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PICList Thread
'subcontractors are welcome!'
1997\03\14@134525 by Alex Bogdan

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Dear PIC-LIST subscriber!

Our company  LUMION CORPORATION is looking for somebody with PIC programming
experience to work on a
few projects via the INTERNET. Of course, if you are in the TORONTO area, you
are welcome to work
from our facilities. The projects are not very complex and are based primarily
on PWM type of
applications. The way we would like to structure the relationship is as follows:

1. The work would be done on a subcontract bases for a fee of $25 US an hour.

2. We will require a confidentiality agreement to be signed by the subcontractor
before commencement
of the project.

3. We will provide a description of the project without disclosing any final
product
characteristics. Only the algorithm for the  PIC will be provided.

4. The subcontractor will provide us with an estimate of the hours required to
complete the project,
a firm start date and completion date along with particulars of his/her
programming experience.

5. Upon the awarding of the contract, LUMION will provide a short form of
contract to be signed by
the subcontractor.

6. Upon signing of the contract, LUMION will provide the subcontractor with all
information required
to complete the project. Any questions regarding the project will be answered by
the company via
either the Internet or by phone 24 hours a day.

7. Upon completion of the project the subcontractor will deliver at least 5
(five) programmed
microchips to the company via its FedEx account.

8. Lumion will verify the proper functionality of the chips and will advise the
subcontractor of any
necessary modifications. Upon satisfaction by the company that the microchips
are operating
satisfactorily Lumion will deliver a cheque for 50% of the contract price to the
subcontractor via
overnight courier.

9. Upon receipt  of the first 50% payment the subcontractor will then deliver to
the company the
source code and all required supporting documentation to programm PICs via FedEx
on diskette.

10. Upon receipt of the above diskette and verification by the company, Lumion
will deliver the
final 50% payment to the subcontractor via FedEx.

If some of you folks are interested in the above described arrangements, please
send us an E- Mail
with a short description of your experience and availability of your time.

Looking forward to hear from you!

Alex Bogdan
Vice President, R&D
Lumion Corporation
4101 WESTON Rd.
Toronto, Ontario
Phone: (416) 745-6178
Fax:     (416) 745-9935
spam_OUTabogdanTakeThisOuTspampassport.ca
.....lumionKILLspamspam@spam@passport.ca

1997\03\14@171527 by Shawn Ellis

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I am writing in response to your ad concerning the PIC consulting
positions.

I have about 2 years experience designing complex PIC-based instrument
control systems for a spectrophotometer company in Bogart GA.

My most recent consultation project has been for a medical safety firm
under terms similar to the ones you described.  The medical safety device
is currently working very well and undergoing FDA testing.

I've worked with chips from the 16C54 to the 16C74.  I own a In circuit
emulator capable of emulating these devices, a chip burner, and a "C"
compiler.

I am experienced with trade secret jobs and the general consulting
relationship.  I'm happy to send my resume/references at your request.

Thanks,

Shawn Ellis

1997\03\15@015953 by John Dammeyer

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At 01:22 PM 14/03/1997 -0800, you wrote:
>Dear PIC-LIST subscriber!
>
>Our company  LUMION CORPORATION is looking for somebody with PIC programming
> experience to work on a
>few projects via the INTERNET. Of course, if you are in the TORONTO area, you
> are welcome to work
>from our facilities. The projects are not very complex and are based primarily
> on PWM type of
>applications. The way we would like to structure the relationship is as
follows:
>
>1. The work would be done on a subcontract bases for a fee of $25 US an hour.
>

Sounds like an opportunity for anyone that doesn't have to earn a living
from this type of work.  In other words,  if you have a real job that pays
your salary etc.  then you can work evenings and weekends to undercut the
people who do this as their sole means of support.

This company is obviously looking here on the PICLIST because the hundreds
of local software contracting firms, charging $75 to $150 dollars per hour
are too expensive.   Full time employment for this type of work would pay at
least $40K to $55K per year and that doesn't include true costs including
benefits, holidays, sick leave and pensions.

I wonder if he has his kids working in a coal mine?

John

Pioneers are the ones, face down in the mud,
with arrows in their backs.
Automation Artisans Inc.      Ph. 1-250-544-4950
PO Box 20002                  Fax 1-250-544-4954
Sidney, BC CANADA V8L 5C9

1997\03\15@031953 by John Payson

picon face
> >1. The work would be done on a subcontract bases for a fee of $25 US an hour.
>
> Sounds like an opportunity for anyone that doesn't have to earn a living
> from this type of work.  In other words,  if you have a real job that pays
> your salary etc.  then you can work evenings and weekends to undercut the
> people who do this as their sole means of support.

In all fairness to the original author, such jobs sometimes present a very
useful opportunity to those who are engaged in college or have not yet entered
the professional workforce.  Someone who seeks to hire contractors at such a
rate must be often willing to accept people with minimal experience (since
most experienced programmers would demand more) but may provide opportunities
that such people would otherwise not have.

Had you merely posted to the list that:

[1] The original author might find better people if he offered more
 or
[2] That potential respondents should be aware that better jobs may be
   available to them

then I would have thought such remarks were reasonably appropriate.  Your show
of offense, however, was IMHO uncalled for.  You seem to imply that there is
a monolithic market for contract labor when there is, in fact, quite a range.
Timex has not, and will not, push Rolex out of the market despite its vastly
lower price.  For Rolex to criticize Timex for charging to little would be
absurd; Timex simply fills a different market need.  Similarly with lower-
priced consultants.  Criticizing someone for seeking a contractor from a
different market segment than that which you occupy is IMHO unmannerly and
inappropriate.

1997\03\15@102847 by Kalle Pihlajasaari

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Hi,

>
> > >1. The work would be done on a subcontract bases for a fee of $25 US an
hour.
> >
> > Sounds like an opportunity for anyone that doesn't have to earn a living
> > from this type of work.  In other words,  if you have a real job that pays
> > your salary etc.  then you can work evenings and weekends to undercut the
> > people who do this as their sole means of support.

People who work a full day will often also not want to get involved
at a realistic US$25/h of their quality time with family, friends
and hobbies.

