Free as in Freedom: Richard Stallman's Crusade for Free Software Paperback – 30 Dec 2009
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"....A worthwhile read for its chronicle of an important part of the free software movement as well as into Stallman as a person...." -- Jende Huang, Washington Computer User, Jun 2002
"....it's a good summary of one of the software world's most eminent men. ..." -- Dave Symonds, Computer Science Undergraduate Society, May 2002
A good and important work. I recommend it. -- Joe Barr, Linux World, August 26, 2002
A mesmerizing biography of one of the most influential people in computer science. -- Ben Rothke, Unixreview.com, March 2002
A nuanced, detailed picture of Stallman that includes much that will be new even to close followers of the free-software movement. -- Andrew Leonard, Salon.com, April 2, 2002
His philosophy and work has surely secured him a legacy as a man who has altered the way we look at software. -- Jende Huang, Washington Computer USer, Jun 2002
If you are interested in the open source movement, likely you'll want to read this book. It's interesting, challenging, and easy to follow. -- George Woolley, Oakland Perl Mongers, Feb 2003
The biogrpahy is a must read if you are to understand hte origin of Linux and free Software. -- linux.org
The book is a great read for geeks, enlightening us on our heritage. -- Penguinista.org
This is a book that moves with economy through the life of the world's most famous hacker. -- Marc Rotenberg, EPIC, April 2002
About the Author
Sam Williams is a freelance writer living in Brooklyn, New York, and the author of O'Reilly's Free as in Freedom: Richard Stallman's Crusade for Free Software. He has covered high-tech culture, specifically software development culture, for a number of Web sites. From 1998-2001, he wrote "Open Season," a weekly column on the open source software community for Upside Today. He also has conducted interviews for the Web site BeOpen.com. His first book, ARGUING A.I.: The Battle for Twenty-First Century Science, was published by Random House in January 2002. Free as in Freedom is his second book.
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Top Customer Reviews
Williams begins with the famous jamming printer and Stallman's encounter with a non-disclosure agreement that prevented him writing reporting software for it. He then jumps forwards to a speech given by Stallman in 2001, responding to attacks by Microsoft on the GNU GPL. Having used these episodes to introduce Stallman and explain the basic idea of free software, the rest of the work continues in a similar vein, mixing historical chapters with ones describing Williams' own meetings with Stallman.
Chapter three describes Stallman's childhood as a prodigy; chapter four his experiences at Harvard and MIT; chapter six the MIT AI Lab and the Emacs "commune"; chapter seven the death of the MIT hacker community and the first announcement of the GNU Project; chapter nine the GNU GPL; chapter ten the appearance of Linux and debates over GNU/Linux; and chapter eleven the coining of the term "open source" and the arguments over that. These contain quotes by everyone from Stallman's mother to the leading lights of free software, as well as plenty by Stallman himself. The narrative never strays too far from its subject, but becomes inextricably interwoven with the broader history and politics of free software and sometimes digresses to cover key figures and events with which Stallman wasn't directly involved.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It may be a little bit dated but I would call it an essential read for those who are interested in the Open Source community and its found father.Published 13 months ago by Richard Shortland
I can't imagine this book being of much interest to a non-computing type but as a supporter of free software I enjoyed it from the beginning. Read morePublished on 9 April 2012 by Jonny McCullagh