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Re: Free Software Lifestyle

From: nicolas vigier
Subject: Re: Free Software Lifestyle
Date: 14 Jan 2008 18:34:16 GMT
User-agent: slrn/ (Linux)

On 2007-12-31, <> wrote:
> Hi, my name's Andrew, and I'm a Junior in high school. I predominantly
> use an Ubuntu computer. Before that, it was Debian, but before that it
> was Mac OS X. I now use my Mac extremely rarely, if at all. On my
> Ubuntu computer, I refuse to use proprietary drivers, I refuse to
> install the Adobe Flash Player, and I simply refuse to have any
> software but free software. I bring a dynebolic CD with me to school
> and boot it when I want to use a computer there because I refuse to
> use the entirely non-free software. It's a tough lifestyle to keep up,
> only using Free Software, but it's becoming increasingly easier in
> 2007 and on.
> It's difficult to be "hip" online with my friends without the ability
> to fully use YouTube or complicated flash programs integrated into
> Facebook, the social networking site. I can't play the games they want
> me to play, I can't "tag" their "wall" in certain ways. I simply
> refuse to participate, and it set me in a poor position in their eyes,
> as if this is a fault it's cool to attack. I can't play their Windows
> games, and I publicly boycott pretty much everything the average teen
> does on his computer, including downloading music and video illegally.
> I just don't roll that way, and I make it clear to people that I
> don't. If they say, "you can just get it off of Limewire," or "I'll
> burn you a copy," I respond and say, "That's illegal. I don't need to
> hear the song that badly."
> As I've stated before, the result of this behavior is that I become a
> social outcast standing up for what I believe. I know that many do not
> agree, but I see this as the right thing to do and I don't see another
> logical way of living my life. The Free Software Lifestyle, though,
> sets me in a position that is difficult to deal with not in a life-
> long sense (because that's the easy part), but in a day-to-day sense
> in dealing with others. I'm making this post to ask the people of the
> Internet about their experiences and their thoughts on this, what is
> to me, amazing lifestyle. How has it touched your life?

Maybe you should try to remember why you want to use free software in
the first place. This is not a religion, and you are free to think for
yourself about when it is better to use free software or when using
proprietary software is an acceptable solution.

For me, there are a few reasons why I think free software is usually
better :
 - usually better quality, or if not yet better quality, I know that
   using it and helping improve it can lead it to be higher quality
   that any other proprietary software
 - more freedom
 - if I have some time or money to spend, it is better spent on something
   that is useful to everybody instead of something useful to the owner
   of the software only (in the case of proprietary software). And I
   also considere using the software as helping (by making it more popular
   for instance), and in the same way I prefer to help free software

So when I have a choice between a free and a proprietary software, I
usually chose the free one for all thoses reasons. But when I have to
chose between a proprietary one and nothing at all (or something that
is not doing the job), then it depends, and I sometimes use proprietary
software. Sometimes it's not good because it can make you tied to that
software, and you help make it popular, but sometime it's an acceptable
solution while waiting for a free alternative that is good enough.

Also, in my opinion, we need to try to make free software more popular
to general users. And sometimes this means installing a few proprietary
software, for instance flash. Because a Linux user with 1% of proprietary
software is still better than a user going back to Windows. And hopefully
later when that user sees that bugs don't get fixed in that proprietary
software, starts using better alternatives after understanding how free
software works.

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