> In all fairness to the original author, such jobs sometimes present a very
> useful opportunity to those who are engaged in college or have not yet entered
> the professional workforce.  Someone who seeks to hire contractors at such a
> rate must be often willing to accept people with minimal experience (since
> most experienced programmers would demand more) but may provide opportunities
> that such people would otherwise not have.

The job will again likely cost the same no matter who does it.

The freelancer who has no added costs and is not as experienced
will most likely take longer to complete the job.

The specialist will do it in a fith of the time for 5 times as much.

There is nothing to say that you need to work all the hours you
quote on the job, if you work as home then hourly pay is a bit
rediculous anyway.  I could quote 12 hours and take 3 and then the
US$ 100/h would be more than my normal rate, what the original poster
should have said is that they would like a quote in Dollars on how
much to do the job, hourly rate multiplied by efficiency is almost
impossible to quantify so asking for quotes with only half of that
information is very risky.

> [1] The original author might find better people if he offered more

Perhaps he does not care, if the designs are simple and one does not
need the designer to have experience in power conditioning, software
hardware cost tradeoffs, crash surviability and other interface
caveats then there is little risk.

> [2] That potential respondents should be aware that better jobs may be
>     available to them

Work there is plenty of, but can they afford to pay or can you
and the work find each other.

As was mentioned on this list [or the STAMPS list] three simple means tests
should be made before taking on work.  I will Paraphrase or plagarise,

 1. Do only interesting jobs
 2. For nice people
 3. Who have money

 and the very important single exception, compromise only on point 1.

Having thought about these for the past few months I have to agree
that they feel complete and when applied do keep you out of trouble.

> then I would have thought such remarks were reasonably appropriate.  Your show
> of offense, however, was IMHO uncalled for.  You seem to imply that there is

Well, a slightly justifiable concern.  Certainly not something that
need have been pointed out as in the long run things will balance
out.

The only real time when you have distorted market prices in the consulting
field like in this case is if there is someone trained and supported
at someone elses (regular employer) expence and then dooing work on the
side at a price below cost beacuse time, money and experience have
been for free.  This is usually temporary until such a person finds
out that their service is worth the market price and does not need to be
donated to others who would use your sponsors investment.

Another mild reason for getting specialised work at below market prices
is if you have someone from another market tendering.  Perhaps
somewhere the US$25 would be a good consulting rate.

In conclusion, let the market decide on the pricing.

Vive La PICs :-)

Cheers
--
Kalle Pihlajasaari   kallespamKILLspamip.co.za   http://www.ip.co.za/ip
Interface Products   P O Box 15775, DOORNFONTEIN, 2028, South Africa
+ 27 (11) 402-7750   Fax: 402-7751    http://www.ip.co.za/people/kalle

DonTronics, Silicon Studio and Wirz Electronics uP Product Dealer

1997\03\15@103302 by Joe

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John Dammeyer wrote:
> Sounds like an opportunity for anyone that doesn't have to earn a living
> from this type of work.  In other words,  if you have a real job that pays
> your salary etc.  then you can work evenings and weekends to undercut the
> people who do this as their sole means of support.
>
> This company is obviously looking here on the PICLIST because the hundreds
> of local software contracting firms, charging $75 to $150 dollars per hour
> are too expensive.   Full time employment for this type of work would pay at
> least $40K to $55K per year and that doesn't include true costs including
> benefits, holidays, sick leave and pensions.
>
> I wonder if he has his kids working in a coal mine?
>
> John

Some comments on this issue:

1. It _is_ an open market. Offer more/better for less under acceptable
  terms and conditions, you're entitled to the work as much as anyone.
  Competition takes many forms and is part of the essence of our economy.

2. Perhaps the hiring firm doesn't need all the services that a full time
  contractor offers and charges for to cover overhead.

3. A full time contractor sould be able to do a more professional, more
  thorough, higher quality job in significantly less time and therefore
  out-compete the part-timers.

4. Also, if needed, the full time firm is more likely to be around to offer
  more extensive, dependable product/customer service and support,
  Again, a competitive edge.

5. It sure would be nice for the short term, but damaging oveall,
  to be able to say that any particular industry should put bidding out to
  only certain groups or types of contractors.
  This is not reality.

  Joe

1997\03\15@103639 by Joe

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John Payson wrote:
{Quote hidden}

100% agreement.
Well stated.

1997\03\15@123351 by Alex Bogdan

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Kalle Pihlajasaari wrote:
>
> Hi,
>
> >
> > > >1. The work would be done on a subcontract bases for a fee of $25 US an
>  hour.
> > >
> > > Sounds like an opportunity for anyone that doesn't have to earn a living
> > > from this type of work.  In other words,  if you have a real job that pays
> > > your salary etc.  then you can work evenings and weekends to undercut the
> > > people who do this as their sole means of support.
>
> People who work a full day will often also not want to get involved
> at a realistic US$25/h of their quality time with family, friends
> and hobbies.
>
> > In all fairness to the original author, such jobs sometimes present a very
> > useful opportunity to those who are engaged in college or have not yet
entered
> > the professional workforce.  Someone who seeks to hire contractors at such a
> > rate must be often willing to accept people with minimal experience (since
> > most experienced programmers would demand more) but may provide
opportunities
{Quote hidden}

show
{Quote hidden}

PIC-LIST subscribers!
I could not even expect such an overwhelming reaction to my simple ad
"Subcontractors are Welcome!" In truth, the job calls for very simple,
university-like projects and it is oriented to
part-time/enthusiast/student/summer-time type of activity! I was a
professor of one of the European Universities for 10 years and I know
more than anybody else how important for students to have this kind of
additional income and be a part of some real project! More than that! If
our relationship with the potential subcontractor will develop
successfully we can offer to  him/her  the full time position in our
company. In my past experience I found that this kind of exercises are
very good tools to grow work force for the company. We are already
working with two university students and the results that we are getting
are quite encouraging! We did not mentioned students in this ad because
I'm convinced  that there are many other enthusiasts who would entertain
this opportunity to become more professional in PICs and ern a few
additional dollars! The reason why we put $25US an hour rate in the ad is
to  clearly state:

1. It is a real job!
2. The job does not call for the full range of consulting services
3. It is very simple (more or less LED flushing) device
4. It is a start (potentially) of the long-term relationship (depending
on the performance level)
5. No liability

