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Three Ways to Use Free Software Without Ripping Anyone Off

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Software

I talk to people a lot about free and open software. I usually find
that people have never heard of it before. They are only aware of the
expensive CDs that come in almost-empty boxes down at Harvey Norman or
the local computer shop. Whatever happened to the manuals that used to
fill those boxes? Others only use the software that came with their
computer when they bought it.

So I talk to people a lot, and hand out CDs full of free software,
believing I’m helping people by giving them options that don’t cost
hundreds of dollars. One person I talked to a lot about free software
was Ross.

Ross headed up a non-profit organisation in Queensland with a
genuine desire to help people locally and around the world. He’s a good
guy, and one of the best bosses I’ve ever had. We talked a lot about
the state of the world, and issues of injustice, and how we could make
a difference. And we talked about free software, because the work we
were doing involved a lot of computers, and money we saved in software
licenses would allow us to help people in other ways.

I felt that in terms of the use of free software, Ross “got it”.
However, when I met up again with Ross again recently after a couple of
years, I was shocked. He surprised me with this comment: “I’m not sure
about this free software stuff. I believe that people deserve to get
paid for their work.”

Rest of story

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