I ate a sandwich today...... wait no i don't want this to be one of those blogs. I want to really talk of something of importance. So I'll talk about one of the topics i have closer to my heart, Free Software.
So what exactly is Free Software, well you could ask Richard Stallman or read my simple explanation. Free Software is software with none but one restriction, that it must remain free. Now I really got you confused. In other words you can use it, modify it, break it, copy it, distribute it, destroy it, put it on fire whatever you want, you just have to let it be free. "Not free as in beer, free as in freedom" (Stallman). In other words this software belongs to the world not to any corporation or someone in particular. As you may have guessed Office 2003 is not free software, as it belongs to Microsoft. But don't get confused with the likes of Internet Explorer that is free, as in it didn't cost you nothing, is still belongs to Microsoft, just try to change it, maybe to add feauture X ( X, as in anything) , or for what is worth try unistalling it. It can't be done. Why? because you don't own it. You don't have its source code ( how the program does what it does, like a recipe) so you can't change it. Corporations do this to make money, because if you know how a program is built there is no need to buy it.
If you are not a programmer you may tell yourself: "How in the hell, am I going to alter software you socialist hippy, what do i care". I'll tell you why, because you are giving away your freedom.
- Freedom of Speech - Go ahead and ask for feauture X in office. A nice "costumer service specialist" will tell you politely to go to hell. This isn't a democracy.
- Freedom of Action - You can't , or anyone at all, customize the software for their needs.
- Freedom of Ownership - You think that software you just bought is yours. Pass it to your neightboor, like the landmower he hasn't returned, you'll get in trouble.
Stallman resolved this issues when he wrote a thing he called GPL
( GNU Public Licence ) . It is a licence ( you know what a licence is, remember when you installed that software and had to click 'I agree') to be applied to software. It garantees those freedoms by assuring that every software comes with its source code, and defends the authors ( programmers) from corporations living out of their work. Believe me will be ok (us programmers) there are still tons of custom work to be done, will not be out of out jobs.
The Moral of the post, Get Firefox
, Free Software alternative to Internet Explorer
learn to program, change it and share it with the world. Don't forget is OURS!!!!
.PD: I'll keep talking about Free Software Later. So much to talk about we'll just have to see.