on the edge

computers & technology, books & writing, civilisation & society, cars & stuff

Greg Black

gjb at gbch dot net
Home page

If you’re not living life on the edge, you’re taking up too much space.

FQE30 at Qld Raceway 25 May 2003


RSS Feed

Worthy organisations

Amnesty International Australia — global defenders of human rights

global defenders of human rights

Médecins Sans Frontières — help us save lives around the world

Médecins Sans Frontières - help us save lives around the world

Electronic Frontiers Australia — protecting and promoting on-line civil liberties in Australia

Electronic Frontiers Australia


(Coming soon…)


(Coming soon…)


(Coming soon…)

Software resources

GNU Emacs


The FreeBSD Project

Wed, 04 Aug 2004

$170 per line

I’ve now seen several news stories that claim that IBM has announced that it is going to donate half a million lines of its source code to an open source software group. That’s neither here nor there. The bit that startled me in the stories was the claim that IBM valued this code at $US85M—which works out to $US170 per line. That’s incredibly expensive, even for IBM.

On one hand, it makes me wonder what my customers would have said if I’d costed my code like that—a recent project that I did for $AU50k should have cost $AU2.6M at that rate. Might have been fun for me, but the client could not have paid—and would never have been stupid enough to contemplate paying that much. And it’s inconceivable that IBM corporate code is that much more valuable than the stuff I write. I spent enough time as a consultant to IBM to know about their code quality. It could not possibly be valued in the way this has been reported. Perhaps the news stories are wrong. Maybe it’s all part of the anti-SCO program. But it’s crazy.