About Armbian's business model ?

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igorpec
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About Armbian's business model ?

Post by igorpec »

deelan wrote:
Thu Nov 25, 2021 5:47 am
I'm hoping that by using petitboot I can achieve a less fragile boot process, but it won't work either like I stated.
Stock Hardkernel boot loader along with dirty hack to the kernel code will surely be less fragile in this, but using their u-boot kernel combo is (for us and most of Linux distributions) out of question since kernel breaks some of other vendors boards the exact same way.

I made a dozens of reboot tests on HC4 (don't have spare C4 for testings nor time) and it never hanged at boot loader. You can step up and cover expenses we have for R&D and fixing bugs or just use Hardkernel code. Which works good enough for most of the people.
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Re: Multi boot and USB booting with ODROID-C4

Post by odroid »

@igorpec,
You can freely asking for money on your own forum. But. please stop begging here.
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Re: Multi boot and USB booting with ODROID-C4

Post by igorpec »

odroid wrote:
Thu Nov 25, 2021 6:07 pm
@igorpec,
You can freely asking for money on your own forum. But. please stop begging here.
Screenshot from 2021-11-25 18-05-58.png
I assume you will add this to the forum rules? There are many developers on this forum that are "begging" for help, appreciation or covering some costs? In a short time I have found three regulars of this community asking to support their work. One of them is even IIRC your employee / contractor? Strangely we don't have developers begging on our forums, but developers united in action for the common cause.

I am pretty sure, nobody from them, including us or me personally, doesn't need to beg or rely on that tiny income. If you haven't realised so far, we invest into open source a lot. It is also briefly describe "how" in that FAQ. Some investments pays of, others don't. That's life.

If end user, general person, random Joe is bullying us for something, demanding that a bug has to be solved, he will be reminded who is paying the bill. We owe them nothing. Mind and respect that critical difference and perhaps start support open source. Its an investments that pays off.
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Re: Multi boot and USB booting with ODROID-C4

Post by mad_ady »

I haven't seen memeka nor escalade being active on the forum for at least a year... Hope they are doing allright!

I have no desire to get into a flame war, but open-source means the community pushes fixes/features and doesn't pay for them (pays with their time instead of money). Getting donations to cover infrastructure costs is ok, but it becomes a nuisance when you begin adding banners on every page asking for donations, just like Wikipedia used to do.

If a community doesn't have a critical mass of developers to put in the time/effort mostly for their own benefit, it's doomed to fail as an opensource project.
To draw in more money you could offer commercial services for businesses - to implement some features, provide training and support. But it becomes a business, not a hobby.

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Re: Multi boot and USB booting with ODROID-C4

Post by igorpec »

mad_ady wrote:
Thu Nov 25, 2021 8:43 pm
I have no desire to get into a flame war, but open-source means the community pushes fixes/features and doesn't pay for them (pays with their time instead of money). Getting donations to cover infrastructure costs is ok, but it becomes a nuisance when you begin adding banners on every page asking for donations, just like Wikipedia used to do.
This was perhaps in 90". In the past 20-30 years market changed a lot. I can easily cover infrastructure cost (a few cheap VPS servers which most people see as what is needed, while in reality we have a huge and expensive pre owned infrastructure) with a cash that I am holding in my pocket right now, but I can't pay for the time people will lost dealing with the project. Volunteers comes only for the jobs that are super cool and advance them. Strange, right? :) What about other critical "human infrastructure" nobody is willing to volunteer?

I am not asking for donations but denying interaction without a trade, only with general "as is" support contract. Informing Hardkernel client(s) that if they want something to be done for them, we can provide an invoice for services. With those we are not even covering the costs, so we can't be the one taking the profit from community, hw vendors are. Also business users expect that this work is free and vendors does little to help in this regard.

I work as a senior developer few hours per day and if I blow my time for my contractor or for sbc vendor (clients) or nobody in particular interest, it's the same. Time flies. Usually none represent my need. But if you look solo into problem solving, you will be missing the big picture. In all those years I also learned that relationship with hardware "gods" and software is ... complicated.

Donation is to say thanks for what you received, not to pay for services. Beauty of open source software is that anyone can look into the code and repair problems. Not to beg developers to fix them something. We didn't sell hardware that runs Armbian, so we can't justify time lost for clients that purchase poorly supported hardware and run our software, which is usually better quality. Especially not for end users. They are in biggest numbers and expect software (support) is free and everything is fixed NOW & free of charge. We communicate that anyone can hire a developer that will solve them problems and then they can send a patch to some common place & share with community without creating more damages. Either to us or upstream Linux directly. How about that as a first option? To extreme optimism? :D

I bet you are not a developer, but anyway it's not relevant. To run project of this size, development is actually the last thing you need to worry about. As you already exposed, community is generally eiger to help solving problems - if they can, mostly they can't and if costs of helping are not too extreme - so they would need to work months on something. We are organised community, a company if you want, and our costs to help is long gone to extreme levels. We also run projects that takes years to complete. Plust those that never ends. It is shame that this value is so unnoticed.
mad_ady wrote:
Thu Nov 25, 2021 8:43 pm
But it becomes a business, not a hobby.

And that problem went over all possible hobby levels years ago.

Build system is our primary objective, but we also have a lot of knowledge about hardware, knowledgeable community that develops support for some hardware without the need to communicating with HW "gods". Some hate us, some are jealous and with some we cooperate fine.

