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Newest Mandrake Linux Delayed 179

Posted by timothy
from the damnable-import-duties dept.
Jens Lönn writes: "Linux seller MandrakeSoft has had to delay shipment of its newest version of Linux because of problems in moving manufacturing to the United States. Mandrake Linux 8.1 is available as a download, but the first CDs of the product were supposed to ship by the end of September. "Getting 8.1 production up and running in North America has been a slow and expensive process," the company said in a e-mail message to those who have ordered the CD." Since Mandrake makes certains things so easy (smooth installation), I hope they soon get their newest release again on Walmart shelves across the U.S.
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Newest Mandrake Linux Delayed

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  • Tariff (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Matthias Wiesmann (221411) on Friday October 12, 2001 @08:42AM (#2419211) Homepage Journal
    The story is funny in some sense, and shows that the realitiy is quite different from the internet mystics. Basically, it shows that
    1. the physical medium and its related problems (time to manufacture and setup the manufacture) are still around.
    2. that for all the talks about global economy, there are import taxes on software - I find it very ironic that there are taxes en free software.
  • by flez (463418) on Friday October 12, 2001 @08:48AM (#2419224) Homepage
    ... and extra time to fix this distro. I've decided to delay my upgrade until 8.2. Until recently, I was planning on making the upgrade to 8.1. The reports I've read, however, have convinced me to wait. Now that you have the extra time, why not box an 8.1.1?
  • by lumpenprole (114780) <lumpenproleNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Friday October 12, 2001 @09:08AM (#2419272) Homepage Journal

    Cheap Bytes (bless their busy little hands) only dl's stuff and burns it, then sells it cheap. Nothing wrong with that, but Mandrake doesn't get a cut, as far as I know. The point of this story is that Mandrake, the orginisation, is having trouble making money because of shippiing problems.

    I for one, happen to think it would be a real shame if they went under. Mandrake and Debian are my two favorite distros.

  • Don't worry. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by binner1 (516856) <bdwalton@gma i l .com> on Friday October 12, 2001 @10:03AM (#2419492) Homepage
    8.2 is due tomorrow, and 8.3 on Monday.
    Seriously...where do these guys find time for quality testing...they seem too busy stuffing the next distro out the door.

    Sheesh.
    -Ben
  • Problems (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tiny69 (34486) on Friday October 12, 2001 @10:06AM (#2419508) Homepage Journal
    They are having more than just shipping problems. This was just recently posted to the Bastille mailing list:

    Date: Fri, 12 Oct 2001 00:22:18 -0700

    From: Jay Beale
    To: bastille-linux-discuss@lists.sourceforge.net
    Subject: [Bastille-linux-discuss] Available...


    Normally, I don't use this as an announcement board, but times are tough...

    I wanted to let everyone know that I'm becoming available for hire, as a number of people on this list have, as a result of some financial issues at MandrakeSoft that have a lot to do with the poor retail and financial markets.

    I'm trying to find consulting work, though I'm open to full-time employment if it's a good match.

    With that said, here are a couple good links:

    My consulting practice:http://www.bastille-linux.org/jay/consult ing/

    My security articles: http://www.bastille-linux.org/jay/consulting/secur ity-articles-jjb.html

    - Jay Beale
    Lead Developer, Bastille Linux
    soon-to-be-ex-Security Team Director, MandrakeSoft
  • by moonboy (2512) on Friday October 12, 2001 @10:13AM (#2419564) Homepage


    Back when I first got DSL and downloaded my first .iso images I wondered myself how the companies that centered their business model around the compilation of a Linux distribution and the distributing of that distribution would make it in the "future" where bandwidth would be available in larger quantities and CD burners would be ubiquitous.

    Certainly we should all support our favorite distribution by purchasing a packaged product once in awhile. This isn't too hard when most are priced between $30 and $50 dollars.

    However, I do not see how these companies can continue to survive much longer without venturing into different product areas as Red Hat has done. I really don't think their revenue streams can support them for much longer. Suse has had troubles recently for some of the same reasons (IMHO).

  • by Doc Hopper (59070) <slashdot@barnson.org> on Friday October 12, 2001 @11:06AM (#2419863) Homepage Journal
    This is not quite correct. If I recall correctly, Mandrake has some pretty signficant bundling deals with (I think) MacMillan to distribute Mandrake with their books, and that gives them a positive revenue stream. Additionally, it seems like when Linux Mandrake gets store shelf space, it disappears very quickly. My local Wal-Mart sold out of Mandrake 8.0 boxes within a few weeks of their arrival on store shelves, and hasn't been able to keep them in stock. (Yes, that's purely anecdotal evidence which does not prove causation; it's merely an observation.)

