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Wednesday, November 19, 2003


RMS is one of the unique person I know about. Uncompromising and a Hardworker. Started GNU project, Emacs and GNU tools.
Andy Tanenbauam - Minix. Linux Torvalds Linux. All have been the hackers of this era, whose works I have studied and used .

Here are few excerpts from Free as in Freedom

Members of the tight-knit group called themselves " hackers." Over time, they extended the "hacker" description to Stallman as well. In the process of doing so, they inculcated Stallman in the ethical traditions of the "hacker ethic ." To be a hacker meant more than just writing programs, Stallman learned. It meant writing the best possible programs. It meant sitting at a terminal for 36 hours straight if that's what it took to write the best possible programs. Most importantly, it meant having access to the best possible machines and the most useful information at all times. Hackers spoke openly about changing the world through software, and Stallman learned the instinctual hacker disdain for any obstacle that prevented a hacker from fulfilling this noble cause. Chief among these obstacles were poor software, academic bureaucracy, and selfish behavior.

"I remember many sunrises seen from a car coming back from Chinatown," Stallman would recall nostalgically, 15 years after the fact in a speech at the Swedish Royal Technical Institute. "It was actually a very beautiful thing to see a sunrise, 'cause that's such a calm time of day. It's a wonderful time of day to get ready to go to bed. It's so nice to walk home with the light just brightening and the birds starting to chirp; you can get a real feeling of gentle satisfaction, of tranquility about the work that you have done that night."

The way I see it, any being that has power and abuses it deserves to have that power taken away.

"In India many people are interested in free software, because they see it as a way to build their computing infrastructure without spending a lot of money," Stallman says.

"Sometimes I think that perhaps one of the best things I could do with my life is find a gigantic pile of proprietary software that was a trade secret, and start handing out copies on a street corner so it wouldn't be a trade secret any more," said Stallman. "Perhaps that would be a much more efficient way for me to give people new free software than actually writing it myself; but everyone is too cowardly to even take it."

Dear Editors

Your Sep 27 article, When "Piracy" Funds Terrorism, violated a basic
principle of journalism: not to make an accusation without positive
grounds. It accused unauthorized CD producers of funding terrorism,
but cited no grounds for this except that some of them are in

I have no great sympathy for those who commercially copy music without
paying the musicians. (That includes the major record labels, since
most of their musicians do not actually receive royalties for their
records.) But we must reject the attempts to demonize those who copy,
whether it means saying they support terrorists or simply calling them
"pirates", because this propaganda campaign doesn't stop with
commercial copiers. Its real target is you and me--anyone who
sometimes copies a record. The real terror campaign is being mounted
by the record companies, which are suing hundreds and perhaps soon
thousands of ordinary people in the US. It aims to make people so
frightened that they do not dare share with their friends. Helping
one's friends is part of human nature, so it takes a lot of fear
to make people stop.

I hope that the citizens of India will insist on keeping India safe
from record company terror.

Richard Stallman
545 Tech Square
Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

Stallman implored his fellow hackers to resist the lure of easy compromise.

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