[rescue] Vendor software support [was Re: RPi vs SS20 benchmarks (interesting)]

Mouse mouse at Rodents-Montreal.ORG
Fri Jan 1 16:01:00 CST 2016

> Even the few linux boxes that are there are very much treated like
> commercial software.  Support is paid for and also expected to work
> like commercial software.

That's easy to achieve with Linux; you just need to ignore the huge
user support infrastructure that's grown up.  If you really want it to
work just the same, hire someone to answer a phone and tell you it
might be fixed in the next release.

Yes, I'm more than a touch cynical of vendor support.  I have two main
reasons for that.

One is that I went through my larval phase under VMS, back when DEC was
still DEC.  I/we submitted something like a half-dozen SPRs, and the
only one we ever receved _anything_ back in response to was brainfade
on my part.

The other is that I once did a little consluting on a gig for JPL
(someone else was primary; I was ancillary).  This was back in the days
when the Sun-4/110, I think it was, was a going concern.  JPL had
bought the right to "internal support" from Sun (which, supposedly,
meant that you could reach one of their internal techs) - and, every
time we called, we already knew the system better than the person we
spoke with did.

The only way I've gotten decent software support out of a vendor is to
already personally know a geek inside the company - and, arguably,
that's not really getting support out of the company, but rather out of
the individual.  I've also seen it happen when the company is no
larger than a handful of people, but I've never been on the customer
side of such a case, always on the vendor side.)

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