning the herd (4, Insightful)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932762)

I'm sorry, I don't see how this applies.

In the interests of promoting diversity in Linux choices, I can see giving a few dollars to help an otherwise viable company get over a particular rough patch.

But this doesn't seem to be the case here -- rather, it's beginning to look more and more like Mandrake will never turn a profit. This brings up the spectre of the community supporting a supposedly for-profit company via donations, which just isn't realistic. So it's not a question of the "right thing", but one of eceonomic reality.

This is *not* the Prisoner's Dilemma... (2, Insightful)

muertos (570792) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932795)

This is simply a matter of a company asking for a bail-out. The fact that it's a linux distro is simply tugging on your heartstrings, in the hopes that the plea will tug on your purse-strings.

What this all boils down to is you have to decide how many chances you feel Mandrake should get. How many times will you give money to an entity that, although they make a nice product, seems incapable of balancing gains and expenditures. This is merely a business decision, one which occurs daily. The strong survive, the weak die out.

Re:Thinning the herd (3, Insightful)

Xerithane (13482) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932661)

IMO, Mandrake is about to get thinned from the herd. And it'll be too bad, since they've provided a lot of leadership in terms of desktop Linux, but I think we're all a lot more realistic about business realities than we were a few years ago.

Damn straight. They follow too closely in the shadow of RedHat and have no way to break even, much less dream of a profit. So appeal to the community, again, and again. It annoys me that to download Mandrake they try to force you to join Club Mandrake.

If I want to join a club, it isn't going to be Mandrake. I use Mandrake, and I actually like it quite a bit. If I were to pay for anything it'd be RedHat though. A company that can at least give me a return on what I pay for. Someone else pointed out that they should go NPO or close the doors, and they were right. I'll donate to an NPO, I buy things from a company. What do I stand to gain from Mandrake by buying? Nothing. I can just as easily use Red Hat, Debian, Slackware, or even *BSD. I'm pretty sure a lot of the target market feels the same as me.

Re:Thinning the herd (1)

Telastyn (206146) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932692)

Though if they were smart (history perhaps hints otherwise... but hypothetically) they could do alot of good by going against RedHat's 'unification' of window managers which seems to be a generally unpopular move.

Re:Thinning the herd (2)

CyberKnet (184349) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932710)

What do I stand to gain from Mandrake by buying?

You answered your own question earlier in your comment:
"I use Mandrake, and I actually like it quite a bit."

It sounds to me like you gained without buying. How about supporting the company that made that gain possible? What more to you gain from RedHat?

Re:Thinning the herd (1)

PD (9577) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932772)

It sounds to me like you gained without buying.

What's wrong with that? Bits can be made without spending. And even the act of using free software bits adds value to them.

Re:Thinning the herd (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932808)

Yes, you do get more from supporting Red Hat. Red Hat pays quite a few of the kernel devs, they are also mounting a big push to get Linux in large companies.

Re:Thinning the herd (4, Insightful)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932827)

It sounds to me like you gained without buying. How about supporting the company that made that gain possible? What more to you gain from RedHat?

The real difference here is that RedHat isn't counting on sales of CDs or, worse, the altruism of the community to make money.

Instead, they have displayed good business sense and are creating sell-able services surrounding Linux, such as training and subscriptions to time-saving services (using up2date anytime is worth $60 a server, IMO). This is working out really well for them -- they're suddenly in the black.

If Mandrake can't do the same, well, that's life. They need to either develop a viable for-profit business plan (if they want to remain a for-profit business) or work out another way to survive (go non-profit or get aquired).

That's just reality.

Re:Thinning the herd (2)

greechneb (574646) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932738)

Reading your comment made me remember going to download from their site. You are presented with these two choices:

I agree to support Mandrake Linux, please send me to the Mandrake Linux Users Club Registration page now.

I'm already a member of the Club or plan on registering soon, please send me to the download page now.

Pretty Tacky if you ask me...

