[Vision2020] Open source and related concepts

Paul Rumelhart godshatter at yahoo.com
Tue Apr 8 18:58:22 PDT 2008

Dave wrote:
> Yet they all use Windows.  I have not been able to get one activist in 
> this town to try out the open source, and much better, alternatives.   
> They prefer to use a computer full of corporate and other spys, that 
> can't do much unless you buy more software for it.  I volunteer at a 
> free speech radio station, yet I can't convince anyone else that open 
> source is consistent with our mission statement and that Microsuck is not.

Yep, I feel your pain.  The billions of dollars Microsoft has is spent 
on supporting their monopoly, and on convincing everyone under the sun 
that "Windows" is the computer itself, not one of a number of literally 
hundreds of choices of operating systems that the hardware can run.  I 
figure open source will get there.  It's come a long way.  I can 
understand it to a degree, it took me a while to get off the trainwreck 
that is Windows and to hop onto Linux.  Other people that aren't so tech 
oriented may have a better time going to Mac OS/X.  Five years from now, 
it won't be uncommon at all.

> You only scratched the surface with your software list, but I expect 
> that was intentional as you mentioned most packages that a general user 
> would use.  But I feel I should also mention Gnucash which is better 
> then Quickbooks and The Gimp which is is better then Photoshop.  Oh 
> yeah, I also just tried out the scanning tool XSane, it's much better 
> than any TWAIN tool I've ever used (except that support for many old 
> scanners isn't (yet) written).

The list of what I do run that is open source is huge, but here are the 

The Ubuntu linux distribution (Kubuntu, actually), the linux kernel that 
runs everything else, the KDE desktop environment, the compiz desktop 
effects, the underlying X Windows graphics subsystem, the Azureus 
torrent client, cgoban and gnugo for playing the game of go (poorly, in 
my case), GIMP for editing graphics, Firefox and Thunderbird, K3b for 
burning cds, abcde (a better CD encoder) for ripping CDs, Xine for 
playing movies, Open Office Calc for spreadsheets, Open Office Writer 
for word processing, VLC for playing some movies, Noatun for playing 
mp3s, Rhythmbox for playing streaming radio sites, nget for downloading 
files from usenet, linux games such as the Ur-Quan Masters and Scorched 
3D, the wine subsystem that lets me play some Windows software, and on 
the programming side of things: the gnome terminal command-line program, 
the bash shell, vim for editing files, the Postgresql database, the 
apache web server, the PHP language, the gcc compiler, the make program 
for compiling source, the wget program for scraping websites, and about 
a thousand small command-line utilities chained together to do almost 
anything I can think of, and at least as many accessible libraries for 
adding code to my projects.

And it's all FREE.  Free to download without paying, ever.  Free to use 
as I wish. Free of spyware and viruses.  Free from needing spyware 
remover or anti-virus software, Free of bundled advertising and software 
that works only for three months then incessantly nags you to ugrade, 
Free to make changes to, since the source comes with it.  Free to give 
it away to anyone I want, provided I give them the source to any changes 
I've made.  And as you say, it's great software.  I can see why this 
gives Bill Gates fits.


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