8 Jul 2004 ploppy   » (Master)

I am now unemployed after resigning from Zarlink. I didn't intend to become unemployed because I had a job offer from Google! Everyone raves about how good Google are to work for, however, they expected myself to relocate from the UK to Mountain View California, and I was not prepared to do that. The whole experience with Google was a huge waste of time, I originally applied for a job in their Zurich Research labs (they make a big song and dance about how they're trying to attract Europeans not prepared to relocate to the States by opening these labs). I went through the whole drawn-out interview process including a trip to the States (and this was not a fun trip because I dislike the states, and their attitude towards foreign people). They offer myself the job but decide I have to go to the states. I resigned from Zarlink when I received the offer expecting myself to go through with the relocation, it was only after this I thought 'why the hell should I relocate, Google may be a good job but it's not that good'.

Squashfs my open source compressed filesystem for Linux has done remarkably well over the past year. In fact it appears to have become the de-facto compressed filesystem for all new embedded work, and lots of routers, ADSL modems, set-top boxes out there are running out of a Squashfs filesystem. In addition about half of all liveCDs now use Squashfs as the filesystem, and it is slowly replacing cloop, having already replaced zisofs and cramfs...

Notwithstanding all the "success" of Squashfs, I regularly wonder whether I'm going to do another release. Even though there are lots of companies using Squashfs, I have received a princely $20 in donations, and so it's a good job I didn't do it for the money. What payment I do get is in 'ego boosting' but even then a large majority of the users of Squashfs never acknowledge they're using it, or that a lot of what they've done would have been impossible without it. Of course the most irritating are the ungrateful users who download it (for nothing), and then email you to say "very nice, but what about this and that feature, why haven't you implemented that", strangely forgetting in this life you get what you paid for.

In short I'm disillusioned with open-source and the open-source model. I can't help thinking back to the 'old days' when people expected to pay for software. If I received money for Squashfs I wouldn't be in the position I'm now in, unemployed, no income and spending my savings in living expenses.

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