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Wednesday, July 24th, 2013, 10:10 am

Richard Stallman on Firmware

Richard Stallman in nature

Direct download as Ogg (00:06:42, 3.5 MB)

Summary: Richard Stallman’s suggestion for people who want to compromise on the issue of firmware

THE latest Debian GNU/Linux, like the previous version (6.x), comes without notorious firmware by default, which causes inconvenience to some, yours truly included. I discussed this with Stallman and here are his views on the matter.

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One Response to “Richard Stallman on Firmware”

  1. Will Hill Says:

    As usual, RMS is right about this one. Non free firmware is bad for users and the hardware “supported” should be avoided. Providing it is not a service, helping people escape non free software is.

    Here is Hardware that respects your freedom. I can vouch for this USB network card, which is very nice but sadly cutting edge and not part of Debian’s kernel yet. You can use it by compiling as detailed in the Debian wiki. It took me about an hour.

    Despite so many new computers coming with awful wifi, just as they used to come with Winmodems, there are plenty of good, used cards around. To find them, take your favorite free laptop with you to a local hardware store and ask if you can try some used cards. Only buy the cards that work out of the box. Be aware that you might have to remove the nasty card your computer came with for free software to work properly. Don’t waste your time at a big box store.

    Microsoft is responsible for your pain, not Debian. Microsoft has used corruption and monopoly power to force bad hardware on people for a long time. The point has been to exclude competitors by making an important task very difficult. The only way out is to reject the false choice given to you. You can have nice hardware and software freedom. The FSF is making that task easier too.

    Happy hacking, Roy, and thanks for sharing the interview.

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