Diehl Martin

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Valentine - a Sun Ultra 5 Workstation running Linux

Putting Linux on an old Gateway Nomad Laptop

About Free Software

Linux is an example of what is called Free Software.  Free software is free, not just because it may cost you little or nothing, but rather because everyone is free to use it, in just about any useful way.  You may learn from it, further develop it, use its techniques on your own projects, keep it, give it away, install it on as many systems as you like, publish it on the web for others to use, and tell the world exactly what you think of it.  It is not just the software which is free, but much more than that, the individual user is free.  In order to maintain such freedom, the software needs to be protected under a peculiar license such as the GNU General Public License.  

Much software development that we see today is based on the premise that the programs are the exclusive chattel of a few major corporations.  The programs have restrictive licenses which commonly state that you may only use the program as the major corporation sees fit, and that although you paid good money for it, that you do not own it.  You cannot copy it.  You cannot install it on more than one computer.  You cannot reverse engineer it.  You cannot transfer it to anyone else.  And most of all, you may not require that the major corporation's program actually does what it is supposed to do.  You have no recourse.  You paid for it, but do not own it, and now you are stuck with it.  Oh, and by the way, you may end up in court if you should dare to tell the world that it doesn't work as claimed, since that agreement states that you may not review their product without the specific written permission of the major corporation.  I see no freedom here!  It is ever so much better to have available Free Software which allows you to do all of the above.  Linux is just such software.

Diehl Martin passed away in October 2007. If you need to contact someone, please contact Monica Martin.

Last Change: 2 July 2006
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