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  1. #11
    Master Untangler Sam Graf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sky-knight View Post
    I really hate to do this, but I must agree with f1assistance.
    I don't understand that perspective at all. If the goal is to approach this as an engineer and see everything as a settings or configuration matter, then maybe. If the goal is to approach this as a problem solver and as a security educator, then no way.

    The difference is knowledge. Anybody remember how many small business owners got royally screwed over by consultants during the Y2K "crisis"? How did that happen? And why should I believe small business owners are more tech savvy or more tech confident today than they were 20 years ago? And how do i convince them that indictments of Chinese military officials over mass hacking does not mean small business security is a hopeless waste of time and money?

    So from my point of view of we have an obligation to build trust, goodwill, and to share knowledge before we as a community ask small businesses to commit their resources to the nebulous matter of security. And the existing forums do that only tangentially.

    Broadening our support of home users is a place to start, and that might even broaden the active community on these forms.

    In my opinion, of course.
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  2. #12
    Untangle Ninja sky-knight's Avatar
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    I don't disagree, but aren't we doing that already?

    These forums are populated by only a small subset of users wandering in for technical help.

    What you're talking about is presales stuff, which I always do when working with a business owner. My MSP doesn't just walk in and stuff in this laundry list of crap. I know my competition does that, but I don't. Because I see that process as dishonest, owners must understand their tech... not doing so is catastrophic. Y2K is just one of the examples.

    But regardless that's not a Q/A situation, that's a presentation situation. Which Facebook and the like are much better at... heck a website can be tailored with that sort of knowledge too. Though I must admit I've been trying to build the latter a VERY long time, but never released anything because I'm just not happy with it.
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    Rob Sandling, BS:SWE, MCP
    NexgenAppliances.com
    Phone: 866-794-8879 x201
    Email: support@nexgenappliances.com

  3. #13
    Master Untangler Sam Graf's Avatar
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    Suppose a home user comes here and asks basic Untangle-related questions. What should my security goals be? How do the apps relate to one another? Is there overlap or do they compliment one another? Where does the actual firewall app fit in with my strategy? How do I accommodate guests? Should I buy an appliance or will an old PC meet the need, and why? Just how is a server different from a PC? And so on.

    Now suppose they do the same thing at a website or on Facebook. Is that actually better? And how many home users with such basic questions will find answers in presales conversations? And how many have access to the sorts of service providers you're taking for granted? Where I live, most of the security experts are 100 miles away, and I can tell you from experience that their knowledge isn't broad; it's very specific to their product or service.

    Homes and small businesses are on their own when it comes to security. And I don't think that's unique to where I live. And if it's this bad in Michigan's rural lower peninsula, image what it's like in the upper peninsula, where even Walmart can swing just two stores?

    EDIT: Imagine a sprawling dairy farm running robots and where computers manage the feed. High tech stuff because efficiency is the only way to stay in business. They may be able to bundle security into their technology. But that's the SMB exception, not the rule. And the home is no better off.
    Last edited by Sam Graf; 02-12-2020 at 10:00 AM.
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  4. #14
    Untangle Ninja sky-knight's Avatar
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    No you're right the home isn't better off. But every question you just asked is presales 101. If you haven't answered those questions you don't even know you need a UTM, much less make the choice to investigate one as little known as Untangle.

    These forums are a very poor medium for such a conversation, even if all the answers are contained somewhere within the collective mass of threads we have here.

    I do agree the target is getting missed somehow, but I also don't have any good answers. Because if I did, I'd be doing them for myself, and selling the every loving daylights out of Untangle in the process. As it is, I'm maintaining my subscription base, but that's about it. Meraki is nibbling what I have apart day by day, and every potential new client I talk to asks why Untangle when they can just Meraki.

    Home users complain about cost, when it's $50 / year... and when you really dig into it, the home user is an unholy combination of ignorant, and needy. So not only are they the most time consuming, they also want it cheap. And we haven't even gotten into the headaches of dealing with the bandwidth problem...

    As I said, I have no answers. I do what I can of course, but I have kids to feed too, so I can't exactly work for free all the time.

    One last thing, your neck of the woods is just as serviced by me as anywhere else, the phone number is in my signature. I'm sure Untangle sales is the same deal, and setting up a call with a support engineer is a simple matter of scheduling. The same probably holds true for most other Untangle partners. The ecosystem is there, people just have to pick up the phone to use it. Because no forum thread is going to beat a good conversation on this subject matter.
    Last edited by sky-knight; 02-12-2020 at 10:32 AM.
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    Rob Sandling, BS:SWE, MCP
    NexgenAppliances.com
    Phone: 866-794-8879 x201
    Email: support@nexgenappliances.com

  5. #15
    Master Untangler Sam Graf's Avatar
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    We're just going to have to disagree. No biggie. I'm not saying a new forum is vital or indispensable, but I disagree with the idea that the existing forums or a phone call make the suggestion of a new forum pretty much pointless.

    You know how I got involved with Untangle? Because the product I was using didn't support DHCP options and the developers flatly denied there was any value in adding it. I needed DHCP options. I searched for an alternative, found Untangle, set up a test account, downloaded Untangle to a test machine, banged my head against the keyboard, read the wiki, and spent time here. Later, after it was a done deal, I discovered the webinars. I never picked up the phone. No conversation on the phone of reasonable length could have walked me through the transition from what I was using to selling Untangle internally.
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  6. #16
    Untangle Ninja sky-knight's Avatar
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    Then what you needed was a wiki that was written better. The Webinars are nice too... but learning resources are a problem.

