Original Message -----
From: "IT@School" <itschool(a)asianetindia.com>
Sent: Saturday, October 05, 2002 5:08 PM
> Mr.Manjush G. Menon
> We are not giving to depend totally on Ms. Products. Rather MS
> Office is taught along with open office and Windows along with Linux
> from this year. Arranging the resource persons for training an open
> software, making available the software, the maintenance of a help desk
> etc. are logistical issues which could not be immediately undertaken.
> We plan switch out to open software within three years.
> Executive Director
---- Original Message -----
From: Manjush G. Menon
Sent: Friday, October 04, 2002 5:46 PM
Subject: Respected sir,
Manjush G. Menon,
Sofker Solutions Pvt Ltd,
The Executive Director,
'IT @ SCHOOL' Project,
SUB: In protest against the inclusion of products from multinational companies
in the syllabus of 'IT @ SCHOOL'
It's a very dissappointing fact that when the whole world is moving towards
Free software, we at kerala are going behind a major MNC - Microsoft. I hereby register
my protest in such an act from 'IT @ SCHOOL' Project team.
Breaking of prototypes will definetly help us in finding economical and high quality
products for our future generation.
For students and programmers, the GNU Linux contains 'GNU Compiler Collections'
which includes C, C++, FORTRAN, PERL, TCL etc. Also, for DTP and other publishing purposes,
it includes GNU Office utilities like Abi-Word, gedit, and other worksheet utilities,
all these with a nominal cost of Rs 700-800/-. The software as it is, is free and
the cost is accounted towards the media (CD + Documentation) included.
By this letter, I urge you to take this matter seriously and suggest necessary modifications
in the action plan of 'IT @ SCHOOL' project.
Wishing you all the best and wishing all 'Students @ SCHOOL' a bright future,
Manjush G. Menon.
Check out all the latest outrageous email attachments on the Outrageous Email Chart! - http://viral.lycos.co.uk
Thanks to George Lessard for posting this across. FN
---------- Forwarded message ----------
PERUVIAN EFFORT COULD BAN MICROSOFT ON GOV. COMPUTERS
Peruvian Congressman Edgar Villanueva is pushing legislation to obligate all
public institutions to convert exclusively to open-source software.
Open-source programs, embodied by the Linux operating system, have
underlying code available to anyone who wants to modify or customize it.
Such software, in unadorned form, can be downloaded from the Internet for
free. Villanueva hopes his measure triggers activity in Peru's software
industry by freeing programmers from the constraints of working with coding
controlled by a few large companies. Open-source could take the expense out
of software upgrades; which is important for a country like Peru that owes
about $30 million in overdue software license fees.
[SOURCE: San Jose Mercury, AUTHOR: Associated Press]
RMS met the President and had discussions with him. A press release
issued by FSF India on this matter is given below:
FREE SOFTWARE FOUNDATION OF INDIA
January 29, 2004
Richard Stallman meets the President of India
Dr. Richard M Stallman, world-renowned software guru and founder of the
Free Software Foundation (FSF), had a meeting with His Excellency the
President of India, Bharat Ratna Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam at 2:15 pm
The meeting took place at the Rashrapati Bhavan, official residence of
the President of India. At the meeting, Dr. Stallman explained to Dr.
Kalam the ethical issues related to the use of proprietary software. The
President was impressed by the issues raised by Dr. Stallman. It is
understood that the President has instructed for the use of free
softwaree for his IT facilities. Dr. Stallman also discussed the issues
of using proprietary software in schools, which prevents children from
sharing and learning to share. Implications of IT@School project in
Kerala also got mention.
Stallman's meeting with the president took place in the backdrop of
support for free and open source software extended by the president at a
public speech recently.
Dr Stallman has been in India from January 16th. His programmes included
the World Social Forum in Mumbai from January 16 to 22, lectures at
Thrissur, Ernakulam and Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, and meetings with
various government officials in the state regarding the use of free
software in government initiatives.
Further information on the Free Software Foundation and its Indian
chapter can be obtained from the web sites: http://www.gnu.org and
Free Software Foundation, India.
