When I first got interested in computers in a serious way I had great affinity with the FLOSS ideolgy. FLOSS stands for Free / Libre / Open Source Software. Over the recent years the rise of Linux (an Open Source Operating System originally created by Linus Torvalds) has really started to push the ideolgy into the public domain. People are even developing open source devices (for example the openmoko / neo free frunner an example of open source telephony).
The FLOSS community is truely a freedom movement. It enables people to gain access to computers with out the hang up of commercialism and a corporate strangle hold.
With flavours of Linux such as Ubuntu , Slax , OpenSuse (for example), becoming more and more stable, it is now realistic to use something other than Windows or Mac OS X on your computer. I’ve recently moved over to using Ubuntu, (previously I’ve used slackware and other varieties of Linux but have not found them suitible for everyday desktop / laptop usage), and I can honestly say that it’s the best move I’ve done in years with regards to Computing. I never quite found OS X was “there” – as a Developer I found it annoying that it was so close to being Unix but wasn’t quite there. With Ubuntu I have found that setting up a development environment has been easy, and any problems I’ve had have been solved with help from the online community.
I see FLOSS as the logical and correct step for humanity to go with regards to computers. Some governments have also seen the light – for example the Government in Puru has adopted Open Source across all it’s bodies. Capitalism, when it comes to progressive development stands in the way. With FLOSS we can see systems expanding and developing in a natural organic way, in a way that enables people, in a way that gives power back to the user.
If humanity does not opt for integrity we are through completely. It is absolutely touch and go. Each one of us could make the difference.
R. Buckminster Fuller