MandrakeForum.com: Thus spoke Richard M. Stallman

“First part of the speech was “why did I start GNU project”
info. Official RMS biography only says: Stallman graduated from
Harvard in 1974 with a BA in physics. During his college years, he
also worked as a staff hacker at the MIT Artificial Intelligence
Lab, learning operating system development by doing it. He wrote
the first extensible Emacs text editor there in 1975. In January
1984 he resigned from MIT to start the GNU Project. Without stating
the REASON why he left the MIT lab and started GNU project.”

“When Richard M. Stallman started his programmers career, world
of programming was much different from what it looks like today:
back then, ND-agreements and shrink-wrap licenses simply didn’t
exist, and sharing code was considered normal behavior. Then
someone came to idea that he can make a lot of money by NOT sharing
the source code, and started the avalanche which ultimately led to
Single-click patent and UCITA. The form in which RMS first
encountered this brave new world for the first time was somewhat
bizarre: Xerox donated a laser printer to the MIT lab he worked in,
and this printer was controlled by proprietary software. This
printer was great, but it often jammed, and “no source” meant that
they had no way of implementing the “printer jammed” warning as
they did for other printers, used in the lab. As you can imagine,
walking up and down or camping next to printer turned out into a
somewhat annoying experience… Worse yet, some time later,
Stallman actually met a college which had source code of printer
controlling software, and refused to share it because he signed the
NDA! Instead of accepting this bizarre situation as “normal”, RMS
turned around, quit the job at MIT and started the GNU project.
(the rest is a history)”


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