When you lost tens of hours daily for dealing with problems and clients that never pays or give anything, then this is not a hobby anymore and you are doing something wrong. It's something that needs to be either work out (we tried) or limit down - we have no options but to enforce limitations.

So much about hobby.
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Re: About Armbian's business model ?

Post by odroid »

I accidentally started polluting @tobetter's thread. viewtopic.php?f=206&t=39608
Sorry about that.

I split some posts from the original thread to start a new thread.

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Re: About Armbian's business model ?

Post by mctom »

mad_ady wrote:
Thu Nov 25, 2021 8:43 pm
If a community doesn't have a critical mass of developers to put in the time/effort mostly for their own benefit, it's doomed to fail as an opensource project.
It is sad but true.

Too many times I was looking for a particular software and found many failed attempts instead. Most recently, I wondered if anyone got around cloning Empire Earth engine, and I found a list of 17 attempts, half of which died before even started. The list is maintained by a quite successful team of modders who believe rewriting the engine is simply too much for so small community, and this serves as a proof in conversations. This is very pragmatic.

I believe open source gets traction if there is a single person able to deliver anything that works first, and then community builds up around it.
In other words, it's far easier to find contributors for optional improvements they find attractive themselves, rather than fixing bugs they likely won't ever encounter.

I'm pretty sure I'll develop more useless hardware in the future, as PiStackMon has maybe 5 users worldwide, and no bugs apparently :lol:
But this is fine. I made this because I wanted this, I learned tons of new things in the process, shared it with the community, don't need anything more from that. Sometimes I share bits of code on this forum for educational purposes, because I think I really nailed that soft PWM and GPIO support.


I'm really curious what are your reasons, Igor, to support 80+ boards plus more "suitable for testing", and providing nightly builds for many of them. That is indeed huge amount of work and resources that you and your team can't cope with. I highly doubt there are active users (not just owners) of all these 80 boards among the core developers, so the chances of fixing bugs, let alone finding them, are zero by default.
How about you focus on 30 boards instead, like Diet Pi guys do.
I know you don't regard Diet Pi highly by any means, but at least they have a donation page on their website, and not a perpetual fundraising campaign for more build servers and utility bills.

You may also consider joining Software in the Public Interest and receive funds from the same sources as Debian or Arch.
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Re: About Armbian's business model ?

Post by istanbulls »

Let me be involved in this. :D
Every idea and opinion is valuable in its own way, even if you or I don't find it valuable, someone else will.
A few people describe it as a hack for petitboot, why?!
For example, I was using Armbian once and I used it fondly for a long time. It was like a life buoy for someone with a software disability like me.
now I'm using @tobetter's OS, I find it more stable, faster.
and petitboot... i am a real petitboot fan, i can install 5-6-7... OS on ssd or from uSD or eMMC. Does Armbian know how to provide me with this!!!? I'm not a software developer, would Armbian give me this luxury (in the simplest way)

Why petitboot hack, because your OS is not working? It can also be hacked and I'm very satisfied, I'm sure there are many people who are satisfied like me. Maybe you have a non-hack alternative, but is it practical that I can use it? what is your non hack alternative?

In addition, you frequently recommend Armbian OS on many topics in this forum, I personally find these suggestions unnecessary and unpleasant. I did not find it relevant to the subject, I remember your suggestions. I'm not going to find and share it as this topic because this is my personal feelings and I wanted to share the feeling I felt in your suggestions in general, this is very personal please don't be offended.
I've been in the Pine64 forum for a year, and I haven't come across any of your similar suggestions in that forum.

Again, my personal feelings are that you are in a war with HK, it's very intense. One understands instantly that there will usually be wars in the issues you are involved in. You have a provoking style.
Please don't get me wrong, I'm not writing to offend or criticize you. I open to you a second, third point of view. Of course, I am not an expert, but these are my feelings, maybe it will add some meaning to your anonymous battle with HK.

with love, respect and health.

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Re: About Armbian's business model ?

Post by igorpec »

mctom wrote:
Fri Nov 26, 2021 7:36 pm
I'm really curious what are your reasons, Igor, to support 80+ boards plus more "suitable for testing", and providing nightly builds for many of them.
That certainly was a mistake and that correcting is in motion. Armbian is lead as a non-profit organisation and we had no strict line in the past, while people ware adding build configurations and we never said - no, you can have them. We fell into the trap most Linux distros fall - see their distro running everywhere, control that place. We have insane big number of deployments, but that brings only stress to infrastructure and support.

In the future, users / developers / vendors will still be able to add configurations, but it will stay in as a build configuration, we won't touch. We will make a distance and support only those, that will have active maintainers or those that vendors (dealing with them is often no beneficial expense. we can easily know more about hardware they are selling) will pay for maintaining.
mctom wrote:
Fri Nov 26, 2021 7:36 pm
That is indeed huge amount of work and resources that you and your team can't cope with. I highly doubt there are active users (not just owners) of all these 80 boards among the core developers, so the chances of fixing bugs, let alone finding them, are zero by default.
Most of boards build around same chip share same problems - if function on one fails, it fails on 10 others which are alike. That won't change much - it's more like a psychological advance and it will make it clearer who from the vendors is helping. We have to ditch whole Chip families or vendors to save in real.

