[ubuntu-my] Ubuntu-my Digest, Vol 18, Issue 4

zarul shahrin zarulshahrin at gmail.com
Fri Jun 20 03:49:04 BST 2008

On Thu, Jun 19, 2008 at 7:15 PM, Pepper Lim <pepperlim at 3people.org> wrote:

>  After reading Zarul's post, I felt very compelled to share my ideas
> immediately. I hope you will take some time to read this.
> I'm all for open source software and keeping software free (as in free
> beer) forever. But I read an interesting interview with Mark Shuttleworth
> where he describes plans to make Canonical profitable in order to pay the
> core staff who will work on Ubuntu. When I read that, I suddenly understood
> how Ubuntu could be free for you and me. It is free because Canonical is
> "paying" for it. You can see a list of commercial services by Canonical here
> http://www.canonical.com/services

> This is similar to the "problem with paying for water" - water is given by
> God so it should be free. So why is Syabas charging us for it?! Well, the
> answer is simple: Syabas builds the dams to store the water, they clean the
> water, they build the pipes to bring water to house etc. In short, we are
> paying for their service. I am applying the same concept to my idea.
> In a nutshell, my plan is to turn a profit as we promote Ubuntu to small
> and medium businesses. I see it as a win-win situation. We get some payment
> (service fee) to keep a core staff who in turn will provide support
> (service) to our customers. Customers on the other hand get free software
> (Ubuntu) and terrific service, tech support, software training etc. from our
> staff.
> Just a quick glance: it costs about RM2400++ to install Windows XP, MS
> Office, Norton AV, Nero 7 and WinZip Pro on 1 (one) PC. 10 PCs in a medium
> company will mean RM24,000 on software alone! The cost goes up to RM6300++
> if Photoshop and Illustrator is installed too. I thought, why not charge a
> small fraction of that and convince the small and medium companies to switch
> to Ubuntu. Many companies are still using pirated software that are unable
> to receive software updates. So rather than risk having BSA come knocking on
> their doors, we will convert them to Ubuntu users.

My simple question, before you continue with all the story.. Mark
Shuttleworth and most of the people in the core team have been involved with
open source development for years and one thing for sure, they didn't start
it with "profit" in mind. In other words, they don't simply do things for
money. All these come later, in other words they deserved it.. But please
tell me, what have you done to the open source community in the past, how
much have you contributed? (things which don't bring in profit..).. Sorry, I
am not questioning you credibility, but I am just wondering as I considered
myself not doing enough for the community to even think about making $$$
from it..

> We will need to overcome the following problems:
>    1. Wrong perception - people view free stuff as lousy, poor support,
>    here-today-gone-tomorrow.
>    2. Difficult to use - people are usually resistant to change.
>    3. BSA won't raid them - judging by the events unfolding in the USA,
>    Britain etc. it won't be long before they really do come-a-knocking!
> If all goes well, Malaysia's Ubuntu community can stand proud with the best
> Ubuntu communities from around the world. I hope you continue your struggle
> with us, brother Zarul.
Well, well well, I have struggled, that's something for sure.. Let me tell
you a story..

When I first founded the local group about 4 years ago and was active with
the group, Ubuntu wasn't as famous as now, it was new and people
underestimated it. In Malaysia, there is nearly no coverage and nobody even
talk that much about it, people were talking about RedHat, Fedora, Debian,
BSD etc etc..  Nobody cares about Ubuntu... hey, it's just another new
distro... I didn't see much people shouting about bringing ubuntu to
Malaysia bla bla bla bla or live and die for it... To be honest with you, if
anyone bothered to put any serious attention on it, I wouldn't be the
founder, Some so called #1 local "OSS supporter" would have founded it. But
well, sad to say, nobody did, so I founded it,  whether you like it or

But... A couple of years later, suddenly Ubuntu became a "BOOM"... Canonical
not only, giving morale support, but also financial support to the
groups...It has become a real boom that Dell decided to have it as an option
for the choice of OS, and Universities started to show their interest,  our
government even announced that they are encouraging their agencies to use
Open Source Products, and Ubuntu seems like a good choice for them.. and
then suddenly, If previously only me and couple of people were distributing
CDs, and posting on the mailing list, suddenly so many people came in and
claimed themselves as someone who live and die with OSS especially Ubuntu.
Many of those, I don't remember seeing them doing anything earlier suddenly
came out from nowhere with a masterplan about making Ubuntu community as #1
in Malaysia. Wow, that's great.. But, I have one problem... I can see "$$"
blinking in their eyes...

