Thursday, January 3, 2008

Why I am biased towards Free Software, and a New Years Resolution

Some people have accused me of bias towards Open Source and Free Software, even going to the extent of calling me a fanboy. While I do think I am not a Open Source fanboy (two of my favorite apps are closed source -the Opera browser and Opera Mini), I do admit to a bias for Free Software.

Why? Simple! They (Free Software) belong to me! They are my property the moment I downloaded it or bought it and started using it. I can do anything with it, I can share it with my friends, I can sell it if I like, I can modify it to my heart's content. And it is this Gift culture, this disposition towards sharing, this respect of individual rights, that gives rise to my bias. I liken Closed source to a rented property, Free Software is mine, is yours, is the Worlds. Call me an impractical, sentimental fool if you like, but that philosophy warms my heart.

However, so many developers have spent countless hours developing what I hold dear. How do I show my appreciation? This post is one of my ways of doing so, but I have decided another thing. I will donate a portion of income generated from this blog and other sites I may make to my favorite projects. Which projects do I have in mind? First comes Puppy Linux and Mepis, because after days of frustration trying Linux, these two distros showed that Linux works pretty well. Then comes GCompris, makers of what I believe is the best Childrens Educational Game suite across all platforms. I do hope by the end of the year, I will have enough money to donate them a good amount. That is my new years resolution!