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Updates On The Caldera IPO 127

kerskine writes,"It seems that there's strong demand for Caldera's upcoming IPO CNET reported that they've raised their strike price to $10-$12. This news is in sharp contrast to more negative appraisals such as this article from Forbes.com." I only know of a small number of Linux Developers who got "The Letter" from Caldera on their IPO. Gotta wonder about that.
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Updates On The Caldera IPO

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    I tried the Red$Hat distro and it didn't work at all. Miserable failure, but I grabbed a copy of Caldera2.3 and it worked flawlessly. They have a good product but they've done little to hype it or themselves in the marketplace. If I had the money now I'd grab this IPO because it will surely improve over its starting price. I love linux (l)users fear of money. It makes me laugh and laugh and laugh. Hey, last time I checked, capitalism was doing pretty well. If you want to spread the wealth, move to Cuba! Si?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Uh-huh. Typical Slashdot idiocy..

    Please name the 'changes' Corel made to Debian to make it unstable....line number and filename, please.

    And furthermore, instead of speaking out your ass, why not give a concrete example of how Caldera is a 'bunch of dishonest greedy slobs'? Is it because you didn't get a letter of stock offering? Methinks that YOU are the one suffering from greed, not Caldera.

    Please tell my WHY all of a sudden free software authors, who supposedly are doing their work pro-bono, suddenly feel they are entitled to stock from every large linux distro? And yet, around here, people continue to preach about 'free software' over everything else. There's a damn good reason why Stallman hasn't accepted any stock from the big Linux IPO's...it's kept his integrity intact.

    Either put your money where your mouth is, or shut the hell up.
  • Yeah, the European net plays have gotten a bit insane recently. The FT says part of the reason is that people want to move their money into the European tech sectors, but the number of companies is still relatively small. Hence supply > demand = insane market caps.
  • If you don't want other people to distribute you program for a profit, without sharing some of it with you, say so in the license.
  • If you wanted to get rich off the suffering of others you should have bought Microsoft stock.:)
  • Macmillian (sp?) used to publish Red Hat (circa 5.2) and probably paid them to do it. They, being publishers, had distribution channels that Red Hat didn't. Probably same thing with Mandrake.
  • If you are incapable of reading a prospectus (which contains a lot more important information than what percent of the stock is being offered), then you really shouldn't be investing in IPOs.

    Generally, much of the information in them is very readable and is in plain english. Some of it does require knowledge to interpret, but that's just the way life is.

    There are a huge number of caveats when buying IPOs at offering price, and simply stating what percent of the company is being offered, separately from the prospectus, makes little sense.
  • Erm... what the heck does etrade have to do with it? So, one broker won't let you participate. Caldera has zero control over that, and even if etrade did let you participate your chances of getting any shares allocated by etrade are very very low.

    Just because one broker did not decide to give you a chance at any shares doesn't mean "you can't get in anyway".

    Caldera's directed share program has far lower requirements.
  • Hey! I invested $2.95 in this company some homeless guy told me was cool, then later someone tells me that doesn't mean I own the whole company!?! What is up with this! It is a ripoff! Call the SEC! The FBI! The FCC! CIA! ABC! NBC! SGI! DND! RCMP! CSIS! This is outrageous and they should all be quite upset that I was defrauded out of my $2.95.

    Sheesh. IPOs are a more risky investment than many. That is why brokers like etrade put specific requirements on what investors can participate, since they are trying to keep out the people that don't have a clue about what an IPO is, how it works, how to read the details, what to look for, or what the risks are.
  • It'd help to know just what sort of project it is that you're working on.

    Though I wouldn't use it myself, I just thought of an idea for a OSS (non-free) game: in-game advertising! It'd be kind of neat (and profitable) to, say, have a gigantic Pepsi logo in the middle of a multiplayer arena. Or would it?
  • But a good freind offered me in on a Freinds & Family type deal. Does that count? Hack if just had a little more karma I'd be working there rignt-now


  • I think that is his point. The guy in the article leads you to believe the "only" reason to use Linux is cost. While the cost can be a factor, the previous poster was alluding to the fact that you should use Linux because you aren't married to Microsoft,Sun,etc. Not to mention you should use it for the stability.

    Or I could be completely wrong...time to get some coffee.
  • > but alas if you are not a US citizen you don't get invited to the party.

    What exactly do you mean? Are you saying you can't buy any CALD shares as a non US-citizen? You can buy CALD shares as a non US-citizen.
  • Hi Bowie,

    Someone is making money, hand over fist, off your work, and off my work. I have a right to question why many of us remain uncompensated when
    theres money like that changing hands.

    I'm a huge fan of Propaganda, but, well, I hope you don't really feel this way. Remember that every project done in linux now is based on the countless unpaid hours of work done by people in the past. The gcc used to compile the tools used to paint those pretty pictures was started umpteen years ago..

    If you don't like people using your work and not compensating you, then license it in such a way as to make that impossible.

    Otherwise, well.. sour grapes, wine, whichever. :)

  • Well if it's more expensive than using an operating system where you can not fix the bugs then.. don't fix the bugs.. It'll be exactly the same as using a closed source os but cheaper.

    The cost of fixing Linux bugs is counted in hours and pay rate.
    If it costs you more than $100 (The cost of Windows) or more than $50 ($100 minus cost of offical distro cd) to fix bugs then you need to do the folowing...
    Fire your SysAdm.. pay your new SysAdm less.. and if your using an offical Linux distro.. use a diffrent distro..
    It dosn't take that long to fix... if otherwise your SysAdm isn't very good.
    Even for a bad SysAdm you are paying him to much if it runs up to $100...
    (Note... if you are paying your admin $100 an hour he may still be worth it.. if he winks at the system and all bugs vanish.. at $100 an hour your underpaying him)

    On the otherhand.. if the Linux distro isn't offical and really dose have thousands of bugs.. Your using a hackers distro.. it's useless... Thies are for 31337 Linux hackers... Or at least major tweeks...

