Why did you switch (or use) Free Software?

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ssdclickofdeath
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Joined: 05/19/2013
icarolongo
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Joined: 03/26/2011

OS X runs in one PC. If you don't run OS X you isn't a Mac user. You is Trisquel User :-)

ssdclickofdeath
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Joined: 05/19/2013

I use an Apple-branded computer, called a Macintosh.

ssdclickofdeath
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Joined: 05/19/2013

It does make sense to call myself a Trisquel user, though, to avoid confusion.

icarolongo
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Joined: 03/26/2011

Ok, I use Macbook but I'm not a Mac user and I use Dell laptop and I'm not a Dell user.

icarolongo
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Joined: 03/26/2011

The answer for the most here probably is freedom. You only use free software if you like freedom (some persons don't like).

ssdclickofdeath
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Joined: 05/19/2013

I'd think that many people don't care about freedom, not that they don't like it.

icarolongo
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Joined: 03/26/2011

Has some persons really don't like it. Strange, but real.

ssdclickofdeath
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Joined: 05/19/2013

I could have said that I am an ex-Mac user, but I still use the perfectly good hardware.

trisquel.im
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Joined: 04/14/2011

I did so because most people said free software would never work, and I like a challenge; the ethics are just the cherry on-top of the cake.
For example there are problems at every corner of free software, it's implementation and it's online references.
Take *this* website forum mailing list ..
You have to go to a couple of webpages before you get to the forum post, or you even have to search for it.
Why not just automatically add an Url shortener ( one that doesn't track is probably better).
Like this:

http://tr.im/42vmw

That one does track, but does anyone know one that doesn't with AGPL ?
This method would make life a lot easier, but unfortunately this isn't a meritocracy.
Ideas can easily be over-ruled.
There are no 'lists' of free software programmers to make all of the changes that I want to pay to make & personalise my software. I find that part of RMS's thinking a myth.

GNU Warrior.jpg
icarolongo
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Joined: 03/26/2011

But you have the freedom to do. Free Software is this. The user have the power not the developer.

About short URL: http://ur1.ca/ is free software.

lembas
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Joined: 05/13/2010

>There are no 'lists' of free software programmers to make all of the changes that I want to pay to make & personalise my software. I find that part of RMS's thinking a myth.

You mean like http://www.fsf.org/resources/service

I use free software because it's the right thing to do. For myself and for the rest of the society. And also because the alternatives are so very bad.

onpon4
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Joined: 05/30/2012

Hm...

I was reading about free software for a very long time before I started advocating it. I read a lot of Richard Stallman's essays in particular. At some point while I had the OpenPandora, I had a good understanding of what free software, copyleft, etc is. I remember at one point considering whether I should use the term "free software" or "open source" to describe my free programs, because one side of me wanted to say "free software" because "open source" is a weak term, while another side of me wanted to say "open source" because it is more commonly understood. You can tell by that way of thinking about the dilemma that I wasn't a free software advocate yet, but I did know what they are.

Now, oddly enough, what made me a free software advocate was... the OpenPandora, a device which is not even a free system and has a community that just doesn't care about whether or not they're using free software. See, ARM GNU/Linux devices are not exactly common; most GNU/Linux users use x86 processors, and this was before Android was working on the device, so every proprietary program which was popular was a nuisance for Pandora users. In particular, I recall that I was annoyed that Skype and Dropbox, being nonfree programs, couldn't be ported to the Pandora. The one that personally annoyed me the most, though, was Game Maker, because I had developed a fairly large game in Game Maker that I was proud of, and because Game Maker was proprietary and therefore could not be ported to the Pandora, which was my favorite device at the time, I was upset. At this time, I was also getting sick of Windows, which was (and I think still is) the only OS that the Game Maker IDE would work on.

Also worth mentioning, though I don't think it particularly swayed me, is Android, which eventually was released on the OpenPandora. I can say that I was shocked: programs were routinely asking, on installation, to be permanently granted permissions to do things they clearly didn't need to do to my system. GPS, call records, and other things that games have no business accessing. This was a huge shock to me for two reasons: one, this was a requirement, and a routine one, so it mean that Android was the most vulnerable OS I had ever seen; and two, nobody in the "open source" community apparently cared. I don't know if I had learned from the FSF or RMS at this point about the prevalence of malicious features in nonfree software, but I didn't need to be told this: if a program is requiring access to a part of your phone that can only be used to spy on you, the program is spying on you. And despite both this and the extreme vulnerability of the system, it was being held up as an example of "open source", presumably just because it uses Linux.