Re:Thinning the herd (1)

rowanxmas (569908) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932747)

Damn straight. They follow too closely in the shadow of RedHat

Especailly now with the very Desktop Orineted RH8, with the controversial unifying theme. If Mandrake were to stay alive they should have beaten red hat to this sort of thing, and come out with some useful stuff, besides an installer that is needlessly graphical.
However, I would say that it is still the best intro Distro, and should be sold as such, maybe bundled with a computer?

Re:Thinning the herd (2)

imr (106517) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932781)

I use Mandrake, and I actually like it quite a bit. If I were to pay for anything it'd be RedHat though.
tell me you' re a troll, please. Please, don't let me know that people like you actually exists.

Business realities (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4932664)

I think we're all a lot more realistic about business realities than we were a few years ago

Yeah. RedHat's numbers are still in the red and now Mandrake is going tits-up and the message is finally getting through: a company that gives away its product for free will never, ever make profit.

The rest of the world has known that for ages (even the Soviet Russians realized it 10 years ago), but for some reason the madness of one Richard M. Stallman still clouds the minds of some people.

1. Give your product away.
2. ???
3. Profit!!

Re:Business realities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4932699)

Er, Red Hat's in the black, trollboy.

guess they didn't appeal that much (1)

sulli (195030) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932633)

to the community, if not enough people bought their stuff!

That's alright... (1, Troll)

RumpRoast (635348) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932634)

If I wanted Red Hat Linux with some ugly-ass icons, I'd... well I guess I'd make some ugly-ass icons.

Boxed Sets (5, Interesting)

xombo (628858) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932636)

I remember my first Linux Distro... It was Mandrake 6.0. It is the best one I've ever used, for it's bare-bones Red Hat compatability and ease of use. They are missing the boat by trying to compete with people like Red Hat because they know they can't steal Red Hat users. RH users are dedicated to RH and usually revere Mandrake as child's play. Mandrake needs to re-evaluate their position and make themselves a Linux for the working man who doesn't have the time to sit around for hours making it work.

Re:Boxed Sets (2, Insightful)

Un pobre guey (593801) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932823)

They have boxed sets at retailers, and WalMart sells their distro [walmart.com] on really cheap PCs.

Why aren't they making money?

People like me who download it for free and install it on the half-dozen machines within their reach are a loss of market share, but there are millions of new PCs sold each year. You would think a small company could make a few bucks on a tiny part of that market.

Make money FREE! (off linux!) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4932638)

You too can MAKE MONEY FOR ABSOLUTELY FREE!

just grab linux, give it a name, and SELL! easy!

too bad, if you want to sell something, YOU HAVE TO DO THINGS TO MAKE IT BETTER AND DIFFERENT! make kde/gnome FASTER... its kind of hard to sell a free product, seems bottled water companies do pretty well, copy what they do... claim other linux distros' are "unfiltered TAP distros" ;p

dont hate me because i'm not funny

Why Bother (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4932646)

I've never been able to understand the value of the Mandrake distribution. All I know if it is that its another Red Hat knock off. Why bother flogging a dead horse? I've never been interested enough in a Red Hat like distribution. Is there something special about Mandrake that makes more worthy to run then Red Hat? Mind you your answer shouldn't be 'It uses RPMs and isn't Red Hat'.

Slackware (1)

johnnyfever (166279) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932647)

Simple, efficient, free. Who needs Mandrake.

Ive recently become discusted with mandrake. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4932654)

Read this! [silicon.com]

Mandrake maybe cool, and their cooker distro is the easiest of the 'bleeding edge' distros, but this is just a kick in the balls!

I have an idea (3, Insightful)

Morgahastu (522162) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932655)

how about they learn how to run a business then maybe I will purchase a product from them.

Its not the responsibility of the consumer to buy their products and then donate money. Either a) raise the price of distro box or b) increase sales of the box by making it more appealing (subscription to slashdot(hah), intro to linux book, good manual, cd full of games, etc).

