Software Freedom DayBy PropellerHed (Sep 3rd, 2009)
Imagine for a moment, if everyone in the world had no choice in what type of car or truck they purchased?
Sure you might be able to change the colour scheme or maybe the size of the numbers on the dashboard, but at the end of the day, whether you lived in Cleveland or Kowloon you would be driving home in the same vehicle as everyone else on the planet. And it wouldn’t matter what the gas mileage was or even how many children you had stuffed into the back seat, it would be the same vehicle day after day. And imagine if you wanted to accessorize your car – yup, you would be dealing with the same car company for everything related to ‘your’ car.
Until a few years ago that was the situation in the computer world. Certainly there were a few Macs out there and the odd person marching to their own drum, but in essence the computer you brought home from Best Buy® or Staples® or wherever would have Microsoft Windows® under the hood and the same standard set of applications (Microsoft Office® Trial Version of some sort, Norton’s Anti-Virus® and signups for AOL® et al).
And then something amazing happened! Programmers discovered that if they shared the programs they were writing other programmers would add to the code and together they would build these incredibly good programs in a fraction of the time that it took the proprietary software companies to release theirs. And by making the code available FREE to other programmers, everyday users (me and you) could actually start using our computers to their potential without lining up at the checkout with a wheelbarrow full of money.
Today there are as many, if not more, Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) solutions available as there are solutions from proprietary software vendors. And the quality of these applications is comparable, if not SUPERIOR! Using the principle of sharing code programmers have even created whole new operating systems, such as Ubuntu Linux, Red Hat and BSD that are as easy to configure and operate, more efficient and DEFINITELY more secure than Microsoft Windows®!
And how successful has FOSS been in penetrating the Microsoft® fortress?
Consider this… More webservers on the Internet run on FOSS software than on Microsoft® products! And how about this?… The Canadian government has opened up discussions on how (not IF) to convert all their computers to FOSS!
Software Freedom Day (SFD) is a worldwide celebration of FOSS. The goal in this celebration is to educate the worldwide public about the benefits of using high quality FOSS in education, in government, at home, and in business — in short, everywhere! The non-profit company Software Freedom International coordinates SFD at a global level, providing support, giveaways and a point of collaboration, but volunteer teams around the world organize the local SFD events to impact their own communities.
So mark September 19th on your calendar and be prepared to be amazed at the amount of high-quality FOSS available to You!
Teeswater.Ca was created and is maintained on FOSS!