    Ferthermore... liccensing source code is a commen practace and at one time was believed to be vital to the continued survival of the busness to have access to the source code no matter what the price. So even if it dose cost more to fix the bugs in Linux that for some mystic reason don't exist in some mystic operating system it is worth it. Becouse even a magical operating system has bugs...
    [A closed source operating system with fewer bugs than an open sourced operating system is an unlikely event unless the company has huge programmer resources and as such the operating systems price will be rather nasty... or.. the company is run by a demiGod who can mysticly make bugs vanish]

    A bugfree operating system is modern fiction.
    An operating system clamming to be bug free is an operating system whos bugs will never be fixed...

    And finnally... closed source dose not mean no access to source code.. it means only crackers have access to source code.. decompilers don't produce anything a SysAdm could use...

  • Actually, we did switch licenses. Propaganda (technically) is no longer flying the GPL flag. I've been waiting for Naru to change the contents of the page for quite a while now.

    If I knew then (back in November 98) what I know now, I would have never picked the GPL. If you're wondering what possessed me to choose the GPL in the first place, it was because there was some talk at the time that portions of the GPL might be rewritten to allow for non-coded forms of media such as sound, graphics, etc. Never happened, unfortunately. It just feels like the GPL started out a great idea, but in the end, it virtually forces you to remain poor if you stick with it.
    Thats the sad part, really. It sets the stage for the sort of thing we're seeing in the Linux community these days. A massive, massive inequity between the companies now swimming in billions of dollars of capital, and the programmers who can barely pay their rent.

    By "compensated", I wasnt referring strictly to money. For example, wouldn't it be nice if programmers whos work appears in Red Hat could list a contact-person at Red Hat as a reference on their job resume? Or VA's volunteers, for that matter? I dont see them doing that. It would be horribly simple for them to do, and it would be extremely beneficial to the Linux community. It would cost Red Hat absolutely nothing to do, and they aren't doing it. They, ultimately, are a business. Red Hat and VA dont have to care. They have to make money. Expecting them to care goes beyond the call of any business if you think about it. The song remains the same. An $11B company makes money off my work, regardless of the fact that its not an "integral" part of the distrib.

    By the way, for the record, Propaganda is now licensed under Perl Artistic. Thanks, Larry :)

    Bowie J. Poag
    Project Founder, PROPAGANDA For Linux (http://propaganda.themes.org [themes.org])
  • /* I went into CompUSA the other day, and counted six boxes on the shelves which carry my work, going for anywhere from $39.95 to $99.95...Someone is making money, hand over fist, off your work, and off my work. */

    None of those companies, barring SuSe, is actually turning a profit. No one is making money, much less hand over fist.

    /* I have a right to question why many of us remain uncompensated when theres money like that changing hands. */

    Because, stimpy, you gave away your work, without expecting compensation. You, along with thousands of others, decided to use the GNU public license, or some variant thereof, that said "Hey, I love doing this and I don't want any money! You can do whatever you want to with this, including sell it, as long as you abide by whatever it is I decided to license with." RedHat, out of the kindess of its heart, decided to let people in the ground floor with their stock plan. Note that no one was getting paid BY RedHat, they just got to buy the stock cheap, and then were able to turn around and sell it when it went through the roof. If you start getting pissy about "not being compensated", I suggest you start charging for your work, ditch the GPL (or whatever license you use.. I've yet to see a license that comes with Propaganda tiles) and figure out a way to make money the old fashioned way: earn it. Propaganda does not the OS make. If anything, you guys serve as a great advertisement for The Gimp for potential to produce some really great looking stuff. However, I see no real value added to any Linux distro from the inclusion of your tiles, other than some neat eyecandy for a really horrible GUI.

    /* Red Hat is a 11 billion dollar company. Dont see them compensating the people who continue to make their distribution usable */

    Red Hat's valuation is based upon some freaking ridiculous stock run-up. They have yet to turn a profit, see above. They do compensate quite a few people: they've hired them. Maybe you should submit your resume to Redhat? They'll probably tell you the same thing: Making tiles is nice, but why don't you go hack X or something?

    Please, don't get me wrong. I've got every volume of Propaganda that's been issued. Nice stuff, especially the seamless tiles. I'd eventually like to try my hand at doing that, as well. But I would *never* try and claim I wasn't being compensated when I release the stuff for free.

    Weren't things so much better when *everyone* was equally poor? :)

  • Is to use the Partition Magic that's bundled with it to repartition a Windows workstation, and then try to install Caldera.

    When that fails, often as not, I then install RedHat on the partition.

    At least in OpenLinux 2.3, they give you the option of logging in in Failsafe mode after install, which is a small X-terminal. In 2.2 you had to initially log in under KDE, and if X wasn't setup perfectly, or you have an old video card and could only go 640x480, you were hosed.

    I pitied the fools who did this and couldn't telnet in to change the default run level.

    In a nutshell, Caldera is useful for the Partition Magic, has a pretty install, but has failed more often than not in my older hardware, mostly in the X setup (IBM P75 with S3 video card and NEC Multisync C400, generic P90 with garbage picked ISA VGA board and VGA monitor).

  • aren't you the guy who was on the caldera user group list b*tching about this same thing not so long ago? if so you would know from there as the answer was told to you that at lilo type linux 3 which will put in the console mode so you could change the default run level.

    Nope, wasn't me, but thanks for the tip!

