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Finding the happy medium in FOSS

Posted by: Anonymous [ip:] on February 03, 2008 06:48 PM
Taking the work of a bunch of disparate hackers and bundling it into a sellable operating system somehow strikes me as at best weird, and at worst contradictory to the very idea of what it means to be a hacker in the Stallmanian sense. As a Linux purist myself, I balk at the idea of the OS being a product sold in any capacity, but I understand that hackers must also make a living; personally as a computer science student I aspire to work in Linux post-graduation. The question I have after all the months I've spent in Linux is mostly a pragmatic one, and one that won't be answered easily: why are desktop Linux people treated as third-class citizens? (Mac users, from personal experience, are second-class; Windows users only get the best software support and drivers, it seems.) It's immaterial to me whether or not Linux is sold as a product -- it will be sold, and will be distributed freely as well. People exist to make money, goes one of my favourite sayings, and I find it growing truer and truer as the years wear on.

I'll say this: I'd pick up a copy of Linux off a store shelf before I'd ever even touch a copy of Windows or the Mac OS ever again. The only thing I genuinely regret is all the time I wasted in Windows and the Mac OS; with every day that passes, I wonder why I didn't switch to Linux sooner.


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