    That's an issue that's industry wide, there's never enough learning resources. So I'm not even disagreeing with you, I'm just a bit lost as to how Untangle can do any more than it already has.

    If anything I'm the failure point, Jim and I have been saying we're going to "write the book" on Untangle for a decade, and we just have never done it. And it needs done... badly. If I could get half of what's in my head on "paper", things would be much better.
    f1assistance likes this.
    Rob Sandling, BS:SWE, MCP
    NexgenAppliances.com
    Phone: 866-794-8879 x201
    Email: support@nexgenappliances.com

  7. #17
    Master Untangler Sam Graf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sky-knight View Post
    Then what you needed was a wiki that was written better.
    Sorry, nothing personal, but I wouldn't have bought your book.

    Don't get me wrong. I like books. But take The Debian Administrator's Handbook, for example. A great long term learning tool. Except think about the subtitle: Debian Wheezy from Discovery to Mastery. Just as an example. Even Debian releases faster than I can master.
    Last edited by Sam Graf; 02-12-2020 at 12:29 PM.

  8. #18
    Untangle Ninja Jim.Alles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by f1assistance View Post
    I'm having trouble conceptualizing an issue(s) specific to home use which isn't also (or shouldn't be) realized in today's business(es)...the power of UT is in it's modularity, and its layers simply allow traffic management limited by imagination (and/or knowledge). App level discussions do this exceptionally well and thoroughly...when I go out to a 60k ft. view, I'm still in awe of this effective and serious solution! Sorry, a plug in play sentinel it's not!
    I have scanned the other reply's, but only fully considered f1's so far.

    And I agree, NGFW is not simply a plug-and-play sentinel solution for home or business. Which is also precisely why I am here using and ready to sell Untangle.
    There are not *technical* issues that are specific to home use.

    The difference in the two scenarios is the politics. The dynamics and the budgets in the home are just in a completely different environment.

    And yet, the technical risks are the same.
    A home may be a less valuable target in most cases, but what about a journalist?
    Or someone who maintains some govt. security clearance for their livelihood?

    There certainly are more varied use cases than people who stumble upon the forums. And I am one who started using UT for an organization, then brought it home with me.

    The thought I had was for an 'umbrella' forum so that people who are using it at home can ask questions about "why is this occurring" without having to sort through all of the technical buckets in choosing which forum to start with. So they don't feel like they have to apologize because they don't know if it is the right place.

    My guess is Wi-Fi UT hardware ought to be more popular at home.
    And on the other end, Branding Manager is an unlikely application. Along with AD. The 'home+ forum' would not be a place for you if you are doing those kinds of things out of your house. It is not the point - if you know where the technical issue belongs, certainly, go to that forum.

    This new forum concept is for those who understand that PnP commodity p.o.s. 'routers' don't cut it, yet do not understand the inner workings of networking - they just want to fix the Internet because their S.O. is breathing down their neck.

    Sure I realize that 'just one more option' doesn't actually make the forums less complicated, but maybe it will make some people more comfortable. And a little parenting advice might leak out as well.

    The only thing that would be off-topic is when it gets TOO technical, and then I will personally toss you into one of the other buckets!

    But seriously, take that 60,000 foot look at this: https://forums.untangle.com/, read the titles and descriptions as they are,
    and tell me that it can't possibly be intimidating for someone at home where the streaming video isn't working, and they want to know "Is the problem in the router?"

    (if you didn't scroll all the way down, U did it wrong)
    Last edited by Jim.Alles; 02-12-2020 at 03:00 PM.
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  9. #19
    Untangle Ninja sky-knight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Graf View Post
    Sorry, nothing personal, but I wouldn't have bought your book.

    Don't get me wrong. I like books. But take The Debian Administrator's Handbook, for example. A great long term learning tool. Except think about the subtitle: Debian Wheezy from Discovery to Mastery. Just as an example. Even Debian releases faster than I can master.
    Oh you misunderstand not that I blame you because of what I said, I wasn't actually going to "sell" a book. I just wanted an online documentation source that was better written than, but well linked into greater detail than, what Untangle's wiki provides. Given the nature of the time investment, I couldn't just write all that content and have it on Untangle.com. I'd have to monetize it via the exposure it provided to help sell all the stuff I've sold for ages trying to get Untangle out there. It's just a web site with stuff in it, to help people get their feet wet and teach them about the correct questions to ask.

    Besides, all the cross linking required with the Untangle wiki would be an SEO treasure trove for myself and Untangle. But... the web and I have a rocky history, and it takes me GOBS of time to learn how to do some things. And I've started and stopped a hundred times because the framework I was using just couldn't scale. Now I'm working with Hugo, and I think I have a platform that'll do what I need, but actually getting the time to do something about it is another matter.

    The joys of being a 1 man shop!

    And Jim, isn't that what Off Topic is for? But yeah, it is a bit buried. That's why I've always wondered why Untangle's Facebook feed doesn't see more attention, it's a far more friendly place for such a quick question to be had.
    Last edited by sky-knight; 02-12-2020 at 12:48 PM.
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    Rob Sandling, BS:SWE, MCP
    NexgenAppliances.com
    Phone: 866-794-8879 x201
    Email: support@nexgenappliances.com

  10. #20
    Master Untangler Sam Graf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sky-knight View Post
    Oh you misunderstand not that I blame you because of what I said...
    The problem remains the same, so to speak. You don't have to buy the administrator's handbook either. I just have to support the effort. The problem with a book is keeping up with it, both reader and writer. Notice the current edition: "Debian Jessie from Discovery to Mastery."

    Anyway, I've made my pitch. I'll always wish there was an Untangle for Dummies somewhere, even if not here.

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