n Sun, 12 Oct 2003 17:38:16 +0000, asdf wrote:
There are plenty of people who believe just as zealously in things like
the sanctity of the free market and intellectual property. These people
also frequently get to write major international treaties and influence
national governments to bring in laws supporting their ideology. Who are
the more dangerous?
Obviously, in technical terms, Linux is an OS like any other
Did you ever read the stuff about free as in beer / free as in speech?
It's not just a minor quibble over words. It's pretty fundamental to free
software philosophy that programs are distributed in a way that if you
don't like something about the way it works, and you have the skills, you
can fix it or adapt it yourself, and the people writing it do what they
can to make this easy for you instead of hard.
Which is precisely one of the distinctions that Richard Stallman
(hero of the 'linux zealot') makes when he talks about what free software
On a 56k modem, several days, so you buy a CD or copy one off a friend, or
borrow someone's broadband connection. On an ADSL line (always paid
flat-rate AFAIK), a few hours at the most.
That's just bullshit - most people I know who are into linux are happy to
copy CDs. Nobody's ever suggested to me that I donate to GNU, and I've
never done the same to anyone else.
Some linux users may be like this. I try to keep an open mind about what's
going on with other platforms and OSes. Many Windows users don't
even know that there _is_ anything except Windows. If anyone's trying to
create a computing world that is entirely sufficient unto itself, I'd say
Bill Gates is a good candidate. I have a copy of win98 on my other
partition, which I sometimes use for things like if I want to build a
database for someone who uses Access and doesn't want to switch to linux.
Well 'linux zealots' don't physically torture you until you agree with
what they want you to say - I'd say this is quite a big difference.
I'm still a bit careful about recommending it to non-geeky friends because
of this, but I just put Mandrake 9.2 on a spare partition the other night
to try it out, and it's really not that hard. Like - nice GUI interface,
maybe a dozen simple questions if you go for the easy install option, and
you're up and running.
This is not rocket science - someone who can't understand the concept of -
"the hard drive is where all the programs and your stuff is stored, and
you can split it up into seperate bits if you want, and choose which bit
you want to use when you switch on" is going to find it hard running any
sort of OS.
(Most) people don't do this just for the sake of it, you know - there are
genuine reasons to be pretty pissed off about the hold that MS has over
the computer industry.
Linux users have very different points of view on this - as with the rest
of this post, you're taking a stereotype and blowing it out of proportion
in an ignorant way.
You can't copy a whole book or a newspaper for 50 pence - software you
can. New books aren't written by taking pages out of old books, sticking
them together and adding a few pages of your own (except in avant-garde
novels and the jewish religious tradition) - software can be. Novels
mainly express a point of view on life - software mainly performs a
function. Differences like these mean that computer programs don't quite
fit old ways of thinking about