A branded USB stick as an alternative to the CD set?

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A branded USB stick as an alternative to the CD set?

Petr Ročkai-2
Hi,

in my case, a USB stick would be actually useful for installing machines
-- unlike the CD sets (I haven't had a working optical drive in the last
5+ years). Any chance for 5.9? (Making them unconditionally read-only
would be probably a good thing, too.)

M.

--
id' Ash = Ash; id' Dust = Dust; id' _ = undefined

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Re: A branded USB stick as an alternative to the CD set?

Devin Reade
I suspect the answer is that this falls into the category of too
expensive/distracting to bother, based on the overall benefit.

I find that having a DVD reader/writer in an external USB-connected
enclosure works well for optical-diskless machines.

Devin

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Re: A branded USB stick as an alternative to the CD set?

Tati Chevron
In reply to this post by Petr Ročkai-2
>in my case, a USB stick would be actually useful for installing machines
>-- unlike the CD sets (I haven't had a working optical drive in the last
>5+ years). Any chance for 5.9?

I would buy an official release on USB or preferably sd card, if it was on offer.  Presumably the production costs would be less as well.

(And also..  not liking to complain, but the last two CD releases have had irritating bugs in them.  Disc 2 of 5.7 was fubar, and had to be replaced, and the source tree on 5.8 wasn't correct either.  At least on flash memory, problems could be cheaply and easily corrected at the last minute ;-) )

Our machines do generally have optical drives, but for some reason, blu-ray readers reading CDs seem to do so painfully slowly.

>(Making them unconditionally read-only would be probably a good thing,
>too.)

This, too, I see a value in.

Also, on a related note, would anybody be interested in having the source code for the freely distributable parts of the ports tree available on BD-R?  It just about fits on a single layer disc and is very convenient when you're a long way from a fast internet connection...

--
Tati Chevron
Perl and FORTRAN specialist.
SWABSIT development and migration department.
http://www.swabsit.com

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Re: A branded USB stick as an alternative to the CD set?

Theo de Raadt
> I would buy an official release on USB or preferably sd card, if it
> was on offer.  Presumably the production costs would be less as well.

                 ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

How do you figure that?

We put everything on the internet.  Thousands upon thousands upon
thousands of downloads happen, and the more convenient it becomes the
fewer sales occur.  That is the nature of the situation.  USB devices
will be the same, except you cannot farm out "writing them" to just
anyone.

Production costs are not the problem.  The problem is that there
is ZERO RETURN on the effort taken.

I thank the crowd for once again suggesting we (me? people I know?)
should spend time on doing something which a very small handful of
people want.

I was going to work on some source code today, but I'll get right on
this task, pricing out USB sticks and trying to find a way to make
this work.  /sarc

> (And also..  not liking to complain, but the last two CD releases
> have had irritating bugs in them.  Disc 2 of 5.7 was fubar, and had to
> be replaced, and the source tree on 5.8 wasn't correct either.  At
> least on flash memory, problems could be cheaply and easily corrected
> at the last minute ;-) )

So you have a solution already.  But still, I should invest my time
at finding a good USB stick, oh it should have a write protect switch
that actually works, oh we need to use epoxy to glue it, oh and people
who will write each of them, and god help us if the usb sticks are bad
and have `irritating bugs'.  Come on people.  What do you want us to do?

Product manufacture, or software development?

Make up your mind.

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Re: A branded USB stick as an alternative to the CD set?