If some of you "professionals" are offended by this rate, simply ignore
it. It is not for you! But I'm really disappointed with some of your
reactions because you completely missed the point! I can do it my self! I
have 30 years of experience! But I feel that if I can combine needs of my
company with some support for enthusiasts then entire industry will win!
You can donate to the PICLIST, but you also can create jobs for the PIC
enthusiasts! So, I would like to hear from you folks! Are you with me on
that one? If the majority of you disagree with me, I'll withdraw the ad.
But if you support my idea I would like to continue this practice to
attract more people to this wonderful PIC-World!
And don't worry, LUMION has money to pay for the job. We are public
company and we are OK!
Alex

1997\03\15@135527 by John Dammeyer

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At 02:08 AM 15/03/1997 -0600, you wrote:
[snip]
>
>Had you merely posted to the list that:
>
>[1] The original author might find better people if he offered more
>  or
>[2] That potential respondents should be aware that better jobs may be
>    available to them
>
>then I would have thought such remarks were reasonably appropriate.  Your show
>of offense, however, was IMHO uncalled for.

If the original poster had indeed just posted a request for work and that
they would pay $25 per
hour I would have been more gentle.  The details in payment options and
delivery suggests that in fact this corporation wishes to find 'cheap'
labour and knows exactly what it's doing.  To suggest, as you did in point
[1], that someone that responds to this request for work might not be as
capable IMHO is just as rude.


> You seem to imply that there is
>a monolithic market for contract labor when there is, in fact, quite a range.

Yes,  I agree.  In fact programmers that write device drivers for NT
generally are paid more than prgrammers that write database application
software.  Embedded systems programmers generally are paid more than
programmers who write for non-real time time applications.

>Timex has not, and will not, push Rolex out of the market despite its vastly
>lower price.  For Rolex to criticize Timex for charging to little would be
>absurd; Timex simply fills a different market need.  Similarly with lower-
>priced consultants.  Criticizing someone for seeking a contractor from a
>different market segment than that which you occupy is IMHO unmannerly and
>inappropriate.
>


I agree that a timex/rolex comparison is absurd.  Perhaps a better example
is what we all see happening on a regular basis in the retail computer
marketplace.  Someone opens up a computer store and sells, due to
inexperience in retailing,  systems at prices that do not allow for long
term survival.  Customers,  who are very price sensitive when it comes to
buying oranges verses oranges obviously tend to the lower priced dealer.
Six months later that dealer is gone - empoyees out of work and perhaps
suppliers left holding some of the debt.  Consumers appear to have gotten
the best deal on price.  Meanwhile the more established computer store has
suffered a fairly significant loss of income for six months because if they
tried to compete on price they too would be gone.  Unfortunately that does
happen.

The above example occurs when someone, through inexperience, temporarily
enters the market place to sell a product or service.  It doesn't address
the mega-stores of course so to some extent this example is 'cooked'.  A
'free' market supporter can jump in here and hurrah that it's the way the
system works.  True!  I have just never liked the bi-product casualties in
lost jobs, family stress and general risk aversion (by the banks and
suppliers) that this produces.  Depends on your social outlook I guess.

I expected this type of response from someone when I wrote my original
posting.  I also know a number of other people will agree or disagree with
my opinion.  However,  if you are working in a full time job with a salary
and benefits and also consulting on the side, evenings and weekends, at less
than the market rates that would support full time - long term presence in
the market place, IMHO your opinion does't have a lot of validity.  Take the
risk, quit the full time job then argue for the benefits of a $25 contract.

Corporations that dangle $25/hr carrots when they know the real cost of
employees, IMHO, don't deserve a lot of respect.  There was a time when it
would be considered ludicrous to argue against the use of children in the
mines;  they were so much smaller and more economical.  Rugs (or any other
products) made by child labour in the developing world sold in North America
all fit into this same classification and the justification. "Gee,  if we
didn't pay them $2.00 a day then they'd starve, we are helping them." just
doesn't wash with me.

The consulting contract and terms posted by the original author shows they
know exactly what they are doing.  My guess would be that if, given the $25
ceiling, that the weekend/hobby contractor with 20 years experience will get
the contract before the student does;  he may even use his $1000 compiler
and $5000 logic analyser he 'borrowed' from his real job.  If the student
quotes a lower time, due to inexperience - not incompetence, we all know
he'll still end up spending the actual time it takes to complete the job.
Now he's working for even less than $25/hour.  Sure it's the free market
system.  To suggest that it's bad manners or inappropriate to question this,
well,  I don't think so.

John Dammeyer.

PS.  Before anyone responds think about this:  If you have in your possesion
SOFTWARE on your computer that you didn't pay for and you justify it's
presense by:

" Well, this SOFTWARE is just for home hobby use."
" I'm evaluating this SOFTWARE and I'll pay for it next year when I really
use it."
" XYZ Corp. charges too much for this SOFTWARE anyway"
" I'm only using the SOFTWARE on my machine at home or at work and not at
the same time"
" I can't afford their price but I need to use this SOFTWARE"

These and other excuses roll glibly off the tongues of so many people.  In
our society we justify, and have justified,  all sorts of wrongs so quickly
and easily.  Substitute the word "ROLEX" for "SOFTWARE" and most people
would acknowledge that you're a thief yet if I called anyone a thief for
having an illegal copy on their machine they'd take offense.

When we 'knowingly' buy a product made by $2.00 per day labour we support
oppression.  IMHO, when we _support_ $25/hr for short term, professional,
consulting when we all know the _real_ cost is far greater, we do the same.
Pioneers are the ones, face down in the mud,
with arrows in their backs.
Automation Artisans Inc.      Ph. 1-250-544-4950
PO Box 20002                  Fax 1-250-544-4954
Sidney, BC CANADA V8L 5C9

1997\03\15@141644 by Alex Bogdan

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Shawn Ellis wrote:
>
> I am writing in response to your ad concerning the PIC consulting
> positions.
>
> Hi there!
Thank you for your prompt response!
So far we have received about 5 offers from all over the world! That is
great! On the first stage we would like to send to all of you our
standard confidentiality agreement (CA)! In order to do so we need to
know your fax number. After you received the CA, please sign it and fax
signed copy back to us. Upon receipt of signed CA we will deliver the
description of the first job. We would expect then to see the quote from
you within 3 days. The best quote wins! (Not necessarily the cheapest
one!!!). But if you did not get awarded this time don't be too
disappointed! We will have another bid shortly! So, stay in touch! Good
luck to all of you!
Alex

1997\03\15@143135 by Andy Kunz

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John Dammeyer made some real good comments.  I have one thing to add to his
"PS" paragraph:

 "I got this SOFTWARE UPGRADE from the discount office supply store and
fooled it into installing on my machine, because the upgrade is much
cheaper than the non-upgrade product."