So eventually, I started agreeing with the free software movement (I'm not sure if this was before or after Android came out on the Pandora). I looked at the FSF's list of endorsed distros, chose Trisquel because it seemed nice from the description, and installed it. At this point, though, I was not a strong advocate: I gave an exception to nonfree games, in particular, and I still commonly booted into Windows and Linux Mint, but I supported the overall philosophy behind free software rather than the open source philosophy, i.e. that nonfree software is bad because it's unethical rather than free software being good because it's practically better. Still, I continued to play nonfree games and accept occasional usage of nonfree software outside of Trisquel until some time when I was in college last calendar year, when I interacted significantly with this very community for the first time. The reason was simple: I just loved this community, the dedication especially, and I simply couldn't resist joining in; saying "no" to all nonfree software, not giving an exception to nonfree games and not giving occasional exceptions to Flash. It took a while for me to abandon the Pandora (I recently picked it back up, but with no nonfree software, rendering it useful for little other than text editing unfortunately), but I haven't gone back to nonfree software since, and I'm glad I haven't.

miga
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Joined: 09/17/2011

I actually switched to free software because of Trisquel.

Back in 2010, I discovered it one night. I don't remember exactly how, but I think I was looking for Ubuntu-based distros and this one caught my eye. So, I installed it on my laptop.

Mostly everything worked, with the exception of 3D graphics (ATI). I was curious as to why this was the case, so I started looking into it and figured out that most GNU/Linux distros aren't fully free software. This intrigued me and I found myself using Trisquel more and more often.

After a while, I switched away from Trisquel to Parabola due to some issues that I was having with it. After that, I had completely stopped using nonfree systems on my desktop and laptop PC's. I had removed Windows on both.

Now, I use Parabola 100% of the time on both, no nonfree OSes installed. I do have a Galaxy Nexus that I use daily that runs partially nonfree software (CyanogenMod has proprietary binaries, but I don't use the proprietary Google Apps, I use F-Droid instead). I can't install Replicant on it because it's a CDMA Galaxy Nexus, and Replicant only works on GSM variants for now. I do hope that a CDMA port of Replicant gets released at some point, as switching over to a GSM GNex would be very impractical for me.

jamathis

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I was a "Linux" user for a long time. I distro-hopped a lot but for the most part stuck with Ubuntu or Linux Mint. A few years in, around 2006 I came across RMSs speech from the HOPE conference from that year. The same year gNewSense 1.0 came out so I gave it try. Almost nothing worked, not even the ethernet port. Later around 2009 I got an Asus eeePC and everything worked with gNewSense. It took some work. Then two years later, I came across Trisquel and found it to be the most usable fully free distro and it just worked.

As to what lead me to the path of freedom, several things. For one, I had some cognitive dissonance about leaving a proprietary OS (Windows) for another OS still loaded with proprietary software. Obviously the freedom aspect was important, and privacy was another one. It is impossible to know what personal information a proprietary program is sending back to the "mother ship". With free software I can at least view the source code and see what it is up to. Overall, I just don't trust proprietary software and to companies that make it at all. Therefore, I chose to not be a slave to that system any more.

EricxDu
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Joined: 02/03/2013

Here's my longish story.

Back in the late 1990s or early 2000s I was introduced to "Linux" and after a while I was maintaining a Gentoo install for experimentation and the learning experience. I didn't learn much about how it all worked, but I was left with the impression that Linux was fun and extremely customizable. In retrospect, nothing in the community gave me an inkling about what GNU was or how important.

Then I struck out on my own and didn't have my own computer for a while, until about 2008-2009 when I bought an HP Mini netbook with Windows 7 Starter for about three hundred bucks. I was proud of my little computer, and used Win7 to the best of my ability, but in a few years (as recent as 2012) I got completely restless with the system because I didn't have a lot of control over how it worked and what was running. I longed for "Linux" again, but was afraid to lose Windows 7 forever in case I was dissatisfied with Linux (MS is loathe to give you install discs or free downloads when you've purchased their OS bundled with a computer). I had no USB stick so couldn't try any Linux live CDs.

