Free Software

I am writing this post using WriteRoom, one super working space on my new laptop Macbook Pro.  I got this one as one major purchase after I landed in US.

I gave up my only companion the PC, to which I have been faithful since my beginning days in computers for a new Mac. Why did I take the decision? I still use Microsoft’s own Visual Studio in office for my development activities. So half of my time, I am on a PC and the remaining time I am on Mac. They both are a different culture. Everything about Mac, at least my first feel of Mac is it is beautiful.

Design – It is Apple’s forte. It has that good finish, wonderful, artistic and everything about it. That is what captured me to it. Being a designer myself, I wanted to own it, and it just happened that I did it in the home of software development.

I have no regrets with Windows or Linux, the two other operating systems I have used fairly so far. The first software that I have licensed, other than the OS is TextMate. It was a worthy buy. So I have bought a license for it. It feels good to own and work on licensed software. I feel as if I own it. I feel that I respect the work that goes into the making of it. I love open source and free softwares. If there is some great work going on, and you can provide your own contributions to it, yes pay them. It is not for the software, but the people behind it.

In India, we use pirated software all the time. Piracy is nothing. Everyone has a copy of Windows, Office running on their machines. The cost of software in Indian currency is much higher compared to the US counterparts. People don’t like to pay for just a CD. We are used to the belief that if you pay more, you get more. For something as big as Rs. 13,000/- a CD doesn’t suffice, we look for something more bigger. We are used to thinking that way, just like grocery and furniture shopping.

Since, everyone is used to using Windows, no one wants to move from the comfort zone offered by it and embrace free software. There has to be paradigm shift, if people should start buying software.

How can that be achieved. It won’t/can’t happen immediately. Schools should start using Linux and open source softwares. Students must be encouraged to read code, tweak existing programs so that they get what they want. They must get that idea, the machine does only what they want it to do, rather than stand amazed at seeing the computer working. After all it is what it is programmed for. Then as they grow up, they will start appreciating software and by the time, they get their own computers, they get to choose what they want. They can buy a Windows or a Mac, or write their own operating systems.

Lets make this happen!

After all, it is necessity that is the mother of all inventions.


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