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.
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---------- 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]
The transcript of RMS' speech at the National Institute of Technology, Trichy is
available from http://glugt.linuxisle.com/projects.shtml
A few quotes from the speech:
* About a year ago, some developers... some researchers found out that, they
figured out that, Windows XP when it asked for an upgrade, also reports to
Microsoft, what's installed on your disk. And it does this secretly, it sends
the list of files encrypted, so that it was impossible for people to tell easily
that this was going on.
* Even more bizarre, there is a malicious feature in the music sharing
program, Kaza, where the company... the developers sell time on your computer.
So, other people will pay Kaza, so that they can run their programs on your
* Paradoxically speaking, when you have a choice between several non-free
programs to do the same job, which ever one you choose the support for it is
going to be a monopoly afterwards, so at the beginning you get a choice, but
afterwards you are stuck in a monopoly.
* Well, there are lots of people in India who might be able to afford the
computer, but couldn't possibly afford the software, because they can just
barely afford a computer. So free software can make a big difference in terms of
who in India can get a computer and run it.
* But this is not what they are doing. And you can see easily if you look
around easily, government organization in India are mostly using non-free
software. And schools in India are using non-free software. This is a terrible
mistake, it is a foolish and disastrous policy, governments of course deserves
to use free software....
* And Microsoft did something really stupid. Well, really absurd.
Supposedly, they offered various governments access to the source code. But they
did it in a way that is fraudulent...
* As far as I can tell, some people are born with the skill program, are
born with their brains growing so that they will have the skill to program. They
will be natural programmers. But writing clear understandable software is
something you have to learn. That's judgment. The way you learn is by reading
lots of source and by changing lots of programs.
* So schools should use free software for the sake of education, but there
is an even deeper reason, because schools are not supposed to teach just facts,
just skills, but even more deep, they are supposed to teach the spirit of
goodwill, the habit of cooperating with other people.
* ...two weeks ago, when I met with Dr. Kalam and explained to him about why
schools should use free software and about how non-free software is colonial
system, I was really delighted, because he understood it instantly.
* But sometimes, there is a different issue that does make sense for
hardware. And that is the design spec, visible. You know, can the public get
copies of design, to find out what the hardware does. Well, this is necessary in
certain cases, so that you can check for malicious features...
* There are portable phones in Europe which have this feature, that somebody
can remotely tell the phone to listen to you. It really is a spy device, in the
most classical sense. And if you have a portable phone, do you know who could be
spying on you at any time?
Free the Code.
Free the User.
This mail sent through IMP(http://www.nitt.edu)
`The Hindu' in its Chennai edition dated 28-4-2004 carried an article
titled `India's fastest academic computer to vie for top spot', and
sorry I could not get any online links to the article.
It has been reported that the Dept. of Atomic Energy made a grant of Rs.
3.5 crores to the Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai, out of
which the Linux cluster that clocked 1.382 teraflops was realised at the
cost of only about Rs. 2.5 crores - a fraction of what supercomputers of
this pedigree would cost.
AB, you wrote about working on a similar project - is that a connected
A Great way to describe Free Software. I fully agree with you and second
your opinion. Freedom and Merit go hand in hand and merit is subject to hard
work and research put behind it. Direction of research is again ascertained
by keeping our ears open to the NEED; need of the classes and need of the
masses. I think with FSF there is no reason why we cant touch base with both
>Date: Thu, 29 Apr 2004 19:53:16 -0700 (PDT)
>From: Krishna Pagadala <krishnaact(a)yahoo.com>
>Subject: [Fsf-friends] Freedom, Merit and Control
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
>There was an interesting discussion on who controls
>Free Software development process. I thought that
>three distinct ideas were intermixed, when they
>should not have been. I am writing out my thoughts on
> Free software is all about Freedom, and nobody can
>dictate what you can and cannot do with such software.
>In other words nobody has control (`cracy`) over
> With regard to the linux kernel it was written that
>"Linus Torvalds controls the kernel development
>That is not true Linus only controls his own tree, he
>cannot control anybody else's tree. Anybody and
>everybody can have their own kernel tree and kernel
>Also he does not have a road map of where the kernel
>is going, and in that sense where Linux kernel goes is
>more of a collaborative effort than a form of `cracy`
> I think that Linus tree has more merit in the
>sense that it fits the needs of various people, that
>any other tree I have a hope of building myself.