Re:I have an idea (2)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932767)

Here's a hint if you ever run your own business... generally the way to riches is to CUT prices, not raise them. :)

The quickest way to bankruptcy when your business is hurting is to raise your prices.

you got it wrong! (4, Funny)

RobertTaylor (444958) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932659)

"If you are a qualified investor who would like to participate in the current round of financing, please contact investors@mandrakesoft.com with the amount you wish to invest."

What if your loaded but stupid? I would have thought dumb rich people would be the way forward...

Silly (1)

unterderbrucke (628741) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932660)

They're begging for money, but they're a for-profit company?
I mean, it's Christmas and everything, but geez...

Enough is enough... (5, Interesting)

tongue (30814) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932663)

You know, the first time around, I gave, even though i didn't really have the cash. I considered it a good cause. At this point, that is becoming less and less so. First of all, they appeal over and over to people who already give and give. It reminds me of the kids in my neighborhood who are always hitting up the same neighbors for their candy sales, xmas card sales, donut sales, bake sales, and any other kind of fundraiser the den mothers can come up with. at some point, i get damn tired of buying crap off these kids, no matter how good a cause it is. Mandrake is the same way. I don't even use Mandrake anymore and i still gave last time around.

Why don't they focus more on people who AREN'T already customers? do what real companies do--SELL SHIT! Yeah, yeah, i know they sell free software. so does redhat, they do alright. lindows seems to be making out alright, and i don't think they're as good a desktop as mandrake is. start holding the distribution ransom--don't release a major upgrade until you're operating in the black or something. but i swear to god if you don't quit whining and begging for money i'm switching back to windows! (ok, maybe not that far, but i'm definitely sticking with gentoo from now on.)

I hope they go out of business (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4932673)

Mandrake sucks.


It's their fault they're fucked, and they should go out of business.

OSS model is failing (-1)

slashuzer (580287) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932676)

Two days and two stories about companies based on OSS model literraly begging alms to survive. I ask again, just how is an OSS company to generate revenues for sustainable devlopment of its products? This seems to be the inherent weakness of this model. Sure, you can talk about "service" sector, but there Redhat is ruling. And it is not any easier for any newcomer to make a mark in the field as opposed to the "monopoly" market that is Microsoft.

It's too bad... (5, Insightful)

SiMac (409541) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932681)

That there's still no great open source business model. So far there have been "sell it under a different license" (MySQL) and "sell support" (Red Hat/MySQL/Mandrake) and "sell the CD image and don't provide it online, but make the software open source" (OpenBSD/UnitedLinux).

The third one tends to work the best. The problem is, I think, that many of the target consumers of this software don't feel like paying for it. The third one avoids this problem by requiring that you pay for it, or that you spend more time than anyone would reasonably spend trying to make your own version.

In the future, all open source projects may be forced to move to the third model. Not that this is such a bad thing, considering the only people who won't be able to get it are the people who caused the change in business model to occur in the first place.

Just my thoughts.

Re:It's too bad... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4932786)

That there's still no great open source business model. So far there have been "sell it under a different license" (MySQL) and "sell support" (Red Hat/MySQL/Mandrake) and "sell the CD image and don't provide it online, but make the software open source" (OpenBSD/UnitedLinux).

It seems to me that six months after RedHat switched from the "Sell support" model to the "don't make the binaries available for free" model they became profitable.

One Born Every Minute... (2)

reallocate (142797) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932691)

So, here's a for-profit company that isn't making a profit. What do they do? They ask people to send them money. In return for sending this company money, people will get...a chance to send them more money the next time they ask.

Mandrake is playing the so-called "Linux community" like it was one giant sucker.

Their business model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4932695)

1) Create linux distro
2) ???
3) Claim they are losing money
4) ???
5) Create 'club'
6) Scam bronze members
7) LOSS
8) ???
9) Beg for money.
?) ??????????????

But no PROFIT.

