September 2nd, 2006


No Free Lunch!

The Times of India seems to be employing a lot of smart journalists - here are a few words of wisdom penned by one of those enlightened souls:

My once-socialist-now-capitalist heart skipped a beat the other day. The catalyst was a news report. Apparently, the V S Achutanandan-led communist government in Kerala has decided to put its might behind the free software movement. Achutanandan, it seems, dislikes monopolies. And free software sounds a hopelessly romantic idea which his government is in love with.

What it means is this: children in the 12,500 high schools across the state will be weaned off proprietory software of the kind Microsoft builds. Long-time friends will impale me for saying this. It is a bad idea.

As far as ideas go, free software is too damn nice an idea. And nice guys finish last. For that one reason alone, my guess is free software will always remain on the fringes of the mainstream.

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Think of all the $$ which MS is going to lose if all the computers in those 12,500 schools are going to run GNU/Linux!! Don't we taxpayers have a responsibility to keep MS in business by contributing from our own pockets?

Let's put our vote in favour of Mr.Charles Assisi when it comes to choosing `Journalist of the Year 2006' - he has indeed shown us the grave dangers involved in being "nice guys". Thank you Mr.Assisi, thanks a lot!