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Sunday, January 25, 2004

with rms, the guru of GNU

It was exactly the ditto of what I had read in FAIFZILLA
In the early and intial day ( when opensource, freesoftware,linux were same for me) I used to think of rms in comparision with Mahatma Gandhi; one maths professor there ( at Cochi Unversity of Science and Technology) gave a breif introduction and said that he feels that rms is comparable to Mahatma Gandhi.

rms closed his eyes with shyness.
then he came to mike and said, well he( rms) and his movement cannot be compared with Gandhi's coz.
he ( rms) does not have the courage which Gandhi had { I clapped here} and free software movement is not yet as sucessful as Gandhi's movement was.
The sucess of the movement depends upon you ( he pointed to us in the audience).

then it started with the explaination of Free Software Movement and the Gnu operating system. The ditto of the narration which you will find at faifzilla.
There was a lot of Hackerish Humor in between, for eg:

rms said " If you know how to swim; you see a person drowning in pool and it is not bush, would not you save him ?"

- this was w.r.t to helping your neighbour by sharing the software which is one of the freedoms provided by free software.

moving on to serious issues, rms said, " idealism is practical. The people who say that idealism is not possible, they are wrong. If you have long range goal , you either need to have an ideal or lots of money. it is because of idealism that nations like India and US exists"

The speech ended with St.iGNUcious show , every one enjoyed that with good laugh.

The Q/A session followed. I had noted few points to be asked/discussed:
1) About Don Hopkins.
2) About MIT lab allowing rms to program and start the gnu after he had quit MIT.
3) About the Teaching profession instead of waiter ( he says in his speech)
4) Thanks for GNU Emacs
5) About Donald Knuth and his perception of CS, which is different.
6) Why not GNU HURD? Why is still not happening.
7) Argentina and Germany where lots of politics had crept with software.
8) Free Software having a Free Market
9) BASH - the Best Shell
10) gnu c library was developed by a 17 year old - rms didnt name him in the speech, got to find links on it.
11) which search engine do you use?
12) The Fun of CS is lost in preaching and politics of free software. - read this thought.

so on.

I asked by starting, which search engine do you use.

rms said : none

I could not proceed further, I detailed when on cyberspace and you want to find something, which search engine do you use.

he said: I dont use any search engine, because it is software running a their computer on their server, I do not have any control on that.

- but me and lot of people use a search engine.

rms: its upon you, I have taken to schism of not using any proprietary software and using only free software.

- by search and internet only ,I could locate information like Open course ware provided by MIT

rms: opencourseware is not under free license

- but they improve the life of humanity

rms : yes, they improve the life of humanity,but they are not under free license.

later on it became that many more questions were to be asked by audiences.

Questions about HURD followed, and he said that they are technical questions and you should solve them.

After having got an autograph in the GNU GPL and Free Software, Free Society Book,
I continued.
- Do you still have contact with Don hopkins.
rms: at times.
- What is he doing now.
rms: I dont know.
- do you think that things like WSF, will be able to combat bush things.
rms: I dont know, but I am just doing it.
- According to an Indian Philosophy, you need stregth to combat strength.
rms: ( agreeing to Indian thought) , yes there should be more people , why not you join in.

sometime later:
- Hope you do more programming this year. Have fun with programming.
rms: I need to talk on the free software philosiphy, I dont get time to program these days.

- but you are a guru , a master programmer.
rms:nodding, yes but there are lot of people programming but very few talking on these matters.

- Happy Hacking.

( he was involved with signing others and later I heard some continuation on wsf ,bush which on still on his mind)

yes, it true, one will listen only if one hears about free software stuff from rms.
like he practises what is says - ( " one should be the change which he wants to see in this world")
Does not use anything other than free software.

I dont know much abt myself. I am not completely as per his views, but I respect rms a lot.

Here are the news paper reports

The Hindu (1)
The Hindu (2)
The Hindu (3)
- this (3) one was regarding the malayalam font released on that day, I just had brief talk with the person. The person was not completely a gnu/linux one.

This hindu article is about Maddog visiting India at SGI premises, Matthew Scheulk having phone conversation with Prez APJ kalam and visiting India and RMS at WSF and kerala.

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