> It has been written on this list that
>"Linus Torvalds has much more influence in the future
>direction of Linux than I have."
> I am entirely in agreement with the idea of his
>having an influence on the kernel.
> Altough his influence comes from the merit of his
>ideas, he still does not have control, and if some of
>his ideas do not have merit they must be discarded.
> I am not a believer in control (coercion),
>whatever disguised form it might take.
> It has been written on this list that
>"Generally open source software is a meritocracy -
>the "best choice" is purely based on a meritocracy.
>meritocracy is how all of this functions."
> I think that we must base our decisions on merit,
>however the fact that a persons ideas have merit
>should not mean that the person gains some form of
>control. `Cracy` can be and should be seperated out
> I think free software is about being able to
>recognize merit in each other and therefore build a
>better society, while retaining freedom. i.e. without
>giving up freedom, and without giving control to
>To Reflect, to Inspire and to Empower
>Do you Yahoo!?
>Win a $20,000 Career Makeover at Yahoo! HotJobs
>Fsf-friends mailing list
>End of Fsf-friends Digest, Vol 12, Issue 31
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There was an interesting discussion on who controls
Free Software development process. I thought that
three distinct ideas were intermixed, when they
should not have been. I am writing out my thoughts on
Free software is all about Freedom, and nobody can
dictate what you can and cannot do with such software.
In other words nobody has control (`cracy`) over
With regard to the linux kernel it was written that
"Linus Torvalds controls the kernel development
That is not true Linus only controls his own tree, he
cannot control anybody else's tree. Anybody and
everybody can have their own kernel tree and kernel
Also he does not have a road map of where the kernel
is going, and in that sense where Linux kernel goes is
more of a collaborative effort than a form of `cracy`
I think that Linus tree has more merit in the
sense that it fits the needs of various people, that
any other tree I have a hope of building myself.
It has been written on this list that
"Linus Torvalds has much more influence in the future
direction of Linux than I have."
I am entirely in agreement with the idea of his
having an influence on the kernel.
Altough his influence comes from the merit of his
ideas, he still does not have control, and if some of
his ideas do not have merit they must be discarded.
I am not a believer in control (coercion),
whatever disguised form it might take.
It has been written on this list that
"Generally open source software is a meritocracy -
the "best choice" is purely based on a meritocracy.
meritocracy is how all of this functions."
I think that we must base our decisions on merit,
however the fact that a persons ideas have merit
should not mean that the person gains some form of
control. `Cracy` can be and should be seperated out
I think free software is about being able to
recognize merit in each other and therefore build a
better society, while retaining freedom. i.e. without
giving up freedom, and without giving control to
To Reflect, to Inspire and to Empower
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non-free software as a problem to be solved, not as a solution to any
This is the last line from the FSF-India philosophy that you sent; just
thought of sending it back. I am focussing on how to help Mr. Ram. I repeat
philosophies are duds if not implemented.
I am just doing what i think is right. I just try to look at what is left to
be done and gain some insight from end user experience and then focus on
helping others do it.
Thats about it. Nothing more nothing less.
>Where did you even assume that was part of the deal? As reagards what FSF
>committed to promote .... please read the following text... I've copied and
>pasted it from the FSF-India website.
>FSF India is a non-profit organisation committed to advocating, promoting
>propagating the use and development of swatantra software in India. Our
>is to ensure the long term adoption of free software, and aim for the day
>when all software will be free. This includes educating people about
>freedom and convincing them that it is the freedom that matters. We regard
>non-free software as a problem to be solved, not as a solution to any
>If you or Mr. Reddy want the Mandrake distro to have a "Rich User
>please use the link below.
> > So you mean to say that if the software come for FREE I should not
> > it to be good. What a foundation "WE" (FSF evangalists) are laying down
> > others to follow.
>Again...if you are referring to the Mandrake Distro, refer to the link
>If not, get specific as to which particular free software you are talk
>not being 'good' enough for Mr. Reddy. I'm sure there is a forum out there
>that would be happy to hear yours or Mr. Reddy's feedback on how it can be
> > Let me remind you I am not talking about "you", the IT guy. I am talking
> > about the end user for whom computers is a tool to do his work. And
> > me he values "RICH USER EXPERIECE" more than getting a free software. IS
> > THIS WHAT YOU CALL FREEDOM?
