Meeting Richard Mathew Stallman at Calicut

Richard Matthew Stallman As NIT was celebrating its Golden Jubilee this year , they was conducting a National Conference on Free Software and Education ie FOSS in Education. I got a chance to be part of the Inaugral function held on Spetmeber 10th. Ricard Mathew Stallman was the Keynote addresse .  He talks slowly and clearly . He says FOSS means Free and Open Source Software , I am not here to talk about opensource . I am here to talk about Free Software.  FSF and opensource are two different things . He started talking about Free Software movement . The clutches of the developer controlling the user ( ie properitery one ) , and the other like the user controls the system . The below lines are taken from the website . “Free software” is a matter of liberty,not price. To understand the concept, you should think of “free” as in “free speech”, not as in “free beer”. Free software is a matter of the users’ freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. More precisely, it refers to four kinds of freedom, for the users of the software:     * The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).     * The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.     * The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).     * The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits (freedom 3). Access to the source code is a precondition for this. Example: So are you confused with what Free Software is ? You are going to build a house . You gave some contract to a builder named X . X build you the house and permits you to live . What will happen if he don’t allow you to modify your house ? X says you don’t have any right to modify it . You are unable to sell nor give it as rent . You are the person who spends the whole amount and you can’t do anything with out X’s permission . Is it a right thing ? Lets come to the software world So the philosophy is you asks a developer to build something for you and you pays him the money . He will develop all for you, and give you all the rights to use , modify , distribute so others can use it , learn etc as that of FSF policy. He don’t want to hide the code and says the code is ours. Why do he needs the code? If he is hiding the code , fear him , its the developer who is controlling you . You may not be a developer to know the power of coding :) , else you will defnitely fear . There was a Qn and Answer session and it made everything more clear to those who thought Free Software means free as Price ( $ ) 1 ) How can we make money ? Ans : You can get some local work , and you need to work to earn money . 2 ) There is no MAT Lab . How can I switch to GNU / Linux ? Ans : If I ( RMS ) found something that is not there in the GNU system , I ( RMS ) build it . So you need to develop one or you can find a developer and pay for it . So you can contribute to FSF . Also why do you want to switch from GNU / Linux for not having this simple application ? There are very powerful tools in the GNU / Linux and you are loosing it for this simple application. 3 ) Some people says Windows will be effected by Virus and Switching from Windows to GNU / Linux is virus free . Ans : We cannot gaurantee that virus will not effect your system . As far as I know there is 5 virus in GNU / Linux and may be due to the active presence of the community we are able to close the back doors . I also met Juan Carlos whom I met at GEC thrissur for the Hacker DOM . He remembers the guys on the event . Asked about the details about Sujith H one of the KDE hacker who hacks his Canon Camera in his free time. The other great people in the inaugral function were 1 ) Welcome Adress : Prof K P Mohandas 2 ) Presidential Address : Dr . G R C Reddy, Director NIT Calicut 3 ) Inaugral Address : Shri Pradeep Kumar , MLA Kozikode 4 ) Felicitations   Dr A Achuthan , Institute of Engineers ( He is also celebrating his Golden Jubliee who joined the NIT, former REC )   Sri Binu A Pazhoor , CEO Kozhikode Cyber Park   Sri Nityananda Kamath , Former President, Calicut IT initiative   Sri R Sreeram Kumar , Counsellor , IEEE student branch   Sri A Rajagopalan , Chairman , Computer Society of India 5 ) Introducing Richard Stallman : Sri Sathish Babu 6 ) Keynote Address : Mr Richard Mathew Stallman ( named RMS inside FSF ) 7 ) Discussion Question and Answer 8 ) Vote of Thanks : Hari C M , Student Co-ordinator . The event started late and when Richard Stallman was given the mic it was around 7 : 00 PM . It was an awesome speech with great humour , but make people think . He says some people suggest to learn both systems . ie GNU / Linux and Microsoft Windows . Let them learn both . He says its like giving Whisky and Water . I was not with a camera , to take the snaps . But I and my father enjoyed the session and we left around 8:30 PM talking with Juan Carlos and all others . Lets promote FSF in Education . Let them know what FSF is , and what its for . For more details FSF distro For other GNU distro

foss, fsf, nit, opensource