Re:Their business model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4932804)

Please mod parent up! I too used to use Mandrake, but got tired of their "join us" barrage and 'specials' for club memebers only. I thought buying the box set was enough, but apparently, no, I was still a second class citizen. I fsck'd the system recently and am now running Slackware; couldn't be happier. I haven't had any appeals from Patrick for money, but I'm going to buy 8.1 and then join the subscription starting with 9; I'm that happy with it and what I've learned from it. Slack's been around since 93 - perhaps Mdk needs to learn some things from them and not overreach as they have been.

P

Aha, proof! (1)

airrage (514164) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932697)

We finally have documented proof that Linux isn't free! :)

what a gift... (2)

greechneb (574646) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932703)

I got the email also, I can understand it, but even a marketing guy should know not many people are going to buy a mandrakeclub membership for a friend.

Kind of reminds me of the Friends episode where Chandler donates money to the New York Ballet in honor of co-workers for a Christmas gift.

I doubt they'll make much off of this...

Personally, I've tried mandrake, and thought that their control center was very touchy. It always seemed to lock up on me on the computers I've tried. I made the switch to redhat when mandrake released 8.1 and I tried that. That release made my server die, ended up having to reinstall from scratch.

Please help Mandrake! (0)

SteweyGriffin (634046) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932708)

I love Mandrake a ton and have been using it for nearly six months now!

I thought SuSE was easy to set up and get a usuable system, that looks like the dogs bollocks too!!!! I am well pleased!

The economics of the distro market (4, Interesting)

Ars-Fartsica (166957) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932712)

The economics of valud-added distribution of a free product are intersting indeed. Maybe the best analogue is the market for bottled water - take a free product that is easily obtained, although not always in the best form, and package it for consumption.

In any case, I don't see any viable market model for Mandrake. Even if someone were to pursue the Red-Hat aftermarket, its probably something best left to volunteers. The real competition here is in diversity - I am much more interested in (for example) Gentoo vs. Red Hat then Mandrake vs Red Hat.

What value does Mandrake add? (3, Interesting)

dnoyeb (547705) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932715)

What special does mandrake add that requires their existence?

With Redhat I can see they contribute to developing software that hits the community. I use redhat so I know that much, but could someone elinghten me on the value added by Mandrake?

You gotta provide a distinct service if you want to stay alive. I dont even pay redhat but I am considering joining the premium download club as one of my charitable efforts.

Yes their for profit, but their is nothign wrong with donating to a for-profit if their heart is right.

***Besides, if you never donate to _anything_, you can never withdraw your donation support in protest of bad decisions.***

Me too (5, Funny)

Pac (9516) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932720)

I have a start-up company and we make stuff, you know. People like it, our stuff. But people have not been buying so much of our stuff lately and Christmas is expensive with all this gifts and foods and, you guessed, stuff.

So, if you want to donate to my company, leave your email, phone number and the amount you would like to donate in a reply here. We will be contacting you soon (probably next year, Holidays being what they are). We will also send you a nice stuff T-shirt for you donnation.

slashdot...the insensitive clod.. (2)

ejaw5 (570071) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932726)

The company's finances are slim, yet we suck down their bandwidth which they must pay for.

Slashdot is giving Mandrake FREE PR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4932792)

You fucking moron.

+5 insightful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4932733)

They figured it out!!!

It used to be:
1. Develop open source software
2. ???
3. Profit!

??? = BEG FOR MONEY

YOU GUYS ARE GENIOUSES

True Free Software business model (2)

joestar (225875) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932734)

I think there approach is very smart in the Free Software community: in just a few year they succeeded to become one of the most popular Linux distro which very small means. For instance there are currently one of the most downloaded Linux distribution: http://download.com. It would be a pity that such great project disapears now. I wish them a very good luck and happy christmas.

How about some advice: stop selling free software (1)

shodson (179450) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932740)

Get a new business model. I will not donate to comapnies with bad business models. Let survival-of-the-fittest take its course.

Yeah its sad and all.. (5, Interesting)

antis0c (133550) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932742)

But why continue to throw money into toilet? It's already started flushing man, get out while you can. When a company begins a downward spiral like this, the first instinct it to start throwing some money into it, putting out fires here and there. However the damage is too much and without a huge investment, and I'm talking more than the Slashdot community could ever raise, its going to continue all the way down.