Most of work is wasted on communication, support. Keeping OS operational si ofc also a big and expensive challenge, while cutting off advanced help for users completely saves a lot more. This will be paid by end users, by Hardkernel or it won't exists outside general community - that is a part of that changes. But it will exists for other vendors. If Hardkernel doesn't see this as an opportunity, there is nothing we can do. I have tried too many times and too many ways.
mctom wrote:
Fri Nov 26, 2021 7:36 pm
How about you focus on 30 boards instead, like Diet Pi guys do.
I know you don't regard Diet Pi highly by any means
Their creation of "operating system image" is reduced to:

- downloading existing image (Armbian, Raspbian, ...)
- running Dietpi BASH script which rebrands things and adds some dietpi-*.bash to it
- done

On the other hand one board can easily represent 1-2 years of daily ups and down, seeking and fixing bugs, porting things. Why we do what we do? Because we can? Because nobody else do? Because vendors tends to stay on as cheap as possible support? Because vendors can't keep up? Because users have different needs vendors will never satisfy, because we build our own story on this ... And on and on.

Sure they commend end user issues, mainly around installing some 3rd party software, there is community, ... I don't deny their value, but our projects are not on the comparable level nor doing same things. Check our FAQ. We deal with most expensive stuff, our supports goes into many ARM oriented Linux distributions (Arch, Kali, Manjaro, Slackware, Dietpi, TwisterOS, Rabian, ... their core developers are our "friends with interests"). Costs of our operation is easily perhaps 1000x bigger, but obviously not because of doubled the count of supported hardware ... This can easily be done with no income whatsoever. Or by a few thousands that fells into the donation sack. They don't bleed doing this.

Our relationship was bad in the past, but today we can say it's decent, they even made a small shared contribution - fixing bugs in our download infrastructure. They also use.
mctom wrote:
Fri Nov 26, 2021 7:36 pm
You may also consider joining Software in the Public Interest and receive funds from the same sources as Debian or Arch.
We have deals with vendors and random businesses supports us. This year we are also getting funds from one of public funds, but those are very much project oriented. We will be presenting it once it will be far enough. It will also help Hardkernel clients, because we share ecosystem.

But we can't file a project "supporting vendors clients", "patching vendors lack of ... ", etc.
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Re: About Armbian's business model ?

Post by rooted »

tobetter does a LOT of development at home and has never asked for anything that I've seen, having a donation link is not the same as what you are doing and you know it.

You have been asked to stop doing this several times, most forum admins would have already banned you after the second time.
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Re: About Armbian's business model ?

Post by crashoverride »

Wow. Now I want to fork Armbian and go beg for donations on their site. Lets see how far their hypocrisy goes.

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Re: About Armbian's business model ?

Post by InsideJob »

Personally, I lost that community feeling a while ago with Linux. Maybe it was when Satan/Oracle acquired Virtualbox or maybe it was when Satan/IBM acquired Red Hat. Anywho, was just reading how the Rust Foundation has a new CEO. I'm sure they'll be creating committees and codes of conduct and such that all the volunteers will have to obey for the privilege of participating. Same happened with Python. So IMHO, if you're going to treat people like employees you have to pay them like employees. There's no free labor if there's no free lunch.

I wish the guys at Armbian the best but you really shouldn't be begging. Just stop supporting Odroid boards until the company makes a financial commitment to your project. Problem solved!

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Re: About Armbian's business model ?

Post by crashoverride »

InsideJob wrote:
Fri Nov 26, 2021 11:46 pm
I wish the guys at Armbian the best but you really shouldn't be begging.
It passed begging a long time ago. It is now a scam/shakedown. Their "business model" is effectively "give us money or we will trash talk you on the internet and disrupt your forums".

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Re: About Armbian's business model ?

Post by igorpec »

istanbulls wrote:
Fri Nov 26, 2021 10:06 pm
Let me be involved in this. :D
Every idea and opinion is valuable in its own way, even if you or I don't find it valuable, someone else will.
Agree :D
istanbulls wrote:
Fri Nov 26, 2021 10:06 pm
A few people describe it as a hack for petitboot, why?!
For example, I was using Armbian once and I used it fondly for a long time. It was like a life buoy for someone with a software disability like me.
now I'm using @tobetter's OS, I find it more stable, faster.
First, there is a fundamental difference between Armbian as distribution and Armbian build framework which can support development and made virtually any type of userland, recreate kernel, ... and Hardkernel presentation image. They want their hardware to be ready for as many Linux distributions (to reach more users) out there so providing easy way to boot them makes a lot of sense - for them and satisfy the need of distro hoppers. We need to boot Armbian. Cleanest possible way and this recent preview image is a recent demonstration of what we master. We have cleaned up u-boot, added SPI support, cleaned kernel code, add SPI support to the installer, added LCD, added FAN support around most recent Ubuntu builds (we have also purchased a few HC4 boards for development needs because they never send us one, only one C4 for a whole team. All others sends us as much hardware we ask. FYI). This recent upgrade represent weeks of hard work and I have used this opportunity to first time ever checked if Hardkernel is perhaps interested to share some of the costs (for something we don't need - you need, users). Very politely. A great opportunity to patch relationship. No response. So at least we know better how things are ...

