[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [Fsfe-uk] Mac OS X refund

From: Noah Slater
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] Mac OS X refund
Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2008 14:28:37 +0000
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.17 (2007-11-01)

On Thu, Jan 24, 2008 at 01:51:36PM +0000, Chris Croughton wrote:
> > I hardly think that his situation is similar to the "zomg, i just
> > totally have to get that new mac air so i can sit in starbucks
> > drinking my extra-mocha-choca-decaf and prepare notes on free software
> > using keynote" situation.
> Strawman and hyperbole, you are spoiling your own case using such
> tactics.

Oh, I know. I was being intentionally hyperbolic to keep it light. ;)

> Let me ask the "everything must be free software" fanatics (I don't know
> whether you count yourself as one, but feel free to answer): Do you use
> any of the following?

I'm not sure I identify with that however my attitude is one of using
free software where it is avaialable and using non-free software where
there is no other option.

A good example of this is my recent switch from non-free Gmail to free
mutt but my continued use of Google for seach given no free

But I fear this example may open a new flameware over software as a
service, which I would rather not get into right now, my point is the
same, as I am about to explain.

>     A computer using proprietary hardware (like a CPU?)

Isn't all hardware proprietary in a way?

I'm not a hardware geek, but I use a PowerPC, so you tell me.

>     A car with a proprietary processor doing engine management?

No, don't drive.

>     A TV set using proprietary software?

Again, I consider this to be firmware.

>     An airline whose planes use proprietary software?

Again, it may as well be firmware to me.

>     Roads with traffic and pedestrian lights run by proprietary
>     software?

Again firmware.

But there is a clear distinction between hardware, firmware and user
installable software as RMS makes clear in a number of his
essays. RMS's general argument is that non-free firmware (such as the
software that runs your microwave) doesn't matter because as you can't
easily change it, and hence it may as well be hardwired (literally)
into the hardware.

I think that bringing in free hardware/firmware arguments (such as
free BIOS) would cloud the current debate.

> If the answer is yes to any of these, please stop or I won't take you
> seriously when you say that free software developers and advocates must
> only use free software.

But I am talking about software, not hardware or firmware or software
that is in some remote system which I have control over.

I think it is perfectly reasonable to limit the argument to user
installable software and in fact RMS does exactly this.

> The same as I don't take seriously mediaeval re-enactors who insist
> that all of their clothing must be 'authentic' but use a
> machine-made needle to sew it.

Just to throw a spanner in the works, I own a PS3 and enjoy playing
lots of fun, action packed non-free games. ;)

However, I think this is different still. I don't like that the games
are non-free, but at the moment there is no alternative.

If you suggest that I play TuxRacer or similar I heartly recommend you
try playing a PS3 game before suggesting that the two could be
considered interchangable. ;)

Noah Slater <http://bytesexual.org/>

"Creativity can be a social contribution, but only in so far as
society is free to use the results." - R. Stallman

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]