07.18.20

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Free Software is Good for the Planet

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 10:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Computerclub Ubuntuparty
Computerclub Ubuntuparty (very old photograph, liberally licensed)

Summary: Many activists of freedom and of Free software seem to be neglecting an obvious advantage if not ‘selling point’ of Free software; there’s both a pragmatic and ethical angle to it

ABOUT a year ago we did a series about a recycler that Microsoft had sent to prison (because he recycled computers and put Windows on them). Crazy, isn’t it? But that actually happened [1, 2, 3, 4]. Microsoft actively fought the Right to Repair, too.

“Back in the days of Windows Vista the FSF did a campaign to that effect, warning that Vista would render many perfectly fine PCs obsolete (not meeting even minimal requirements of Vista, which had incredibly steep demands).”When your business model is ‘selling’ (actually renting) things over and over again recycling becomes a threat to your source of income.

Back in the days of Windows Vista the FSF did a campaign to that effect, warning that Vista would render many perfectly fine PCs obsolete (not meeting even minimal requirements of Vista, which had incredibly steep demands). Well, the FSF may no longer be doing activism that “disparages” Windows or Microsoft (a really foolish strategy change in our humble assessment, but so was their stance on RMS).

“It’s one among many reasons why proprietary software is inherently unethical and damaging to life.”Free software is very versatile. Don’t have what it takes to run the latest KDE Plasma? Then use Trinity as a desktop, instead. It’s like KDE3, going over a decade back. Don’t like KDE? Try Openbox. Don’t like the interface? Well, there are many other options out there. Up until 2020 I never had a computer with more than 2 gigabytes of RAM. Up until 2008 I hadn’t used a computer with more than 512 megabytes of RAM. My home PC had just 256 MB, my laptop had 32 MB , and my machine at work had a stunning total of 512. And that coped OK with KDE3.

Proprietary software is trash and it is good at generating, needlessly at times, a lot of literal trash. Those who try to turn this trash into perfectly fine PCs for poor people are being hunted down by Microsoft and then sentenced to prison. That tells us one profound difference between Free software and proprietary software. It’s one among many reasons why proprietary software is inherently unethical and damaging to life.

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