Re: [PARPORT] two comments

Grant R. Guenther (
Sun, 17 May 1998 09:59:45 -0400 (EDT)

First, I'd appreciate it if we did not cross-post this discussion to other
mailing lists - threads like this tend to take on lives of their own.

Over the last three years I've talked, or e-mailed, with many of the players
in the parallel port adapter business. In some cases the discussions have
been rewarding, in others absolutely frustrating. I'll try to organise
some of my observations in what follows.

(1) Almost all the players are quite small operations. That in itself is
     information that many companies do not want released. It also means
     that they don't have the resources to write linux drivers, support
     them, or even provide the documentation to allow someone else to do
     the job.

(2) Some companies have things to hide: such as how they obtained
     information about competing products. (Yes, this is a real issue.)
     NDA's often have much more to do with financial and legal information
     than technical ideas.

(3) Very large companies (like HP) have serious communication problems.
     Only information that fits into predetermined categories can be
     accepted by their systems. It's a bit like the weather guys who
     tell you it is sunny - when it fact if they looked out the window
     they'd see that it was pouring rain. The trouble is that they don't
     have any windows :-)

(4) If you look seriously at the way the market is shaped, it doesn't
     take too long to figure out that it's the _advertising_ business
     where we need to make inroads. When the Ziff-Davises of the world
     make "Linux drivers" a standard check-off for their hardware product
     reviews, then we'll start to see the marketing managers taking notice,
     and Linux support will become more widespread. If you want to focus
     your pressure - concentrate on the publishers.

Grant R. Guenther

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0b3 on Wed 30 Dec 1998 - 10:17:45 EST