  • Think about this whole thing from the perspective of someone (i.e., a typical moo-cow day trader) who knows linux is a "new" and "hot" thing to make money off of. So the RedHat IPO, the VAlinux IPO, the Cobalt IPO, ad nauseum roll out and our cud-chewing day trader buys a few shares of each and makes a few bucks. Now, Caldera says its gonna IPO after all the initial hype and hoopla and the day trader falls into a pattern of thinking that is roughly the same as the YALD (Yet Another Linux Distro) moaning we've been hearing lately and we do hear every time a new linux distro rears it's head. I dub this YALIPO (Yet Another Linux Initial Public Offering). So, our day trader, YALIPO in head and cud in mouth, realizes that all thy hype is just that-- HYPE . And since our day trader is typical, that means there are many others in the herd that feel the same way. This leads the the inevitable negative reviews that downplay the IPO-latecomer(s) and thoroughly over-hype the IPO-pioneer(s). Its human nature really, "OK, things are going great...when's it all gonna come crashing down on me?" It's unfortunate that this has to happen to Caldera, or any other linux company for that matter, but we all knew it had to happen sometime, now didn't we? Because, well, everything was going great with linux-related IPO's but then...

  • The Forbes article talks about lack of branding.
    The current state of who owns whom, and who does what in Caldera's little group of companies, just supports that.

    They are branded alright, just no one knows to what without a script.
  • You really think a heard can think? The forbes headline said GOOD! the copy said... well... Please don't be silly - people listen to the headline, and all that means is I hope I get my share allotment.

  • I signed on as a Caldera reseller over a year ago, mostly because I liked the easy installation on common hardware. They seemed to have an active reseller program at the time, and I thought it would be a "good thing" to be on the relative inside. Since then, they have released new products to the market without even an email to the resellers (COL 2.3, COL eServer). I considered that kind of dumb, but I knew about them from industry press and contacts anyway (and product introduction literature is mostly useless fluff and cut sheets anyway ). Now they do the IPO thing, and don't even notify resellers about it, let alone give resellers the opportunity to invest early. I'm not expecting a free stock handout, mind you. I would be willing to pony up money, investing as a reseller in a company that I think has potential (although most of that seems to be being wasted, at this point). I hope that they are planning on using some of the IPO money to improve their reseller and community communications (maybe even hiring some talent, if they want to play in the big leagues).

    Thanks for listening to a personal gripe!
  • Who cares?

    The rich get richer, the poor get poorer. Corporatism has taken over the Linux community and there ain't no going back.

    Time to play with a different toy for me. I still use Linux as my OS of choice, I still develop for the open source community, but it's quickly becoming much less fun as rampant consumerism and corporatism takes over.

    How long do you think until there is an ISO (international standards organization) standard for Linux?


  • Or at least that was the case with E*Trade and Red Hat. It can't be government imposed, because the VA Linux IPO was open to the world. If you are foreign though, don't worry: just make up an US address, and there you go!

    Btw, why didn't anybody mention Disney yet today?

  • I got my Stafford loan yesterday, and since the IPO price is still within the "tolerable" range, I'm still going to nab 100 shares with an investor friend of mine.

    Does this mean your going to use your stafford loan to buy stock? Gee, what a great use for student financial aid. I feel better about paying my taxes already.

    WARNING! This post contains sarcasm. If you are using prescribed medication, please consult your doctor before reading.

  • I had a Stafford Loan while in college. I'm still paying on it now (oh what fun).

    The loan is a government subsidized loan. That is why you don't have to make payments or pay interest on it while your in school. The federal government pays the interest for you. Also, I believe the interest rate is kept lower through government subsidies (but I'm not sure about that part). So I'm pretty sure at least some tax money is used for this program.

    I think there may also be something called a capitalized stafford loan. With this one, you still don't have to make payments while your in school, but the feds don't pay the interest for you. In this case the interest accrues on your loan. I'm not sure how much tax money is used in this case.

  • "Moron. The purpose of Linux is not to be inexpensive. If that happens, fine, it's a nice side effect. The purpose of Linux is to allow you to separate your business plan from the business plan of your software provider."

    No, you have his quote out of context. He is trying to say that businesses use Linux instead of something else because it is free, and if it costs more to fix it than you would have paid for a closed source OS then you're shooting yourself in the foot.

    He also may not be talking about Windows or MS. I know where I work Linux is used solely as a server OS, and if we didn't go with Linux for those few servers it probably would have been AIX, or BSDI or pehaps even Solaris. That would have required us buying proprietary hardware though (in the case of Solaris and AIX), which drives the cost up significantly.

    Forbes is a publication by Business guys, for Business guys. You should try and remember that while you are picking apart their articles. forge

  • I would love to get my hands on some Caldera stocks, but alas if you are not a US citizen you don't get invited to the party.

    Is this a self-imposed restriction or a government restriction I wonder?


  • Sorry, my initial post was not entirely correct.

    Here is what I was told:

    Thank you for your inquiry.

    If you are not a U.S. citizen, in order to participate in the Caldera Systems, Inc. Directed Share Program, you must meet the following requirements:

    • You must reside and have an address in the United States.
    • You must have either a Social Security Number or send us a W-8 form.

    As I live in Australia I strike out.
    I guess if I was living and working in the US things would be different.

    Kinda disappointing really :(


  • Ahhh that was my mistake! I contacted Wit Capital! Thanks for the info!

    Account forms are due to them via FAX (415 913 5530) no later than Friday, March 10th

    March 10??? It is March 18 here already, I know you are guys are behind the southern hemisphere, but 8 days ;)


  • hmmm.. that caldera logo... I think it's a world covered by an ocean of a Mickey Mouse head that we can only see half of! Is it a secret message from somebody within!? Hmmm... Is Caldera really run by that incesent mouse?
  • Uh, it's a *loan*, which means that I'm paying this back at 6.8%. Your taxes go towards *grants*, of which I got $1000 worth, just enough to pay about 50% of my school bill. The remainder of my Stafford Loan is for my use, mostly to pay bills, keep up on rent, and the such. I also have 2 part time jobs that I use for bills and rent, so I thought it would be a Good Thing(TM) to invest in Linux. Sneer at more money coming into the open source arena.

    BTW, I'm 25 and have been paying taxes for 10 years now. I think it's just groovey that I can use my *loan* for stock purchases.

    WARNING! This post contains sarcasm. If you are using prescribed medication, please consult your doctor before reading.

    hehehehe. That was pretty good.