J Sisson
Software development.  :D

More importantly, what can users do to make it easier for developers to
write code? That is the important question to ask when a thought like this
comes up.  Is it more efficient of developer time for me to purchase my own
usb stick and deal with it myself, or request developers offer a usb
alternative?
On Nov 30, 2015 12:17 PM, "Theo de Raadt" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> > I would buy an official release on USB or preferably sd card, if it
> > was on offer.  Presumably the production costs would be less as well.
>
>                  ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>
> How do you figure that?
>
> We put everything on the internet.  Thousands upon thousands upon
> thousands of downloads happen, and the more convenient it becomes the
> fewer sales occur.  That is the nature of the situation.  USB devices
> will be the same, except you cannot farm out "writing them" to just
> anyone.
>
> Production costs are not the problem.  The problem is that there
> is ZERO RETURN on the effort taken.
>
> I thank the crowd for once again suggesting we (me? people I know?)
> should spend time on doing something which a very small handful of
> people want.
>
> I was going to work on some source code today, but I'll get right on
> this task, pricing out USB sticks and trying to find a way to make
> this work.  /sarc
>
> > (And also..  not liking to complain, but the last two CD releases
> > have had irritating bugs in them.  Disc 2 of 5.7 was fubar, and had to
> > be replaced, and the source tree on 5.8 wasn't correct either.  At
> > least on flash memory, problems could be cheaply and easily corrected
> > at the last minute ;-) )
>
> So you have a solution already.  But still, I should invest my time
> at finding a good USB stick, oh it should have a write protect switch
> that actually works, oh we need to use epoxy to glue it, oh and people
> who will write each of them, and god help us if the usb sticks are bad
> and have `irritating bugs'.  Come on people.  What do you want us to do?
>
> Product manufacture, or software development?
>
> Make up your mind.

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Re: A branded USB stick as an alternative to the CD set?

Stuart Henderson
In reply to this post by Tati Chevron
On 2015-11-30, Tati Chevron <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>in my case, a USB stick would be actually useful for installing machines
>>-- unlike the CD sets (I haven't had a working optical drive in the last
>>5+ years). Any chance for 5.9?
>
> I would buy an official release on USB or preferably sd card, if it
> was on offer. Presumably the production costs would be less as well.

Cloning CDs from a master is something that can be farmed out
relatively easily. Writing an image to USB/SD, not so much, especially
when you're going to want that to be done securely.

> (And also.. not liking to complain, but the last two CD releases have
> had irritating bugs in them. Disc 2 of 5.7 was fubar, and had to be
> replaced, and the source tree on 5.8 wasn't correct either. At least on
> flash memory, problems could be cheaply and easily corrected at the last
> minute ;-) )

Who is going to update these? Especially at short notice.

>>(Making them unconditionally read-only would be probably a good thing,
>>too.)
>
> This, too, I see a value in.

And who is going to trust this? There's a significantly higher bar
to invisibly tampering with a pressed and printed CD than a USB stick.
(Also it kind-of makes the previous request an impossibility...)

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Re: A branded USB stick as an alternative to the CD set?

Theo de Raadt
> >>(Making them unconditionally read-only would be probably a good thing,
> >>too.)
> >
> > This, too, I see a value in.
>
> And who is going to trust this? There's a significantly higher bar
> to invisibly tampering with a pressed and printed CD than a USB stick.
> (Also it kind-of makes the previous request an impossibility...)

It looks like entitlement.com makes a cheap USB stick with write-protection.

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Re: A branded USB stick as an alternative to the CD set?

Theo de Raadt
In reply to this post by J Sisson
> Software development.  :D
>
> More importantly, what can users do to make it easier for developers to
> write code? That is the important question to ask when a thought like this
> comes up.  Is it more efficient of developer time for me to purchase my own
> usb stick and deal with it myself, or request developers offer a usb
> alternative?

I don't know, but I'll think about it later, because I am busy.

I am spending my day making a non-writeable USB stick for the OP.

Your question is important, so I'll get back to it.

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Re: A branded USB stick as an alternative to the CD set?

Tati Chevron
In reply to this post by Stuart Henderson
On Mon, Nov 30, 2015 at 08:31:54PM +0000, Stuart Henderson wrote:

>On 2015-11-30, Tati Chevron <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>in my case, a USB stick would be actually useful for installing machines
>>>-- unlike the CD sets (I haven't had a working optical drive in the last
>>>5+ years). Any chance for 5.9?
>>
>> I would buy an official release on USB or preferably sd card, if it
>> was on offer. Presumably the production costs would be less as well.
>
>Cloning CDs from a master is something that can be farmed out
>relatively easily. Writing an image to USB/SD, not so much, especially
>when you're going to want that to be done securely.

To be honest, my original thought was of a masked rom packaged in a USB or
SD card device, not somebody manually writing standard flash drives with
an image.  However, I totally agree now that I had a momentary lapse into
the surreal, posting without thinking, and irritated Theo.  Sorry for the
noise.

>And who is going to trust this? There's a significantly higher bar
>to invisibly tampering with a pressed and printed CD than a USB stick.

