“GNU vs the evil giant.” by Don Graham
Once upon a time in the land named Good lived a race of hard-working, fun-loving people called the Good people. Their lives were wonderful and everything was great until one day an evil giant appeared upon the scene. His name was Bill the evil giant, and he was very wicked. Before long, the Good people’s lives changed for the worse because of the evil giant.
One day after the evil giant had stolen an acquaintances’ idea, he dropped out of school and developed a computer operating system. He would go on to develop a number of software programs for business productivity as well. I will refer to him in this story only as the “evil giant”.
The evil giant worked tirelessly on his creation until one day it almost halfway worked. Then he cleverly enticed unassuming computer companies to sell their computer systems to the Good people of the land with only his operating system and software installed on them.
Over the years, the evil giant grew larger and larger. No one, not even the Good people’s government, could control him. He became insanely rich by forcing all the Good people of the land to pay a lot of money to use his mediocre, unproven, untested, and unreliable software. The Good people of the land, no matter how much they paid, would never even own the software or be able to make changes to it, even though many possessed the knowledge and skills to make it way better.
The evil giant’s software often locked up and crashed, but that did not deter him from selling more and more of his worthless products. The Good people of the land were forced to buy the evil giants software even though they knew it was inferior; there simply were no good alternatives at that time.
The Good people of the land kept hoping that the evil giant would, one day, create a product that actually worked and that did not require constant updates, and costly upgrades, so they kept on buying his products. There hope was in vain.
Out of the good people of the land evolved a race of people who were very smart. They called themselves the GNU (ga-new). The GNU have been in existence for a while. They evolved quietly, slowly, and steadily. There single goal in life is to develop software that actually worked and allow the Good people of the land to use it for free.
Since the early days, many wonderful software titles have been developed by the GNU for the Good people of the land. To this day, there is no cost to the Good people of the land to use the GNU software.
Yes, the evil giant is still in business. The GNU have not won the software war, but they have taken over some of the evil giant’s strongholds. I don’t know if they will ever win the software war, because the evil giant is big and powerful. At this time, it doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that we the Good people of the land have good software available to us, that is totally free.
You may recognize some of the GNU software titles: Linux, Fedora, Knoppix, Debian, Ubuntu, Puppy, Red Hat, Suse, Open Office, Star Office, and Gimp, just to mention a few. The GNU were so smart that they even made their software run not only on their own operating systems, but many of their titles will work on the evil giant’s operating system as well.
- The GNU is so smart, they have created entire operating systems and productivity suites that install on a single USB drive, something the evil giant could only dream about.
- Below are just a few of the titles you can find at your local library:
- Linux Bible : boot up to Ubuntu, Fedora, KNOPPIX, Debian, openSUSE, and 11 other distributions – Negus, Chris
- Linux for Dummies – LeBlanc, Dee-Ann.
- A Practical Guide to Linux Commands, Editors, and Shell Programming – Sobell, Mark G.
- Free For All : how Linux and the free software movement undercut the high-tech titans – Wayner, Peter
- Free Software for Dummies – Leete, Mary.
- Free for All : how Linux and the free software movement undercut the high-tech titans – Wayner, Peter