  • I got my Stafford loan yesterday, and since the IPO price is still within the "tolerable" range, I'm still going to nab 100 shares with an investor friend of mine. I'll just stick it in the folder with the 30 RHAT shares and the 40 LNUX shares I bought. Hell, to me it's not about the investment gains, but more about supporting stuff I see as a Good Thing(TM).

    Screw all the infighting about "well, you made money off of OSS, so you aren't a /true/ supporter of open source."

  • Thanks for the advice, but screw the hype. This, to me, is a good way to contribute money, while at the same time making loan officers of banks think that me and my friends are capable of affording a 25 year loan for a Geek House.

  • Exactly, its not like Andover gave stock to all the people with high karma who stimulate discussion on Slashdot. Why didn't Effugas, Signal 11 or Enoch Root get any 'letter' Cmdr Taco?

  • 1) Red Hat has no real products that they own aside from whatever they've stolen from Cygnus

    RedHat Linux is a product that RedHat owns in name. You can not release a product and call it that. They aquired Cygnus, so maybe you could say stole, but Cygnus is now a part of RedHat in one form or another.

    2) VA linux has no products other than arrogant programmers like Mandrake (smart move for a hardware company!)

    VA Linux sells custom Linux servers and other machines. They are pretty good not only for Linux but freeBSD. That's a product. I haven't meet Mandrake so I can't say anything about his character but I know he has put out some awsome code.

    As for you other comments I can't really say anything about. I have never used Caldera so I know nothing of their distro and while Slashdot has been anouncing some stuff, it is not nearly as dedicated to applications as freshmeat is.

    So Linus, what are we doing tonight?

  • Well I guess that Raster derserves most of the credit but I was pointing to enlightenment for the code that I am impressed with. Well to be honest, the result. I love E, even though it does hog the resources a little(ok a lot). So I concede the point that I know nothing of his programming expertese.

    a) Mandrake Linux has been smoking RedHat saleswise so RedHat's owning the name means (almost) zilch

    While Mandrake has a kick ass distro, I thought according to the figures in a zdnet story on linux distro sales (sorry I don't have the url, does anyone else?) That the sales of Redhat Linux made up 60% of all Linux related software sales. If I am wrong then I appologize. Could someone point out a more recent comparison of the distros as far as sales or wide spread use go?

    So Linus, what are we doing tonight?

  • Are the future linux IPOs going to be as strong as the earlier ones?
    Maybe the overpricing of these stocks won't continue...
  • Interesting point, but you should keep in mind that from the POV of the typicall corporate suitguy, it's better to pay M$ to maybe fix a problem sometime in the next year than to run an OS without a really rich guy behind it that need not be fixed in the first place.

    Frankly if we need to get a rich guy selling Linux for it to be a corporate OS success, then I'm not so sure I want it to be a corporate success.

    Especially since that would imply either that Torvalds get brainwashed by Bill The Borg's microdroid borg army, or that someone cheats him really badly.

    Is is really Linux if it has an IPO ? Since when is money important to Open Source ? Hence I continue to use debian, admittedly there are features it doesn't have yet. But it is no doubt the last REAL Linux around. Developed by the comunity and designed to be as cheap as possible to obtain. That is Linux, and what is the use ?

  • Caldera doesn't own DR-DOS. Lineo does. Get the companies straight, please. They are not the same.

    From the Lineo website:

    "Lineo, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Caldera, Inc."

    My statement stands.

    Lee Kaiwen

  • Caldera inc. is not the company going IPO

    True. And, as has been pointed out, it hardly helps the branding issue when you can't even say "Caldera" and know who you're talking about.

    The internal DR-DOS development team (which had been relocated to the UK) was disbanded well over a year ago, before Lineo became Lineo. What little development there has been in the last two years -- mostly, as I recall, pertaining to fixing up EMM386, and adding experimental LFN support -- has largely come from the outside talent who jumped on board during DR-DOS's brief open-source period, with some help from one or two internal people. But the internal development team was shut down quite a while back.

    Which underscores my point: it's too bad Caldera/Lineo reneged on its decision to open the code. DR-DOS does, and always has, run circles around anything out of Redmond. Imagine what the open-source community could have done with it.

    Lee Kaiwen

  • As has been pointed out, the accuracy of my statement depends on who "Caldera" is. Caldera, Inc. owns Lineo, which owns DR-DOS but is not IPO-ing. It also owns CalderaSystems, which doesn't own DR-DOS (though it does sell it) but is going IPO.

    All of this merely confuses the branding issue Forbes magazine talks about.

    Personally, I think Caldera (Inc., that is), should pull all its children back into the house and concentrate on embedded systems. If the tech prognosticators are correct, there's a lot of money to be made there. Lineo has a great product and seems to be establishing itself as the market leader. This is an area where Caldera could really establish some branding.

    True, it's not as sexy, but the folks at Caldera should realize by now that there's no way they're going to be able to catch RedHat in the systems/server space. But RedHat is new to the embedded market; Lineo has more experience there and (IMO) a better product, and there's still a window of opportunity before RedHat can exploit its market leverage to dominate embedded systems.

    Lee Kai Wen

  • Notice how Netscape in turn for giving away Mozilla got a bunch of programmers for free.
    Funny how the programmers paid by some 'larger; company are doing a GOOD portion of the core work. Others have contributed but not nearly like your making it out.

    So there is a greed in open sourcing...
    Amusing to me is the fact I Have never gotten a sense of greed from Linux or any code I have ever contributed (minimal but I have done some to gIDE and glade)

    That just annoys me since I know the primary authors of quite a few packages and it has *NOTHING* to do with having other people fix code for them or me.

    I helped out because I wanted to learn some and I happened to like the project. Don't go speaking about how other people feel unless you are sure please.