Again, the original idea wasn't mine.  I commented on the thread, but in
my mind, I imagined receiving the install source on a medium that had the
same bar to tampering as a CD, such as masked rom.  I wasn't thinking of
a standard USB flash device with a glued write-protect switch.  My original
post was a mixture of various thoughts that shouldn't really have been posted
without further consideration.

--
Tati Chevron
Perl and FORTRAN specialist.
SWABSIT development and migration department.
http://www.swabsit.com

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Re: A branded USB stick as an alternative to the CD set?

Theo de Raadt
> >> I would buy an official release on USB or preferably sd card, if it
> >> was on offer. Presumably the production costs would be less as well.
> >
> >Cloning CDs from a master is something that can be farmed out
> >relatively easily. Writing an image to USB/SD, not so much, especially
> >when you're going to want that to be done securely.
>
> To be honest, my original thought was of a masked rom packaged in a USB or
> SD card device, not somebody manually writing standard flash drives with
> an image.  However, I totally agree now that I had a momentary lapse into
> the surreal, posting without thinking, and irritated Theo.  Sorry for the
> noise.

I've looked into this a bit before.  The setup cost is above $50,000
per release.

I wonder why we don't see piles of masked rom USB sticks from other
sources

But anyways I'll send you a private mail describing the part you can
play in this as a 50% stakeholder, and the amount you can expect to
lose every release.  (I am assuming the OP is the other stakeholder; I
am already making insufficient income off my labour every release and
am not willing to dig myself a deeper hole, so I cannot participate).

> Again, the original idea wasn't mine.  I commented on the thread, but in
> my mind, I imagined receiving the install source on a medium that had the
> same bar to tampering as a CD, such as masked rom.  I wasn't thinking of
> a standard USB flash device with a glued write-protect switch.  My original
> post was a mixture of various thoughts that shouldn't really have been posted
> without further consideration.

So the original idea wasn't yours.  And now you think it can't work.
And you are still talking about it.  I see.  Very interesting.

This email thing is fascinating.

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Re: A branded USB stick as an alternative to the CD set?

Giancarlo Razzolini-3
In reply to this post by Tati Chevron
Em 30-11-2015 19:03, Tati Chevron escreveu:
> Again, the original idea wasn't mine.  I commented on the thread, but in
> my mind, I imagined receiving the install source on a medium that had the
> same bar to tampering as a CD, such as masked rom.  I wasn't thinking of
> a standard USB flash device with a glued write-protect switch.  My
> original
> post was a mixture of various thoughts that shouldn't really have been
> posted
> without further consideration.
    I don't know if most people are aware of this, but this has been
discussed on this list many times. The income of CD sales are what "kind
of" pays for Theo full time involvement with OpenBSD. I say "kind of"
because sales, as he already mentioned, are going down and down each
release. Don't have a CD reader on the machine? Buy them anyway and opt
out of the delivery. You can download the iso from the internet, safely
verify them and write your own USB stick with it. And Theo gets pay for
the wonderful job he (and others of course) do with OpenBSD.

Cheers,
Giancarlo Razzolini

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Re: A branded USB stick as an alternative to the CD set?

Theo de Raadt
> Em 30-11-2015 19:03, Tati Chevron escreveu:
> > Again, the original idea wasn't mine.  I commented on the thread, but in
> > my mind, I imagined receiving the install source on a medium that had the
> > same bar to tampering as a CD, such as masked rom.  I wasn't thinking of
> > a standard USB flash device with a glued write-protect switch.  My
> > original
> > post was a mixture of various thoughts that shouldn't really have been
> > posted
> > without further consideration.
>     I don't know if most people are aware of this, but this has been
> discussed on this list many times. The income of CD sales are what "kind
> of" pays for Theo full time involvement with OpenBSD. I say "kind of"
> because sales, as he already mentioned, are going down and down each
> release.

These days the CD revenue is about what a cashier at a store makes.

It seems to keep shrinking, but I will try to keep doing it unless it
nears zero; at which point the artwork will stop also.

I'm not doing any of this as a business.  I believe the research and
development that happens within OpenBSD is very important.  That's why
I continue doing this.

