Disk on Key slowly getting smaller

Constantinos Maltezos pandarsson at yahoo.com
Mon Mar 10 00:21:48 UTC 2008

On Sunday 09 March 2008 2:39:23 Derek Broughton wrote:
> I think very much that the reason most individual users get Linux is
> because it's free.  They might stay because it's secure, stable or Free,
> but they wouldn't try it in the first place if they hadn't got it for
> nothing.

I get what you're saying, but new restaurants will often give out certificates 
for a free meal.  If it's no good, you don't come back.  But if it's good, 
you don't want to go back and refuse to pay for it.

I wouldn't have been *able* to try it if it wasn't free.  And the fact that 
its free made up for the fact that I was going out on a limb trying it.  At 
the time I had DOS/Windows 3.11 on a 352 meg hard drive and OS/2 on a 10 
gigabyte hard drive.  I had only ever used Unix variants on business machines 
and  I had never resized a partition and at that time, it was generally 
considered rather dangerous to do.  So free is what convinced me to try, but 
things like the bash shell and the power of shell scripts (I was a DOS batch 
file and debug script nut at the time) are what got me to the point where I 
am today - only using Windows if I have to.  And most of the Linux users I 
know face to face (and admittedly, most of them are older) feel the same as 
myself - we use it because it's a great operating system.  The fact that it's 
free is icing on the cake.  I know there are a lot of people who want 
everything for free, but I think the majority of people in the world don't 
mind fairly compensating when it's asked, if they have something to give.  I 
love the concept of software given freely and dig the philosophy behind it, 
but I also know that a lot of developers simply wouldn't be interested in 
developing certain applications on their own.  Those that are interested in 
those applications have less people willing to help them, so they have to 
spend more time.  I give again the example of Writer's Cafe.  There are a lot 
of writers (it's aimed mostly at fiction writers - but there are still a lot 
of us), but most of them can only write if it equals "noun, (adverb,) verb, 
(adverb,) (adjective,) noun, (preposition)".  If it contains equal signs, 
parentheses, brackets AND squiggly brackets (pardon my bad memory for terms), 
it makes no sense.  So while there's a market or niche (depending on how you 
look at it), the very few developers interested have to spend all their time 
with little help developing what that market/niche needs.  And those of us 
waiting for such a thing are only too happy to pay to get it.  I know I not 
only exhausted search engines and the like, I actually made requests to find 
people interested, offering what help I could give (such as in documenting), 
but the when I got any response at all, it was something to the effect 
of "why don't you use Kword?" or "why don't you use a mindmapper?"  They 
didn't even understand the need.  Heck, only recently has someone bothered to 
put together a script-writing (as in play script or film script) application 
that works in Java (and therefore Linux).  Before that, the only options were 
OpenOffice with an add-on (absolute crap if you've used the real thing) and 
one for Windows that would work in WINE.  Fortunately, it's free, but for 
sure I would have paid if it was asked.

That, I think, is the majority.  Possibly not the loudest users, but the 

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