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Free Software. Introduction

When we speak of free software, we are referring to freedom, not price, Richard M. Stallman.

The best things in life are free, Proverb.

Free software

Free software

Do you like computers, tablets, and smartphones? I’m sure you do. They all share something in common: software. Software is what makes hardware work and lets you get things done. For instance, a video game is a software program designed for entertainment.

Software is what makes hardware work and lets you get things done

Software is what makes hardware work and lets you get things done

There are two main categories of software: system software and application software. System software is the basic software needed for a computer to operate. Examples of system software include operating systems like Windows, GNU/Linux, and macOS.

Operating systems are the backbones of computer systems and the basic interface between users and their computers.

Windows, GNU/Linux, Mac OS

GNU/Linux is a free operating system originally created by Linus Torvalds in 1993. It’s available for everyone to download and use free of charge. Linux comes in many flavors, we call them distributions, such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint, and Fedora.

What does free really mean? Free software is like cooking for yourself. It is more work, but it is cheaper, tastier, you know what you are doing (you have the recipe), and it is better for you. Free software means you are free to download, use, copy, modify, and distribute it.

All operating systems sucks, but Linux just sucks less, Linux Torvalds

All operating systems sucks, but Linux just sucks less, Linux Torvalds

Application software refers to programs that perform specific tasks for end-users and organizations, such as games, word processors, spreadsheets, and image processing software.

Therefore, a computer is basically an electronic toolbox for working with information. You can use it to type a document (it also corrects your spelling mistakes), keep in touch with your family and friends (Instant Messaging “IM”, Video Chat, etc.), edit and share ../images or videos (red-eye removal, remove unwanted objects or apply filters), play games, perform mathematical calculations, shop online, etc.

You may want to read our free ebooks: Computers, Computers II, and Free Software.

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