[rescue] Re: the infamous missing CD

Earl D. Baugh Jr. earl at baugh.org
Thu Sep 4 16:59:16 CDT 2003

 I did take the points to heart that I was being harsh in my response and
being way more angry than I needed to be.   
Points taken, and I wrote an apology to the person at Sun I was dealing
with.   I also wrote up a clear explanation
of what I thought Sun could do to improve the experience folks had when
downloading Solaris.  They said thanks and would
forward it to the appropriate people.

However, I am still bothered by what I consider Sun's sloppiness. 

I'd also like to reply to some of the general points people sent me (both
on list and off...)

1) How did you get this to happen, it hasn't ever happened to me.

        For this install, I installed a full install of Solaris 9.  Part
of what I do with the installs I do when going to a new release of
Solaris is to load the full install to examine the full set of what's
available with this new release.  I've found many tools that are very
useful this way, and have learned about a lot of functionality that
Solaris has to offer.  It's helped me make stronger business cases for
utilizing Solaris boxes, when I can describe to management what
functionality I get "out of the box" with Solaris, that I may not or
would not get with another platform.   It's basically a way for me to
learn more about the operating system.  Pkgrm works just fine to clean up
or remove packages that I find that I don't need or can't utilize in my
work or home environment.  I have found it's easier to load it all and
remove it, rather than try to load it afterwards, YMMV, but I find less
problems with dependencies that way.  So, that may be why others haven't
seen the OS prompt for this CD, or the Documentation CD in Solaris 9
4/03   So, I'm not just trying to get a "basic" Solaris system up, but
rather a complete system up, because I'm not just using it for home use. 
And, yes, I do and did know that I could exit out of the install when
these were asked for (and this is what I did, and continued on...but was
concerned and questioning why the install would ask me if some package
didn't want something from there...) 

2)  It's free, you should be glad for what you get.

So, do people really think that since there is a "free" download, I, as a
consumer, shouldn't have any expectations that it's either complete, or
will install cleanly?
That to me is amazing.  I don't have that expectation of Apache, or any
open source project.  Why would I have that about Sun?

3) The web site is clear this isn't the same as the media kit.

Nowhere that I can find on their site, in the FAQ, or the pages you go
thru to get to the download, do they indicate that the free download is
anything different than the media kit.   Could someone please show me on
Sun's site where it says that you won't get the same content for the free
download?  (I'm starting at
http://wwws.sun.com/software/solaris/binaries/get.html  and also on
http://wwws.sun.com/software/solaris/binaries/package.html )

I'd expect it to be noted somewhere, quite clearly, that "the packages in
the free download do not consist of the same content, as would be
obtained if you purchased a media kit." (which would make it much easier
to make the decision on whether or not to purchase the media kit...so I'd
think this would be there as a simple marketing point at the least...) In
the install doc, I'd expect that it'd say that  "for a full install <or
whatever options make this pop-up> the install program will ask you for
<CD> which is not part of the free download, which you must skip". 

The impression I got was that they were offering the same product content
for "free download" as a convenience for SPARC users .   This helps Sun
keep their hardware running their OS, and helps them maintain the user
base they have.  I understood the difference to be that I'd get some hard
copy documentation,  and two forms of media (CD and DVD) for buying a
media kit.....they make that differentiation between the media kits quite
clearly, but fail to put a column to indicate how the free download is

 In their FAQ   (http://wwws.sun.com/software/solaris/binaries/faq.html
)it says  that:

The cost of the Solaris 9 SPARC platform download images are built in to
our overhead cost since the SPARC OS is developed specifically for our
Sun Systems.

So, it would seem to support the above, and imply that license costs are
built into the overhead....

4)  You're being unfair to call this a bait-and-switch.

The definition of "bait and switch" according to
http://www.investorwords.com/cgi-bin/getword.cgi?389 (which is "illegal"
in the stock arena, but quite clearly not in this case) is:

A tactic in which a seller advertises a product with the intention of
persuading customers to purchase a more expensive product.

Given :
        A) The last two free downloads generate errors in their full
        B) That one would assume that Sun TESTS out their install
program, and clearly knows what it's going to ask for or need
        C) Sun leaving their free download in this state for the last  4
months (and probably the next 4 months)  without any sort of note or
qualification that
        one should expect these errors...

This all seems to me to be at best an unintentional way to mislead
folks.  It make me strongly consider whether or not I needed to get the
"official" release
cause it wasn't clear to me what else I was missing.  That to me,
qualifies as the definition above, given I'd be going from free to $50 or

6)  You're a hobbiest, and you're being unreasonable to by asking for
even more free.

As a bit of background, I am not just a "hobbiest".......while not
currently a systems administrator...though I was earlier in my career,
and have been director of IT departments....I have been (until the last
few months at my new job) responsible as the final decision maker for the
platform for entire product lines.  When I'd purchasing over $1Mil worth
of Sun equipment I stopped keeping track ....... I have always maintained
service contracts on all the machines under my control....and have had my
home machines, until recently, covered under Sun support contracts, paid
for from part of my salary..... and I took a salary hit to do this.  I
also own a fair amount of Sun stock.     I've also bought a fair number
of my SBUS cards from Sun, new, retail price.  Sun's gotten plenty of
money both from and via me.   I have asked very nicely  for new drivers
or updates from Sun, and have never gotten so much as a sticker from them
without paying at least an upgrade fee......in my impression Sun always
acts as a business and always tries to get as much $$ as I'm willing to
part with. 

But I still really like their hardware, and OS, and will continue to
recommend their products.   To me, they beat the alternatives.......


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