  • Frankly if we need to get a rich guy selling Linux for it to be a corporate OS success, then I'm not so sure I want it to be a corporate success.
    <G>So What does that make ESR? He most definately 'sold' Linux so the suits and IMHO hes rich at the moment :p

  • just how many IPO'd Linux distributions are there out there now?
  • I've never stepped up to a major project such as that except with friends of mine and such, of which often we did not release a finished product (except to ourselves). Much of my graphics code is available at TPU.org (or was)... All this talk about kernel hacking and such, I think that I shall :-) It will be fun. Anyways, about the IPO, definately gonna get my mom in on this one :-)
  • I'm working on a project that I would really like to be open source, but the perspective of licensing it and making some money has been a strong deterrant. Would anyone educate me and probably others (maybe suggest a link) on how to make money writing OSS, other than support? IPO's like this really makes believe it's just like doing business any other way, but I just haven't seen how yet.
  • It's a graphic utility specialized in a specif image tratment. I'm writing it for Windows and I shall start porting for Linux this week.

    My initial question was motivated by the fact that I really feel the project is interesting and would benefit enourmously from the colaboration of other brains and hands.

    Another implication of not coding with open source in mind is that I have to create my own classes for image file types, color space conversions, resampling and so on. If I felt confident that the program would be open source I could re-use some code from another program (e.g. GIMP) which is known to work right and fast. This may not be a problem now, as long as I am prototyping, but the production code will need a lot of tuning.

  • Linux IPOs will slow down because of one principle reason; horrible overvaluation of past public offerings.
  • I would like to clarify that my assertion about Caldera: I am not claiming that Caldera has done nothing of worth, indeed I refuse to believe that anybody would be stupid enough to sink money into a company that they didn't think was contributing a positive way.

    My assertion is that Caldera is a company that is in no way set apart from its competitors. Indeed most of the achievements you claim are past glories. Its plans for the future are uncertain. And given the strength of some of its competitors, that should be a real cause of concern for investors.

    However it is not. Hence my assertion that Caldera is a company floating on a wave of 'linux is great' euphoria and investor stupidity.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    ... or does the Caldera logo look a lot like half of Mickey Mouse's head? I know it's suppose to be a "C" but everytime I see it the first thing I think of is Disney.
  • I know Michael Sinz, part of the java porting team, got the offer also (and he didn't get the RHAT or LNUX offers). Nobody in the office who got into RHAT or LNUX got into this one though.
  • Andover.net did an *Open IPO* that anyone could have gotten in on at the "insiders' price." One of the big reasons the company chose this type of IPO over a traditional one was to eliminate all the "Who got the letter? Did you get the letter?" problems.

    - Robin
  • Caldera's big problem, in my opinion, is that in the past they haven't settled on one game plan and stuck with it. Instead, they've veered all over the road, in the process wasting millions of dollars on licensing and development fees for commercial product ports that were swiftly discontinued when they switched directions yet again.

    On the other hand, their upcoming products are quite solid (I've seen the beta versions, and even the beta versions are more stable than the typical Linux distribution), and they do have the top VAR program in the Linux biz. Chances are if you buy a solution that's based on Linux, it's probably based on Caldera's Linux. The problem is that 99% of the time, you don't know that it's Caldera's Linux -- or even Linux, for that matter. All you know is that you bought a "Document Imaging And Storage Solution". Thus Caldera's low profile.

    We'll have to see whether Caldera has finally settled on a strategy and will stick to it. I think their current strategy is a good one... but then, so was their 1997-vintage "Linux for Business" strategy, which doesn't seem to have turned into a pot of gold.


  • Actually, our IPO was not open to the world, we were unable to get into a few countries dues to the flavor of thir securities law. I have to say that during our IPO, the international aspect made things 4x as hard to do in the time allotted.

    That said, it was lot of fun to administer it, but I've never been as stressed in my life.

    Chris DiBona
    VA Linux Systems
    Grant Chair, Linux Int.
    Pres, SVLUG

  • > Are you stoned, or just stupid?

    I originally said bear market, but I figured that was a little bit too much industry jargon for one day.

    In case you haven't noticed, confidence in an entire stock market(NASDAQ) is fluttering as people realize just how "amazing" all those companies on the Dow are, you know, with price-to-earning ratios that don't exceed the number of years this country has been in existence.

    My apologies if I've caused you any distress.

    Yours Truly,

    Dan Kaminsky
    DoxPara Research
  • > Please explain how a market (NASDAQ) can
    > continually smash into now record highs (up 2%
    > today alone) and can be in a bear market. I
    > haven't noticed a lack of confidence in any
    > American market.

    This was the other reason I didn't use the Bear term--it's not particularly "bear" in the Long Term timeline, at least not yet. However, from Caldera's perspective, the Dow had picked up some unprecedented levels of investor interest(wasn't there like a 9% jump in value of "unloved" stocks?), their entire market had *totally* missed the boat on that major stock jump, and their stock, with its (undeserved) bland image, standardly broken PE ratio, and underperforming competitors, sure didn't look like it was time to release.

    So...they added in a delay, and raised the stakes for the possible reasons I outlined earlier.

    Sorry for the misunderstanding.

  • The cost of fixing Linux bugs is counted in hours and pay rate. If it costs you more than $100 (The cost of Windows) or more than $50 ($100 minus cost of offical distro cd) to fix bugs then you need to do the folowing... Fire your SysAdm.. pay your new SysAdm less..
    I think you're making the same mistake as the article author - comparing the cost of fixing a Linux problem with the cost of buying Win. If you can get Linux for $50, and fix it for $500, that may be better than buying Win for $100 and losing avg. 2 man-hours per week on system crashes. (that was one of the 63% of statistics that are made up on the spot)
  • "Often fixing the problem is more expensive than what the company would have paid to buy a different operating system--and that completely defeats the purpose of Linux."

    And what about the cost of fixing a problem with a commercial operating system? Surely that's a more meaningful comparison to make, even if sometimes it's not possible because said commercial operating system isn't open source.