I cannot help but be insulted to the core when random 'people on the
internet' selfishly or unthinkingly misunderstand the focus of OpenBSD
as a R&D project, and recommend an even more broken business plan
which nobody needs or wants.  Frankly, it ruins my day.

For the time, I affffm on a small bursary as well from some people who
understand the importance, otherwise I'd be looking for a cashier job.

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Re: A branded USB stick as an alternative to the CD set?

Giancarlo Razzolini-3
Em 30-11-2015 19:34, Theo de Raadt escreveu:
> These days the CD revenue is about what a cashier at a store makes.

This is truly sad, to not say tragical.

>
> It seems to keep shrinking, but I will try to keep doing it unless it
> nears zero; at which point the artwork will stop also.
>
> I'm not doing any of this as a business.  I believe the research and
> development that happens within OpenBSD is very important.  That's why
> I continue doing this.

And I think that most people here is very thankful for this.

>
> I cannot help but be insulted to the core when random 'people on the
> internet' selfishly or unthinkingly misunderstand the focus of OpenBSD
> as a R&D project, and recommend an even more broken business plan
> which nobody needs or wants.  Frankly, it ruins my day.
>
> For the time, I affffm on a small bursary as well from some people who
> understand the importance, otherwise I'd be looking for a cashier job.

I really don't want to see this happen, but I'd imagine you wouldn't
stress yourself as much.

Keep the good work,
Giancarlo Razzolini

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Re: A branded USB stick as an alternative to the CD set?

Petr Ročkai-2
In reply to this post by Theo de Raadt
Theo de Raadt <[hidden email]> writes:
> I don't know, but I'll think about it later, because I am busy.
> I am spending my day making a non-writeable USB stick for the OP.

That's nice. Although a simple 'no' would have sufficed of course. I
have been told that buying CD sets is useful for the project, but I have
no use for CDs. That's all. Maybe I could get a poster instead...

--
id' Ash = Ash; id' Dust = Dust; id' _ = undefined

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Re: A branded USB stick as an alternative to the CD set?

Bryan Vyhmeister-3
Let's not waste any more of Theo's time. USB sticks are not the magic
device that some seem to think. Some are not very reliable and prone to
failure. I've had very mixed results with budget USB sticks in
particular. Going with a more expensive USB stick like a major brand
name *usually* turns out better but that's still no guarantee. If you
don't want a CD set, simply donate the amount the CD set costs directly
to the project. That provides funding for OpenBSD while also not wasting
anyone's time.

http://www.openbsd.org/donations.html

Bryan

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Re: A branded USB stick as an alternative to the CD set?

nawi
In reply to this post by Theo de Raadt
>> Em 30-11-2015 19:03, Tati Chevron escreveu:
>> > Again, the original idea wasn't mine.  I commented on the thread,
>> but in
>> > my mind, I imagined receiving the install source on a medium that
>> had the
>> > same bar to tampering as a CD, such as masked rom.  I wasn't
>> thinking of
>> > a standard USB flash device with a glued write-protect switch.  My
>> > original
>> > post was a mixture of various thoughts that shouldn't really have
>> been
>> > posted
>> > without further consideration.
>>     I don't know if most people are aware of this, but this has been
>> discussed on this list many times. The income of CD sales are what
>> "kind
>> of" pays for Theo full time involvement with OpenBSD. I say "kind
>> of"
>> because sales, as he already mentioned, are going down and down each
>> release.
>
> These days the CD revenue is about what a cashier at a store makes.
>
> It seems to keep shrinking, but I will try to keep doing it unless it
> nears zero; at which point the artwork will stop also.
>
> I'm not doing any of this as a business.  I believe the research and
> development that happens within OpenBSD is very important.  That's why
> I continue doing this.
>
> I cannot help but be insulted to the core when random 'people on the
> internet' selfishly or unthinkingly misunderstand the focus of OpenBSD
> as a R&D project, and recommend an even more broken business plan
> which nobody needs or wants.  Frankly, it ruins my day.

As more as I read, as more I understand you.

> For the time, I affffm on a small bursary as well from some people who
> understand the importance, otherwise I'd be looking for a cashier job.

Please, continue it for the people which understand it or, which are
interested in it. Thanks.

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Re: A branded USB stick as an alternative to the CD set?