Anyone can build Armbian and change whatever on their own. We have removed all proprietary software that is possible to remove (boot blob is not possible). If you seek purpose driven OS that you can customize and rely upon, Armbian provides probably the best path. It is valuable, but ofc not to everyone.

Hardkernel image is faster and better? Faster? I highly doubt. More stable. Currently perhaps true since issue with stucking at boot loader (they don't use nor support) raised up again. Other problems are not known. And BTW, we have no desire to compete with Hardkernel support. Just they seems to be competing with us.
istanbulls wrote:
Fri Nov 26, 2021 10:06 pm
and petitboot... i am a real petitboot fan, i can install 5-6-7... OS on ssd or from uSD or eMMC.
Petitboot is certainly a nice tool to support distro hoppers needs. It is pretty obvious that Armbian has no need to do anything into that direction. Our interest is to run Armbian / Linux without the need of any proprietary software.
istanbulls wrote:
Fri Nov 26, 2021 10:06 pm
Does Armbian know how to provide me with this!!!? I'm not a software developer, would Armbian give me this luxury (in the simplest way)
List of users ideas is full - they are waiting for people that will take a lead, finance, develop and maintain them. Not sure who and why would anyone from Armbian, who are anyway totally overloaded with core work + they have jobs and families, would follow yet another idea on their personal expense.

You can code things on your own. Not a problem if you don't know how - start learning or find someone that will see this as an opportunity to follow or raise money and hire people. Try yourself in this, so you will be on my side forever and after ;) This way one can start to value what development is and what we do. I hear this just too many often which is why I tend to not be polite ... such questions, when people have absolutely no scope of the size of their problem / question, are just a waste of time and can often be understood as an insult.
istanbulls wrote:
Fri Nov 26, 2021 10:06 pm
Why petitboot hack, because your OS is not working? It can also be hacked and I'm very satisfied, I'm sure there are many people who are satisfied like me. Maybe you have a non-hack alternative, but is it practical that I can use it? what is your non hack alternative?
It should be in Hardkernel interest to fix their petitboot the way it can boot Armbian without any hacks. We already have a better - for us - solution: remove it and boot Armbian directly.
istanbulls wrote:
Fri Nov 26, 2021 10:06 pm
In addition, you frequently recommend Armbian OS on many topics in this forum, I personally find these suggestions unnecessary and unpleasant. I did not find it relevant to the subject, I remember your suggestions.
Agree and admit I am sometimes grumpy, angry or not in a good mood. Some suggestions were not well placed and perhaps I had offended someone. This can happen so easy ... I am also offended many times, mainly because very little people actually do the homework before demanding attention. It is generally disrespectful if one don't at least spent 10 second of Google before firing up.
istanbulls wrote:
Fri Nov 26, 2021 10:06 pm
I've been in the Pine64 forum for a year, and I haven't come across any of your similar suggestions in that forum.
Pine people advertise our work without asking - I am not active there, others are. Linux phone, which is their main product, is not our interest, while outside that, there is nothing interesting going on.
istanbulls wrote:
Fri Nov 26, 2021 10:06 pm
You have a provoking style
Perhaps it sounds that way. I just want to make sure users understand that support terms between vendor and Armbian might not be on the same page.
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Re: About Armbian's business model ?

Post by InsideJob »

crashoverride wrote:
Fri Nov 26, 2021 11:59 pm
InsideJob wrote:
Fri Nov 26, 2021 11:46 pm
I wish the guys at Armbian the best but you really shouldn't be begging.
It passed begging a long time ago. It is now a scam/shakedown. Their "business model" is effectively "give us money or we will trash talk you on the internet and disrupt your forums".
That's kind of how I feel about open source in general these days. The overpaid executives of these foundations know there's an endless supply of young, dumb developers who would gladly slave away their summer coding for Google. Business is business, baby. I'm not volunteering to make Larry Ellison richer, sorry.

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Re: About Armbian's business model ?

Post by igorpec »

crashoverride wrote:
Fri Nov 26, 2021 11:59 pm
InsideJob wrote:
Fri Nov 26, 2021 11:46 pm
I wish the guys at Armbian the best but you really shouldn't be begging.
It passed begging a long time ago. It is now a scam/shakedown. Their "business model" is effectively "give us money or we will trash talk you on the internet and disrupt your forums".
Our business model is a non profit organisation. Not sure if you understand what that means, but anyway. It is something which happens to support your business in one way since ever. Did you ever give money for that? No. So why do you sell scam bullshit here? Do you need to give us any money. No, absolutely not. We made a public statement about. Read it: https://www.armbian.com/newsflash/armbi ... your-help/

We are just cutting the costs we have for dealing with you and your users down. To the levels, we can cover.

If those costs are non-existing scam, why would you worry about so much? You can try and be cooperative, throw dirty on us (while you have no right nor reason) or do nothing.

I don't care.
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Re: About Armbian's business model ?

Post by crashoverride »

@igorpec,
I am not a HardKernel employee. My opinions are my own.

Armbian has done nothing for me. I am just one of the many that your project takes from without donating back. Isn't that ironic.

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Re: About Armbian's business model ?

Post by crashoverride »

@igorpec,
You continuously whine about the costs associated with support. Yet somehow you are indignant when the company paying the bill for this forum asks you to stop harassing its customers by constantly begging for money.

