Richard Stallman

Saw RMS at Canterbury University today.  He has an interesting point of view, very liberal, but also a point of view that is based on old technology.

He said that sites like Google Docs are a problem as you are running a program on their machine, a program that you don’t have control over.  The solution is to install your own version on your own machine.  I wonder how you can do this and still get the advantages of hosted software, such as lower cost, lower administration, and higher availability.  I don’t want to manage any of the software I use, and one solution is to let someone else do it.

He’s not concerned about embedded systems where a processor is used instead of a dedicated circuit, such as in a microwave.  However, my microwave gains time and I’d rather have it show time in 24 hours to match the stove.  Both I could fix with the source.  Then you have car computers such as the Nissan GT-R that changes the car response if it is on a race track.  I heard a rumor of the NSX requiring you to take the car to the dealer if it goes anywhere near a known track.

Hmm.  Perhaps the embedded/mechanical equivalent is the Maker Bill of Rights from Make Magazine.

Michael Hope
Software Engineer