Free as in Freedom

“Free software is software that respects your freedom and the social solidarity of your community. So it is free as in freedom.” – Richard Stallman

take-what-you-need

I have always wanted to contribute to open source as much as I can despite my busy schedule. I have provided help to others for free with software issues and hardware selection. However, providing my OS led me to realize that this is a volume that I cannot handle.

When I was young and ignorant, I had little respect for copyright material. The idea of not being able to copy stunts creativity. However, the real reason for me pirating software was because I could not afford it. As a student, there weren’t as many privileges as there are now. There was no way I could obtain the software legally so I downloaded it. Initially on P2P, then irc and torrents. Torrents are a blessing.

I didn’t know what free software was at that time so I had obtained a free copy of Photoshop. Everyone was doing it but there was no way I am going to get a couple of hundred dollars to get a professional program for my hobby. If only I knew GIMP existed.

It didn’t feel right but it was easy to get past that because everyone was doing it. I could pay for it… If they charged prices affordable for students. Eventually, I became crippled by Photoshop that I could not edit any digital images without it.

That was until M$ VISTA failed me… Twice. I had bought the professional version but twice my PC failed to boot after two formatting cycles. The second time, my CD key was lost.

Then, while trying to figure a way to install a new operating system, I found Debian. It was terrible but I didn’t want to fork out all that money to buy another copy of M$ Windows which was the root problem to begin with. And so the back in began. Debian was tough, but it was described as the ‘Father’ of Ubuntu, and so I went with the father. Thankfully I did so I am more comfortable in choosing my own desktop environment and customizing it. I also learnt how to use GIMP, which met all my needs.

For many years, projects like GIMP and Linux Mint, etc, have been only surviving on donations. Not long later, humble bundle was released which allowed people to pay what they want.

I don’t want to open a donation box and beg for money. I only want people who have used my OS to have the freedom to contribute as much as they want. So over the next few days, I will create an order form and place an optional 20$ tip for every laptop or desktop sold. For people who wish to pay less (or more) for whatever reason, feel free to do so. For anyone who wishes to pay more after being satisfied with our software, I can only ask that you do so in your next purchase.

We have also decided to go with Aftershock PC with regards to the hardware. Details will be posted shortly.

—– NB: This is on hold for now due to compatibility issues with the headphone jack —–

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