I finally discovered Windows Ubuntu Installer, with which I could try Ubuntu without losing Win7, but that was a disappointing experience; just a slightly different Windows as far as I was concerned. Then, by some HAPPY ACCIDENT I stumbled across GNU.org and immediately fell in love with GNU and free software, a huge step up from Linux and open-source software. My whole perspective on what is good and bad in software changed, and I was convinced to chuck Windows and never look back. I had a USB stick by then and tried Trisquel because it was the only live ISO that worked right away.

Now that I'm fully into free software, I'm impressed by how much of it "just works" and how enthusiastic the free software community is about developing software for other users.

EricxDu
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Joined: 02/03/2013

To make a long story short, my switch to free software came from a lack of direction. I wanted quality in the software I use, but I didn't really know which quality. Software being free and open adresses many of the issues I have with bad software, and I feel like free licenses make software practically immortal and endlessly useful, since programs can be adopted and adapted forever by the very people that need and use them.

That's a better answer to the question and less vain I guess ;-)

kernelKurtz
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Joined: 03/12/2013

If I can eat local and organic, instead of at a corporate factory chain ...

If I can support craftsmen who love what they do, instead of shopping at Walmart ...

If I can have a digital life that runs on collaboration and community instead of the profit motive ...

Then that's one less person contributing to making the world an ugly and violent place.

One more in the name of love.

Telstar
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Joined: 08/17/2011

I was a Linux fanboy from 2001, When the first system was RH 6.2 and later on Suse and Slackware. It wasn't until 2007 or so, when i really got into Debian, which separated main, contrib, nonfree. I remember reading it from somewhere why this is, and ignored it for the start.

I then read about DeLi Linux, which wasn't fully free then. The name changed eventually to ConnochaetOS, and freedom was set as an aim. This sucked me in, while I was learning more and more about the free software foundation.

I escaped Facebook, rejected or dropped out from those Microsoft Courses in my University that I could, and chose networking or programming over it.

Then, I went to gNewSense and used it quite a while, until I now bounce between ConnOS and Trisquel. I started contributing to ConnOS and moved all my computers to Trisquel / ConnOS.

I do my thesis notes on emacs. There's no system like GNU, and HURD is one of it's kernels.

megurineturilli
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Joined: 01/10/2012

I started programming using Basic on a PC running Windows 95/98 in 1999.
I had a CD with some games that I wanted to modify. Most of these games were nonfree so I could not modify them, but one was free (A 16 bit windows port of gnuchess). One year later I tried out SUSE Linux. I had no luck with GNU/Linux on a notebook. In 2005 I switched to Mac. I was an advocate of "Open Source" (or noncopylefted free software) at this time. Insted of Microsoft Office I used OpenOffice. I switched from Mac to Ubuntu in 2011 and from Ubuntu to Trisquel in 2013. Recently I baught a notebook from ThinkPenguin.com. Today I prefer copylefted free software.

I found a blog of a free software activist who is forced to use Mac OS X at work. (http://weblog.zamazal.org/osx.html)
He added singing synthesis support to GNU LilyPond.
Another nonfree singing synthesis software that I use is UTAU.
UTAU uses resampler, and most resamplers are nonfree. All free resamplers are based on WORLD, which was originally licensed under the GNU GPL. The author dropped FFTW and relicensed WORLD under the modified BSD License. The latest WORLD based resampler is nonfree again. (http://www.slp.is.ritsumei.ac.jp/~morise/world/).

Sometimes I install nonfree programs, to do reverse engineering.
Then I start writing a free replacement. If the free replacement becomes usable then I will remove the nonfree program.

quantumgravity
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Joined: 04/22/2013

I read this thread and recognized one thing:
Almost everyone came to free software making graduate steps away from proprietary software, for example by using ubuntu or linux mint.

Think of yourself and go back in time, when you used windows or mac:
If someone gave you a usb stick with trisquel, talking about freedom, and it didn't work on your pc due to the lack of non-free firmware, and you missed your proprietary games etc.,
would you still be here today?
I guess many of you would say: no.