This too is thievery.

>When we 'knowingly' buy a product made by $2.00 per day labour we support
>oppression.  IMHO, when we _support_ $25/hr for short term, professional,
>consulting when we all know the _real_ cost is far greater, we do the same.

True.  However, if I own the in-circuit emulator (I do) and compilers (I
do) and PC (I do) and make a full time living doing this (I do), and I'm
willing to work for $25 (nyet) and go out of business in a year (hopefully
not), then:

a)  I have gotten what I deserve by bad business practices, and
b)  They have gotten what they deserve - a product without support.

Who is the bigger loser?  The guy who made his $25 an hour or the company
that can't fix a problem in their gazillion pieces that they made?

Andy

==================================================================
Andy Kunz - Montana Design - 409 S 6th St - Phillipsburg, NJ 08865
         Hardware & Software for Industry & R/C Hobbies
       "Go fast, turn right, and keep the wet side down!"
==================================================================

1997\03\15@144212 by Alex Bogdan

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John Dammeyer wrote:
>
> At 02:08 AM 15/03/1997 -0600, you wrote:
> [snip]
> >
> >Had you merely posted to the list that:
> >
> >[1] The original author might find better people if he offered more
> >  or
> >[2] That potential respondents should be aware that better jobs may be
> >    available to them
> >
> >then I would have thought such remarks were reasonably appropriate.  Your
show
{Quote hidden}

I think you are typical corporate programmer who is trying to protect his
job!
Basically, what you are saying is following:

1. It is better for students in the summer time (or part time)  to work
in a restaurant for 6 - 8 dollars an hour rather then to use his/her
knowledge and ern $25US for doing educational project!

2. There is only one grade of skilled PIC programmers on the market
(presumably your level) who charge $80 an hour!

3. If you were to hire a student to work for your company  you would pay
him/her right from beginning not less than $80 an hour.

4. You are convinced that only very expensive equipment is needed to do
the PIC programming! (Just for reference: for our project we require only
PIC Start Plus)

Well, I don't know folks!

Alex

1997\03\15@162913 by John Dammeyer

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Alex,  one point here.  Do us all a favour and at least snip out the message
bodies.  Now on to the debate.  8-)


At 02:30 PM 15/03/1997 -0800, you wrote:


>I think you are typical corporate programmer who is trying to protect his
>job!

I realized that I risked getting personally flamed because of my opinion.
So now I can consider myself flamed!  8-)


To set the record straight.  I am self employed.  I pay $400 per month for
office space plus I have phone and fax lines.  I have had to pay as much as
$5000 for CAD/CAM software plus a regular $695USD subscription to Microsoft
for MSDN-II so that I can write NT device drivers.  Newer software that
customers require or stipulate means that I have to periodically update my
hardware just to run the software even if the older stuff was adequate for
me.  I have to discard a $1500 processor programmer because the supplier
won't support the 16C74A.  I need to spend a certain amount of time updating
my skills to remain competitive.  I love my job and the variety it brings.


>Basically, what you are saying is following:
>
>1. It is better for students in the summer time (or part time)  to work
>in a restaurant for 6 - 8 dollars an hour rather then to use his/her
>knowledge and ern $25US for doing educational project!

No!  You are saying what I alluded to in my previous message. "Gee,  if we
didn't pay them $2.00 a day then they'd starve, we are helping them."

In fact,  if you provide a solid summer employment (4 months) for
engineering students to give them both work experience and let them earn
enough to help them continue their University Education; great!  I commend
you and your company for doing that.  If, however, you lead them on with a
small job at $25/hr that takes one week and then leave them hanging for 3
weeks until the next one week job you are abusing them for then the work
experience that comes from being resident within lab/shop/company is not
available.

Although you offered your resources from someone local to the Toronto area
you made it clear that soemone could work over the internet from their
home/office etc.  A student sitting at home writing software for you doesn't
get all that much work experience.


>
>2. There is only one grade of skilled PIC programmers on the market
>(presumably your level) who charge $80 an hour!

You might recall that I stated:
" Yes,  I agree.  In fact programmers that write device drivers for NT
generally are paid more than prgrammers that write database application
software.  Embedded systems programmers generally are paid more than
programmers who write for non-real time time applications."

I don't believe that I ever said there was one grade of programmer.
>
>3. If you were to hire a student to work for your company  you would pay
>him/her right from beginning not less than $80 an hour.

No!  If and when I hire someone for summer work I would not pay them hourly.
I would commit to a employment contract that would allow them to have
stability in their life.  BTW,  I've been there, done that including
covering Blue Cross Dental for a staff of 9 - not inexpensive.  I also gave
an initial 3 weeks holiday per year on the condition that the extra
non-required week was take consequitively with one other week.  I wanted my
employees to come back from vacation rested.

One of the reasons that consultants charge more is to cover the 'inbetween
time'.  The project proposals and just general sales effort to find the work
plus the professional upgrading required in this fast moving marketplace.
>
>4. You are convinced that only very expensive equipment is needed to do
>the PIC programming! (Just for reference: for our project we require only
>PIC Start Plus)


Perhaps I wasn't clear on the subject of logic analysers as it appears that
you may have misunderstood what I meant.  I have no idea what your project
requires.  But, if a project _does_ require a logic analyser or ICE, and a
hobby consultant 'borrows' his from work and I have to buy mine, then I am
suffering a severe competitive disadvantage if the hobby consultant charges
only $25/hr.

As for the need of 'expensive' equipment.  That is probably enough of a
subject for a completely different thread.  A PICMASTER ICE can reduce the
debugging of a complex real time PIC project by a great number of hours,
especially where new external hardware is concerned. eg. Master I2C
routines.  Judging by your response to the applicants who wish to work for
you,  the price will be fixed.  If debugging due to a problem takes an extra
10 hours your inexpensive consultant will probably have to eat that so it
doesn't cost you or your company any extra unless on time delivery is on the
critical path.

