OEM’ing someone else’s product is great. You get more features with minimal development and they get upfront development funding and ongoing royalties. They recommend your product and you promote them with a “Powered by…” logo in the finished product. Everyone’s eager to help everyone else, because the outcome will be beneficial to both companies.

Working in different time zones can be a pain sometimes. I don’t like having to get to work an hour or two early to talk to a partner company in Florida, and I’m sure they don’t like staying back late either. Saudi Arabia can be even worse, because they don’t even have the same idea of when the weekend should be. (Did you know that the Muslim holy day is Friday, so the weekend in most Arab countries is Thursday and Friday?)

But when the time zones are closer, it’s not a problem. For example, the developers in Moscow start their working day at what works out to be about 3:00 PM our time, so if we need to talk, no-one gets up early, and no-one stays back late. And because we’ve had all our morning to look at what they’ve done yesterday, we’ll probably have something ready to discuss. The six-hour time difference can actually be quite nice.

But sometimes you come unstuck. The friendly guys in Moscow sent me a VMWare image of their Linux development system the other day. On booting it, I discovered that they are using the ASPLinux distribution, with no man pages installed. Not having seen ASPLinux before, and being the inquisitive type, I decided to find out some more. But the only information I’ve found in English is that it’s a Red Hat-like distribution with support for Cyrillic languages included. Everything else about it is in Russian, and my Russian is definitely not good enough to read a Linux manual. Oh well, I haven’t run into any problems yet, and one Linux is much like another. Maybe I’ll be OK.

(Speaking of VMware, they recently released a free player which can help reduce licensing fees if you have people who need to run virtual machines, but don’t need to create them from scratch or use snapshots.)

This entry was posted on Wednesday, 2 November, 2005 at 1:11 pm and is filed under Development, Technology. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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