If you can't afford to run your project, then simply don't. Instead, it becomes an increasing level of hostility in the hopes that someone will pay you money to finally shut you up.

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Re: About Armbian's business model ?

Post by igorpec »

crashoverride wrote:
Sat Nov 27, 2021 1:36 am
@igorpec,
I am not a HardKernel employee. My opinions are my own.
Noted. Now I know. But you are still a long lasting member of this community and I take your opinion serious.
crashoverride wrote:
Sat Nov 27, 2021 1:36 am
Armbian has done nothing for me. I am just one of the many that your project takes from without donating back. Isn't that ironic.
It is impossible to please everyone.

Yes, it is ironic. tl;dr; It is good that Hardkernel, who makes profits, doesn't give anything back to the project they take from, but it is bad that a project that not even cover it's running costs supports another poor projects it relies upon. Which we are not even aware of.

When providing a Linux distribution, you become related and interdependent with many projects. I am aware of that, but I can't possibly know or recognize their individual value, at least not without studying this for years. I am here for all my life, by I am aware I know nothing - this ecosystem is huge. We try to make a distance from that and put focus on what we are doing (best), to avoid being accused of taking (credits) without giving back. In any case this is a complicated question I don't know what to tell you, honestly.

There is also a huge influx of new users to the Linux community that knows absolutely nothing, they don't understand the concept of community made software. Which reports bugs from your project (which I don't even know) to us and we tell them we can't do nothing about. Talk to authors ... but this is hard, timely and never ending game.
You continuously whine about the costs associated with support. Yet somehow you are indignant when the company paying the bill for this forum asks you to stop harassing its customers by constantly begging for money.
Their customers are harassing me / us and my response is that they need support contract. This is not begging for money.
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Re: About Armbian's business model ?

Post by igorpec »

crashoverride wrote:
Sat Nov 27, 2021 2:01 am
If you can't afford to run your project, then simply don't.
We are just cutting down unjustified premium service that is provided for free. Why is so much drama about?
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Re: About Armbian's business model ?

Post by rooted »


igorpec wrote: Their customers are harassing me / us and my response is that they need support contract. This is not begging for money.
So you think someone asking you a question related to the project you head is harassment?

It seems to me you burned out a couple years ago but make your living with this non-profit organization and get irate because of it.

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Re: About Armbian's business model ?

Post by igorpec »

rooted wrote:
Sat Nov 27, 2021 9:27 pm
igorpec wrote: Their customers are harassing me / us and my response is that they need support contract. This is not begging for money.
So you think someone asking you a question related to the project you head is harassment?

It seems to me you burned out a couple years ago but make your living with this non-profit organization and get irate because of it.
So you think another attempt of personal disqualification will divert focus from the base of the problem? This is not about Armbian or me. This is about Hardkernel business model, their arrogance and about the fact that they are exploiting community resources to make (more) profits. This is fact, we don't need to discuss about. I understand that this is not a problem to end users, because they pay for hardware and expect everything else to be free, as cheap as possible. Or to bystanders, sympathiser and general supporters. And I also understand they have to make profits in order to survive on the market. I have no intention to harm anyone.

Perhaps you didn't read my previous posts. I have a well paid job in the industry - to be independent, that I can help at large scale. As individual my help is very limited ... My recent moves are putting forgotten developers / maintainer interests before profit or users needs. Burnout prevention is one of them - I heard stories this is problem is sadly well present in Korea, in Europe less, dunno how is with this in US. Anyway, "best effort" should never lead there.

Lets ask @odroid if they perhaps support any FOSS projects that are surrounding them? So they can develop and not feel as exploited? How much do you give annually (exact numbers please) to the charity to clean mud from this business model? To do the right thing? Oh, ... and to disarm random messengers mixing up this mud.
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Re: About Armbian's business model ?

Post by crashoverride »

igorpec wrote:
Sat Nov 27, 2021 11:16 pm
This is about Hardkernel business model, their arrogance and about the fact that they are exploiting community resources to make (more) profits.
What exactly is it you are alleging they are exploiting? As far as I am aware, HardKernel does not use Armbian as the basis for any of its images. HardKernel also provides their own support resources as well as maintains their own kernels. What do you believe they are unfairly taking from Armbian?

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Re: About Armbian's business model ?

Post by mctom »

igorpec wrote:
Sat Nov 27, 2021 11:16 pm
This is not about Armbian or me. This is about Hardkernel business model, their arrogance and about the fact that they are exploiting community resources to make (more) profits.
I think this is the source of misunderstanding. I can't recall Hardkernel explicitly making an "Armbian-compatible hardware", or recommending Armbian over their own distributions, ever. Yes, Armbian is listed as one of third party OSes, but that's basically in line with what you do on this forum yourself, so I see it as an act of good will. I'm sure they will remove that link on your request.

HK is not dependent on contributions, as they have an actual employee (at least one I know of) working on OS. Sure contributions do help, but nobody demands anything in return. It's unthinkable in this community.
Are you sure it's HK exploiting Armbian, or open source community in general? What exactly did they do wrong?

It may be a biased observation, but over the last year I can only recall you promoting Armbian on a few occasions, randomly jumping into the discussion when users had any issues with stock software. I believe you are solely responsible for Armbian recognition on Odroid platforms.
I know I fell for your advertisement when I got my first Odroid N2+, really tried to work my way through Armbian, but once I got boot problems again, you told me to fix them myself or donate to a cause that already reached the goal back then.

