≡ Menu

free software

Read the Fine Print on "Open Source" Software

There is some good discussion going on about open source software licenses and confusion. From the article:

Back in the 1980s, when Richard Stallman was the only one talking about the need for "free software," no one quite knew what he was talking about. That's not just because people looked askance at someone who said it would be possible to write a version of Unix that could be given away for free, along with all of the compilers, editors, and utilities that a typical Unix installation included.

Stallman also managed to confuse people with the term "free" -- he used it as a political statement, saying "free as in freedom," or "free as in 'free speech'," contrasting it with "free as in 'free beer'." But no matter how hard he tried, Stallman was faced with the reality that most people thought of "free software" as programs for which you didn't have to pay money. The fact that Stallman's software was indeed designed to be given away without charge only added to the confusion.

=> Read the Fine Print on "Open Source" Software ( via Linuxtoday )

Rendering is the process of generating an image from a model, by means of computer programs. POV-Ray is one of such free software for rendering images. This article explains how to build home Linux render cluster using commodity computing technique:

3D computer rendering are very CPU intensive and the best way so speed up slow render problems, are usually to distribute them on to more computers. Render farms are usually very large, expensive and run using ALLOT of energy. I wanted to build something that could be put in my home, not make too much noise and run using very little energy... and be dirt cheep, big problem? :) no computer stuff cost almost nothing these days, it just a matter of finding fun stuff to play with.


(Fig.01: Helmer Linux Cluster)

=> This is the story of Helmer. A linux cluster in a IKEA Helmer cabinet.

Bill Gates Says – We Disagree with GPL

Bill gates is spreading misinformation about GPL. From the article:

After one scientist asked if Gates would consider open source uses in health research, the man who built his $280 billion company on the power of intellectual property bristled.

"There's free software and then there’s open source," he suggested, noting that Microsoft gives away its software in developing countries. With open source software, on the other hand, "there is this thing called the GPL, which we disagree with."

Open source, he said, creates a license "so that nobody can ever improve the software," he claimed, bemoaning the squandered opportunity for jobs and business. (Yes, Linux fans, we're aware of how distorted this definition is.) He went back to the analogy of pharmaceuticals: "I think if you invent drugs, you should be able to charge for them," he said, adding with a shrug: "That may seem radical."

=> Bill Gates on Pharmaceuticals: The System Isn't Working

How To Run Windows Application Under Linux

There are many ways to run Windows based apps under Linux; virtualbox is one of such free software. Here's how to set up Windows inside VirtualBox, and then get Windows apps running seamlessly inside your desktop. This may save time for new user who can not ditch Windows based apps totally ;)

=> Run Windows Apps Seamlessly Inside Linux

If you know open source based application development, you can make more money. A report from New York City-based consulting company Bluewolf says IT salaries across the board will continue to rise in 2008:

The rise of open source software in application development puts developers with a specialization in those technologies in a position to ask for a 30 or 40 percent pay increase, Kirven says. "We've gotten more requests from our permanent placement division for open source developers in the last six months than in the last five or six years combined," he says. "It's not as easy as getting free software, someone has to get it up and running. LAMP is everywhere now -- these types of technologies no one heard of 18 months ago are all the sudden becoming a hot commodity."

This is an interesting documentary video which traces the history of GNU, Linux, and the open source and free software movements. It features several interviews with prominent hackers and entrepreneurs (and hackers-cum-entrepreneurs), including Richard Stallman, Michael Tiemann, Linus Torvalds, Larry Augustin, Eric S. Raymond, Bruce Perens, Frank Hecker and Brian Behlendorf.

The film begins in medias res with an IPO, and then sets the historical stage by showing the beginnings of software development back in the day when software was shared on paper tape for the price of the paper itself. It then segues to Bill Gates's Open Letter to Hobbyists in which he asks Computer Hobbyists to not share, but to buy software. (This letter was written by Gates when Microsoft was still based in Arizona and spelled "Micro-Soft".) Richard Stallman then explains how and why he left the MIT Lab for Artificial Intelligence in order to devote his life to the development of free software, as well as how he started with the GNU project.


(Note: There is a video embedded within this post, please visit the site to view the video - Time: 1 hr 25 min 9 sec)

Linus Torvalds is interviewed on his development of the Linux kernel as well as on the GNU/Linux naming controversy and Linux's further evolution, including its commercialization.

Richard Stallman remarks on some of the ideological aspects of open source vis-á-vis Communism and capitalism and well as on several aspects of the development of GNU/Linux.

Michael Tiemann (interviewed in a desert) tells how he met Stallman and got an early version of Stallman's GCC and founded Cygnus Solutions.

Larry Augustin tells how he combined the resulting GNU software and a normal PC to create a UNIX-like Workstation which cost one third the price of a workstation by Sun Microsystems even though it was three times as powerful. His narrative includes his early dealings with venture capitalists, the eventual capitalization and commodification of Linux for his own company, VA Linux, and ends with its IPO.

Frank Hecker of Netscape tells how Netscape executives released the source code for Netscape's browser, one of the signal events which made Open Source a force to be reckoned with by business executives, the mainstream media, and the public at large.

PS: You can download video from Google Video for Apple iPOD here.

Lifehacker has published an interesting interview with Ubuntu Founder Mark Shuttleworth:

Founder of Ubuntu Linux Mark Shuttleworth took time out of his busy schedule to talk with us about email, productivity, travel, web applications, Ubuntu, free software and much more. We asked Shuttleworth what you wanted to know and he gave us the full scoop. Hit the jump for the full interview transcript.