“On Feb. 3, 1976, Bill Gates wrote his famous ‘open
letter to hobbyists’ where he stated that software should be paid
[for] just like hardware. Did you read that manifesto at the time?
What was your impression back then?
“Stallman: I never heard of it at the time. I
was not a hobbyist, I was a system developer employed at the MIT
Artificial Intelligence Lab. I had little interest in 16-bit
microcomputers, because the lab’s PDP-10, with a memory equivalent
to 2.5 megabytes, was much more fun. Pascal is both weak and
inelegant compared with Lisp, our high-level language, and for
things that had to be fast, assembler language was more