Long story short, it was you, not HK, who advertised Armbian to me in the first place, and now you feel like HK should pay for your "premium support"? I don't think the world works this way.
igorpec wrote:
Sat Nov 27, 2021 11:16 pm
This is about Hardkernel business model, their arrogance and about the fact that they are exploiting community resources to make (more) profits.
Are you trying to imply that Armbian has any impact on Odroid sales? :roll:
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Re: About Armbian's business model ?

Post by igorpec »

crashoverride wrote:
Sat Nov 27, 2021 11:36 pm
igorpec wrote:
Sat Nov 27, 2021 11:16 pm
This is about Hardkernel business model, their arrogance and about the fact that they are exploiting community resources to make (more) profits.
What exactly is it you are alleging they are exploiting?
Didn't someone asking us to present which projects we support since we are allegedly benefiting from? Lets just ask them, a business entity that operates in this field, the same question. Who and how they are contributing to the society? How they give back? Business models, if you want to make money, by default includes exploiting someone - this one linux (mainly developers) community. But the answer is not simple. We just don't have the time and space to clarify and interpret the complexity of prime economic relations surrounding modern capitalist economy. Each of vendors has its own reality, while the principle stays the same - people are their biggest expense.

Again we are drifting off topic. Nothing in common with "Armbian business model", which was clarified.
crashoverride wrote:
Sat Nov 27, 2021 11:36 pm
What do you believe they are unfairly taking from Armbian?
Answer to generic question first - what they are unfairly taking from anyone?

Image

This is the how things often looks like from open source developers perspective and this conversation supports it. I have to defend my point which should be clear and hear how fair vendors are(is), how bad we are and how we should stop doing this (helping you) because we can't afford.
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Re: About Armbian's business model ?

Post by igorpec »

mctom wrote:
Sun Nov 28, 2021 12:15 am
I think this is the source of misunderstanding. I can't recall Hardkernel explicitly making an "Armbian-compatible hardware", or recommending Armbian over their own distributions, ever. Yes, Armbian is listed as one of third party OSes
Perhaps stop looking on Armbian as on yet another OS, because it is not. OS is just a side product, a demonstration of what we know. You want a better OS, contribute or hire people to do so. Armbian is a build system and we are patching problems after vendors in kernel space. Something that is common to all Linux distributions. We are / can be in technical sense completely independent from all vendors practically since the day one, while other distros are dependent from vendor, us, ... generic common arm is still too raw and many SBCs are simply too weird for most of distros. Generally speaking. Try to look on this problem from that perspective and many things will be clear.
mctom wrote:
Sun Nov 28, 2021 12:15 am
I'm sure they will remove that link on your request.
That was never a problem and I am sure they would remove the link if we would request that. We indeed had a problem with some vendor that denied (ignored) multiple pleads to remove (fake) Armbian from their download site (armbian indeed sale since you were asking that). Providing fake "whatever OS" and outsource biggest expense completely to expensive engineering resources they don't need to pay and community is just worse and more obvious way of explotation we are talking about. Most of them are invisible to end users not to disturb them. Reality is often ugly.

I think biggest problem is how we treat their clients. We have all rights to ask users if they are paying for what they are asking for. If you want that this is solved systematically - remember once again. It is your problem. Start solving it. And organise any activity into the direction you and vendor benefits isn't.

I am well aware that a bug solving can eat several days or several thousands of dollars, and perhaps users should also be aware? Hardkernel knows that very well, unless their employees are in slave relationship and they don't need to pay them. Professionally (unrelated to Armbian) I am coming from the industry and I know how much we have to pay to support certain machinery very similar to those little computers. I understand that end users have no clue about ... but I can't pay a week for one problem you find and for thousands of others that also have some pain. This is not community solving problems - pressing on us is abuse. None of the problem is our problem. Please back off. We don't compete with Hardkernel (even they and users could benefit, while we only loose more), nor with any other distros and you are free to choose whatever you like. But you will soon figure out that not many people / distros will be able to help you on most difficult problems, those that all distros has ... and you will come again pushing harder. I am just cutting you this opportunity in first step in order to save us from burnout as a possible result of giving too much. Support request is expense to handle. A specially huge one when there is clear zero budget. Like in this case. HK took your money and they must spent some to support hardware, so you can use it to some degree. For us this is not the case and that is written in the contract. I know nobody reads it ... but it bothers me that I have to tell you that, but it's still a lot less stressful than starting a support interaction, which only starts more negative emotion even before negative emotions and suffering from technical part kicks in ...

