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Electronic Telegraph (UK): How to get Windows out of your system

“The extraordinary thing about it is that it is free software.
Instead of being created by a huge company with scores of
programmers working on it, Linux – more formally, GNU/Linux – has
been developed by a vast community of volunteers doing it for
nothing. In these get-rich-quick days of Internet billions being
made overnight, it is encouraging to find people who think it’s fun
to write a printer driver or fret over networking protocols. Linux
may have a penguin mascot to make it appear friendly, but the
penguin can’t stop the quasi-religious arguments that blaze through
the developers’ community over minor details of implementation and
design. Linux users can’t even agree on how to pronounce it:
Linn-ux, or Line-ux.”

“It’s the most interesting and exciting happening in personal
computing today,” says Liam Proven, a computer consultant and
former biologist (who says it Linn-ux). “It’s cheap. It’s easy;
underneath there’s UNIX, which is about as user-friendly as a
cornered rat, but now it installs easily, autodetects most
hardware, has a choice of friendly graphical interfaces, and
installing software is almost as easy as on Windows. It’s
constantly and rapidly improving. It’s reliable. And finally, it’s
different…

“Richard Stallman, for example, founder of the Free Software
Foundation, has devoted his life to the concept not so much of
software being available for nothing, as of its use being
unrestricted and the source code freely available, or “open” in the
jargon. He says he feels imprisoned by any software that he isn’t
allowed to take apart and examine or modify, and would rather use
free software even if it isn’t as good as the commercial
alternatives.”


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