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Five things Free Software has taught me
,----[ Quote ]
| Iâve been in Free Software for a few years
| now and learned a ton from it. Sure, I
| learned how to use new types of software,
| became efficient on them, and honed my
| programming skills, but stopping there would
| be missing the point. Free software has so
| much more to offer than just computing and
| technical benefits. In fact, the technical
| side is the least important thing Iâve
| learned from my experiences. Free Software
| has brought me far beyond knowledge of its
| source code and taught me lessons I will
| value for a lifetime.
| 1. Centralized control isnât worth it
| When one single governing body gains absolute
| control over something, it is only a matter
| of time before that governing body increases
| its power tremendously. Many times, it does
| this in order to avoid vice, but
| counterintuitively, only ends up creating
| more of it in the process. Take any modern
| established proprietary software company that
| started out in the 60âs or 70âs for example.
| These software companies were revolutionary
| in their decision not to share their software
| for the benefit of learning, but rather, keep
| it a secret in order to make money from it.
| As time went on, the companies began imposing
| slightly harsher methods upon users in an
| attempt to foil the plans of those who
| refused to pay. This was the beginning of
| techniques such as license keys. As users
| developed ways around the methods, the
| methods kept getting progressively harsher,
| severely punishing casual proprietary
| software users who had been legally using and
| paying full price for the software since the
10 questions to ask when selecting open source products for your enterprise
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| To make sure you realize all the benefits of
| open source, run these simple background
| checks on an open source project.
The Great Linux/Grandmother Experiment!
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| Overall, Iâd have to say the usability features in gOS in specific (and Linux
| in general) are the biggest boon for her. You have no idea how sad it is
| seeing someone struggle to read the screen with a magnifying glass. The
| giant pictures and text for the few simple functions she uses are options
| that are specifically available in Linux and not to the same degree in other
| OSes. She couldnât read the screen in XP before! I havenât tried out the
| usability features in OSX, but she doesnât have the money for a Mac anyway.
| Linux was really the only viable option in this scenario because of itâs cost
| ($0) and itâs ease of use. And judging from the way she was picking it up, I
| think sheâll be alright with it!
| So, for what itâs worth, Iâd just like to say âThank youâ to all the Linux
| developers who donate their time to those projects. Youâve literally helped
| my Grandmother see again.
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