? ?I am will be leaving as well but am not sure where to go. ?I am not mad
at anyone ?over the closing of Sounder as I put myself in that position.
?However, I have never in my life before accepted anything for nothing. Give
me your old lawnmower and I will mow your grass for a time or fix your car.
? ? I know if you give me something, you will soon look down on me. If you
give me something, I can't say it's not good enough improve it.
? ? If I buy it, I can tell you if you if you don't make it better I won't
buy it again. I will vote with my pocket book. When I spend my money I am
always in charge. ?I can walk away any time I want,and someone else will
except it. ?I know I can donate money, but that carries no power.
? ?I just realised I feel like I am on Welfare and from Conical point of
view I am.
By thwe way, the company behind Ubuntu is called "Canonical" and not "Conical."
That is a little strange a reaction, from my point of view, but I
guess it can't be helped.
The thing is, sometimes in life, you *do* get something for nothing.
The air that we all breathe is free, as is the sunshine of a summer's
The way to look at Free software is this. Computer software is just a
list of instructions. You need the machine to perform the instructions
- that's what you pay for, a physical thing.
Now, the proprietary-software companies, like Microsoft, want you to
*buy* their lists of instructions. That's all you get, but if you get
your machine to follow the instructions, it will do all kinds of
useful things. But all you buy off Microsoft is the instructions - not
even the medium they're written down on.
Instructions, though, are not magical. If I give you a set of
instructions for building a 17th century battleship, that is quite
complicated - but a set of instructions for making toast is not.
The thing is that when Microsoft started out, home computers came with
no list of instructions at all. Nobody had made such things. So the
processes were complicated and worth money.
Now, though, it's been done many times. The instructions are common
knowledge. You don't need to buy them any more - you can just download
them for free off the Internet.
What Canonical does is polish up these free instructions - they didn't
write them, or very very little of them; they are all out there, free
as the air, for anyone to use. The snag is, though they were free,
they were complicated and hard to follow, with many
mutually-contradictory sets of lists.
Lots of companies have been offering their versions of the list of
instructions called "Linux" for years. Most sold them in a fancy box
with a manual and a bit of support for money, or you could download
them - no box, no disk, no help - for nothing.
Mark Shuttleworth came along and sponsored a bunch of people to
produce a nice short set of clear instructions and is giving it away
for nothing. He hopes to make money from it - the support you can buy
from Canonical is not free - but mostly he is doing it to help the
community, to give something back. He built a company around Linux and
sold it for US$600 Million at the turn of the century; now he is
returning the favour by making a free set of lists that's easy enough
You're not getting charity. Yes, it's good of him to do it, it's
generous, but then, he did use this software to get *extremely* rich.
Now he's giving something back. He's a good bloke like that.
You don't feel guilty for breathing and not paying, nor for walking in
the summer sun - the sun is not giving you a charity handout! By the
same token, don't feel that you're getting charity in the form of
You can certainly buy Linux if you want. I have tried, run and
reviewed many commercial distributions: Mandriva, SUSE, Caldera, Corel
LinuxOS, Xandros, Lindows, Freespire, Red Hat and others. Some were
good, some less so.
My personal favourites were Caldera and Corel LinuxOS / Xandros (the
last 2 are the same thing under different names). None exist any more.
SUSE is big and bloated and fat and slow. I ran it for years but I
never liked it all that much - it was just as good as it got back
then. I tried it again recently and it has not improved. But if you
want to pay, you can - you'll be paying Novell, who own it now.
Mandriva is better, and they're a small French company who need the
money! It's not as smooth as Ubuntu, though.
Red Hat Linux doesn't exist any more. Now you can either use Fedora
for free (I find it rather rough and unfinished and don't recommend
it) or pay *thousands* for Red Hat Enterprise Linux. I don't recommend
that, either - it's a big-company thing and very very expensive.
If you want something with Ubuntu's polish but from someone else, your
best bet is Linux Mint. It's free but they are very happy to accept
But don't feel that you are receiving charity when you use Free
software. You're not, not any more than you are when you write a
letter and know where to put the address on the page and how to form
the letters with a pen. That all comes from lists of instructions that
you got, probably for free, when you were a kid at school, and you
didn't and don't feel that you received charity then, do you?
Telling someone how to do something is not an act of charity, like
giving money to the homeless. It's just being neighbourly. If your
neighbour mows your lawn for you, you wouldn't give them money for it,
would you? If you tried, they would probably be offended.
Well, Sounder /was/ the place - but since it's gone now, there is a
new, non-Ubuntu Sounder list. It's here:
On Wed, Apr 20, 2011 at 3:54 AM, John McCabe-Dansted
Do please come and join us there!
Liam Proven ? Info & profile: http://www.google.com/profiles/lproven
Email: lproven at cix.co.uk ? GMail/GoogleTalk/Orkut: lproven at gmail.com
Tel: +44 20-8685-0498 ? Cell: +44 7939-087884 ? Fax: + 44 870-9151419
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