A second point to be made in this is Mandrake is a company. When they start begging for money like this to save the company, I want to see a plan. I want to know how my money is going to help. What they have is way to vague.

Our current cash needs are approximately 4ME ($4M USD). This level of cash infusion would resolve outstanding debts, cover the expenses needed to become profitable, plus secure an extra amount to satisfy the needs of future growth.

What kind of outstanding debt? Is my money going to pay for those 1,500 dollar Aeron chairs the executes who are already being paid 6 digit salary are sitting in? Is it to cover "corporate meetings" held at the Sheraton or some other overly expensive restraunt? Those are the things that bother me the most. I'd be more than glad to help a company that is going under due to the pressure of the market, but I want to know why they got to where they are now. Is it because of a sincere inability to raise profit and lower required expenses? Or is it because the executives demanded fresh squeezed juices while they sit back in an Aeron chair.

I'm not saying Mandrake is like that, but I know plenty of companies that are to be overly cautious about investing any money into a company about to go bankrupt.

Letter to Mandrake Users (2, Interesting)

Gareman (618650) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932743)

I understand their need to make money, but they should tweak their business model to make membership more valuable. Here's the letter they sent me today, which entices me to buy a membership in the Mandrake Club.

Flash: MandrakeSoft's Future

Many of you have followed the evolution of MandrakeSoft throughout the past few years. Everyone who is concerned with the company's future is encouraged to read and distribute the following message.

Despite the many financial challenges of maintaining a fully open source business model, MandrakeSoft has always followed the Free Software approach, but in this normally joyful holiday season we are experiencing a serious short-term cash crisis.

In order to reach the next release, MandrakeSoft currently needs to raise cash and quickly complete an Increase of Capital. Please take a moment to read this important message at the Mandrake Linux website: http://www.mandrakelinux.com/en/future.php3

We know you may have read our previous appeals, but if you are truly concerned about MandrakeSoft's future, now is the time to mobilize and help spread the word.

With the holidays upon us, a great way to spread some "Linux cheer" is by offering the gift of a MandrakeClub membership. The Club is a great way to support MandrakeSoft, and to help others too.

Sincerely,

The MandrakeSoft team.

Sigh. (5, Insightful)

Emmettfish (573105) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932750)

You know what? I've had enough. These people have burned through how many millions of dollars already? Meanwhile, we work our asses off, and I'm still concerned about how to pay my rent next month. If we had the kind of money that Mandrake has likely paid in taxes alone, we would be producing ungodly amounts of software.

By my watch, with the amount of money that Mandrake has already spent, they should have the absolute best commercial distribution of Linux available. There should be no question as to the performance of Mandrake compared to any other commercial version. They should be kicking ass and taking names. Unfortunately, the only ass they're kicking is the collective behind of the Linux community, and the only names they're taking are followed by credit card numbers.

Meanwhile, we're a non-profit company that produces the absolute best-of-class general-purpose audio compression codec in the world, proprietary or otherwise. We've been through recessions and poor economic times before; Hopefully we'll live through this one, too. Everybody and their brother has a Linux distribution; Why don't you support the smaller projects that actually make a difference?

Emmett Plant [mailto]
CEO, Xiph.org Foundation [xiph.org]

it would be so cool (1)

greymond (539980) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932756)

if Red Hat bought Mandrake - the merger of those 2 Linux companies would be dope - at least for us beginner users :) IMHO since I really feel torn between the 2. Theirs features like "Harddrake" that I really like on Mandrake - but Red Hat recognizes/includes more device/sound drivers without the hassle of looking up the drivers on the net and figuring out how to compile, modprobe, install, where they go etc...

And this is why "free" is "stupid." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4932759)

Look, look, look, I'm all for free and clear and good and brightness and light and Open Source and all that, but if all these idiots do is run themselves into the ground one after the other, what the fuck is the point?