Email : gnu(a)gnu.org.in
Phone : 094470 34795
V. Sasi Kumar <vsasi(a)vsnl.com>
Most of the students wish to learn GPL'd softwares from
Universities. But unfortunately many of the universities in
Kerala(and in India) are not offering such courses. The Kannur
University is a role model in this case. The University is offering
Post Graduate programmes in Swathanthra Software right from the year
2000. The courses offered are M Sc(Computer Science) and MCA(Master
in Computer Applications). The syllabus of these two courses are
based on GPL'd software. Only one paper is there in the whole course
which has a proprietary nature(Microsoft Architecture and
VC++(theory only)). Some of the prominent topics covered are Linux
administration, PostgreSQL, BIND, Apache, Etherboot, Squid, Samba,
Linux Kernel, TCP/IP, Socket Programming etc... The labs are
arranged with GNU/Linux OS(RedHat and Mandrake).
The disappointing matter here is that these courses are in a phase
of disintegration. The University authorities are now trying to
change the syllabus completely to Proprietary nature due to some
external pressures. In my knowledge, some of the faculty members
are also trying to topple the course. Many of the Kannur
University centres are being shut down due to lack of students. I
think the main reason is the lack of publicity(and funds). Earlier
there were some protests in changing the syllabus from the students
Many students are unaware of the fact that the university is
offering such a course. My request to the list members is that
please take over this matter(if relevant) to as many lists as
possible so that those who are interested can join the course. It's
a nice opportunity to learn Swathanthra Software. I think the ?Free
Software Community? may have some interest in such courses.Those
who need the syllabus of these course contact me.
RMS today met APJ Abdul kalam, our president. The discussion is just
over, and We didnt got the complete details.
Our president has clearly mentioned that "Open-source" is the way
we need to choose. The president became very much impressed in
the "social aspects" of free software, pointed out by stallman.
During the discussion, president called the "techinal head" there,
to discuss about completely switching to free software.
Meanwhile, someone from Microsoft was waiting
there for a meeting with our president. On this, RMS commented
"The British did visit the imperialist here before colonisation,
they are trying for the same".
On the 55th republic day of India, Free Software Foundation of India
launches the FreeMe initiative, to help India to switch to the world of
if you can help the initiative, write,
"Vision"(1) of FSF is stated as
"Broadly, FSF India will strive to ensure that free
software is strengthened in all respects so as to form
a genuine, credible and viable alternative to
proprietary software for every kind of application."
"Goal" (2) of FSF India is stated as
"Our goal is to ensure the long term adoption of free
software, and aim for the day when all software will
In poster (3)
"And the right to explore how similar freedoms can be
attained and shared in all branches of knowledge."
I find 2 and 3 above interesting, especially
"aim for the day when all software will be free."
"shared in all branches of knowledge."
Making all software free means educating the public
about the problems with copyright laws. And therfore
an awakened public might get the laws changed.
Having sharing of knowledge in all branches of
knowledge means that we have to expand the process of
educating the public beyond software and talk about
the harm done by building walls around knowledge.
However I see a narrowing of thought when it comes
to vision, "FSF India will strive to ensure that free
software is... viable alternative to proprietary
I see this narrowing on both the lists. The only
person consistently saying that all software should be
free software is RMS.
Since free software (as great as it is), compared to
the amount of software developed every year is a drop
in the bucket (if not ocean). Another way of putting
it is, iff tommorow all software becomes free
software, we will see an increase of the size of free
software by atleast 1000 times.
For the above reason, I think that not only should
we be talking about why free software is better, but
also talk and reason about why *all* software should
Any comments? Is my reasoning flawed in any aspect?
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RMS today after noon left for delhi.
His visit to Kerala was very effective. The message of free software has
reached all over the state. It seems that this visit will have an effect
on kerala's IT policy.
RMS's delhi programs are.
Venue : JNU
Date : 28th Jan 2.30 pm
Venue : IIT Delhi
Date : 29th Jan 5.15 pm
Topic : The Danger of Software Patents
Venue : School of Convergence, International Management Institute.
Date : 31th Jan 2.30 pm
Topic : Copyright vs Community