>Freedom in Free software is not about price. See the following link to
>understand what free software means.
>And thank you for finally making my point. He (Mr. Reddy) obviously values
>"rich user experience" more than "freedom".
>What do you value more? "freedom" or "rich user experience"?
>I hope you value freedom more than software that should have "rich user
>experience" ... If you do, great. Please try and talk Mr. Reddy into
>attending a speech of RMS so that he could possibly moved into considering
>valuing "freedom" more than "rich user experience".
>For the time being you could download this Video of RMS as it's pretty
>It's about 30 minutes and 55 MB in size.
>This may help bring the focus on freedom instead of Rich User Experience.
>I'd be happy to courier you and Mr. Reddy the CD if you like. Just give me
>your address. I think there is a copy of this video on this month's LFY
> > FREEDOM for who? You or the MASSES? I repeat lets move from
> > MINORITY" to "MASS MAJORITY" and for masses your so called "SHALLOW"
> > experience matters.
>Once again... please target the disappointments of user experiences of the
>software to the Mandrake Company and not FSF.
> > Windows market share is a testimony to this SHALLOW concept.
>Sure, that's because lots of people have had no choice but to pay up huge
>dollars (or not) to use it. ;-)
> > I remind you again ... i am not decrying linux .... of FSF. I am myself
> > strong supporter and have followed linux from its nacence.
>As I mentioned in my ealier mail, I was using what I called 'Linux' since
>1996, but got to realize the funda of freedom only in 2001 after attending
>Have you ever attended one of those?
>If not you should...
> > Anyways, its been great interacting with you .. no point in dragging
> > any further, i dont think we are going anywhere with this. Lets agree to
> > disagree.
>It's been great interacting with you too.... However, you keep wanting to
>your point, which I'm still struggling and wanting to understand, but at
>same time you want to end the discussion by 'agreeing to disagree'....
>I truely hope to succeed in communicating this funda of freedom to you and
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I am sorry if i offended you in some manner. My idea was not to offend you
but i am still a firm believer of turning springs into rivers. I value
freedom as much as you do and understanding freedom is not about listening
to RMS speech. Though for your information sake ... I am associated with
Linux for as long as you are and have heard RMS on not just once but number
And to highlight again ... I am contributing software to FSF and not just
I am fine with worrying about writing the software and pitching in with my
own effort. There are others to worry about philosophy. And be sure we
understand philosophy as much as you do. And i intentionaly refrain from
compartmentalizing LINUX. Good work does not require acknowledgement ... we
all know who started it ... Thanx to RMS.
My intention of sending Mr. Ram's mail was just to highlight the importance
of moving ahead and what needs to be done. I am sure I will solve his
problem. And this time i wont be listening to an RMS speech but doing what
Thanx but we had a good debate; this keeps the spirit alive. It would be
great to make friends with you as you seem an FSF oldie too.
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"WE" here stands for FSF evanglists who value FREEDOM as much as you do. I
really wonder whether FREEDOM again means not trying to write good software.
What you call FREEDOM for yourself is the hard work of countless Open Source
guys towards a common goal - promoting Free software.
So you mean to say that if the software come for FREE I should not expect it
to be good. What a foundation "WE" (FSF evangalists) are laying down for
others to follow.
Let me remind you I am not talking about "you", the IT guy. I am talking
about the end user for whom computers is a tool to do his work. And trust me
he values "RICH USER EXPERIECE" more than getting a free software. IS THIS
WHAT YOU CALL FREEDOM?
FREEDOM for who? You or the MASSES? I repeat lets move from "PHILOSOPHICAL
MINORITY" to "MASS MAJORITY" and for masses your so called "SHALLOW" user
Windows market share is a testimony to this SHALLOW concept.
I remind you again ... i am not decrying linux .... of FSF. I am myself a
strong supporter and have followed linux from its nacence.
Anyways, its been great interacting with you .. no point in dragging this
any further, i dont think we are going anywhere with this. Lets agree to
>From: Rishi <rishi(a)gangfam.com>
>To: "Tarun Gaur" <gaur_tarun(a)hotmail.com>,
>Subject: Freedom VS Rich User Experience
>Date: Wed, 28 Apr 2004 22:42:32 +0530
> > Now, he is a live example of an END USER PERSPECTIVE on Linux Desktops.