Hardkernel has no interest or can't help and users don't want to hear about to pay for enterprise grade stability usability ... Software is free isn't it? Yes it is. But my time talking with you isn't. And time solving the problems you have isn't.

tl;dr;
Solving troubles takes time, is expensive and is not fun in most of the cases. Also further when fun things are fixed, everyone is avoiding the dirt ... If they (your, end users) don't want to hear about covering expenses, please don't bother us. This is the biggest problem we have here and no program to mitigate this. If you take away the joy and you only have shitty stuff to deal with = yet another way of exploiting people.
mctom wrote:
Sun Nov 28, 2021 12:15 am
It may be a biased observation, but over the last year I can only recall you promoting Armbian on a few occasions, randomly jumping into the discussion when users had any issues with stock software.
In most occasions Armbian was presented as a better suited alternative - for their specific case. In some occasions - which I might didn't even read well, I made a mistake and it could sounded as direct advertisement or making their work as not competent. I apologize and I am more careful not to upset anyone in this regard.
mctom wrote:
Sun Nov 28, 2021 12:15 am
HK is not dependent on contributions, as they have an actual employee
Community contributions are necessary. Its build in into the business model. We all that operates in this segment are interdependent as we already figured out. They don't have enough people to cover this operation and here the profit is made. Having as little people on the payroll and rely as much on community as possible to sell this whole thing. Every profit oriented company in this market has full time people but that team is dealing with a very small and very specific segment. A few people can't deliver "Linux", while users buy that promise ... There are vendors out there, which also have actual employees (mainly for hw design and sales), but can easily know nothing about software support or what they sale. HK folks are surely competent, they know what they are doing, but they are still dependent from community. This is just the way it is. The question is what is their goal, to where they will go? Money is possible to make / spend in many ways ... There are also vendors without any users or support engineers also surviving, or are at least present on the market, things are again not black and white. There are vendors that is (allegedly) completely related to community, but I don't buy that.
mctom wrote:
Sun Nov 28, 2021 12:15 am
but once I got boot problems again, you told me to fix them myself or donate to a cause that already reached the goal back then.
Expecting that there will be someone for you is by all means not possible. You don't think we all sit at home doing nothing and answering support questions random vendor clients have. I actually tried - as an experiment - to see how much time is wasted and how far you will go. And what vendors will do about. It is just insane, everyone wants be friend with me. You - end users - have endless wishes and 99% of you never asked: do you X have time to deal with my problems, do I want to deal with you, do we perhaps have a life, do we perhaps have a family? It is "just business". You have a problem and we must solve it. Nope, it doesn't go that way.

... provides best effort help through community forums. If you can't find answer there and/or with help of general project search engine and documentation, consider hiring an expert.

I would also need to do the same. Why is my time so cheap, while yours is so important? Someone mentioned here - this is community made software, right? Why do you expect me to fix a problem for you. Why don't you fix it for yourself and everyone and thanks us to save you many others. You don't see that. Most of users don't. They only come when they need something, they stress their violence and go.

Are there perhaps other people asking for help at the same time. Is this problem known and we don't need to be bothered. And why we? Fork the project, fix the problem, send it back. Perhaps they already did everything they can, but they can't help. No, there is a constant stream of ignorance and violence from your side. My experiment showed and proved that if you open free support, you can't cover even water costs (beer is a luxury) of that stream if you rely only on voluntary donations. Do you have any idea how much time we could waste for support if we were friendly in 100% of the time???

If you have donated 10 USD while expect 5000 USD of service is not really any generocity from your side. Agree? And my duty is to tell you that since otherwise you would press on us - hey, I have donated you 10 USD, but you haven't fixed anything.

Do you really thing all we need is one server and we have no problem to serve as slaves thousands of users needs 24/7, while you, your vendor and competitive linux distributions are the only one that benefits.

Another reason for me holding the full time job is to have hours of my day completely free from "greedy customers". Not from coding and fixing the problem I found anyway. And their long lists is waiting years and we can't clear them. Not possible.
mctom wrote:
Sun Nov 28, 2021 12:15 am
I don't think the world works this way.
You have no rights to bother us / me or wake me / us in the middle of the night (how do you know when I am awake anyway?) to start asking questions and forcing me to tune into some of your problems. You can try, but you can expect that I will tell you to f* off right away. This is how the world always worked and it still does. You will also need to change something ...
igorpec wrote:
Sat Nov 27, 2021 11:16 pm
Are you trying to imply that Armbian has any impact on Odroid sales?
Most things we do are common to all Linux distributions which is why Armbian is not a key figure in this question. Ask yourself wider, then narrow it down. Has community recognition and support impact on Odroid sales?
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Re: About Armbian's business model ?

Post by crashoverride »

So to summarize ...

HardKernel does not use anything from the Armbian project. However, you believe they should help pay your support costs for your project?

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Re: About Armbian's business model ?

Post by igorpec »

crashoverride wrote:
Mon Nov 29, 2021 1:21 am
So to summarize ...
I have spent 1h writing, perhaps you spent 5 minutes reading.
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Re: About Armbian's business model ?

Post by crashoverride »

igorpec wrote:
Mon Nov 29, 2021 1:24 am
I have spent 1h writing, perhaps you spent 5 minutes reading.
What you wrote is called deflection.

Again, what is it that you believe HardKernel is taking from Armbian? I can find no evidence that there is anything at all. If nothing from Armbian is being used, why do you believe you are entitled to money from HardKernel?

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Re: About Armbian's business model ?

Post by igorpec »

crashoverride wrote:
Mon Nov 29, 2021 1:34 am
why do you believe you are entitled to money from HardKernel?
If their users are asking us / me for support, our terms apply. We can't pay for handle them / you / end users. If HK has some issues with, this is purely their problem and their business decision what they will do about. We already have something a lot more valuable than money - knowledge and support capacity. We are limiting its spending for reasons I have provided. I think there is - from our side - nothing more to add on the topic. Its well clarified.