The higher paid consultant with the ICE may solve the problem in five
minutes.  For a 40 hour project the consultant stays on schedule,  the
student or amateur is now being paid $20/hr.
>

Regards,

John Dammeyer.
Pioneers are the ones, face down in the mud,
with arrows in their backs.
Automation Artisans Inc.      Ph. 1-250-544-4950
PO Box 20002                  Fax 1-250-544-4954
Sidney, BC CANADA V8L 5C9

1997\03\15@162918 by John Dammeyer

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At 02:27 PM 15/03/1997 -0500, you wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Hear hear!  We cannot stop bad busines practices and in fact, as I stated in
my earlier posting,  the examples are somewhat 'cooked' as the
'SuperMegaStore' can and often does run at a loss until the compitition has
been eradicated or has such huge buying power that the playing field is can
never be level.  Fortunately there are customers that will not deal with the
mega stores and customers that insist on the lowest price often do suffer.

The biggest losers?  Often the guys in the middle that are squeezed by the
inept or the unscrupulous.  That, however is also part of the cost of doing
business in our system.  Better that than no chance at all.

John


Pioneers are the ones, face down in the mud,
with arrows in their backs.
Automation Artisans Inc.      Ph. 1-250-544-4950
PO Box 20002                  Fax 1-250-544-4954
Sidney, BC CANADA V8L 5C9

1997\03\16@034321 by Eric Smith

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John Dammeyer <EraseMEjohndspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTISLANDNET.COM> wrote:
> requires.  But, if a project _does_ require a logic analyser or ICE, and a
> hobby consultant 'borrows' his from work and I have to buy mine, then I am
> suffering a severe competitive disadvantage if the hobby consultant charges
> only $25/hr.

I'm not sure where you're going with this one; it seems completely irrelevant
to the discussion.  Aren't competitive disadvantages entirely commonplace?
Isn't it just too bad?  No one ever promised life would be fair.  Why
shouldn't an employer take advantage of a situation like this?

I do a lot of embedded system consulting using PICs and other processors,
and I charge a *lot* more than $25/hr.  Perhaps you might consider me to
be a hobby consultant since I do have a full time day job, but I consider
my consulting to be entirely professional.  I don't own a logic analyzer, and
I can't borrow one from my day job; even if I could do it I wouldn't because
it would be a conflict of interest.  But I have borrowed one (at no charge to
myself) from another source on occastion when I've needed it.

Even assuming that our consulting rates are otherwise comparable, it seems to
me that you could argue that I am putting you at competitive disadvantage
since I can just borrow a logic analyzer that you would have to lease or
purchase.  What are you suggesting should be done about this situation?  Would
you claim that it is unethical for me to borrow the analyzer?  That I
shouldn't do it because it isn't fair to you?

Twelve years ago when I was a student I was only able to get $10 per hour for
contract programming.  While it is undoubtedly true that I have more
experience now, I don't think the difference in pay is commensurate, since I
had been already programming embedded systems for 9 years already at that
time.  Are you suggesting that I should have refused to work for that rate,
and worked at a burger joint for minimum wage instead?  Or are you suggesting
that CS students should form a labor union to force companies to pay more?
(in which case they would probably just not hire students at all.)

Cheers,
Eric

1997\03\16@045319 by Mike

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Has anyone considered where the career of the sub contractor (even at $25/Hr)
stands if they supply all the source code etc without any covering letter
from the subcontractor to the employer in respect of copyright ?

For example if the copyright is transferred with the source (without any
reservations) than the employer can make the claim that the subcontractor
cannot again (ever) work on anything that looks like the job just finished
unless the subcontractor has permission - since copyright has been given away
for the paltry sum of $25/Hr ?

So guys - do the 'professionals' supply a covering letter with the source code
to the effect that 'copyright' is reserved or do the 'professionals' not
let any source code leave their premises - and only supply binaries ?

Rgds

Mike

Some say there is no magic but, all things begin with thought then it becomes
academic, then some poor slob works out a practical way to implement all that
theory, this is called Engineering - for most people another form of magic.
                                                                      Massen

