Chris J Powell

Why I care about Software Freedom

In searching for this morning’s topic I bounced several ideas around and then went off to look at some recently trending topics and found an interesting blog post by Katherine Noyes over at the Linux Insider .  Calling to question the reasoning behind why supporters of the FREE Software Movement actually support Linux and other OSS (Open Source Software) projects I thought it was time for me to take a stab at the question of “Why I Care about Free Software”.

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I have been asked many times why I prefer Open Source over the world of Mac or Windows and it is simply because of choice.  As a Geek I like to tinker and even when Windows was my full time OS I would change the way I would interact with the computer by using Desktop Skinning Software like Aston, WindowBlinds and Talisman.  I want my Personal Computer to be a Personal Computer…set to my wants and needs not some version of what some UI Expert says I will like.

That was the first attraction for me to Linux and now after having tested and used more than 500 different Linux OS flavors I can still say that I am hooked.  I still always return to Ubuntu but it is very interesting to see what else is out there. 

Indeed, “there is nothing in the definition of free software that says it has to be free of charge,” agreed Google+ blogger Kevin O’Brien. “When we say ‘free,’ we are talking about freedom: the freedom of the user to use the software, to modify it, to share their modifications, etc., without any legal barrier.”

There are many reasons why others use OSS but for me it is about the Freedom to Choose.  I can do different things (not always better) but different things when I use Linux than when I use a Windows Desktop.  As for Mac…well as good as the system is…I just can not get past the extreme price tag that is the one true barrier to entry into the world of Mac…back in June 2011 I drew my personal Line in the Sand when it comes to making the switch over to Mac (So What if I am a Fan Boy) and the statements I made then, hold true as much today as they did then.

With the new version of Ubuntu Linux (12.04 Precise Pangolin) is in its final Beta right now and available for download and testing at http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/daily-live/current/ and I encourage everyone to a least give it a try.  The Live CD lets you test the world of Linux without doing ANYTHING to your current system…whether you are part of the Cult of Mac or the Denizens of Microsoft…what can it hurt…after FREE is about FREEDOM…if it doesn’t work for you or there is no resonance…then move on and use the CD as a Coaster (like back in the old days of AOL).

Cheers,

Chris J Powell

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