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Raleigh News & Observer: The Allure of Open-Source

Sep 11, 2002, 17:30 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jonathan B. Cox)

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"John C. Stille is a 17-year-old senior at Raleigh's Cardinal Gibbons High School who does more than type research papers and play games on computers. He writes the code that makes them work. For the past three years, Stille, who also plays on his school's varsity baseball team, has created open-source software--applications whose technical workings can be seen, manipulated and improved by anybody. Stille has even helped start an online foundation that assists other people looking to get involved in the business. He talked with Connect's Jonathan Cox about his experiences. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation...

"Q.How much money is in this?

"A.I have made a little bit, but I do it more for the love of computers than anything else. Open-source software can lead to many possibilities. You can keep it to where you make nothing and you just do it for the joy of doing it. It can lead to a medium amount of money where you go based on donations and grants to help the software continue, which usually you end up spending a lot of money on computers to test your software and stuff like that. It can eventually lead to big money..."

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