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Re: [gNewSense-users] (Long and sort of) OT: Converting people to freeso

From: Ted Smith
Subject: Re: [gNewSense-users] (Long and sort of) OT: Converting people to freesoftware (was: Songbird freedom)
Date: Mon, 08 Mar 2010 18:26:00 -0500

On Mon, 2010-03-08 at 14:58 -0800, Jason Self wrote:
> For example: The very first time I installed gNS on my laptop I found
>  that my WiFi didn't work. After some searching I found that it
>  required a binary blob to operate. Instead of using a non-free distro
>  I quickly wently online via ethernet and purchased a new WiFi card
>  that was supported by the free ath5k driver. After the card arrived
>  the WiFi still didn't work because the version of ath5k included in
>  the stock gNS kernel was too old to include support for my card. So I
>  replaced the kernel with a newer version from linux-libre, restarted 
> and -- boom -- my card then worked. And I haven't given up any
>  freedom.  :) 

This is clearly the optimal thing to do, and the OP says they do
something similar (buying a USB wifi device), but this is not always
practical to do if you're over at someone's house that one day
installing GNU/Linux. By all means, tell them about why you have to
install Ubuntu instead of gNS, tell them not to buy from that
manufacturer in the future, whatever. But respect the fact that they
need a working system, and move them towards freedom however much you
can. Use the non-free wifi firmware to order a freedom-friendly wifi
card off of NewEgg, if that's what you can convince them to do. :-)

I disagree with the OP that people on non-free GNU distros are less
likely to switch to a free one. That may be true for people that install
the system themselves and have preferences, but it isn't true for people
who just use their computer and have you install things on it.

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