"Well, Christmas 2010 is over, and all the little tech toy
devices have been connected, installed, and played with (or
returned to the store from whence they came if they didn't clear
those hurdles). This year was an amazing success. Three major
computer-linked devices worked on the first try without a hiccup.
And I have to at least say a word or two about Mattel's new
Computer Engineer Barbie — a purchase I must admit was a
little silly, but my daughter does play with it.
"Would you give a vegetarian friend a ham for Christmas? Would
you give his children beef jerky so that he'll be forced to be the
"bad guy" and take it away from them, or violate his own ethics? I
don't think anybody I know would do that. And yet, the much less
radical choice of using free software does not get so much
"It's been years since there have been any working Windows or
Apple computers in our household. We all use Debian GNU/Linux,
partly because it's easier to share resources when we're all using
the same system, partly because of the practical benefits of free
software, and partly because I like to put my money where my mouth
is, and I think free software is much better for society. For the
most part, this is the only system my kids have known at home, and
they're all quite used to it, although of course, they do encounter
proprietary systems at school."