  • When 10 people march off the same cliff because they couldn't read the tiny sign that read "Lookout, cliff ahead!" it is surely a problem. IPOs in general are damaged by the number of people hurt investing a ton of money to find they only own a fraction of a company. Legitmate companies seeking capital to grow will be damaged when the market associates IPO with ripoff. This is a legitimate securities practices complaint. And yes, I have complained to the SEC. Anal retentives that nitpick other people on spelling definitely deserve the name "Anonymous Coward".
  • When 10 people march off the same cliff because they couldn't read the tiny sign that read "Lookout, cliff ahead!" it is surely a problem. IPOs in general are damaged by the number of people hurt investing a ton of money to find they only own a fraction of a company. Legitmate companies seeking capital to grow will be damaged when the market associates IPO with ripoff. This is a legitimate securities practices complaint. And yes, I have complained to the SEC.
  • I somehow think we are talking about a heck more than $2.95, especiall when Palm wound up being worth more than 3COM. But then again, some people think insider trading should be lagal too. I mean, whats the big deal if a few guys make a couple of extra bucks. Or even better, stop prosecuting scams altogether. Who cares if 3 or 4 million people spend $4 for a product that doesn't work.

    As far as the E*Trade thing goes, I got into an IPO offer by just clicking the mouse a bunch of times.

  • I think the biggest problem with the recent spat of IPOs is the way they are reported and marketed. I have yet to read a decent report that clearly states the percentage of stock that will be offered in the IPO.

    Take the Palm Pilot IPO. It wasn't until a week after the IPO that the mainstream press picked up on the fact that only 5% of the company had been offered.

    Clearly these IPOs are being advertised in a manner to trick unsuspecting daytraders into investing. Big name brokerages and investment groups jump on the bandwagon because they know a biname ".COM" or tech stock will jump through the roof nontheless because of investor ignorance. Trading groups should be required to clearly state what percent stake in the company is being offered when advertising IPOs. This is pure consumer ripoff. Sure the details are in the perspectus, but perspectuses (perspecti?) are often unintelligible to the common investor.

  • Red Hat is a 11 billion dollar company. Dont see them compensating the people who continue to make their distribution usable, do you?

    Actually, they do. They pay GNOME developers and AC. Also, Mandrake are currently paying one of the KDE developers. Sure you could argue that Redhat should pay everyone -- but not because of their large market cap. Remember -- Redhat are running at an operating loss. They are already paying too many people as it is. They are a business and ultimately, they are supposed to make money. And again, I emphasise -- raising venture capital doesn't count. Making money means maintaining a steady ( preferably growing ) operating profit.

  • Accually "free software" is much less about giving back and being selfless than it is about giving away the code so others can make improvments.
    I wrote it becouse I want it. I give it away so others can improve it and give the improvements back to me.
    So there is a greed in open sourcing...
    Notice how Netscape in turn for giving away Mozilla got a bunch of programmers for free.

    Also the stock isn't free... The letter offers to SELL stock at low preIPO prices.. Usually the stock shoots up after the IPO.. thats where you make a killing.
    Open source companys are answerable to the open source develupers... UNLESS they are answerable to stockholders... thus the letter...
    But with so few develupers getting Calderas "the letter" one worrys if Caldera has any plans to mainatin any sort of commitment to the open source community.
    However Caldera also develups DrDos and as such may not rely on Linux forever. But for the moment DrDos isn't a money maker.

    It still makes one wonder whats up at Caldera that they focused only on certen groups of develupers rather than going with a wider group or (as it was a big disaster with RedHat) not bother in the first place.
  • Apparently Caldera only feels it should reward the developers who will make the company rich come IPO-day. Im surprised more people arent insulted by that idea. Its like, hey, you're an Apache developer--Here's a chance to get in on our stock! Meanwhile, lets suppose you're working on some equally relevant but less-popular project.. No jello for you, little boy. Youre not popular!

    Does anyone know if Caldera bundles Propaganda with their distribution? If so, i'll fire off a little letter to them and ask them what the hell they're thinking, and post the results here. I think it would be rather novel for them to attempt to explain their choice of preference in handing out letters.

    No, I dont expect letters, and thats not why I got into Linux in the first place. However, if some company like Red Hat, or VA, or Debian, or Mandrake starts making millions off my work (and other peoples work) I'm not going to sit back and not give a shit. I went into CompUSA the other day, and counted six boxes on the shelves which carry my work, going for anywhere from $39.95 to $99.95...Someone is making money, hand over fist, off your work, and off my work. I have a right to question why many of us remain uncompensated when theres money like that changing hands.

    Red Hat is a 11 billion dollar company. Dont see them compensating the people who continue to make their distribution usable, do you?

    Bowie J. Poag
    Project Founder, PROPAGANDA For Linux (http://propaganda.themes.org [themes.org])
  • As I have read through the posts I hear two things. People are upset because they didn't get in on the IPO and Caldera Systems is just another distro. that doesn't really matter to the Linux world.

    I've been involved and contributing to Linux since it first came out in 1991. I never did care to put my name into the CREDITS file. I tried to get in on RHAT and LNUX but was not able to. I'll try to get in on CALD too. If I do great but if I don't I still wish them well.

    Caldera, and now Caldera Systems, has done a lot for Linux over the years. Even though I don't work for them now, I did in the past.

    Caldera has not been a company to blow its own horn, as have many of the others. The engineers who have worked at Caldera have made contributions, some very major, but they do so without seeking the spotlight as some in the community have done. They have worked because they want to see Linux succeed as much as anyone else in the community.

    So what has Caldera done that others may not be aware of? With the benevolent backing (tens if not hundreds of millions) from Ray Noorda they have gone into areas that others did not to enable technologies that all of you have benefited from. How many of you use Netscape on Linux? Caldera paid for the privilege of porting the Netscape client and server products to Linux that you all use. They funded Star Division to port Star Office to Linux. How many of you use this product? They have worked deals with Sun to help with Java and Wabi (dead now but did allow for 16 bit windows apps. to run on Linux). They paid for and helped technically to get the original Word Perfect onto Linux. They helped bring Netware technology to Linux. They couldn't openly distribute this technology because of license terms with Novel, but never the less they helped tie these OS's together and make the world a closer place in which to compute. Linus has said for some time that Linux needs apps. to become successful. Caldera has worked with and paid many ISV's to see this happen.

