[Ardour-Dev] Funding: Build and Sell Hardware

Mark Knecht markknecht at gmail.com
Thu Jan 22 21:14:23 PST 2009

On Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 8:49 PM, Patrick Shirkey
<pshirkey at boosthardware.com> wrote:
> Mark Knecht wrote:
>>> It's a pity. I think it would save a lot of time and hassles for most
>>> people
>>> but I guess we all have hackers trying to access our latest tracks and
>>> don't
>>> want to run the risk of having the box auto update while it is being used
>>> or
>>> maybe just don't want to have *potential* inefficiencies...
>>>> Just an idea how we non-developers could work together to provide some
>>>> value to future users.
>>> A very valuable idea.
>>> Of course if it actually makes money then someone is gonna fork it just
>>> to
>>> spite you from selling out and being successful because you have offended
>>> their vision of open source.
>> Yeah, there's that, but  I don't think 'racks' per se - if they are
>> something like Ardour templates - are covered by GPL anyway. Ardour
>> session files aren't covered. That's proprietary or you'd have to give
>> me all your sound files, right? That stuff is yours. This stuff - just
>> a bunch of templates -  is ours. If someone wants to cop a copy then
>> it's no big deal really. In some way that's what we're all doing right
>> now.
>> I think it's more about finding 100 studios around the world that
>> might have a small interest in using Linux in some small way and then
>> just leveraging this collective knowledge we all have to make it
>> easier for them. To me it's a no brainer that if I'm running a
>> business and someone can take an old PC with a good quality sound card
>> and make it, through no effort of my own, into something useful for my
>> studio, then maybe I'd take a chance. $50/month. $25. Whatever they
>> give it helps Paul and the others.
>> But heck, I'm a dreamer... ;-)
> I like the angle and I think it has some very real potential.
> In order to take it a step further we would need to define what exactly we
> were offering and who was going to do what and when.
> Because we are all spread across different time zones it would be relatively
> easy for us to cover the 24 hour period. We would need some kind of roster
> to make sure everyone knew who was responsible for first response.
> Just pointing people to the list is not gonna cut it so we would need to
> have a proper, private support desk with tickets etc...

Very true, but maybe a group of people working as a support
organization is exactly what keeps a fork from being as successful?
Sure, they (the forked group) can always get 98% of the contents for
free - if they really, really want to they can probably get 100%. But
can they package it up, make it work, and be there to support some guy
in a studio who's having trouble or even just has a question. You
could have a subscriber's only email list for support. Forums you have
to log into to get the racks. The Open Source part is of immense
value, but in my mind that not really what someone might be paying
for, not as much as having someone like Patrick Shirkey to hold his
hand at 2AM when it's 9AM where ever you might be.

So, a Live CD that boots a distro, pops up Ardour and gives you access
to a bunch of different pre-configured templates with sub-buses
defined and plugins preplaced. A mixer like hdspmixer ready to run -
there's a place we can help - the guy tells us what his physical
inputs and outputs do and we configure the mixer to do the routing
correctly so he never deals with it if he doesn't need to.

If the guy likes the CD we have a way to get it on his hard drive for
him. All pretty standard Knoppix/Dyne::Bolic like stuff that I don't
know how to do but I think many around here might. Or we just mod one
of theirs to make it ours. I did help one well known member some years
ago get his first Gentoo machine going over the net. We've never met
to this day but he is one of my best Linux buddies now. Doing that
with some studio guys would be great. If we happen to have someone
close to the guy physically then maybe we can even stop in at the
studio once in a while to say hi, help out? I don't know.

I think the value is in having the people behind it more than just the
software. Maybe it's a way for people with different talents and
interests to make different contributions - making and testing racks,
doing documentation, running a forum, I don't know.

Maybe there's some opportunity to get something like this discussed in
TapeOp? Give a copy to a few of the writers. Or to get Dave Philips to
do some sort of Linux magazine reviews to get the word out? Not yet
obviously, but as a way to start the ball rolling later.

- Mark

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