1997\03\16@052228 by Zack Cilliers

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----------
> From: Alex Bogdan <abogdanspamspam_OUTPASSPORT.CA>
> To: @spam@PICLISTKILLspamspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU
> Subject: Re: subcontractors are welcome!
> Date: Sunday, March 16, 1997 12:30 AM
>
> John Dammeyer wrote:
> >
> > At 02:08 AM 15/03/1997 -0600, you wrote:
> > [snip]
> > >
> > >Had you merely posted to the list that:
> > >
> > >[1] The original author might find better people if he offered more
> > >  or
> > >[2] That potential respondents should be aware that better jobs may be
> > >    available to them
> > >
> > >then I would have thought such remarks were reasonably appropriate.
Your
>  show
> > >of offense, however, was IMHO uncalled for.
> >
> > If the original poster had indeed just posted a request for work and
that
> > they would pay $25 per
> > hour I would have been more gentle.  The details in payment options and
> > delivery suggests that in fact this corporation wishes to find 'cheap'
> > labour and knows exactly what it's doing.  To suggest, as you did in
point
> > [1], that someone that responds to this request for work might not be
as
> > capable IMHO is just as rude.
> >
> > > You seem to imply that there is
> > >a monolithic market for contract labor when there is, in fact, quite a
range.
> >
> > Yes,  I agree.  In fact programmers that write device drivers for NT
> > generally are paid more than prgrammers that write database application
> > software.  Embedded systems programmers generally are paid more than
> > programmers who write for non-real time time applications.
> >
> > >Timex has not, and will not, push Rolex out of the market despite its
vastly
> > >lower price.  For Rolex to criticize Timex for charging to little
would be
> > >absurd; Timex simply fills a different market need.  Similarly with
lower-
> > >priced consultants.  Criticizing someone for seeking a contractor from
a
> > >different market segment than that which you occupy is IMHO unmannerly
and
> > >inappropriate.
> > >
> >
> > I agree that a timex/rolex comparison is absurd.  Perhaps a better
example
> > is what we all see happening on a regular basis in the retail computer
> > marketplace.  Someone opens up a computer store and sells, due to
> > inexperience in retailing,  systems at prices that do not allow for
long
> > term survival.  Customers,  who are very price sensitive when it comes
to
> > buying oranges verses oranges obviously tend to the lower priced
dealer.
> > Six months later that dealer is gone - empoyees out of work and perhaps
> > suppliers left holding some of the debt.  Consumers appear to have
gotten
> > the best deal on price.  Meanwhile the more established computer store
has
> > suffered a fairly significant loss of income for six months because if
they
> > tried to compete on price they too would be gone.  Unfortunately that
does
> > happen.
> >
> > The above example occurs when someone, through inexperience,
temporarily
> > enters the market place to sell a product or service.  It doesn't
address
> > the mega-stores of course so to some extent this example is 'cooked'.
A
> > 'free' market supporter can jump in here and hurrah that it's the way
the
> > system works.  True!  I have just never liked the bi-product casualties
in
> > lost jobs, family stress and general risk aversion (by the banks and
> > suppliers) that this produces.  Depends on your social outlook I guess.
> >
> > I expected this type of response from someone when I wrote my original
> > posting.  I also know a number of other people will agree or disagree
with
> > my opinion.  However,  if you are working in a full time job with a
salary
> > and benefits and also consulting on the side, evenings and weekends, at
less
> > than the market rates that would support full time - long term presence
in
> > the market place, IMHO your opinion does't have a lot of validity.
Take the
> > risk, quit the full time job then argue for the benefits of a $25
contract.
> >
> > Corporations that dangle $25/hr carrots when they know the real cost of
> > employees, IMHO, don't deserve a lot of respect.  There was a time when
it
> > would be considered ludicrous to argue against the use of children in
the
> > mines;  they were so much smaller and more economical.  Rugs (or any
other
> > products) made by child labour in the developing world sold in North
America
> > all fit into this same classification and the justification. "Gee,  if
we
> > didn't pay them $2.00 a day then they'd starve, we are helping them."
just
> > doesn't wash with me.
> >
> > The consulting contract and terms posted by the original author shows
they
> > know exactly what they are doing.  My guess would be that if, given the
$25
> > ceiling, that the weekend/hobby contractor with 20 years experience
will get
> > the contract before the student does;  he may even use his $1000
compiler
> > and $5000 logic analyser he 'borrowed' from his real job.  If the
student
> > quotes a lower time, due to inexperience - not incompetence, we all
know
> > he'll still end up spending the actual time it takes to complete the
job.
> > Now he's working for even less than $25/hour.  Sure it's the free
market
> > system.  To suggest that it's bad manners or inappropriate to question
this,
> > well,  I don't think so.
> >
> > John Dammeyer.
> >
> > PS.  Before anyone responds think about this:  If you have in your
possesion
> > SOFTWARE on your computer that you didn't pay for and you justify it's
> > presense by:
> >
> >  " Well, this SOFTWARE is just for home hobby use."
> >  " I'm evaluating this SOFTWARE and I'll pay for it next year when I
really
> > use it."
> >  " XYZ Corp. charges too much for this SOFTWARE anyway"
> >  " I'm only using the SOFTWARE on my machine at home or at work and not
at
> > the same time"
> >  " I can't afford their price but I need to use this SOFTWARE"
> >
> > These and other excuses roll glibly off the tongues of so many people.
In
> > our society we justify, and have justified,  all sorts of wrongs so
quickly
> > and easily.  Substitute the word "ROLEX" for "SOFTWARE" and most people
> > would acknowledge that you're a thief yet if I called anyone a thief
for
> > having an illegal copy on their machine they'd take offense.
> >
> > When we 'knowingly' buy a product made by $2.00 per day labour we
support
> > oppression.  IMHO, when we _support_ $25/hr for short term,
professional,
> > consulting when we all know the _real_ cost is far greater, we do the
same.
{Quote hidden}

I have followed this list now for a while and i must say that these people
replying is always the same old bunch and by now they think they are
experts
and if beginners ask questions they try always to let the beginners feel
stupid
for asking questions and the so called pro's does'nt even have constructive
answers.

1997\03\16@063007 by Kalle Pihlajasaari

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Hi Zack,

<snip>
200 Lines deleted
<snip>

> I have followed this list now for a while and i must say that these people
> replying is always the same old bunch and by now they think they are
> experts
> and if beginners ask questions they try always to let the beginners feel
> stupid
> for asking questions and the so called pro's does'nt even have constructive
> answers.


Well, how does it feel to be a so called pro of the old bunch who
thinks he is an expert and has no constructive advice for beginners
while letting them feel stupid.

Welcome to the club.  If you post to a controversial thread such as this
one or some others then people sometimes think you are being elitist
or something else that offends your sensibilities.

You could of course find the postings by all of us who have replied
to this thread that have belittled beginners with no constructive
advice.  I would be glad if you did, if I had slighted someone
without noticing I would apologise.

Just remember Zack, you are one of us now.  My constructive advice to
you is to lie low and not post to controversial threads for a little while.
Also I could suggest that you do not requote the complete message
so that everyone of the 1000+ PIClist subsribers gets a copy delivered to
them again.

A challenge to you Zack is to suggest what we of the old guard could
do to help out the beginners without spoonfeeding them.

Cheers
--
Kalle Pihlajasaari   KILLspamkalleKILLspamspamip.co.za   http://www.ip.co.za/ip
Interface Products   P O Box 15775, DOORNFONTEIN, 2028, South Africa
+ 27 (11) 402-7750   Fax: 402-7751    http://www.ip.co.za/people/kalle

DonTronics, Silicon Studio and Wirz Electronics uP Product Dealer

1997\03\16@070405 by Leon Heller

flavicon
picon face
In message <RemoveME1.5.4.16.19970316175523.2dafeaceTakeThisOuTspammail.wantree.com.au>, Mike
<spamBeGoneerazmusspamBeGonespamWANTREE.COM.AU> writes
>Has anyone considered where the career of the sub contractor (even at $25/Hr)
>stands if they supply all the source code etc without any covering letter
>from the subcontractor to the employer in respect of copyright ?
>
>For example if the copyright is transferred with the source (without any
>reservations) than the employer can make the claim that the subcontractor
>cannot again (ever) work on anything that looks like the job just finished
>unless the subcontractor has permission - since copyright has been given away
>for the paltry sum of $25/Hr ?
>
>So guys - do the 'professionals' supply a covering letter with the source code
>to the effect that 'copyright' is reserved or do the 'professionals' not
>let any source code leave their premises - and only supply binaries ?

