As a Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) ideologue, I think aboutAs a Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) ideologue, I think aboutmy implicit and explicit use of various software systems daily (ifnot hourly). I would love nothing more than to be able to not useany proprietary software or hardware in my daily existence;However, there are a myriad things that I could not do then suchas:
- Drive my car
- Use a cellphone
- While there are are FOSS apps available and FOSS software systems, almost of the firmware is proprietary (If I recall correctly)
- Use a microwave oven
- Use a gas/electric oven
- Use a washing machine
- Use a gas/electric clothes dryer
- Use a gas/electric hot water heater
- Use a modern refrigerator
- Check out a book from the public library (the barcode scanner etc.)
- Perform my job as a web developer.
- I need to test my code against Safari, Chrome, and IE.
- Use any of my guns to hunt.
- All of them were made in a factory using proprietary designs, equipment, machine firmware, etc.
- Print a digital document.
This list is clearly non-exhaustive; These ares simply the thingsthat I could think of off of the top of my head. Granted, some ofthese activities could be done using only FOSS hardware andsoftware, but I would have to build them myself – none of thesesystems/objects exist in a form where I can simply go to the storeand purchase one. And no person has enough time, or money, tobuild each of these things for themselves.
This train of thought has been running around in my head for months. I find it almost shameful that I continue to use proprietary hardware and software on a daily basis. I am disgusted with myself because while I extoll the virtues of FOSS, I turnaround and take a hot shower, or use a microwave oven – and fall into complacency with proprietary systems.
In keeping with this train of thought, I am going to try andsimplify my life so that I use a minimal amount of proprietarysystems. I am going to get rid of most of my computers and replacethem with a single, all FOSS machine. Even this set of actions isfraught with pitfalls: I will need to figure out some entirelyFOSS way to do cross-browser compatibility testing. I will need toensure that I can get this machine to connect to my employer’scrazy networking scheme (This is actually the biggest issue that Iforesee). And, I will need to make sure that I can do everythingthat I would ever need to using only this machine.
I will keep posting here with updates on how this journey goes -assuming that I can get this server migrated from Ubuntu Server toa Free OS without incident!