Subject: An anti-FSB idea
From: nelson@crynwr.com (Russell Nelson)
Date: Sun, 4 Sep 94 23:47 EDT

Idea: start an anti-FSB[1] that just makes hardware and complete
documentation on every aspect of the hardware.  No drivers.  No
applications.  Just a developers' emailing list and FTP site.

Maybe the economics of it doesn't make sense, because a traditional
hardware company can write the software up-front and amortize its cost
over the lifecycle of the hardware.

But then again a traditional hardware company still has all the
support and maintenance costs of a FSB.  Plus, the traditional
hardware company doesn't make money until they have working software,
whereas an anti-FSB hardware company makes *some* money from day one,
gains market share faster, gets market experience faster, and charges
less for its hardware.

Even better, the anti-FSB could work with (or be) a chip house like
Cirrus Logic or Crystal Semiconductor.  These days, board
manufacturers can't do much to differentiate themselves, particularly
if they use a highly integrated chipset like the current drop of
Ethernet controllers.  The chip manufacturer writes and certifies the
drivers.  All a board manufacturer can do is put his own name on the
adapter and the floppy, and solder the chip to the board.

Cirrus Logic has a bunch of neat serial port controllers, including
async and sync controllers.  They're just begging to be soldered to
boards, if only they had the right software for the right OSes (e.g.
Linux).

    [1] An anti-FSB is like anti-matter.  Touch anti-matter to matter
    and boom!  Combine an anti-FSB and FSB and boom!  Market
    explosion....  Well, okay, I didn't say it was a *great* idea.

-russ <nelson@crynwr.com>    http://www.crynwr.com/crynwr/nelson.html
Crynwr Software   | Crynwr Software sells packet driver support | ask4 PGP key
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