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Ok, this is just an idea I had and I'd like to put it out there.
I've noticed a trend in what have been dubbed "digiticians" guys who go to your house/office/wherever and perform some (not-so) routine maintenence on your computer, fix (severe) crashes, virus, upgrade hard/software etc.
But I haven't noticed anything specific to linux.
Now, I'm just wondering if anyone out there is in fact performing such a full time support service for linux users, also if there's a solid buck to be made there.
I also figure that unless average joe knows that they can call someone in an emergency, no one's going to migrate over. Let alone know that the thing exists.
Basically, I just want to know if anyone has pursued this with success, and if it's a perceivably viable business to venture into.
Dunno of anyone is running this sort of service, but it's a great idea. From my point of view the main issues are simply that:
1. Right now, not that many non-techie people are using Linux. Hopefully this will change, but at least at the moment, most folks with Linux on the desktop know their way around a PC and probably wouldn't need to call for support.
2. Your potential clients are likely to be widely dispersed geographically, making it difficult to service your accounts. Example: suppose you are in, say, Florida, and someone from Colorado calls in a service ticket. Unless the client was willing to fly you out to CO, you'd probably have to concentrate on clients living within, say, a 50 mile radius from where you are located. Are there enough penguins in your area to support a full time business?
Overall I'd say Yes this is a great idea, but to look at it realistically. Most people just use their PC's to check Email, sell/buy crap on eBay, and maybe do a couple of Google searches. Offering full time Linux desktop support is a great idea, but I'd think it likely would be a part time gig for the time being. Of course, if you start now, a few years down the road being able to truthfully say "Founded 2004" will be quite the feather in your cap.
Good luck and best wishes whatever your decision -- J.W.
You could call me a linux door-to-door support specialist
I've got all my friends running it, and at least once a week I get calls about a samba share not showing, new software that wont compile, a system error, getting a new piece of hardware to work, etc. I go over and fix it for $5 or $10 depending on what it is. Not really official, but it's a start
I was also thinking, that to support such a business, selling/refurbishing older pc's with linux preinstalled. Help boost my clientel on both sides. Providing a VERY cheap desktop solution, as well as proper support and service.
Which leaves me with a question of certification. I understand IBM does some certification courses, I'm wondering if there's any others worth persuing.
I agree. But that's also why linux (and I really don't want this thread to turn into that &@$#ing argument) will never break into the market.
It's like videogames before playstation. It's just not "cool".
What I'm hoping, is that if I install and service a linux computer in people's homes, teach them how to use it, and do all the dirty work, then there's potential to make this niche market blossom. Not to mention profit.
In any business, one needs to specialize. Niche markets are wonderful targets because they permit focus. Linux is nothing but a niche market. If I can convince an average user that it's much more practical to buy a $200 system instead of $500, service it myself with warranties and such, and promote the bloody fact that it's free, then great. Small businesses would also benfit from knowing there's a guy around the corner who'll service linux computers.
Word spreads. Computers get recycled, linux gains market share, people save their money, I make some money. Who loses??