Thoughts on OSS ZW

Neil neil.coetzer at
Tue Apr 7 15:55:24 BST 2009

KT! Nice to see the passion there dude!!! I can see it must have been a very
heated "debate" :)


Unfortunately, it's a bit like trying to get someone to change their
religion.. It's not likely to happen very easily. Also, as I've said to you
before, the majority of guys who put down open source (or Linux/Ubuntu in
general), aren't arguing because they're passionate about Windows, but
normally because they're intimidated by Linux :) At least that's normally
been the case in my experience. So my advice is: instead of getting angry
with people for their closed-minded, closed-source opinions.. Feel sorry for
them instead! I guess some people are born for Linux and others are born to
be button monkeys hahahahahahahaha.


So ya, I doubt it was passion driving his argument.. More likely a defense
mechanism due to feelings of inadequacy at being intimidated by a superior
operating system :) It's the same as a person watching a movie.. It might be
one of the best story plots in history, but if someone doesn't "understand"
it, they'll say the movie was bad. Same principles I think.


I do agree with you though, that those with an "open source vision" for Zim
are few and far between. However, all that means is that we will have
greater satisfaction when that vision is realized, and when confronted by
the ignorance of people who don't know any better, that should only fuel our
passion even more to go out there and educate more people! And of course,
the Freedom Toaster will play a huge role in this too, especially if we get
the publicity we're hoping for. In the spirit of Ubuntu, we just have to try
our hardest to educate people and cultivate an open-source "national
attitude". We have to accept that we will face resistance and try to be
patient and even respectful of other people's views. but it sure ain't easy,
is it? Ok, ok. I'll make an effort to stop calling them button monkeys.


The fact is, open source WILL gain a solid footing in Zim - simply based on
cost factors, it is inevitable. Our job is only to speed up the process. As
we all know, Zim really does face an IT crisis and has been facing it for
some time. At the end of the day open source (and specifically Ubuntu!!) has
greater potential than any proprietary software to play a significant role
in rescuing the country from that crisis. Just because it's free.



From: Kalpesh Thaker [mailto:luminary06 at] 
Sent: Tuesday, April 07, 2009 12:25 PM
To: ubuntu-zw
Cc: team at
Subject: Thoughts on OSS ZW


Hey guys,

just some thoughts.... i had a huge discussion with the one guy here at the
office about why ubuntu
cannot be compared to windows.. and of why ubuntu wins hands down even
before the discussion has started.
purely because ubuntu is free, and the developers working on it, do it as an
open source project, rather than
as a marketing tool...

90% of the other persons argument came down to the availability of windows
and its
programs and of how easy it is to use in general. And of how much better it

so,,, i asked the same dude, how much he paid for windows, he said he got it
for free...and that he downloaded it
off the internet.

piracy!!!! WTF!!!!!!!??? how can you argue of how windows is better than
ubuntu, if you pirated it!!!!

hahaha! im sorry but i just find it very ridiculous....that someone can
argue so "passionately" over something that 
he legally could be jailed for!! hahaha..i completely freaked out...i just
cant stand to talk to such people....

 Seriously though, windows guys will never win this argument.. over which is
considering you can run an ubuntu machine at nearly 100% of windows type
average usability....
and never have to pay for software.... far as im concerned, there is
no argument.

the second argument, and i can call it an ARGUMENT (yes, some swear words
did show themselves), is of how he shot down the 
freedom toaster being a waste of time.

see, this is where i lost it...... 

i gave him three problems, and wanted him to answer them, being a microsoft

this is a scenario of around 80% of our fellow zimbabweans, a situation
which is real on the ground in our present time.

1 - the average user will never afford to buy a computer.
2 - the average user will have to rely on other parties to provide them with
the "IT education" they will need for a job.
3 - the average user will never afford to buy broadband or even a dialup
connection, in any case dial up is limited for software

so....what were his answers?????? unsurprisingly, a dumb ass look on his

okes, the sad reality is that we are in this open source fight by ourselves
in this country... our OSS visions are held by only us.
and as such, we will have to uphold this vision as a "loco team" as well as
an "open source community". Its very clear
after the chat with this fool, that no one really cares about the fellow on
the street. Guys like this are very oblivious to anything 
else out there, because they can get everything for free, whether its legal
or not. They just dont care....its time like this,
that makes me realise just how much BSA could gain from coming to a country
like this, and believe me, they will 
come. Just a matter of time.. thats all.

He said he had used ubuntu for 2 months, and called it quits thereafter. so
i asked him how long he's been using windows, 
and he said most of his life. 

This is the problem, you cant use ubuntu for 2 months, and then expect to
know and understand how it works... unless this dude
used ubuntu for 5 years, and windows for also 5 years, i would value and
respect his opinion. 
Believe me, i know everything there is to know about windows, i've used it
also for a long time in my life, purely, because
i didnt know there was a worthy alternative. BUT, there is an alternative..
and people need to know about it.

unfortunately,  this is what we will experience in our quest to bring open
source out into this country.

my answers to the above questions, were as follows:

1 - remove the cost of the OS (microsoft) then deal with bare metal hardware
prices. it is sad, that the price of a computer
can be driven up to 70% more than the basic hardware cost, because of
software licensing. Microsoft are very clever, in that they
have made alliances with brand computers, whereby MS OS's come bundled with
the machine, whether you like it or not,
and remember, office suites and antivirus are sold seperately! 

2 - If the relevant person can have his own computer, he will be able to
invest as much time into learning IT as they want,
without paying anyone or anything (besides zesa of course). Like most of us,
they may discover a hidden talent within the 
IT underworld, and that could lead them to a job, and an income. With room
for individual expansion... 

i.e you can be a sadza chef who knows how to setup exim, you will then get a
hungry customer walk in, talking about how shitty
microsoft exchange can be, you could suggest using exim to him, give him a
few pointers on how to implement it,
before you know it, you're an IT manager at that same company, driving a
mazda bt50 double cab. 

3 -  the answer to this???? OUR BELOVED TOASTER!!!!!!!!!!!!! end of story.

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