Why pay for expensive, licence impeded, virus prone
binary-only software ?
Why not use free software with sources instead ?
Preamble: Why read this ?
Free can mean not just free of charge but eg:
As I wrote a Munich friend: Viruses are targeted at
Linux & BSD are not Microsoft, free, & have about
23,000 free packages
& like engine blocks made of hard crystal: 'cos with free
source code, no place for viruses to hide :-) & it's
totally free, & never need pay Microsoft again.
To start to migrate free of MS, start using eg Firefox
instead of MS-Explorer,
& try OpenOffice
download a free Linux (or BSD) CD/DVD or get a Linux
of my other FAQs will cover this too:
PS there's Linux
user clubs in town.
- Free from security loopholes (commercial software by
contrast is usually marketed as "Easy to use" which usually
means "Security etc compromised to make initial use easier to
- Free of virus susceptibility - Hard to hide Viruses when
the source is freely & widely available for
- Free of restrictions, - As it comes with source code too,
so can be fixed & improved enhanced & upgraded free
of entrapment into biennial upgrade/ new release fees.
- Free of waiting - Bug reports can be emailed to
International lists, fixes can be developed while you sleep,
developers spread round the globe, so whatever time zone,
some usually awake. No waiting till a manufacturer's next
release next year.
- Microsoft addicts throw money away forever (both their
own money & their employers). Consider MS- DOS 1-5,
Windows 95, 98, 2000, XP, Vista, Windows 7 & the other
non MS licenced dependent software too:
- How many times do they upgrade & relicense
applications because a Microsoft using colleague sent a newer
Mickey format the old program couldn't work with ? (&
after upgrade sooner or later they pass the relicense
infection on to the next person ;-) Then their operating
system need upgrading, then the hardware, (because the ever
more bloated & inefficient PS needs more powerful
hardware), then some drivers need upgrading, then the
applications again. How many times are Microsoft addicts
forced to relicense ? Answer: Forever ! Until they die ! When
will people realise buying commercial software is more like
renting it ? Rather like like buying a new car where the
wheels will regularly fall off every 2 or 3 years !
- Will you too continue buying licences (or boot legging
software) till you die ? Or till your employer dies first ?
Why ignore free legal software ? Why give your competitors a
financial advantage ?
- If you think buying software makes you safe, because you
have a vendor legally liable to support you, excuse us while
we laugh. ! That's more wishful thinking than reality !
- This author ( experience a systems
engineer, & computer
consultant has many a time had a problem, documented it
in an internet list posting, left to sleep, & come back
next morning to a solution - Free. & for the
international self support user groups , that's available
24/7 including weekends & holidays, Better than
commercial support !
- How much time have you wasted while your laptop if it
hasn't been on line for a week, consumes time, perhaps at
high mobile rates, while asking you & loading down ever
more patches or virus detectors ?
- Did you realise better operating systems with competent
users do not Need virus detectors
- Remember the Russian saying, in German: "Vertrauen ist
Gut, Kontrol ist Besser ! = Trust is good, Inspection is
better ! Maybe you personally can't understand the source,
but you can find someone who can if needs be, & others
probably already have read it & checked it, or will. (Big
projects like FreeBSD.Org have
even organised methodical read through of their entire code
base before now !)
- Free binaries with no source can be scarey: The question
of provenance & trust. Corporate IT staff can't trust
what they can't inspect (so why they trust Micro$oft after
the Word previous edits leakage is anyone's guess ;-)
- Binaries without sources encourage a paradigm of lots of
small suppliers, not co-operating, not checking, higher risk
of problems if humans fall ill, stop, or little companies
- Free Source corrects that, bigger projects can adopt
code, cross check, provide spare experienced staff if
maintainer drops out, & there's competition &
improvement & cross fertilisation.
- Imagine an engine block made out of tough crystal - where
you can See your problem, & assess just how bad it is,
& & how to work round it or fix it, what it might
take to fix it.
- You & others can look for potential trouble ahead of
time & be confident there's no faults deliberately hidden
by the manufacturer !
- You can check security, & ensure there's no hidden
data leaks to a Redmond or other manufacturer.
- No dark places for viruses to hard.
- You can fix urgent bugs Now, not wait for a new release
of the software from a monopoly software vendor in months or
a year, & hope a fix Might be included then.
- Companies can employ from a free market of competitive
consultants to fix or customise what you need Now, (Remember
you've saved lots of money not purchasing bulk licences)
- You can get help from free self help groups
- Your own tech support staff can patch things if
BSD Unix ?, Linux ?,
or Other ?
We in the Free World, generally think anything's nicer than
Micro$oft. Some Unix people with long experience think: Yes
Linux is nice, but BSD
Unix is even
nicer ! But both are good
. Linux & BSD
are just two types of Unix. (There's many other types
too, eg eg Mach, HP-UX, Solaris, Ultrix, Sinix,
Xenix, SCO etc though they're mostly not free).
Linux & BSD
both come in various
sub types beyond. (which usually makes job
advertisements that say "Must have Linux Experience" show the
advertiser is ignorant. Yes, this author is a Unix Consultant
& tends to regard Linux as just another variant of Unix
collection has tens of
thousands of packages
official Site. & Julian's Extra
Variants of Variant: There's several variants based on
FreeBSD (personally I stick to the main FreeBSD, but here
are some CDROM size variants generally aiming at ease of
installation for new users :
- Attractive to Newbies.
- Also comes in a German version.
- Web had intrusive adverts in middle of front
page @ 18.01.2007
A wrap of FreeBSD
that ew@ reckoned newer / better than PCBSD,
but he now notes in perpetual Beta, ever chasing
newer FreeBSD releases.
With a DVD tracking 7 before 7 was released, so maybe
they'll stay current. Web is raw though. Lack of links,
& Russian back to English switching fails @
There's various stripped small kernels for eg
firewalls & real time, eg
- NetBSD BSD Unix,
more CPU types & board architectures than Any other
- OpenBSD BSD Unix,
branched from FreeBSD in 2003
to develop a different approach to concurrency, SMP,
- Berkeley In
Munich (A geographicly focused group of BSD users )
In Munich's BSD Leaflet BSD overview + Comparison of FreeBSD, NetBSD OpenBSD
Network's new BSD DevCenter
(Apple's Free-Sourced BSD OS)
of BSDs on the Distrowatch.com Linux site
SUPPORT: Free Help & Commercial Consultancy
- Linux Debian
supported 10 processor types @ 2006.10 (as releases, + 5 in
progress) (second only to NetBSD (& OpenBSD)).
Linux CDROM bootable without hard disc to try.
(BSD has similar, I even mastered
long before most people had heard of the idea
- There's loads of other Linuxes, but many are commercial
distributions, copying hundreds of cdroms etc for a company
not legal, unlike BSD.
- If you want to browse Linux you could try here: www.li.org & www.linux.com
Index at top