Look at our mailing list, How many people actually interested i posting
anything useful though I have been mentioning so many times that this is our
#1 communication channel? It's so simple, you don't have to login or
anything everyday, no firewall will block it.. almost everyone in the group
has email, and check their email.. But hey, mailing list sux, I can't even
put advertisement on it and it doesn't run on my server for me to feel in

Let me tell you another story, some people came to me , asking about
organizing some events etc etc.. But one thing for sure, most of them are
more interested with the "sponsors" that will sponsor the event than
anything else... "Maybe we can ask bla bla bla to give some $$$$$ to sponsor
bla bla bla", so event event event, sponsorship sponsorship,sponsorship, $$$
$$$ $$$... Money is always the first thing in their mind....

So my question is, why not before? Why not thinking about bringing Ubuntu to
Malaysian 3-4 years ago? Why only now? Why Ubuntu instead of RedHat ,
Debian, Gentoo,Mandrake etc etc now? They are free too and talking about
user friendly.. I think they are user friendly too... In fact, they have
been around for long time and probably used by most of the people who used
linux back then... This is what made me keep on wondering, why suddenly so
many people are interested to bring Ubuntu to the next level in Malaysia and
came out with a so many master plan, and most of the time, there is profit
behinds it... I seriously don't understand why why why...

I am not a hypocrite, we talk rubbish about Microsoft, but hey! Atleast
Microsoft products are meant to be commercial since day 1, and they are
honest about it.  But many of the people behind the OSS communities claiming
themselves doing it in the spirit of that software should be free for all,
but the truth is, they have their own hidden agenda..

Nothing is wrong about making proft from OSS. But it's so wrrrooong when the
first thing that came to your mind when you look at them is , "$$$$" buy
you're claiming  that you're doing it for people..

A businessman is always a businessman , charity always mean marketing to


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> than "Re: Contents of Ubuntu-my digest..."
> Today's Topics:
>    1. Re:  Bringing Ubuntu and open source to Malaysians (Tho Man)
>    2. Re:  Bringing Ubuntu and open source to Malaysians (Donald P Kong)
>    3. Re:  Bringing Ubuntu and open source to Malaysians (zarul shahrin)
>    4. Re:  Bringing Ubuntu and open source to Malaysians (Altaf Jauhar)
>    5. Re:  Ubuntu-my Digest, Vol 18, Issue 3 (Pepper Lim)
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Message: 1
> Date: Wed, 18 Jun 2008 22:32:53 +0800
> From: "Tho Man" <shuhaimie at gmail.com> <shuhaimie at gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [ubuntu-my] Bringing Ubuntu and open source to Malaysians
> To: "Malaysian Team Mailing List" <ubuntu-my at lists.ubuntu.com> <ubuntu-my at lists.ubuntu.com>
> Message-ID:
> 	<9ce5212a0806180732u184af83dr199cef09a86762df at mail.gmail.com> <9ce5212a0806180732u184af83dr199cef09a86762df at mail.gmail.com>
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> this would be nice....i like to join but my time is limited....may be we can
> have a brainstorming online how we can tap a market on this.
> why not start a google group and we can discuss bout this...
> make money is always something good to me..hehehehe...
> On Wed, Jun 18, 2008 at 4:09 PM, Pepper Lim <pepperlim at 3people.org> <pepperlim at 3people.org> wrote:
>  I'm not sure if I'm going about this correctly. I couldn't find the
> rules for posting at https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-my
> so forgive me if this posting is inappropriate.
> I've been thinking of a plan to bring Ubuntu and open source software to
> Malaysians and Malaysian companies. It comprises of a business plan
> (making money while we have fun kicking Microsoft's butt) and a few
> other ideas.
> I would be interested to meet anyone else who would like to brainstorm
> this idea. Please email me at pepperlim at 3people.org or call me at
> 012-2951245
> --
> --
> Pepper Lim
> 012-2951245pepperlim at 3people.org
> Pepper's "Lim Family Tree" http://www.3people.org/limfamilytree
> BBBS Old Boys' Association website http://www.3people.org/bbbssoba
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> Ubuntu-my mailing listUbuntu-my at lists.ubuntu.com
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> --
> Pepper Lim
> 012-2951245pepperlim at 3people.org
> Pepper's "Lim Family Tree" http://www.3people.org/limfamilytree
> BBBS Old Boys' Association website http://www.3people.org/bbbssoba
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