Computer buying project essay

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Computer buying project essay

Why it is even more important than ever to insist Computer buying project essay the software we use be free. The first software-sharing community When I started working at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab inI became part of a software-sharing community that had existed for many years.

Sharing of software was not limited to our particular community; it is as old as computers, just as sharing of recipes is as old as cooking. But we did it more than most. As a member of this community, an AI Lab staff system hacker, my job was to improve this system. Whenever people from another university or a company wanted to port and use a program, we gladly let them.

If you saw someone using an unfamiliar and interesting program, you could always ask to see the source code, so that you could read it, change it, or cannibalize parts of it to make a new program. We hackers refuse to recognize that meaning, and continue using the word to mean someone who loves to program, someone who enjoys playful cleverness, or the combination of the two.

See my article, On Hacking. The collapse of the community The situation changed drastically in the early s when Digital discontinued the PDP series. Its architecture, elegant and powerful in the 60s, could not extend naturally to the larger address spaces that were becoming feasible in the 80s.

This meant that nearly all of the programs composing ITS were obsolete. The AI Lab hacker community had already collapsed, not long before. Inthe spin-off company Symbolics had hired away nearly all of the hackers from the AI Lab, and the depopulated community was unable to maintain itself.

The book Hackers, by Steve Levy, describes these events, as well as giving a clear picture of this community in its prime.

The modern computers of the era, such as the VAX or thehad their own operating systems, but none of them were free software: This meant that the first step in using a computer was to promise not to help your neighbor.

A cooperating community was forbidden. If you want any changes, beg us to make them. But what else could we say about a system based on dividing the public and keeping users helpless?

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Readers who find the idea surprising may have taken the proprietary software social system as a given, or judged it on the terms suggested by proprietary software businesses.

Software publishers have worked long and hard to convince people that there is only one way to look at the issue. The real message of these statements is in the unstated assumptions they take for granted, which the public is asked to accept without examination.

One assumption is that software companies have an unquestionable natural right to own software and thus have power over all its users. If this were a natural right, then no matter how much harm it does to the public, we could not object.

Another unstated assumption is that the only important thing about software is what jobs it allows you to do—that we computer users should not care what kind of society we are allowed to have. A third assumption is that we would have no usable software or would never have a program to do this or that particular job if we did not offer a company power over the users of the program.


This assumption may have seemed plausible, before the free software movement demonstrated that we can make plenty of useful software without putting chains on it. If we decline to accept these assumptions, and judge these issues based on ordinary commonsense morality while placing the users first, we arrive at very different conclusions.

Computer users should be free to modify programs to fit their needs, and free to share software, because helping other people is the basis of society. There is no room here for an extensive statement of the reasoning behind this conclusion, so I refer the reader to the web pages http: A stark moral choice With my community gone, to continue as before was impossible.

Computer buying project essay

Instead, I faced a stark moral choice. The easy choice was to join the proprietary software world, signing nondisclosure agreements and promising not to help my fellow hacker. Most likely I would also be developing software that was released under nondisclosure agreements, thus adding to the pressure on other people to betray their fellows too.

I could have made money this way, and perhaps amused myself writing code.

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But I knew that at the end of my career, I would look back on years of building walls to divide people, and feel I had spent my life making the world a worse place. I had already experienced being on the receiving end of a nondisclosure agreement, when someone refused to give me and the MIT AI Lab the source code for the control program for our printer.Watson is a question-answering computer system capable of answering questions posed in natural language, developed in IBM's DeepQA project by a research team led by principal investigator David Ferrucci.

Watson was named after IBM's first CEO, industrialist Thomas J. Watson.. The computer system was initially developed to . Buying a Computer today is much more complicated then it was ten years ago. The choices we have are abundant, and the information we must gather to make those choices is much greater.

The average consumer is a more educated buyer; they at least have some ideas of what they want in a computer. Affordablepapers is a reliable writing service with a great reputation.

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