I agree with the fsf concerning the goals. The goal is to free everyones computing.
But this hard way of telling complete newbies to abandon every non-free software at once.... I think this achieves the opposite.
And I'm encouraged to think so because of this thread.

jamathis

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I totally agree. I think telling someone to "stop using all of this now, and only use this" is unrealistic. People are creatures of habit, so if they've been doing something one way for a long time, getting them to change is going to be a gradual progression. Even when the proprietary software they may be used to using changes something, there is an outpouring of resentment. Look no further than Windows 8, Final Cut Pro, or Microsoft Office 2007 for an example. People won't change by force or by guilting or shaming them into changing. And you are right, the tactics of the FSF (RMS in particular), do tend to have the opposite effect. If you tell someone they are wrong for doing something it accomplishes nothing but alienating them and putting them off.

icarolongo
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Joined: 03/26/2011

Probably FSF and RMS know about the migration. It's hard and sometimes after years is finished.

The GNU Project in 1983 was the same. Doing the free operating system with proprietary tools. And years after all you can use one 100% free operating system.

onpon4
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Joined: 05/30/2012

Well, the first distro I ever used was Fedora, and I had that type of experience: no 3D acceleration, wrong resolution in one case, and a wireless receiver not working. I understood the wireless receiver not working as the device not supporting "Linux", the resolution problem being a crappy hardware thing, and the acceleration I just didn't know about.

I did love Linux Mint, but more because of its ease of use compared to Fedora than the nonfree bits (Fedora was a mess). I did wrongly assume that the nonfree bits actually mattered to me; in actuality, my laptop has Intel graphics and a wireless card that work perfectly with free systems.

DonaldET3 (not verified)
DonaldET3

I am a student at a United States public high school in Oregon. It has been four years since I got my first computer when I started high school, which ran Windows 7. I knew very little about computers (What is a file?). Now I am a junior (I was held back a grade.) and I know more about computers than 99% of the students or teachers.

About two years ago, I learned how to use a bootable iso disk image. Ever since then I have been in constant indecision about which operating system is the best. I am not sure why I have been sticking with Trisquel, as it is not really my favourite. My idea of the best OS is whichever one is the most usable. Usability includes being able to install it as many times as I want, which rules out most proprietary systems. Another thing is, I want both a good GUI and CLI. The only OSs which seem to have both are certain GNU/Linux distros, such as Trisquel. I will probably not be sticking with Trisquel for much longer since I am finding that KDE is probably the best desktop for me.

I am the only person I know of in my school who knows anything about the FSF. Not even the IT department knows as much about it as I do. All of the school district computers run Windows 7, except for the servers which run Windows Server 2008 R2. I asked the IT department if they would consider switching OSs sometime in the future and they said that they considered giving people a choice between Windows 7, OS X, and some GNU/Linux distro at boot so the department could achieve their mission of providing a "homogeneous environment". However, in the past year there have been school budget cuts, and the IT department has lost its two most talented members. The department's current plans for the future are much less amazing.

icarolongo
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Joined: 03/26/2011

You can install KDE in Trisquel easily;

Terminal:
sudo apt-get install triskel

TrisKel = KDE

DonaldET3 (not verified)
DonaldET3

What happens to GNOME when I install KDE?

andrew
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Joined: 04/19/2012

On 30/05/13 15:01, det31995 wrote:
> What happens to GNOME when I install KDE?

Both can be used - KDE will just appear as an option on startup (in GDM,
KDM or whatever is used).

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Andrew Roffey
OpenPGP fingerprint: F9E6 E6C4 0080 85F4 0E30 B0D9 7F7B DC7F 9657 B073

Cyberhawk

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Joined: 07/27/2010

Unfortunately it is kind of hard to remove Gnome. I didn't find a better solution than removing all packages by hand. KDE has a nice GUI front-end for package management, Apper. You can make it show all packages that are included in the Gnome desktop, then apply a filter of "only installed" packages.

Magic Banana

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You can fire the command after the installation of the NetInstall version of Trisquel (to find the ISO, click "More" on this page). In this way, no GNOME is ever downloaded/installed. Notice also that you probably want to append the triskel-recommended package to the apt-get line icarolongo gave you.