    Contrary to some "dot-bomb" companies of recent times, it seems like the guys who make Mandrake Linux 8.1 are conservative in their approach to selling their product, and drop non-revenue-generating offerings very quickly. They started a whole portal thing for the release of 7.2, then dropped it fairly quickly since it didn't look like it would make money. As a user of Linux-Mandrake since version 5.2 (the first version), I've seen them grow the package from a small offshoot of a stock RedHat install to a robust and up-to-date distribution with an enormous developer base. Subscribe to the "cooker" mailing list for a few weeks; the volume of mail is just incredible, and package announcements come in almost daily. Yeah, the products are pushed out a little early, without incredibly robust quality assurance. I hate to say it, but the strategy worked for Microsoft, and it works for Mandrake: People (like me!)*want* the latest and greatest, and put up with problems in exchange for benefits, so put it out there early and bugfix it later. Mandrake Linux, IIRC, is not yet a publicly traded company, but it seems to me that they have their act together, and know how to market the product so they stay in the black.

    On a side note: I noticed Linux-Mandrake changed the name to "Mandrake Linux" with version 8.1. I wonder if that's a step towards calling it "Mandrake GNU/Linux" with version 8.2?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 12, 2001 @11:24AM (#2419989)
    Funny where I live in New Jersey there are is only one small supermarket around me. When I went to vacation in Greece the majority of supermarkets were privately owned and not huge chains. Also the privately owned supermarkets there were much bigger than the privately owned supermarkets I see where I live as property is much cheaper in Greece. When I went to southern Italy I also noticed less large chain stores around the villages I visited than in the States.
  • by ThatComputerGuy (123712) <amrit@nosPAm.transamrit.net> on Friday October 12, 2001 @11:33AM (#2420024) Homepage
    A themeable installer? What the hell is the world coming to? That's just about as useless as the music in XP's setup (aside from the rest of XP's setup, which is useless as well).
  • Smooth install? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by The Panther! (448321) <`moc.rr.nitsua' `ta' `rehtnap'> on Friday October 12, 2001 @11:54AM (#2420150) Homepage
    My ass.

    Maybe compared to the text install of Debian that I tried first, okay, I can accept that. I've been trying to jump the Windows bandwagon for a few weeks now on some test machines, and haven't been terribly lucky with everything going smoothly, not even with Mandrake 8.1.

    For instance, if you try to set up an ethernet card using the Control Panel (or whatever it's called), you cannot set up a NIC correctly without using BOTH normal AND expert mode. Reason being, in expert mode, there's no way to set the Gateway and DNS (I think?) servers... you have to go to normal mode to do that, but only if you set up a static IP. If you set up bootp or dhcp, it won't show up those boxes. So once I set those correctly, I went through the expert install and finished off the process. This took some serious tinkering to figure out their severely broken UI, and several hours to sort out because they don't even show you what the settings are unless you get to those screens by pure luck.

    If I were the typical clueless Windows user trying Linux for the first time, I'd probably have given up and installed Windows by now.

  • by gotan (60103) on Friday October 12, 2001 @12:22PM (#2420312) Homepage
    My feeling with the Linux distributions i've seen in stores was, that they always seemed a little dated. I know which kernel is out at the moment, and while in many cases the kernel makes as much a difference as the MHz-Number of your processor when it's between 1400 and 1600, the step from 2.2 to 2.4 was quite large, especially for folks with newer Hardware. Often the kernel-version announced on the package doesn't even tell the whole story, since the mandrake kernels even include many patches which didn't make it into the Linus kernel yet (but have a good chance to get there), but there's only so much you can print on the side of a box and not have it covered in fineprint.

    I think this is quite a problem when selling Linux on CD, since i believe many folks who think about buying Linux in the store at least know the kernel version (but probably don't bother about glibc, gcc, ...). With the fast paced and openly visible development in Open Source Software anything three month old already looks slightly dated. So the distributions must frequently issue new versions, and they must get them to the stores as fast as possible (since few people would buy 8.0 knowing 8.1 soon to be out). So when frequently issuing new versions another problem emerges: with the advent of the new version the old CDs drastically loose value, but the new ones need some time from being announced to appearing in the stores.

    The folks at Mandrake know all this, their distributions contain all the most recent stuff, their development rpms (cooker) are really cutting edge, and they even offered to sell 8.1 as preview and send the actual CDs when they're out. I run Mandrake and am quite happy with it. I'll probably buy 8.1 just for the manual and being able to install it on some friends computer (and also since i think it's worth the money), since i think Mandrake is a great distribution to start with, and also a good one to stay with, especially if one likes to toy around with the newest stuff (no distro wars please).
  • Re:Problems (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 12, 2001 @03:47PM (#2421679)
    I had no idea that my post on the Bastille list would go to Slashdot.

    I'm just trying to find work that matches my skills and background. It doesn't seem
    like posting to the mailling list about my availability is a bad idea -- I've actually encouraged
    other people in that community to use the list to help match themselves up with jobs.

    It's hard out there -- the economy is not so great right now and this is greatly affecting jobs. There are a whole lot of very capable people being laid off because companies need to cut their costs.

    I don't bear MandrakeSoft any ill will. Retail markets are not as strong as they were a year ago, or even a month ago. That's going to hurt everyone who gains revenue from that sector -- MandrakeSoft's doing the responsible thing by ending my salaried employment.

    Anyway, I'll still be sponsored by them, though not as a fulltime employee, for a little while, as they're able. I'll be contracting with them a bit, to whatever extent they can do it.

    - Jay Beale

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