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Chapter 8: Free Software


Opening Quotes  

I quoted myself at the start of Part II:
Tweet: Good engineers build great technology. Great engineers also create a sustainable business model.

I won't add any further comments on the quote "Sharing is good, and with digital technology, sharing is easy" by Richard Stallman. He's already getting enought attention on this page ;-)


The computer that changed everything: the Altair 8800:

The Homebrew (Computer) Club:


The Open Letter to Hobbyists by Bill Gates is in the public domain because it was published in the United States between 1926 and 1977, inclusive, without a copyright notice.

In the eighties, Borland stated that we should "Treat Software Just Like a Book".

GNU and the Free Software Foundation

You can find the GNU Manifesto on as well as an overview of all the free software licenses.

For more info on the Free Software Foundation, go to

Richard Stallman explaining that the free in free software doesn't mean it has to be for free:

Richard Stallman on the four freedoms that need to be guaranteed in free software:

Richard Stallman explaining the difference between copyright and copyleft:

On public appearances, Richard Stallman sometimes uses a hard disk as a halo, presenting himself as Saint Ignucious from the Church of Emacs.

Richard Stallman explains how he started the GNU project (and what was missing):


Learn more about Linus Torvalds, the creator of the kernel for the GNU operating system, in two minutes:

Book Quotes  

  • Whoever wanted to work on a computer needed to be a computer science student at a university or have a job at a company that could afford buying such expensive hardware.
  • The established manufacturers noticed that the software they had been distributing for free with their hardware was also being used on less expensive machines. That made them realize that software might have value on its own.
  • Historically, computer programs weren’t effectively protected by copyright law because computer programs weren’t viewed as a fixed, tangible object.

Soundtrack for this Chapter  

I listen to music, but my taste in music is questionable. I've selected a handful of songs for every chapters. Sometimes, there's a link to the chapter, sometimes I just like the song.

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