Cyberhawk

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Initially I just wanted to escape Windows in some way or form. I heard about "Linux" like everyone else of course, so that was naturally the first thing to try, as it didn't cost my anything. I formatted the drive and installed Suse 10.

Too many things didn't work and I couldn't make them work. Installing software didn't work too (I didn't knew what to make with the sourcecode tarballs I downloaded). After a week Windows came back to my harddrive and I concluded, that I need someone to help me make the switch.

After some time I found out about Ubuntu and how it was supposed to be easy on beginners. I went to a pretty cool project, called "linuxpaten" (or "linuxgodfathers" in English). People who considered themselves profficient enough were assigned to beginners like me and helped out, personally, over chat.

After I learned how everything works, GNU/Linux became my favorite OS. After some distro hopping, Ubuntu became my then-final choice, mostly because it had reasonably new packages and lots of projects not involved with Ubuntu directly made pre-packaged versions for Ubuntu.

That was also the time where I got interested in the history of the operating system I was using. Youtube spit out many videos of Torvalds holding speeches, but also a video called "Richard Stallman, father of all things that are Linux". Of course I had no idea about who Stallman actually was and was thrilled to find out, that his contribution to the creation of the operating system was at least as big, probably even bigger than that of Torvalds.

Once I read up more on RMS and GNU I started to really like his philosophy and his stance on freedom in the world of software. Besides programming I've got a lot of fields of interest, one of them is philosophy. I even studied philosophy at a university, besides other things.

Stallman, in my opinion, is the greatest thinker of our time. He is one of those people who revolutionize the way we think about ourselves. The last revolution of such magnitude might very well have been the invention of human rights. Stallman invented user rights. As with human rights, the idea is alien at first and hard to adopt. For many people it seems unrealistic, that the mighty ones would give up even a portion of their power for something they don't even believe in. As with human rights, the situation of normal people, the public, would improve.

Once I started seeing things this way, it was just a question of time before I found Trisquel and started using it, since it is one of the biggest (if not the biggest and most popular) distribution on the FSFs list of approved distros. And it is based on Ubuntu, the distro I would have used if I never found out about Richard Stallman, the GNU project and the freedom issues!

muhammed
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Joined: 04/13/2013

I took my first steps away form proprietary software, with open source Ubuntu, back in highschool. I was just looking for a new experience then. It was like trying to ride my bike further from home than I had been before, or exploring a part of town that I hadn't been to before. Nothing ideological. I don't think I knew what free software was at the time. I don't even think I cared very much that Ubuntu/etc were open source and not free.

I learned about Richard Stallman and his views, slowly, over the years. Mostly through his articles, articles about him, web forums, and YouTube (the last one is a little blasphemous, I know -- sorry). The more I learned, the more I supported Mr. Stallman.

Then, late last year, my laptop broke. I did a lot of research about free software and laptops since January. I bought a free-software compatible laptop last month; I use Trisquel with it. It's the first time I've used a fully free OS as my primary (and only) OS.

andrew
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Joined: 04/19/2012

On 01/06/13 12:56, adel.afzal wrote:
> I learned about Richard Stallman and his views, slowly, over the
> years. Mostly through his articles, articles about him, web forums,
> and YouTube (the last one is a little blasphemous, I know -- sorry).

You can still use YouTube with freedom.:-) It's just unfortunate that
YouTube doesn't work with free software "by default".

I liked t3g's suggestion of using VLC to open YouTube URLs - it seems to
work well and it's easy to recommend to people (compared to youtube-dl).

--
Andrew Roffey
OpenPGP fingerprint: F9E6 E6C4 0080 85F4 0E30 B0D9 7F7B DC7F 9657 B073

quantumgravity
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Joined: 04/22/2013

Can you give a link how this works?
Does it work with other streaming sites, too?

By the way, youtube works with the combination "gnash + html5" very well.

andrew
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Joined: 04/19/2012

On 01/06/13 18:47, shiretoko wrote:
> Can you give a link how this works? Does it work with other
> streaming sites, too?
>
> By the way, youtube works with the combination "gnash + html5" very
> well.

I think it only works with YouTube and not (many?) other streaming
websites. It has to parse the webpage so it can stream from the YouTube
URL (I believe YouTube streaming URLs used by HTML5 are not reused and
have a limited "lifetime" - correct me if I'm wrong on this).

