Free Software, Free Society: Selected Essays of Richard...
Richard M. Stallman
Free Software Foundation, 2002
This collection of 21 essays written by Richard M. Stallman between 1984 and 2002 ranges from historical milestones, including the GNU Manifesto, to transcripts of some recent speeches. The introduction is by Lawrence Lessig, Professor at Stanford Law School.
Most of this material is available on-line, but there are a couple of reasons to buy the book: First, the profits go to the Free Software Foundation. Second, having all the essays in one place, with cross-references, updates and notes from Stallman himself, helps readers see the big picture.
Lessig's introduction provides the right start by pointing out that if the Free Software movement is new, radical or revolutionary, it is because it brings to software the freedoms already present in the pre-software world. For example, laws and legal briefs are Free as in Freedom.
The grouping of the essays shows how Stallman himself and the movement in general have been forced to evolve over time. In the beginning it was “only” about the freedom to program, which a minority of people needed when computers were not widely available.
Today, almost everybody's entertainment, work, education and free speech rights depend on computers. The essays in the second and third parts of the book cover why the DMCA and similar efforts are harmful to citizens' rights and a market economy.
In less than 200 pages, we go from “GNU will remove operating system software from the realm of competition” to the problems of copy-restricted media.
A lot of details on how this evolution happened are provided, with several repetitions. Sometimes, these are even funny: the history of the Xerox printer, whose proprietary driver made Stallman mad enough to start the whole thing, is told so often that one can picture proprietary software executives cursing Xerox for not just giving him the darn code.
Coverage of one fundamental issue, free file formats, is missing. Stallman wrote a 2002 essay called “We Can Put an End to Word Attachments” that addresses this need, but it's not in the book.
In general, the book is necessary reading and not only for programmers. I personally disagree with Stallman on certain conclusions and am still trying to decide whether I accept some others or not. But it is crucial that everyone thinks about these problems today, builds his or her own conclusions and follows them. Even if you reject all Stallman's ideas, you must know why, and this book will help.
Articles about Digital Rights and more at http://stop.zona-m.net CV, talks and bio at http://mfioretti.com
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
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With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide