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Re: Competition

Hi Daniel,

On 8/26/2011 2:19 PM, Daniel Carrera wrote:

Ok, that's fair enough. I don't do *any* of those things. I didn't even
understand some of those items.

This might be an odd question, but what do you use NetBSD for? It's not
obvious to me what role it plays for someone whose job is to do the
things you listed above.

I design embedded systems.  As well as prepare proposals for the
designs (hence the DTP uses) and the documentation for the finished
products.  So, I need to be able to draw schematics, simulate
portions of the (hardware) design, layout circuit boards, etc.

And, write the *software* for those systems.

(also, since more and more of them are "network aware", the NetBSD
machines give me a means of testing, validating and *attacking* my
network stacks as well as the services running on these devices)

But, I also use my machines for other "informal" activities as well.

Wait until you have to do some 3D CAD work for a client. And *they*
use some Windows-based CAD tool :>

Or, the scanner you have isn't supported by SANE.

Or, the DVD rendering tool doesn't take advantage of all of the
cores in your processor so you wait 2 or 4 times longer to encode
the video.

Well, I don't work on CAD, I don't make DVDs and the scanner I have at
home works with SANE :-)

I have a slide scanner, film scanner, B-size scanner and a typical
A-size scanner w/ADF.  If sane won't handle all of them, then what
value does it have (to me)?

When I need an office program I run OpenOffice. For photo editing I use
GIMP. When I want to draw something I may use OO or Inkscape depending
on what I need. My plantearium program is Stellarium. My scientific work
is done in Fortran compiled with GCC.

But, these are all "your" tools. You don't have to answer to an
employer, client, customer, etc. You can chose to ride a SKATEBOARD
around town -- so long as you don't ever have to pick up guests at
the airport! ;-)

True. My supervisor mainly cares about the results. He doesn't care much
what software I use to analyze my data or create my plots as long as it
works (I use a Perl script to do the analysis and pipe the results to

That sounds unusually tolerant.  Are you living in Academia, perchance?

Your demands might not be the same as mine -- or other folks. You
might not have to interface to other staff that are already *using*
those tools. Your time may have different value (to you) than mine
does to me (or my client).

As it turns out, most of my friends seem to use Ubuntu, but that's just
a coincidence. We don't need to "interface" via software. I present my
results at the departmental meetings and for that we all use a white
board and printed graphs.

If I draft a schematic, I have to ensure that the PCB layout tool
can *read* that schematic.  The output (photoplot) from the PCB tool
has to be comprehensible to the PCB fabricator.  The part list from
the schematic tool has to be compatible with the MRP system the
client has in place.  etc.

It is rare that something will exist in isolation, for me (even
paper documents need to be transported to print shops, posted on
web pages, etc. -- this affects the fonts used, document format,

I had always assumed that BSD users would feel similar. I had assumed
that everyone on this list *likes* running NetBSD or *BSD and naturally
would want to use it on their desktop rather than endure Windows.

You're missing the point. It's not a case of "want".

Ok. Are you saying that you'd like to use NetBSD as your desktop but
practical considerations force you to use Windows?

Yes.  For example, any "pro bono" work that I do (typically, 500-1000
hours annually) -- where *I* have exclusive control of how things are
done -- tends to gravitate towards FOSS.  It places no demands on those
that will eventually have to maintain my work later (by contrast, if I
had to take a commercial tool and ensure its continued availability at
some future date, then I -- or someone else -- has to ante up the money
to purchase that license...)

And, it (hopefully) entices that future maintainer to look into
something (FOSS) that he/she might not otherwise have done (since
it is a lot easier to maintain an existing system with its existing
toolchain than to risk porting the whole thing to a different
toolchain -- esp when that existing toolchain is "free"!)

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