Either you MAKE A GOOD PRODUCT and CHARGE FOR IT, or you shut the hell up. Redhat are making money because they're doing that, and while they're not making tons of money, at least they're fucking solvent! Hell, at least Microsoft is doing the right thing -- and yes, I do think XP is worth paying about $80 for, flame me at your fucking leisure. Do your worst. The shit runs and runs well, and I don't have them giving me guilt trip bullshit about supporting OpenWhatever so they can line the pockets they can't seem to fill on their own! ::deep breath...::

Look. Linux. Nice idea. Great idea. So, sell it. These fucks couldn't sell ETERNAL YOUTH if they had it, and Linux is damn close to that (IN THEORY, anyway). Charge a price for it that seems fair and people WILL pay for it.

Giving it away is attaching a level of contempt to it that people find hard to dismiss. Scream if you like, make nasty comments about what a failure shareware is if you like, but you know I'm right.

The Karma Asshole

Re:And this is why "free" is "stupid." (1)

PhreakinPenguin (454482) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932776)

Wow, amazing what people have the balls to say when they're anonymous. If you truly feel that way then sign in and let everyone know. If you don't mind being flamed, then what's the problem?

Looks like the French need saving... (0, Flamebait)

coldtone (98189) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932761)

again.

Re:Looks like the French need saving... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4932818)

Damn dirty rifle droppers.

"begging" as a business model? (1)

mikecheng (3359) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932763)

There seems to have been a recent change in how some people/businesses are coping with online financial difficulties - begging.

There's probably an earlier example, but save karyn [savekaryn.com] comes quickly to mind. She spent too much money on shoes on her credit card and she asked for donations to pay it back - and people did.... or at least, they pledged money. It's become enough of a phenomenom that there are articles on wired [wired.com] , caplan [jeremycaplan.com] , and newhouse [newhouse.com] and many many others. And that's mostly in the realm of personal begging.

Companies now seem to be joining in.
Mandrake now have this money drive, and another one earlier in the year. Gnome [slashdot.org] is asking for money. And there seems to be a trend of having software for ransom [slashdot.org] .

All of this concerns me because it seems that there a plethora of open source related companies/products that aren't viable on their own merits.

Mandrake is great. (2, Informative)

Jared Stattlemeyer (633329) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932764)

My company, UG-WebDesign, uses Mandrake Linux. I use Mandrake for the Web Server that runs our primary site along with several of our Clients sites. In addition, I also setup Mandrake Linux to run as our internal E-mail server.

The setup we are currently using is Mandrake Linux 9.0 running MySQL 3.23.52, Apache 1.3.26, and PHP 4.2.3. Along with the we are running Postfix and the IMAP server for our internal E-mail.

We originally started with Mandrake Linux 8.0, but tried several competing solutions including FreeBSD 4.7, RedHat 7.2, RedHat 8.0, and Windows XP Professional. For our needs, we finally decided to return to Mandrake Linux as the best of choice. With this, we gave Mandrake Linux 9.0 a try and haven't looked back since. Our main reasons were that Mandrake Linux was the fastest, most stable option for us as our Hardware is slightly aged. We see minimal slow-downs even with steady work loads. This is especially noticeable when comparing Mandrake Linux to the Windows XP server we tested. The Windows XP server couldn't handle more than a few simultaneous connections before seriously beginning to slow down the entire network.

We will continue to use Mandrake Linux 9.0. At least until the next Mandrake release. :)

From today's email (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4932771)

Flash: MandrakeSoft's Future

Many of you have followed the evolution of MandrakeSoft throughout the past few years. Everyone who is concerned with the company's future is encouraged to read and distribute the following message.

Despite the many financial challenges of maintaining a fully open source business model, MandrakeSoft has always followed the Free Software approach, but in this normally joyful holiday season we are experiencing a serious short-term cash crisis.