    Caldera has always supported the trade shows and organizations such as Linux International and the LSB.

    Caldera stayed away from the bleeding edge of the Linux technology and worked more on putting out a release considered more stable for commercial use. Hackers for the most part may prefer the later versions of everything, but business was concerned about having stability so Caldera looked to fill that niche.

    Caldera put together formal processes to produce a "Self Hosted" product. I don't know how many of you have ever had a problem getting source and having it recompile on the distribution of your choice, but any source Caldera distributed with their release was verified to be "makable" by the customer if they desired to rebuild it. I don't know of any other distribution which did this, at least until possible this last year.

    I would hope that even if I don't make anything from the CALD IPO that they will do well. I for one would like to see Caldera and Ray Noorda get something back for all they have done to promote Linux and help it progress. I trust they will use the funds they receive to further promote Linux.

    I also hope we can always have many choices in distributions and not have the market slimmed down to one choice. We all know what having a single choice can do!

    Long Live Linux

  • So what if Forbes published that article, does it mean it's truth?

    Caldera has a lot of nice stuff done for Linux, a lot of networking, and they published COAS and Lizard opensource. That's not nothing. Without the networking it has today, Linux wouldn't have been succesful at all.
    Also, read this:
    "Troll Tech would like to thank CEO Ransom Love and all the other good people at Caldera
    Systems who have helped in many ways during the creation of the QPL. Their backing and
    feedback have been invaluable during the process of making Qt Open Source."

  • Actually, your statement does stand, but Caldera inc. is not the company going IPO! CALD is the ticker symbol of Calderasystems, which also belongs undr Caldera inc.

    So, DrDOS is not owned by the company we are talking about here (which is Calderasystems).

    Another thing: DrDOS is at version 7.03, and there has been developement in the last 2 years, relative to multitasking.

    It has now been decided (as far as I know, have read it somewhere but forgot where) that there will be no more developement on it. But that's a decision Lineo took recently.

  • Actually, Calderasystems, which is the one going IPO, has nothing to do with DrDOS. DrDOS belongs to Lineo, the thin-client company. However, that's not their future, either, since Lineo is planning to get rid of DrDOS and concentrate on Linux for embedded devices. So, they seem to be planning to give it away completely. You can actually download DrDOS for free already, and use it for non-commercial purposes.

  • Ok, dumb question.
    How do they decide who gets the almighty letter and who doesn't?
  • What are you talking about?
    I posted and said that new linux IPOs will not be as hot as Redhat or VA Linux due to a lack of branding. This is a similar argument to what the Forbes article says...where the fsck does anyone talk about Caldera's contributions to the linux community. In my post I do mention that Caldera is well known within the linux community don't I?

    I don't get it. Do you work for Caldera or something? Are you a marketing droid or some PR flunkie that failed reading comprehension in high school?
    PS: Read the fscking article.
  • With the recent spate of e:businesses setting up, getting and minimum operation together and filling IPO, its nice to see a company going IPO with at least a reasonable foundation behind it ie: a product and profit.

    In the mean time why not visit LastMinute.com [lastminute.com] and see if you can help them break even

    This company has a turnover of £600,000
    This company floats the market at $700,000,000
    Go figure
  • It's awfully late to be doing a Linux IPO. Both Red Hat [stockmaster.com] and VA Linux [stockmaster.com] are tanking. VA Linux remains in their screaming dive; they just dropped to 93 as I write this, down from over 100 only yesterday morning and 320 in December. A lousy time to launch yet another Linux IPO.

    Remember, these are tiny companies with no profits and little unique technology. They don't have anything that makes them valuable. Even worse, considering they have a business model that consists of putting free stuff in a box and selling it, it's embarassing that the Linux companies lose money. They're going to make it up on volume? Yeah, right.

  • Caldera also develups DrDos and as such may not rely on Linux forever.

    No it doesn't. Caldera dropped development of DR-DOS almost two years ago. It still owns DR-DOS, still includes it with OpenLinux (the commercial version) and is still happy to sell you a copy. But DR-DOS is no longer under development.

    Too bad they reneged on open-sourcing the thing.

    Lee Kaiwen

  • What you're really doing is supporting the venture capitalists and underwriters for the IPO.

    Not that I don't think those people deserve to make a fair buck, but please don't be so naive as to think that your investment has anything intrinsic to do with open source.

    As it stands, your investments in RHAT and LNUX are currently in the shithouse. You may regret putting your loan money into them (which is akin to investing on margin, which is typically a dumbass move).

  • Caldera's IPO will be lackluster, I predict. Anyone who wants a linux stock probably already owns one of VA or RedHat, and it appears obvious that these are likely the only linux companies that are going to fly a high valuation for the forseeable future.

    Caldera, as many have pointed out here, doesn't distinguish itself from its competitors in a meaningful way. They sell themselves as being "for business" (whatever that means), but more appropriately that are just YAD (Yet Another Distro). If they wish to continue to beat the dead horse of their current marketing campaign, they need to tell me how they are more appropriate for small business than, say, Red Hat.

    In the end, any race becomes a two horse race. This means two distros. This means Red Hat and a player to be named....but most likely not Caldera.

  • by Effugas ( 2378 ) on Friday March 17, 2000 @06:23AM (#1196156) Homepage
    Best I can tell, there are two major reasons behind Caldera's move(beyond "they're afraid that NASDAQ is puking right now"):

    1) Reverse psychology. Stocks have their prices raised in response to heavy demand. An interesting way to turn the tide on low investor demand is to *act* like there's high investor demand. Some portion of investors would believe that a company being convinced that their stock is going to be heavily demanded means their stock actually *is* going to be heavily demanded. And, gee, if investors think that a stock *is* demanded, suddenly it *is*.