> > me remind you I am not talking of Linux as a Server.
>I use Linux at home and office as a Desktop. Been doing that for the past 1
>year now.... Linux Servers have been at the office and home since 1996.
> > Now I have a question for you ... are "Diversity" and "Flexibility"
> > synonyms of "Complexity" and "Non-Rich User Experience"??
>Sure they are. But the more crucial point I'm trying to make is the Value
>Freedom which according to me, supercedes the more shallow concept of
>a 'Rich User Experience'.....
>This of course depends on the crux that the end-user values freedom.
>From where I sit and all the friends at FSF, I'm sure we value freedom
>and then "Rich User Experience"
> > So, when the competetion picks up it is the BUYERS market and you have
> > be very agile to pick up a market share. And we have to behave very
> > responsibly and look at the world from customer's perspective. We have a
> > big
> > resposibility here. Remember we are not a market leaders but intend to
> > You like it or dislike it Microsoft is still there on 94% of wold's
> > desktops. You know why .. because they dont ignore the suggestions of
> > like Ram Reddy.
>That's the other issue.... who is 'we' ?
>FSF Friends: Are a group of people that value freedom and wish to
>and help people spread the concept of free software. We're not working on
>becoming market leaders.
>Red Hat / Mandrake / Suse: Are comercial organizations that value the
>of freedom and make software products / services available to the public at
>price. They are working on becoming market leaders.
>This is the angle that's different... There isn't software (product) to buy
>the free software world. If at all there are services to be bought...
>1. With Free Software ... it's usually supported by the community who
>support through newsgroups and e-mail .... such as the FSF Friends list.
>2. With non-Free Software ... it's usually supported by the hardware /
>software vendor's that's making money on selling/installing the software
>product for the end-user. In the case of Windows and MS Office, hardware
>vendors in India typically (90%) install it for 'free' (piracy) so that
>get to sell a computer...
>In Mr. Reddy's case did he buy Mandrake with installation support? Or did
>get the CDs from some guy?
>Note: Windows without installation charges cost Rs. 5-8K per PC.
>Mandrake or Redhat (Fedora) can be bought at much lower prices than 5K.
> > Please do not look at this as a Developer, try looking at it as a
> > man or an end user.
>Sure... If he (Mr. Reddy) want's to install Linux he can pay someone (you)
>do it. You could charge him Rs. 500-2000 to do the job.. I would if I were
> > We have have done a lot to reach here, lets not assume that we are the
> > best, lets plug each and every hole one by one ... cause thats the only
> > we can turn from a philosophical minority to MASS Majority.
>Here comes that 'we' thing again. ;-)
>You need to figure out who 'we' is ....
> > Please do not take this note as personal, it is for every Linux
> > who thinks we are the best. If you still think so, please read the mail
> > sent by Mr. Ram Reddy (and you can be sure that he is a responsible guy
> > giving genuine opinion) once again.
>His feedback, I'm sure is great... but it needs to be directed towards the
>commercial organization providing the Linux Distro "Mandrake" and not the
>group of friends.
> > Lets continue to improve, to end the note .. I am going to Mr. Ram
> > place this weekend and be sure we will win one more guy for FSF !!
>We're here to improve our friend ship and talk about freedom. We're, at
>I am, even here to help you out with the installation if you get stuck...
>probably point you in some direction to get help.
>Good luck to you and Mr. Reddy. Do let us know how the installation of
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Hi Friend ...
FREEDOM DOES NOT MEAN BAD SOFTWARE !!
AND I AM NOT DECRYING LINUX BROTHER. I know and value freedom as much as you
do. But i also believe that each user shifting base from Windows to Linux
matters to me. To me FREEDOM means freedom of free software to masses and i
am sure Free Software is reaching there; sooner or later.
LETS AGREE TO DISAGREE.
Just to remind you friend, I have been associated with FSF for a long time,
contributed in number of projects and am running a project at Savanah with
16 members in it. Alsp i have contributed a lot of code in APACHE. So who
can understand the movement better ...
regards and cheers,
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