In the UK, anything written is automatically copyright, in the name of
the author. Presumably, under US law, a simple copyright statement in
the source code would suffice.

Leon
--
Leon Heller, G1HSM
TakeThisOuTleonEraseMEspamspam_OUTlfheller.demon.co.uk
Tel: +44 (0) 118 947 1424 (home)
    +44 (0) 1344 385556 (work)

1997\03\16@080643 by mike

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In message  <RemoveME332B2306.D47spamTakeThisOuTpassport.ca> PICLISTEraseMEspam.....MITVMA.MIT.EDU writes:
> John Dammeyer wrote:
> [snippity snip]
> >
> > The consulting contract and terms posted by the original author shows they
> > know exactly what they are doing.  My guess would be that if, given the $25
> > ceiling, that the weekend/hobby contractor with 20 years experience will get
> > the contract before the student does;  he may even use his $1000 compiler
> > and $5000 logic analyser he 'borrowed' from his real job.  If the student
> > quotes a lower time, due to inexperience - not incompetence, we all know
> > he'll still end up spending the actual time it takes to complete the job.
> > Now he's working for even less than $25/hour.  Sure it's the free market
> > system.  To suggest that it's bad manners or inappropriate to question this,
> > well,  I don't think so.

It works the other way round for me; the money I make doing evening
and week-end contracting pays for me to buy development gear (both
hardware and software) which I then use in my day job. Maybe I've
got something round the wrong way here.

Some years ago I worked as a contractor doing some hardware test and
development work. I had a business that had gone toes-up, and at the
time needed the work, badly. I went in with an hourly rate that I knew
wouldn't be undercut and got the contract. I was the only hardware
contractor working, but was working alongside software contractors
earning 3-4 times the hourly rate I was on.

After 3 months or so, a management meeting decided thath they were
paying too much for contractors and would rather delay the project
and do the work in house than pay out all the money. All the
contractors were "released" by the end of the week except me. My
contract ran for a further year and a bit with some rate rises for
good measure.

Sure I undersold myself, but my wife, kids, bank manager, mortgage
company etc were all happy about it.

There is another dimension to this too. Since the recession in the
late 80's which may have hit us in Europe harder than elsewhere,
we have seen a change in the nature of employment. Gone are the
days of secure long-term employment. These are the days of fixed
length contracts after which you leave the company and employers
who think that their only responsibility is to the bottom line.

The recession also had an impact on salaries, where pay freezes
were common and 5% pay cuts per year happened to a number of my
engineer friends, and house prices, where prices where I live
fell by over 50%.

With all of this, many people are turning to a portfolio of jobs
rather than a single day job to spread the risks. Picking up a
few contracts paying $25 an hour is very helpful to some people.

If the changing face of employment means there are more people
around looking for contract work, then the hourly rate is
bound to come down.

Enough of my ramblings. Suffice to say that I find this discussion
interesting and part of the wider debate of future employment
practice.


Regards,


Mike Watson
--
My views, not my employers.

1997\03\16@103232 by Mike

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>>So guys - do the 'professionals' supply a covering letter with the source code
>>to the effect that 'copyright' is reserved or do the 'professionals' not
>>let any source code leave their premises - and only supply binaries ?
>
>In the UK, anything written is automatically copyright, in the name of
>the author. Presumably, under US law, a simple copyright statement in
>the source code would suffice.

So what does the person paying for the subcontractors time believes he is
getting ?

Do you mean there is an 'open license' to use - which is being paid for ?

Rgds

Mike

Some say there is no magic but, all things begin with thought then it becomes
academic, then some poor slob works out a practical way to implement all that
theory, this is called Engineering - for most people another form of magic.
                                                                      Massen

1997\03\16@171837 by Andy Kunz

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>Twelve years ago when I was a student I was only able to get $10 per hour for
>contract programming.

I used to work for lasagna.  Seriously!  Payday was always _great_.
Sometimes I even got the leftovers!  Was that profit-sharing? <G>

Andy

==================================================================
Andy Kunz - Montana Design - 409 S 6th St - Phillipsburg, NJ 08865
         Hardware & Software for Industry & R/C Hobbies
       "Go fast, turn right, and keep the wet side down!"
==================================================================

1997\03\16@171839 by Andy Kunz

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>So guys - do the 'professionals' supply a covering letter with the source
code
>to the effect that 'copyright' is reserved or do the 'professionals' not
>let any source code leave their premises - and only supply binaries ?

I prefer to provide only pre-programmed chips (with CP fuse blown), or to
provide the code to a third-party burning service who is put under a NDA to
keep the code from the customer.

The source code goes to a lawyer who puts the files in an "escrow" account,
to be delivered to the customer in 5 years or we go out of business.

It all depends on the customer, though.  Some get source with no restrictions.

Andy

==================================================================
Andy Kunz - Montana Design - 409 S 6th St - Phillipsburg, NJ 08865
         Hardware & Software for Industry & R/C Hobbies
       "Go fast, turn right, and keep the wet side down!"
==================================================================

1997\03\16@201119 by Hugo Ahrens

picon face
Enough already!
Can't handle the $25/hr job? Then don't take it! I have a trash can icon on
the top left of my (paid for Eudora Pro) e-mail software. Look for something
like it on your software - and use it!
Your chiding abuse of someone offering a project for payment is reminiscent
of the  missionary approach - applying your value system to everyone on the
planet for the sake of 'saving them'.

I make my living in the industrial control field (have for some 16 years),
and yet I will take on work for less than cost if I get to learn something,
or if I value the opportunity to get into a different market, or to fill a
scheduling void, or to demonstrate a capability with an eye to future
projects etc. etc.
I hope you get the idea of my pointing out a universe of possible reasons
for taking on a job or a project, rather than expecting this to be an attack
on your high-minded value judgement of what's good for us. And from a
business point of view, ever heard of marginal overhead contribution? Makes
a heck of a difference at the end of the year!