In order to reach the next release, MandrakeSoft currently needs to raise cash and quickly complete an Increase of Capital. Please take a moment to read this important message at the Mandrake Linux website: http://www.mandrakelinux.com/en/future.php3

We know you may have read our previous appeals, but if you are truly concerned about MandrakeSoft's future, now is the time to mobilize and help spread the word.

With the holidays upon us, a great way to spread some "Linux cheer" is by offering the gift of a MandrakeClub membership. The Club is a great way to support MandrakeSoft, and to help others too.

Sincerely,

The MandrakeSoft team.

OK, I Installed Mandrake (1)

SteweyGriffin (634046) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932777)

...but how the hell do I actually program?

I used to use WordPad in Windows 2000 to edit Active Server Pages (.asp) when I used to design Web pages for businesses around the neighborhood.

But I recently switched to Mandrake and it seems cool and really easy to use, but I still have no idea how to code stuff. I'm trying to learn PHP so that I can use Apache/PHP/MySQL and build weblog sites, but I can't find anything that works better than Pico. And Pico is only viewable in the Terminal window, so it's not really helpful (can't cut+paste, etc.).

Any suggestions?

Thanks.

Re:OK, I Installed Mandrake (1)

PhreakinPenguin (454482) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932800)

Tools to use: vi

Sites to go to:
http://www.phpbuilder.com
http://www.php.net /manual/

Donate to a project with a solid product instead.. (2)

al3x (74745) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932783)

...like maybe Gentoo, if we're gonna talk distros? Having done several installfests, my university LUG has had consistent problems with various versions of the Mandrake distro on a variety of pretty generic, stable hardware. Mandrake used to have a rep for ease of use and a slick installer, but these days all they're known for is bloat and instability, at least in my circles. All corporate wellfare issues aside, put your money where the product is; in the Linux realm, that means RedHat for everyday use and Gentoo for power use. Mandrake can go hang.

Mandrake Club (2)

shatfield (199969) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932788)

While I am a fan of the "Club" concept, let's find out if it is any good.

If anyone that is a member of this "club" is reading, can you explain to those of us who aren't what is good (and bad?) about this club?

Thanks!

Maybe they would have more $ if (2)

Znonymous Coward (615009) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932790)

They weren't maintaining so many websites...

http://www.mandrakesoft.com/
http://www.mandrak estore.com/
http://www.mandrakeclub.com/
http:// www.mandrakeexpert.com/
http://www.mandrakebizcas es.com/
http://www.mandrakeforum.com/
http://www .mandrakeuser.org/
http://www.mandrakesecure.net/
http://www.mandrakeonline.net/

Well, come on.... (2)

cybermace5 (446439) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932793)

I'm about to quit bothering with Mandrake anymore. They removed their 486 distribution from the mirrors! It's nearly impossible to find now. I burned a CD of the 486 7.0 distro, and the next month it was gone. I use it as a simple way to put moderate functionality into some of these 486 boxes I have lying around. It runs ok on 486's around 50MHz+. However, I tried to go find txt_bootnet.img for it, and everything had vanished. Redhat 6.0 bootnet disks nearly work, and I did find something on a mandrake-CLE server in Taiwan. Don't know if it works yet.

If Mandrake wants people to like and buy their distribution, they shouldn't actually go through the effort of wiping their old distributions out of existence. I though some of the ideas were pretty neat, but won't buy a distro that not only completely drops support for older systems, but makes sure you can never get the old distro again.

Anyone want a mandrake486 cd? I'll burn you a CD free and send it for price of Priority Mail postage ($3.20). I'll only send out ten total, just want to make sure other people have it, so it won't completely vanish.

This the business model of the 2ks? (2)

OS24Ever (245667) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932794)

So now when Amazon isn't going to make their quarterly profit they should turn on the amazon 'donte now' buttons and we'll all save them out of the goodness of our heart?

Oh no, Playstation 2 is behind schedule cuz it costs too much, donte money now!

this is a bit on the weird side folks. maybe it's the codeine i've been taking for my surgery but this just don't work for me.