The rest of the answer lies in answer to the question you gave to non-profit community project first: which projects do they(we) finance and support? Nobody is insisting that HK should answer on this question?

I hope this will not stay as rhetorical question?
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Re: About Armbian's business model ?

Post by crashoverride »

igorpec wrote:
Mon Nov 29, 2021 2:16 am
If their users are asking us / me for support, our terms apply.
If anyone is using Armbian, then they are your users since it is your project / product / brand. I propose you simply tell them to use an official or community image and direct them to this forum for support.

[edit]
Additionally, since you have indicated that you are unable to handle the support burden of your project, you should probably stop advertising it on this forum.
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Re: About Armbian's business model ?

Post by rooted »


crashoverride wrote:
igorpec wrote:
Mon Nov 29, 2021 2:16 am
If their users are asking us / me for support, our terms apply.
If anyone is using Armbian, then they are your users since it is your project / product / brand. I propose you simply tell them to use an official or community image and direct them to this forum for support.

[edit]
Additionally, since you have indicated that you are unable to handle the support burden of your project, you should probably stop advertising it on this forum.
So much this. Hardkernel, meveric, tobetter, yourself, and others support the projects they release without asking for anything in return.

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Re: About Armbian's business model ?

Post by igorpec »

crashoverride wrote:
Mon Nov 29, 2021 3:55 am
Additionally, since you have indicated that you are unable to handle the support burden of your project
Support burden under your imaginary terms is problematic, indeed.
rooted wrote:
Mon Nov 29, 2021 5:43 am
So much this. Hardkernel, meveric, tobetter, yourself, and others support the projects they release without asking for anything in return.
Hardkernel is a charity organisations that design and donates hardware, their employees are working without pay and all amateur projects are pretty much doing some tiny afternoon job ...
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Re: About Armbian's business model ?

Post by istanbulls »

ahhh what's going on The same mentality that started world wars and killed 100 million people is fighting with the same determination.
zero enpathy zero.
actually it could have been a nice discussion but for me it turned into a pathetic fight.

1. Without me, there would be no HK, no Armbian. that is, the individual and individuals who pay the money.
2. No HK without Linux No Armbian and no one is paying for Linux in this discussion.
3. no one is god and this world needs no god, no gods.Those who do the greatest harm to this world are those who think they are gods.
4. HK and Armbian are in the same boat. HK thinks it doesn't need Armbian, but it actually does exist indirectly and already uses resources from a similar entity.
5. Armbian and HK are in the same boat. Just as I decide what to buy, Rpi or odroid, HK for Armbian also made its own decision, obviously your personal frequencies did not match while making this decision.

dear @igorpec,
I'm just a low-educated person with a literacy education.
you are the administrator of a worldwide known software such as Armbian.
Maybe I don't understand what is written, I'm trying to understand with the known translate. maybe my education is not sufficient to discuss this issue.
I do not know...
I've been reading your posts on this subject, you're right in most of them, but you're personally having a war with HK. this leads you to make mistakes.

I've been on this forum for about 3 years, there are some things I understand.
One of the leading brands after HK rpi.
HK does not aim to monetize 2nd, 3rd party developers. he thinks they have a good software team (I think he's right for example @tobetter does a great job).

I feel like HK is actually making products by relying on the software team rather than the hardware they make. Or for HK, software developers are as important as hardware developers.
As a legacy product and brand manufacturer, there is one thing I know. What materials do you have to be successful? because you can be as successful as the material you have.

You don't need to cooperate to survive outside of rpi, but there is no need for this war.

maybe one day HK will need you and maybe you will be your greatest partner but that day is not today.
In my country, there is a saying, "There is no beauty by force".
HK's preferences bind HK, you can't force that.
haa, I also know, I use many other forums, many people see odroid devices as Armbian or CoreElec, so many odroid owners prefer to buy odroid because it has Armbian support.
You shouldn't fight with HK just because that's how it is, you shouldn't go to war with anyone.

To summarize, rather than an instructive discussion, it is a hurtful, useless war going on, and it is of no use to anyone.
regardless of who is right.

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Re: About Armbian's business model ?

Post by istanbulls »

igorpec wrote:
Sun Nov 28, 2021 11:10 pm

They only come when they need something, they stress their violence and go.
"if you go to the bath you will sweat"
you should know this and be ready for it.
The general problem of humanity is enpathy.
a substantial number of people are having their own Truman Show.
maybe you can be a "bot" for those people. :D

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Re: About Armbian's business model ?

Post by elatllat »

I see there are some Armbian related commits in the kernel for other SBCs so thanks for that, but chewitt, narmstrong, and tobetter do the Odroid kernel work I am most thankful for. Others like crashoverride have made impressive contributions I am less familiar with but I'm sure many deserve praise.

Putting a donation link once in the opening post of some helpful work is polite. Directly asking for $ is not polite. One Armbian member was already asked to be more courteous on these forums. @igorpec please just make the funding quest more subtle to keep the forums pleasant.

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Re: About Armbian's business model ?

Post by rooted »


igorpec wrote: Hardkernel is a charity organisations that design and donates hardware, their employees are working without pay and all amateur projects are pretty much doing some tiny afternoon job ...
I know you were being sarcastic so I will retort. Developers who are employed by Hardkernel such as tobetter contribute their personal (read unpaid) time developing and supporting projects of immense usefulness.

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