You can test it by pressing Media (in the menu) > Open Network Stream >
enter the YouTube URL > Play (or stream, convert, etc.)

I used to use Gnash+HTML5, but since it relies on non-free JavaScript I
decided to avoid using it. IMO, non-free JS and Flash are the main
reasons why YouTube is able to stop people from downloading and sharing
videos and from having full control over what their computer is doing.

--
Andrew Roffey
OpenPGP fingerprint: F9E6 E6C4 0080 85F4 0E30 B0D9 7F7B DC7F 9657 B073

icarolongo
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Joined: 03/26/2011

I use this addon for Abrowser:
https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/addon/flash-video-downloader-youtube/

It's very good and allow you download or copy the URL of any MP4, MP3, WebM, Ogg, Ogv in any website.

The source code is MPL 1.1: https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/addon/flash-video-downloader-youtube/versions/

onpon4
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Joined: 05/30/2012

I use ViewTube most of the time for YouTube. It's a Geasemonkey script, works on any web browser, and it steams the videos rather than download them. Sometimes I use UnPlug, which downloads the videos by default, but it can open the video files in Abrowser/Firefox, and the browser will stream them natively or with a plugin.

WootMoon
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Joined: 03/06/2013

After using OSX for a couple of years I saw my wife's laptop suddenly stranded, with no OS updates, because Apple decided older laptops would no longer be supported. Mine is newer, but I was reticent to update it because it would eventually (sooner rather than later) have the same fate.

Going back to Windows was not an option so I started looking, for the first time, to (what I called at the time) Linux. I eventually installed Ubuntu with VBox and begun learning how to operate it, getting used to commands for the CLI, etc.

Then I stumbled on a piece of news with RMS criticizing Ubuntu, specifically the Dashboard and how it could compromise privacy. Learning about the FSF and the whole libre movement was a "path of no return" to me. I just can't ignore the issue anymore, and since I had some familiarity with Ubuntu, choosing Trisquel was simple :)

I read this forum a lot, and even though I don't have much knowledge or expertise to make a meaningfull contribution, at least I try to post about the difficulties I come across my transition to help other people making the same choices. As soon as it's possible I plane to use Trisquel as my only OS :)

Fernando_Negro
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Joined: 06/17/2012

1) Privacy (http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=101456.0)
2) Security (I don't think I have to argue about that, in here)
3) Configurability (/Ability to change a lot of things, according to taste, /Freedom of choice between different variants, /Freedom of use, /FREEDOM) -
4) Speed (and the possibility everyone has to choose his own optimal trade-off, or "point of equilibrium", between the functionalities of a DE and its "lightness")
5) Ideology (since, (a) the fact that the software can be freely redistributed, and (b) the fact that it is available to people who don't - momentarily or not - have the money to pay for a decent OS, all fit much better with my (very) strong libertarian and socialist ideals.)

Try beating the above 5 reasons with any other OS!

;)

SilverSlimer

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Joined: 06/03/2012

I use free software because I find some of the software very innovative (I'm one of the few who is a big fan of Gnome 3), I am surprised at the quality of stuff I can get for free, I find .FLAC, .ODT and other free formats to be of superior quality, I don't trust software that doesn't give me the option of viewing and/or changing the source code, I'm a fan of community-driven projects and believe that a community which works together prospers and I tend to agree with most of everything that Stallman says about just about anything. He's my idol.

swrnjtbs
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Joined: 06/12/2013

It started out with my eager to learn to program. I wanted to learn how the softwares I used actually work! Then I came across a magazine I can't remember which one that mentioned about "Open Source" Softwares and I wanted to learn more. After few days of searching and re-searching I was very happy and keen to try out the system but was scared if I may ruin my "Windows Xp" installation!! Yes, I was a Windows user back then (God forgive me, I was innocent!). I did learn how to do a dual partion/installation of both GNU/Linux and Windows and used that way for a couple of years. I think Fedora was the first distro I installed if I may remember correctly. I had no idea about the philosophical views behind the softwares I was using cause it was never mentioned anywhere. Then I heard about Richard Stallman and watched his speeches and so impressed that I promised myself not to use proprietary software and haven't since then.
I value my Freedom so I use "Free Software".