[Cialug] Apple and Intel

Travis Beaty listaddy at technomajian.net
Wed Jun 8 15:56:08 CDT 2005

Hello all.

As I quickly don my asbestos underwear and assure my room is sufficiently 
flame resistant, by two cents worth ...

I personally feel that if anyone keeps Linux from being "the" desktop 
operating system, it will be the Stallmanist fanatics out there.  Do I use 
free software?  Well, yes, I do.  Do I contribute to it?  Yes, I do what I 
can.  Do I believe that anyone who has Netscape, Acrobat Reader, Real Player, 
or Sun's Java VM on their Linux system should be met at the front door by a 
mob with a horse, a rope, shotguns and pitchforks?   Absolutely not.

It seems at times the most vocal users of Linux say: "Only FOSS approved 
applications can be used with this operating system, lest ye be plunged into 
the depths of Hell."  I see little difference between saying that, and saying 
"Only Microsoft Approved software may be used with Windows <whatever>."  One 
can have a political, implied EULA that will scare folks away just as quickly 
as a printed one coming out of Redmond.

When I talk to people about trying Linux out, I make it a point not to mention 
Open Source software, vendor lock, and other wonderful buzzwords.  I just 
give them a Live CD, or show them my laptop, and say, "This is Linux.  It's 
better.  See for yourself."  Linux can sell itself.

If we sit there and tell people "Use Linux because it is free software, and 
Windows isn't," then we'll win over some geeks and a couple of blonds 
interested in the free beer.  If we tell people "Use Linux because it is 
better than Windows," and we demonstrate that it is, then we'll get converts.  
Grandma Jones doesn't give a rat's fuzzy bung if Firefox is free software, as 
long as she can use it to sell her knitting on eBay.

The same way with emphasizing that users can get the source code to program X.  
It seems (and I'm just as much guilty of this as the next person) that as 
"advanced" users we forget that while source code is wonderful to us, other 
people don't even know what "source code" is.  It's the "common" user, the 
one who thinks that C++ code is an indication that someone has been drinking 
and computing, that we need to be aiming for.

So yes, I do agree that open source, free software is important to Linux.  
That is its legacy, that is how it got to where it is.  I believe that as the 
"gurus," the backbone of the cause, we should support free software every 
chance we get.  However, we need to keep in mind that at the end of the day, 
the battle is won by Linux's performance, stability, power, security, and 
ability to be used and enjoyed by the common folk, not because Application X 
has The Stallman Seal of Approval.

Bottom line:  Most people don't care if its open source.  They don't care if 
they can get the source code.  They care if it works, and works better than 
the competitor.

Again, just my two cents.  I got my asbestos undies on now, so I guess I'll 
push the send button.

Have a wonderful day,

On Wednesday 08 June 2005 12:20 pm, chris129 at cs.iastate.edu wrote:
> I think I should have emphasized my sentence.  I didn't mean "selling" to
> get emphasis, I meant "Apple" to get emphasis.  Proprietary software isn't
> the devil, Apple on the other hand....  That said, I greatly prefer Free
> software; but there's some great proprietary stuff too (it just tends to be
> more temporal).

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