Giancarlo Razzolini-3
In reply to this post by Bryan Vyhmeister-3
Em 30-11-2015 20:10, Bryan Vyhmeister escreveu:

> Let's not waste any more of Theo's time. USB sticks are not the magic
> device that some seem to think. Some are not very reliable and prone to
> failure. I've had very mixed results with budget USB sticks in
> particular. Going with a more expensive USB stick like a major brand
> name *usually* turns out better but that's still no guarantee. If you
> don't want a CD set, simply donate the amount the CD set costs directly
> to the project. That provides funding for OpenBSD while also not wasting
> anyone's time.
>
> http://www.openbsd.org/donations.html
Let's just be clear that the CD's revenue (or non-revenue as it seems)
goes straight to Theo. Donations do the OpenBSD foundation doesn't, at
least not directly. So, in order to help him directly, buy the CD's but
do not get them delivery. That way Theo saves the shipping, and you
contribute directly to him. Which, isn't different from contributing to
OpenBSD.

Cheers,
Giancarlo Razzolini

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Re: A branded USB stick as an alternative to the CD set?

Theo de Raadt
> Em 30-11-2015 20:10, Bryan Vyhmeister escreveu:
> > Let's not waste any more of Theo's time. USB sticks are not the magic
> > device that some seem to think. Some are not very reliable and prone to
> > failure. I've had very mixed results with budget USB sticks in
> > particular. Going with a more expensive USB stick like a major brand
> > name *usually* turns out better but that's still no guarantee. If you
> > don't want a CD set, simply donate the amount the CD set costs directly
> > to the project. That provides funding for OpenBSD while also not wasting
> > anyone's time.
> >
> > http://www.openbsd.org/donations.html
> Let's just be clear that the CD's revenue (or non-revenue as it seems)
> goes straight to Theo.

[...]

> Donations do the OpenBSD foundation doesn't, at least not directly.

That statement is full of potential for misunderstanding, and cannot
be left alone.

Let me correct that for you: Donations to the OpenBSD Foundation do
NOT COME TO ME AT ALL, neither directly nor indirectly.

As has been said many times before, the OpenBSD Foundation is
independent, and transparently publishes what they spend their money
on in their annual report.  You can go read their report, and notice
contributions to the OpenBSD Foundation do not provide me with any
income OF ANY SORT.

A lot of people decided they didn't trust the OpenBSD Project as it
was, or at least they would not fund it.  They didn't trust me alone
doing what I was doing since since oh when I was 24 or so.  They
insisted that a Foundation had to be created to handle funding.  So it
got created, and almost all donations head that way because it is most
effective for the good of the project.  That is fine and good, great
things happen as a result.  It has allowed the productivity of
hackathons to continue.

But that model does not help me.  Please don't give out the impression
that it does.  The dwindling effectiveness of the CD sales support
model is a bit of a worry.

I am a one-trick pony; most of you are happy with my trick, so please
don't start a fresh conversation asking me to develop more tricks.

Maybe I said too much; but I hope I have been crystal clear.

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Re: A branded USB stick as an alternative to the CD set?

Giancarlo Razzolini-3
Em 30-11-2015 21:56, Theo de Raadt escreveu:
> But that model does not help me.  Please don't give out the impression
> that it does.  The dwindling effectiveness of the CD sales support
> model is a bit of a worry.
Sorry for creating that impression. It surely wasn't my intention. Now
you made it even more clear how things operate.

Cheers,
Giancarlo Razzolini

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Re: A branded USB stick as an alternative to the CD set?

Balázs Nagy
In reply to this post by Theo de Raadt
On Nov 30, 2015, at 2:34 PM, Theo de Raadt <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> These days the CD revenue is about what a cashier at a store makes.


I'm sick to my stomack when I read this.  I won't get into how unjust, unfair,
unethical this situation is, we all know that life is unfair.  We also all
know that Theo could have a high six figure, probably even seven figure salary
if he chose to. I don't think the issue is what new technology to deliver the
CD sets on.  I think the question is how to deliver Theo a recurring revenue
so that he gets to draw a salary that is at least somewhat commensurate with
his contribution to the IT industry. Just like a lot of us do recurring
contributions to the OpenBSD Foundation, we need to find a way to provide Theo
directly as well. Am I beeing too naive, am I missing somthing here?

Kind Regards,

Balázs

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