And another observation: You technical heads take a way-too-hardline
approach when it comes to the monetary aspects. Take on work because you
want to do it! The money will come. As has been pointed out by others on
this thread, there are many possible outcomes affecting your
actual-really-worked hourly rate. Prove yourself, make sure you can relate
(and do the job). Make yourself invaluable, and then you will be! You will
never know how many opportunities are blowing by you with this "I'm worth
this much period attitude". If you absolutely can't stand the thought of
other people getting rich on your work, simple, just screw it up and they
will go broke!

And one more thing while I'm at it: After six years of running my own
operation (after some strategic mind bending) I decided that we needed a
third client group. In our position the pipe lines made a lot of sense. It
took three years of active promotion, site visits, proposals and demos to
land the first job. I would have gladly done the first job for free if I had
got an invite!

Just a thought, possibly an add-on to John Dammeyers e-mail by-line could be:
Pioneers are the ones, face down in the mud, with arrows in their backs.
Missionaries are the ones proven wrong by the next generation.
Anyone for add ons? Maybe definitions for engineers, techs, clients, salesmen...

Hugo

1997\03\17@053440 by Mike

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At 08:46 AM 16/03/97 -0500, you wrote:
>>So guys - do the 'professionals' supply a covering letter with the source
>code
>>to the effect that 'copyright' is reserved or do the 'professionals' not
>>let any source code leave their premises - and only supply binaries ?
>
>I prefer to provide only pre-programmed chips (with CP fuse blown), or to
>provide the code to a third-party burning service who is put under a NDA to
>keep the code from the customer.

A good practice - I do the same. Its surprising though how much many slightly
technically literate 'entrepeneurs' over-value this. Perhaps it has a lot to
do with the need to control the 'core technology' so their investment is not
marginalised and should another customer approach you with a similar
requirement.

I suppose that in the process of you developing critical code segments that
could
be used for other purposes - that these are retained as your own intellectual
property and never sold outright ?

>The source code goes to a lawyer who puts the files in an "escrow" account,
>to be delivered to the customer in 5 years or we go out of business.

Please clarify, is this 5 years from the delivery of 1st working unit of the
completed development or 5 years after the last delivery of pre-programmed
chips. Do you get the client to explicitly pay the lawyers fees or does that
come out of 'normal administrative overhead' ?

Anyway, after 5 years do you still retain copyright indefinitely ?

>It all depends on the customer, though.  Some get source with no restrictions.

True, does depend on the customers requirements and what they think they
need to be
in production and how much support they require you for.  When you say no
restrictions - does that mean that the company can on-sell the source code
and project to a third party - then who owns the copyright ?

Can the company include the 'unrestricted' source material on their asset
register ?

Rgds

Mike

Some say there is no magic but, all things begin with thought then it becomes
academic, then some poor slob works out a practical way to implement all that
theory, this is called Engineering - for most people another form of magic.
                                                                      Massen

1997\03\20@154559 by John Piccirillo

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 I'm not a PIC expert nor a consultant but would like to make a few basic
observations on this thread.

 1).  Unfortunately, in life, in the majority of times, cheaters do
prosper.  This isn't merely a cynical remark; I think history bares me out.
Fortunately, cheaters have a bad press (although this is to their
advantage in that it inspires less competition).

2).  I wish people wouldn't rationalize so much.  I used to (AppleIIe
days) use software that I hadn't paid for but in my own mind didn't try to
justify it; I realized that it was wrong, greed drove me to it anyway.
Finally, conscience drove me to throw it away or pay for it.

3).  May of the arguments that have been given in favor or opposed to some
views don't seem to strike a balance between near and far term effects.
Yes, if you're strapped for cash, $ 25/hr looks good even if in more normal
(or at least past) circumstances, your services fetched a much higher rate.
On the other hand, giving in too soon, or being "pragmatic" may mean a new
way of doing business such that you will never get anything but $ 25/hour
again.

John-

P.S.  How many of you contributed to the PIC fund?

1997\03\20@172356 by John Piccirillo

flavicon
face
I'm not a PIC expert nor a consultant but would like to make a few basic
observations on this thread.

 1).  Unfortunately, in life, in the majority of times, cheaters do
prosper.  This isn't merely a cynical remark; I think history bares me out.
Fortunately, cheaters have a bad press (although this is to their
advantage in that it inspires less competition).

2).  I wish people wouldn't rationalize so much.  I used to (AppleIIe
days) use software that I hadn't paid for but in my own mind didn't try to
justify it; I realized that it was wrong, greed drove me to it anyway.
Finally, conscience drove me to throw it away or pay for it.

3).  May of the arguments that have been given in favor or opposed to some
views don't seem to strike a balance between near and far term effects.
Yes, if you're strapped for cash, $ 25/hr looks good even if in more normal
(or at least past) circumstances, your services fetched a much higher rate.
On the other hand, giving in too soon, or being "pragmatic" may mean a new
way of doing business such that you will never get anything but $ 25/hour
again.

John-

P.S.  How many of you contributed to the PIC fund?

1997\03\24@120524 by John Piccirillo

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I'm not a PIC expert nor a consultant but would like to make a few basic
observations on this thread.

 1).  Unfortunately, in life, in the majority of times, cheaters do
prosper.  This isn't merely a cynical remark; I think history bares me out.
Fortunately, cheaters have a bad press (although this is to their
advantage in that it inspires less competition).

2).  I wish people wouldn't rationalize so much.  I used to (AppleIIe
days) use software that I hadn't paid for but in my own mind didn't try to
justify it; I realized that it was wrong, greed drove me to it anyway.
Finally, conscience drove me to throw it away or pay for it.

3).  May of the arguments that have been given in favor or opposed to some
views don't seem to strike a balance between near and far term effects.
Yes, if you're strapped for cash, $ 25/hr looks good even if in more normal
(or at least past) circumstances, your services fetched a much higher rate.
On the other hand, giving in too soon, or being "pragmatic" may mean a new
way of doing business such that you will never get anything but $ 25/hour
again.

John-

P.S.  How many of you contributed to the PIC fund?

1997\03\24@172943 by Tony Matthews

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John Piccirillo wrote:
{Quote hidden}

deja vu

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