    2) Cash distribution, particularly if the market isn't thought to be amenable to second offerings. Caldera may not want to sell any more of its soul to venture capitalists. In order to do that, it has to make as much money--as a company--selling its shares to the market. Now, you do multiple releases when you think that your stock sale at time B is going to net more cash than a stock sale at time A. If you don't think the market will keep your stock so highly valued, or if you think you'll never "escape the gravity" of your present market position without an extensive war chest with which to market and develop with, you sell your shares off on the market once at as high a price as you can muster. Raising your IPO price, so you don't have to directly sell any more of the company to the venture capitalists, gives your company a much larger war chest, is moderately neutral to existing owners(although the lack of an initial runup to the higher price may harm momentum; see PALM), and is most painful to those lucky enough to have the right to purchase stock at the IPO price(since the delta from IPO to sale price is necessarily shrunken).

    At least that's how I see it.

    Yours Truly,

    Dan Kaminsky
    DoxPara Research
  • Linux IPOs are destined to slow down for a variety of reasons. The most important of which is branding. Since the source is available and everyone can make a distro the only thing that counts (to the market) is brand recognition. That's why RedHat and VA Linux made all those deals and attached themselves to many websites so as to get brand recognition. After all to random investor X, who is Debian? But such people know Redhat and a lot of people actually believe that they own Linux or at least that Linus works for them or owns the company. Even supposed techies on ZDNet's talkbacks make comments like that just make my jaw drop in awe.
    Anyway back to Caldera, it has no branding outside of the linux crowd except for being the company that sued MSFT and then settled for chump change. As Forbes eloquently put it
    Although its tie-in to the free Linux operating system will secure a strong opening, Caldera's lack of fresh perspective and obscure branding leave little to inspire any ongoing enthusiasm.
    In addition to striving after a dubious market, Caldera has failed to differentiate itself from the competition. The company has dabbled in both Linux software and hardware but has failed to make itself a market leader in any one area, says Dan Kusnetzky of IDC.
    which is completely true and finally
    This, says Yates, is the company's only chance if it hopes to define itself in an increasingly crowded marketplace. But Caldera will need to act fast, given that stock prices of Linux companies tend to come spiraling back to earth a few months after the IPO. Both VA Linux and Cobalt, for example, have lost more than half their value since their stellar debuts.

    The way I see it besides SuSE and maybe Penguin Computing I can't see any Linux company IPO being as hot as VA Linux or Redhat's due to the lack of branding and distinguishment from the competition. Then again the Dow rose 499 points yesterday against all expectations when everyone and their mother said we were beginning to experience a long overdue correction, so who knows?
  • by Gypsumfantastic ( 159984 ) on Friday March 17, 2000 @03:08AM (#1196158) Homepage

    The Forbes article makes what seems to be a very reasonable criticism of Caldera, which is that it is an uninspiring company with a bland public imgae, that does little of worth to set it apart from its competitors.

    This point of view presumably is not in any way in keeping with the feeling of most investors however, who seem to be keeping the company's shares in high demand.

    It seems to me therefore that this company is being buoyed up solely by the fact that it does 'something with linux'. Given its lack of branding and strong competitors like RedHat and VA, I am assuming that investors don't care what exactly it does with linux, and that the mere mention of the OS that has become the daytrader's best friend is enough to drive share prices to inexplicable and unsustainable levels

    The market for tech stocks is getting ridiculous at the moment, and what better example could there be than this; an uninspiring company, in an already crowded field, with an uncertain future business model, and people can't get enough.

    Caldera will be remembered as an also ran. A company whose sole claim to fame (apart from 'doing linux') is that they failed to win a court case against the evil empire and settlesd for about $42 dollars and a field full of goats. Long live market stupidity!


    +++ The meaning of a statement is the method of its resolution
  • by joey ( 315 ) <joey@kitenet.net> on Friday March 17, 2000 @02:57AM (#1196159) Homepage
    According to this advogato article [advogato.org], mostly kernel hackers (including Alan Cox) got offers. Seems some apache folks ago got it.
  • by SpinyNorman ( 33776 ) on Friday March 17, 2000 @04:04AM (#1196160)
    From lwn:

    We have just received information that Caldera indeed has made their directed shares program available to international developers, particularly in Europe but including other areas of the globe. In order to do so, they are working with multiple investment firms. Wit Capital is handling only domestic US accounts, which is correct, but Bank of America Security, LLC is handling International accounts. Bank of America can be contacted at 415 627 3115, 600 Montgomery Street, San Francisco, CA. Account forms are due to them via FAX (415 913 5530) no later than Friday, March 10th, so move quickly if you have this opportunity. We have confirmed participation in Australia as well.
  • This is just a bunch of biased personal opinions, expecially the Forbes article.

    They (and you) claim that Caldera has not contributed anything to the community. This is not true: they contributed and continue to do so, a lot of neat networking stuff in IP and IPX protocols. Also, they made NetWare for Linux (which is not like mars, but has a fully functional NDS v 4.x), an NDS client for Linux, ported Netscape FastTrack server to Linux, made Lizard and COAS available opensource...

    I think these are important things. Caldera has contributed to the Linux community quite a lot, actually.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 17, 2000 @03:04AM (#1196162)
    Why do you 'wonder' about that? I thought that originally getting into Linux wasn't about cashing in at some later date, but rather producing something for free. Redhat opened a real can of worms with it's little 'letter' campaign, and it really brought out the greed in people (the common mantra being "I work on package X...why didn't I get a 'letter'?").

    Since you didn't get 'the letter', what then? No one is obligated to get free stock...since when did the free software movement turn to greed?

Each honest calling, each walk of life, has its own elite, its own aristocracy based on excellence of performance. -- James Bryant Conant