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Kristian Nielsen - Why I work on Free Software
January 20th, 2010
11:50 am

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Why I work on Free Software

I happened upon this old LinuxJournal article about how the University of Zululand in South Africa used MySQL and other Free Software to make do with a 128 kbit (and later 768 kbit) internet connection for their staff and students.

This made me remember the trip I made to another African country, Burkina Faso, 15 years ago:

With the huge amount of work and numerous difficult obstacles facing my work on the MariaDB project, it can be hard to keep up motivation at times. It helps to remember why I am doing this.

It must be about the time when some of these kids should go to University or start up new projects. Maybe some of them will work with software. I want them to be able to invest in local skills and infrastructure that they need, rather than in software licenses funding nice houses and boats in other countries:

(House and yacht pictures courtesy of Wikipedia under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

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From:(Anonymous)
Date:January 29th, 2010 02:32 pm (UTC)
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I remembered this blog, and had to come back and comment on it when I saw this:

http://edition.cnn.com/2010/BUSINESS/01/29/davos.bill.gates.donates/index.html?eref=rss_topstories&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+rss%2Fcnn_topstories+%28RSS%3A+Top+Stories%29

So Bill has himself a nice house - he earned it. His excess money? He's giving it to the same people that use free software, for a better life for them as well - to the tune of $10 billion dollars.

There's something to be said for people that charge licenses, but have a deep set of personal morals too. Bill seems like one of them, even if Microsoft itself is not, perhaps.
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