Linux laptops, revisited (can any sleep like my PowerBook does?)

Justin Findlay justin at
Mon Jan 21 11:46:22 MST 2008

On AD 2008 January 21 Monday 05:05:40 AM -0700, Levi Pearson wrote:
> No religion here, folks.  Nope, just pure reasoned principles!

No religion to me, though I know I've been guilty of 'religion' before.
I don't use windows because I hate it, but that's the subject of another
email message.  I don't use OS X because I don't like it and it's out of
my price range.

> In all seriousness, I really do not intend offense to anyone here, but
> I do think the mindset that I am arguing against is a harmful one.  I
> by no means wish to disparage the work that people put into free
> software.  I've contributed to a couple of projects myself.  I also
> think that promoting free software through conferences and user groups
> is a great thing.  It's just that commercial, proprietary, and
> otherwise 'non-free' software are not evil, and it's okay to use them
> when it makes sense to do so.  Believing otherwise doesn't do anyone
> any good.  Free software should stand on its own merits, not based on
> some pseudo-religious battle between good and evil!

I think you're right here.  Of course not all ISV's are out to lock
their customers into their products.  I use Linux and a Free Software
stack because that's my preference.  I agree that the religious mindset
is harmful but so is so much of proprietary software.  It's hard to not
be passionate when comparing the relative benefits, and it's easy to
advocate with such passion beyond the bounds of reason.  I think,
however, that if you're looking for a fair debate, FLOSS vs Proprietary,
you'd have to cleanse the latter of its FUD and anticompetitive
corruption as much the former's religion.  Apple, I think, appears to
have done this admirably whether or not it is to the credit of their
marketing department in efforts to not turn off people like you and me.


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