A.P. Lawrence Unix/Linux Technical Support and Service Rates

support and scripting for Unix and Linux

December 2004 picture a.p. lawrence

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If you don't want to read all this and just need help NOW for a single issue, Click Here.

For longer projects or engagements, I offer a number of rate plans to meet your needs. General Unix and Linux support is available, with the most expertise in Linux, Solaris and SCO.

See Services offered if you landed here without understanding what I do.

If you are a consultant or MIS manager and primarily support Windows but need Unix or Linux help now and then, one of the phone or email support options may be just what you need.

I'll also do minor scripting (Perl, shell), and can provide technical assistance for websites.

By the way, there is a lot of free information on this site; you may want to read a bit before spending your money.

Address, Phone numbers, etc.
Services Offered
Background and Experience

Email and Phone Support

Monthly ticket: $250.00 by Paypal in advance covers you for one month for email and phone support. Phone support is limited by my availability and may need to be scheduled at some times. Although unlikely, there may be additonal charges if there is a high volume of phone support. If you don't agree to those charges, I will either refund your $250.00 and cancel your support, or finish the month and not allow you to renew again. I have never had to do this, but it could happen. Try to reserve phone for situations where you really need it; otherwise use email.

If you want this for more than one month, it's $125.00 for subsequent months (assuming I agree to renew you, of course). You can cancel this at any time.

If you want an entire year, see the $760 plan below.

If it is just one issue, see: Quick help.

You can purchase a yearly retainer; see below.

On-Site and Remote Access Support

Hourly billing, on-site, New England area: $150.00/hour plus .95/mile round trip. Minimum 2 hours on site.

Remote access support: same rates, One hour minimum. May require advance payment.

This is usually your best choice if you don't anticipate on-going work. For example, if you just need someone for an emergency, this will be the least expensive choice.

If that sounds like a lot of money to you, please keep in mind that I have a LOT of experience. Very often I take literally minutes to fix problems that other people might spend hours on. Look over this web site to get an idea of the breadth and depth of my knowledge. See also:

Retainer: You may purchase a yearly retainer to reduce costs.

The $760.00 yearly fee :

Extended phone and remote support charges will be billed at $75.00 per hour.

Mileage: I do not charge for time spent traveling to or from your site, but do charge round trip mileage.. Billing (or deduction of pre-paid hours) starts when I arrive at your site and ends when I leave. The mileage charge is applied to the entire trip, going and coming.

Customized Plans

Resellers and other service organizations: Customized plans to provide representative support for your customers or field personnel can be developed.

What is Support?

Support is assistance with identifying the source of a problem. I have many years of experience in this field, and maintain technical expertise to the best of our ability, but I cannot guarantee a resolution to any particular problem, nor can I promise that any solution I provide may not cause other problems.

I can't promise that I will resolve a problem in any particular time frame, or even that I am always able to turn our attention toward your problem at any given moment. All of our work is offered on a best effort basis only.

Support is provided through telephone, or by e-mail. The intent is to provide incidental support for small problems that can be resolved by a simple conversation. Typically, phone support issues fall into the "how do I ..?" classification rather than the "Something isn't working" category. However, the "Something isn't working" might be handled by a phone conversation; it really depends on the complexity of the issue. Generally speaking, issues that cannot be resolved in 15 minutes or less are not suitable for phone support. This is not absolute, but is a guideline.

Remote support includes anything that can be done remotely from our offices. Since the advent of the Internet, this doesn't always mean what it used to mean, because I might be able to telnet to your site, or deliver work by E-mail or ftp. The important concept here is that the work is actually done at our site without having to physically travel to you.

There is a difference between remotee support and phone support. Phone support is me talking to you, giving you advice or solutions for a problem. If the problem is too complex to talk you through (or if you just don't have the time to do it yourself), then remote or on site support is required. As phone support is not billed by the hour, and remote and on site support is, there is sometimes a gray line that differentiates when one or the other is required.

What is Programming?

Programming is creating programs (instructions) for a computer to perform some task. This might be mailing lists, web pages, or simply small scripts that solve some other problem. All of my programming is offered on an hourly (or pre-paid) basis only. I do not offer fixed price or turn key work.

Programming can be difficult work, and the programmer doesn't always have complete control of the complex interactions of his program with the machine and all of the other programs that may exist on it. I therefore cannot offer any absolute guarantees that any programming I provide will work correctly under all conditions of use.

Last updated May 2009.