Why I avoid proprietary software

January 23, 2011 by Joshua
in Blog, Entrepreneurship, Freedom, Humor

I was helping a colleague install some software on an Apple computer a week or two ago. In the process we had to install a c compiler, which was Free Software. I don’t remember the details, but somehow Apple had set it up so he had to register with Apple to install the software. I’m sure there was a way around it, but Apple set it up that way.

There’s a scene in Silence of the Lambs where Anthony Hopkins is in a jail cell in the middle of a room and hands a file to Jodie Foster after making her reveal secrets about herself. When he hands it to her, he purposefully brushes his finger against hers — a brilliantly directed small but revealing detail. She might not even have noticed the touch, but you realize how much he’s engineered things just so he could do it. You also realize he got great pleasure from it, which makes it all the more creepy. He didn’t have to do it, but he did. You could say it’s no big deal to her just for their skin to touch for maybe a second. If it was an accident it would be no big deal. But it wasn’t an accident, he made it that way. And he did help her get the job done, but he didn’t have to make it personal, force her to reveal so much, or get pleasure out of manipulating her.

That’s what working with Apple is like. Microsoft is similar but less subtle.

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2 responses on “Why I avoid proprietary software

  1. Pingback: » Another reason to avoid proprietary software Joshua Spodek

  2. Pingback: 10 Years of Daily Posts » Joshua Spodek

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