Monday, September 12, 2005

On Open Source and Employment

The open source movement seeks to eliminate proprietary software and replace it with programs in which anyone can access, modify, and improve the code. The Linux operating system and the Firefox browser (which I'm using right now) are two examples of highly successful open source projects. Both of these examples have user bases which are growing exponentially, since they (and many other open source programs) provide viable alternatives to the overpriced, frequently unstable software available from large, private software vendors.

One such private software company, a 900-pound gorilla named Microsoft, made the mistake of offering a job to one of the leading figures in the open source movement, hacker historian and coder Eric Raymond. Raymond posted the job offer, along with the response, on his Armed and Dangerous blog, and it's quite hilarious:

I’d thank you for your offer of employment at Microsoft, except
that it indicates that either you or your research team (or both)
couldn’t get a clue if it were pounded into you with baseball bats.

Raymond goes on to expound on why he might not be the number one choice for the job, then ends with:

...I must thank you for dropping a good joke on my afternoon. On
that hopefully not too far distant day that I piss on Microsoft’s
grave, I sincerely hope none of it will splash on you.

Thanks -- once again! -- to Grow-a-Brain for the link.


Sorry for the light posting schedule; I've been without evening Internet access for the past week or so and it looks like it will continue for a while. It seems the cable coming into my new apartment is too weak to sustain an Internet signal, so I need to either 1. convince my landlord to lay a new cable or figure out what's up with the old one, or 2. go back to DSL and decide whether to keep the cable TV service if I can't also have cable Internet. Since I've become an E True Hollywood Story junkie (and a Daily Show junkie and an IFC junkie, and...), I'm loathe to give up this embarrassment of riches, in any case.

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