``Freedom is still the most radical idea of all.''
This quote, penned by Nathaniel Branden, seems fitting nowhere moreso than with
the freewheeling computing industry. In the space of just a few decades, lives
the world over have been changed by computing technology. We, the people behind
the Free Software movement, are seeking to continue this trend by truly opening
up software to everyone - not just the few people working for the companies
that write it - but everyone. As part of this goal, this book and CD contain
a treasure chest of Free Software. Over one thousand packages, including things
such as the world's most popular web server, can be found here. You can use
this software for everything from graphic design to SQL databases.
The Free Software revolution has taken the industry by storm. Linux, started
from scratch not even 10 years ago, has been the favorite kernel of the Free
Software world. The ideas and experience gained from Free Software have truly
sent Linux and the Free Software Foundation's GNU tools all over the world.
Free systems such as Debian GNU/Linux ship with literally thousands of applications,
and they have more power and stability, and outperform some of the industry's
traditional best-selling proprietary operating systems.
Today, GNU/Linux plays a dominant role in Internet servers and among ISPs, in
academia, among computer hobbyists, and in computer science research. Debian
GNU/Linux has brought the power of Free Software to everything from laptops
to flights aboard the Space Shuttle. As I write this, companies the world over
are experiencing the joy and benefits that are Free Software. The unprecedented
power, the ability to speak directly to the people who write the software you
use, the capability to modify programs at will, and the phenomenal expertise
of the online support mechanism all combine to make Free Software a vibrant
and wonderful way to use your computing resources.
Starting with a Free Software such as Debian GNU/Linux can be the best thing
you've done with your computer in a long time. It's fast, powerful, stable,
versatile, and fun!