Subject: Re: Studies
From: Phil Hughes <>
Date: Fri, 28 Nov 1997 16:42:25 -0800 (PST)

> > 2. The underlying economics of CD distribution of free software are solid.
> >    Besides the fact that wholesale production of CD's costs under $1 per
> >    gigabyte, while whole internet connectivity costs about $2.11 per 
> >    gigabyte ($2k/month per *fully utilitized* T1 line),
> That's assuming you have some reason to want to physically possess a copy of
> the half-gigabyte that comes on a CD, and pay $20 to a CD distributor,
> rather than downloading (say) the 100Mb you really want, and pay $0.211 x
> some much smaller markup to an ISP.

The reality is that many people will pick the $20 CD.  I am a good
example.  While I have a full T1 available with lots of unsued bandwidth
on it I tend to keep CDs around.  CDs don't go down and CDs don't get
updated when you aren't looking.  If downloading is the only way to get
something then I will write it to CD.  A CD is just a cheap, convenient
way to store data.

> Only if a natural disaster brings down your phone line, in which case you
> have other things to worry about.

Or the phone line of the source of the data.  Or the net traffic is such
that you cannot connect to the source.

> >    If you do not buy these underlying cause arguments, just look at results.
> >    Probably something like a hundred thousand people regularly buy
> >    CD's consisting entirely of snapshots of Linux FTP sites that people
> >    can access for free.  Nobody is forcing these customers to buy, and
> >    they are educated consumers.
> I claim that this is a temporary phenomenon until hardware capability and
> communication pricing catch up, and as the price of bandwidth drops, so will
> the advantage of CD distribution.  

The cheapest place to store 650MB of data is on a CD.  Maybe people will
stop buying them when everyone has a CD writer but I doubt it.

   Phil Hughes ++++ FYL ++++ ++++ Phone/FAX (360) 276-4232
              P.O. Box X, Pacific Beach, Washington 98571
  To find out about Pacific Beach, check out