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Can You Make Money From Linux?

The short answer is a resounding yes. Whether you work as a Linux server administrator, or do custom Linux installations, you can make a decent income from it.

Many people assume that just because Linux is a free open source software, there’s no money in it. How wrong these people are. Heck, almost every Linux kernel hacker is paid or sponsored in some way by reknowned IT companies for their work. Almost every IT company in the world has an interest in the Linux kernel. Of course there are others such as Microsoft and its cronies who fear the tremendous growth and stability of Linux and would do anything including spreading FUD about it.

I too have made a few thousand bucks from various Linux related projects including:

And probably a few others I can’t recall right now.

Back to the topic of this post, Can you make money from Linux? Of course! In fact, it’s easier than you think. Before going onto the things you need to do, let me cover some of the things you don’t need in order to make money from Linux:

  • Paper qualifications of any sort
  • A tremendously high IQ (heck, mine is only 147)
  • Any initial monetary investment (although investing in a few good books is recommended)

What you do need are:

  • The willingness to learn
  • Perseverence
  • A keen, observant and analytical approach to facing problems and solving them
  • Decent googling skills
  • Absence of shyness (you need to be willing to pimp your services)

Believe it or not, that’s all there is to it. Other than being profitable, Linux is fun and challenging. Heck, it beats problogging any time! 😉

As the monetizing of web content becomes easier and its tentacles spread globally, anyone who has a blog will sooner or later have this thought pop inside their head; “Wow, imagine if I were to do this full time!”.

Some not only entertain this evil voices in their heads, but actually follows what it tells them to do!

I’m not saying that being a problogger is bad. I blog myself but I will never even considerbeing a problogger. Blogging is not a useful skill that you could use in life. It’s a hobby; something you do in your pastime. For me, it’s a marriage of my two main hobbies; writing and web technologies.

Earning your living by blogging is what I don’t recommend others to do; and here are four reasons why.

No Useful Work Experience

If you’re young and just graduated, being a problogger is one of the worst thing you could be. Now is a time where you’re expected to gain useful work experience. Contrary to what the Web 2.0 sheeps say, useful job experience doesn’t include RSS subscription, trackback and pingback proficiency, linkbaiting and meme participation.

Anybody can start a blog, there are tens of millions around already. Just because you’re making money from yours doesn’t mean that you should be blogging full time. Contrary to popular thinking, money is not why you should be working. It’s the experience that matters.

Getting a real job is part of of one’s self development. To be brutally honest, the janitor or maintenance guy in the office building will have a better insight to life compared to any problogger. A major reason is that they see the world with their own eyes, and not via some 22-inch monitor they bought from their AdSense income.

The probloggers in you didn’t like to know that, but deep down, you know it is absolutely true.

No Company Perks

Sure, you will “run your own business” if you choose to call your blog a business. Hey, whatever floats your boat mate 🙂

Believe it or not, there are lots of goodies that good companies provide for their staff. Company trips, annual dinners, training and self development are some that comes to mind quite easily. Then there are the “little things” such as unlimited coffee and tea, paid season parking and petrol allowances.

I guess probloggers won’t need those too much since most of them are still leaching off mommy 🙂

Lack of Life Beyond Cyberspace

Take away the thousands of feed subscribers, you’ll soon see that most probloggers are just a lonely person with no life outside of his network of blogrolls.

Somehow, someway, during their journey into problogging, money becomes everything. It starts of as a benchmark of sorts on how the wannabe problogger stacks up against real probloggers. When it reaches a certain point, the first thing that comes to this person’s mind is “It’s time to go pro!”.

I pity such people. Being a problogger means that your interaction with human beings outside the Internet would be close to zero. This is especially worse if you’re a nerd or geek of some genre or another. You’ll be inundated with worshippers who think that you’re the best thing since sliced bread.

Egos will expand and it will get to your head. The bad thing is, you’ll forget how to interact with a real life person. At least the garbage collector has real friends he has lunch with. He also gets the occasional “Hello!” from friendly housewives.

The problogger? Emails and IMs. I guess it’ll do for a desktop potato. Do you really want this for yourself?

Lose The Ability To Communicate Beyond Blog Commenting, Emails and IM

You know you’ve spent way too much time online when your parting words are something like:

  • Email me, OK!
  • Catch you on Y!M later tonight!
  • Skype you later!
  • I’ll comment on your post soon

In those rare moments where you’ll actually need to write a proper letter, you find yourself typing or writing IANAL, TTFN and ROFL more often than you should.

And God forbid should you actually need to talk to someone! You’re lucky if you could even look at the person’s eyes and actually say something intelligent without referring to something that has dot com in it.

If you have Hong Leong credit cards, I urge you to terminate your subscription. If you have outstanding balances on them, I recommend that you do a balance transfer. If you are contemplating applying for Hong Leong credit cards, I suggest that you don’t. Why? Hong Leong doesn’t respect your rights as a card holder and a customer.

My SO and I were victims of a scratch and win scam almost a year ago. As soon as we’ve discovered that we were conned, we immediately put in a request to Hong Leong to stop the transaction via their useless Dispute Form, along with the Consumer Claims Tribunal reference number, to their so-called Customer Service department.

To sum it up, Hong Leong Customer Service is a fallacy. There’s no such thing. I had to discover this the hard way.

When we submitted the dispute form, the transaction wasn’t even posted yet. They had ample chance to flag it. But what did Hong Leong do? They decided to side with scammers than a long term customer! Hong Long reps even blatantly lied to us by saying that the transaction had already gone through. Why do I say they are liars? Because another rep said that the transaction hasn’t gone through, contradicting what her colleague said earlier. See their incompetence? Even they don’t know what’s going on!

What follows on for months was an endless trail of lies:

  • The transaction was allowed to proceed because we need the credit card statement as evidence for the tribunal hearing; Lie! We have the receipts and items from the scammers, and those were enough to be used as evidence
  • We just need to pay for the initial purchase price without the interest once we’ve recovered our monies; Lie! Until today, one year after 100% full payment was made for the initial purchase price, Hong Leong still charges the interests
  • Hong Leong reps will get in touch to solve this issue; Lie! Nobody from Hong Leong bothered to assist properly. Instead, we were made like slaves trying to contact them and being put on hold for more than 30 minutes at any one attempt

To date, I’ve been waiting for them to give the final decision letter for me to proceed to bring this case to the FMB, for more than two weeks! Still no action, typical Hong Leong incompetence at its finest.

You can find this out by yourselves by trying to contact their so-called Banking Services Division through the contact details provided here.

Even though the interest now stands at almost RM200, I won’t pay a single cent! I’d rather bring this issue to court and let Hong Leong be exposed as the incompetent bank it really is.