It's sad, but... (2)

Henry V .009 (518000) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932797)

Don't throw good money after bad. Your money will not save Mandrake. Instead, it will wind up in a few lucky creditors' (and their lawyers') pockets after bankruptcy proceedings.

If you have some money that you want to donate to a good cause, pick one where it will do some good. I don't care whether it's the Salvation Army or the EFF, but be effective with your donations. Let the market take care of the less effective corporations--that's what it does.

Certainly, but (1)

gomoX (618462) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932802)

I think many of you are the same who post "linux better than windows on desktop" and all that stuff.
Have you ever thought that about ALL the people that gets started with linux does it with mandrake linux?
Because it's easy.
This is the only corporation that really helps the linux community. Many of you certainly would have tried linux if your linux buddy told you "yes, try debian, i can't guarantee it'll work if you don't know all the crappy commands but, whatever, they're a non-profit corp!".
Yeah sure, Mandrake is giving away for free a great product for beginners or simply for all those who want linux but don't really care about configs and servers and all the command line thing.
Personally I started with mandrake. I guess i could have started with redhat too, since i had quite an idea on how it works. But many of the REAL beginners would never try linux if not because there's this easy distribution.
I certainly can install and get to work slackware, debian, gentoo and many more, but the new users in the community come from Mandrake. Not for any of the "hard" distros.
Realize it: if linux has grown so much it's a LOT because of Mandrake. So don't act as an idiot, if you won't give away your money, that's cool, but let the others think without all your stupid "ugly distro" shit.
IMHO, of course.

I hope it dies! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4932806)

I paid £70 for the 8.1 PowerPack last christmas it was the most buggiest linux distro I ever seen!

I got more bang for my quid with SuSe 8.0, and I'm using it now because it aint a hacked together mess like mandrake is!

Any way "Man-drake" sounds like gay slang!

Data. (2)

bmetz (523) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932810)

I'm sorry, but "we swear things are looking up" isn't going to cut it. Exciting new announcements? Come on, this vague language worked in the dot com era.

Let me spell it out for you guys: show us graphs. Show us numbers. Let's see your exact plan for ending your reliance on our philanthropy. I wanna know what your assumptions are.

The only data points I have right now are:
- You sell something that you also give away for free, with little obvious value-add in the for-sale version
- Your business model, despite mumblings otherwise, has relied in the past on the goodwill of the community
- The goodwill of the community is running out

let them go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4932813)

Get red hat

Oh, crap. (-1)

MondoMor (262881) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932817)

And I was just getting ready to start a "Mandrake is dying" troll thing going. It's no fun now that it's really happening.

I have a reason to support them. (1)

Esther Sassaman (633346) | more than 11 years ago | (#4932821)

My company is an ASP for the major computer vendors. In the shop itself, I use Mandrake Linux 9.0 on my work machine, haven't ran any MS for years. Besides my machine, we use a Mandrake Linux 8.2 machine to access our FACTS software that runs on a SCO box, with the secondary purpose to test Epson and HP scanners, network printers of all makes and models, and an example to customers so they can see what else is out there.

The software ordered is for a customer of ours. They use Mandrake Linux 8.2 for SMB filesharing for their PeachTree application, serving printers, DHCP, Internet connection, mail server, web server, etc. The Samba filesharing has turned out really nice, and has a considerable performance increase, as well as stability, over their Novell 4.12 server. The network connectivity has never been better, running their own mail server has proved very valuable, and the remote administration through Webmin and ssh is a priceless commodity.

At home, I run Mandrake Linux 9.0 as my main OS, dual booting to WinXP ONLY for MechWarrior 4 and Hitman 2: Silent Assasin. The rest of my games I run in Linux, including Unreal Tournament 2003, Return to Castle Wolfenstein, and Jedi Knight 2. I also use OpenOffice constantly, do PHP web design, program up some Python, and frown whenever my WineX doesn't run a game, so I have to boot into XP.

I started my Linux experience back in 94 with Slackware, moved to Red Hat, tried a plethora of other distro's, and wouldn't go back to any of them, not since finding Mandrake Linux!
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