My Move to Free Software
I became aware of free software in the form of GNU and Linux in 1998, and while I was immediately attracted to the idea of free software, I wasn’t able to get traction using and moving to a free operating system. I was comfortable using Microsoft Windows. I had a lot of applications and data entrenched in Windows, and all my expertise lay there. It was frustrating not knowing how to do things in GNU/Linux, and I didn’t want to invest the time in learning a whole new system.
But I kept coming back to it. I had started reading Slashdot in early 1999 — followed soon by other free software related sites — and wanted more and more to enjoy software freedom and be part of a community that believes in sharing and cooperation.
In late 2005 or early 2006, I read Richard Stallman’s book Free Software, Free Society, and felt inspired to try again and to start promoting free software to others. I had previously read many of the collected essays, but reading the book provided a concentrated dose of inspiration and motivation!
I started movingtofreedom.org in July 2006, and by January 2008, finally, I had completed the move. Mostly, in my personal life.
A note from 2016:
For about five years I was somewhat pure. Now I’ve compromised. Muchly. In 2013 I started using Mac OSX and other proprietary software more often, while still valuing freedom. Or maybe I’m just a filthy sellout. But I can live with myself.
I removed from this page some more detailed notes about the journey that have fallen out of date and that I fear fail to enlighten.
Perhaps old versions live on at the Archive…
“Move Notes” as captured on 11 February 2016.
Updated: 17 March 2016