Big Bill And The Free Software Alternatives Story: Video Mashup
Curious to learn how we got where we are in terms of personal computers and operating systems we use?
This great video mashup, tells you in four-minutes, where we are coming from and what alternatives are out there, if you don't like what you see.
Full English Text Transcript
(original version was in French)
At the beginning as far as communication was concerned, humans were limited.
But very quickly they diversified the ways of sharing and collecting more and more different types of information.
At the end of the 20th century, they invented the computer.
But a young American IT specialist had decided to take advantage of the situation and set up the biggest commercial empire of the end of that century.
Big Bill was not a computer genius but he presented things well. He had designed a new operating system that didn't work very well but that was well priced. An operating system is what controls all the connections between the machines, the programs and the user.
Shortly before Big Bill, other computer specialists had designed a new operating system.
The first one used a mouse enabling users to click on icons to open windows, so to sum up it was the first operating system usable by an individual
But this simple system with opening windows would only operate on computers designed by the designer of the systems, but Big Bill's system could be installed on any machine.
Also when Big Bill, used the idea of a mouse and opening windows it was then, his system that attracted more and more customers.
Big Bill then arranged with the computer manufacturers, that the personal computers built by them would be equipped only with his system.
Therefore the customers would no longer have the choice but to buy the software sold by Big Bill.
From then on, Big Bill only had to bring out newer programmes and newer versions of his operating system with less bugs and glitches every 2 years to make sure that customers kept on buying his products.
But in the shadow of this commercial empire a community of other computer specialists and idealists took the freedom of knowledge and worked on the development of free software, that is to say free and not protected by a patent.
But one day in 1992, a Finnish student by the name of Linus Torvalds invented from free software a new operating system.
Whereas Big Bill had always kept secret his source codes, the young computer specialist decided to share his invention with the world for free.
This is how the GNU LINUX system was born, and that was rapidly developed through the use of internet and became the enemy of Big Bill as the center of the battle for free software.
Big Bill has always been the strongest in the art of commercial war; he equips around 96% of computers around the world.
This is not a monopoly, with his principle opponent having 3% of the market, but the average user fails to realise that he could type text or navigate on the internet using software other than that of Big Bill.
But the GNU LINUX system has now gone past the stage where only computer specialists could use it.
Today distributors' offer prefabricated versions of the GNU LINUX system that can be used by amateurs allowing all the same features as Big Bill's products offer, but more stable, more reliable, more resistant to viruses and free.
But for the moment the public prefer Big Bill's products.
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