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Re: Ha ha!

11/8/2005 10:28 AM
Wild Bill
Re: Ha ha!
We seem to be arguing the basic difference between an activity being a business or a hobby.  
Often hobbies are practiced by millionaires who still try to make something for free out of cast off toilet paper rolls and scour parks for materials like kites and broken balloons. The creativity and adaptability is an equal part of the fun to such people!  
Most folks here on Ampage are hobbyists but quite a few are professional, in that they feed their kids from their knowledge and experience. They have to walk a finer line. Sometimes its about more than giving info for free 'cuz you may be letting yourself in for tons of emails asking for your help. The sheer volume of such requests can eat up a dangerous amount of your time.  
Any counter man at an electronic store will tell you that their most dreaded PITA customer is a ham radio operator. He thinks your store is like one of his flea markets and will happily tie up hours of your time and walk out when he finds that the transformer he wants will cost him $25 and not 25 cents. When I got one of those who was particularly aggravating I used to give him one of my competitors cards and say "Gee, I don't know much about that but why don't you try this guy? He's a little gruff at first but if you keep talking to him you'll eventually find that he really likes to talk about these circuits!" Then I could get back to my regular customers who actually paid the overhead.  
That being said, I will chide Bruce a little in that such misunderstandings could be avoided if he simply clearly stated in his replies and on his website that he considers such info proprietary. Maybe he was just too nice to come out and say it and was hoping folks would take the hint. He's got no reason to be shy. After the amount of free help he doles out almost daily he's certainly entitled to charge for anything he thinks a customer will pay! :) When someone like Keith is new to these forums how is he to know that everyone here is not totally a hobbyist? Still, I wonder if he would approve of his source code for his company's products being flogged all over the internet?  
Scratch that. The 'net being what it is his code probably IS available at some hacker site on the web! :)  
---Wild Bill