M. Niyazi Alpay
M. Niyazi Alpay
M. Niyazi Alpay

I've been interested in computer systems since a very young age, and I've been programming since 2005. I have knowledge in PHP, MySQL, Python, MongoDB, and Linux.



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Who is Richard Stallman?

Richard Matthew Stallman (abbreviated as rms in internet circles; born March 16, 1953) is an American free software activist, system administrator, and software developer.

In September 1983, he launched the GNU Project, aimed at creating a Unix-like operating system composed entirely of free software except for the kernel. The project included all the necessary software for an operating system except the kernel. This initiative was a response to his colleagues at MIT closing the source code of the software they developed for commercial purposes while he was working on artificial intelligence research in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

According to Stallman, the practice of hiding software code brought many problems. The most significant among them was the potential for a company or individual to take open-source software, make a few changes, and then close the source code to use it for commercial purposes. Stallman redirected his hacker activities and energy at MIT towards advocating for open-source software to prevent all software in the world from eventually becoming closed source.

Open-source software, which Stallman advocated for, was already being implemented in many other parts of the world. The BSD developed at the University of California, Berkeley, is a prime example. BSD openly provided the software it developed, including code that formed the backbone of the Internet like the TCP/IP protocol suite, for everyone's use. BSD, like Stallman, experienced its code being taken by someone else, closed off, and used for commercial purposes: AT&T used many codes developed by BSD, including TCP/IP, in its Unix version called Sys V, and then ludicrously sued BSD for using its own software, claiming it was AT&T's intellectual property in 1992. However, the court ruled against AT&T, and BSD could freely distribute its Unix version as FreeBSD.

Stallman proposed the GPL (GNU General Public License) framework to create a system where everyone could contribute more instead of hiding and commercializing open-source code. The GPL license aimed to create a more beneficial and productive software environment for both end-users and software developers.


Impacts against hardware monopolies

Open licensing methods like the GPL promoted by the Free Software Foundation have enabled ADSL modems and Wireless devices to offer high-level performance at the most affordable rates (through applications like "Embedded Linux"). In this context, the widespread adoption and usage of ADSL, WiFi, GPRS/EDGE/3G devices by billions of people today can be attributed to the free development and open availability of technologies, just as the development of Internet protocol software (e.g., "TCP/IP Stack") in the 1990s led to the explosion of the Internet.

The Free Software Foundation has also taken action against manufacturers who produce hardware components that are interdependent. Some laptop manufacturers configured Mini PCI WiFi cards used in laptops to work only with a Mini PCI card provided exclusively by them. The FSF took necessary measures against this practice, which contradicted the purpose of the Mini PCI standard and could lead to an increase in spare part prices, and informed the public about it.


Computer and software he uses

Stallman mentions using a Lemote YeeLong netbook manufactured by Quanta Computer. This netbook runs on the gNewSense GNU/Linux distribution and uses Linux MIPS - PMON as the booter.

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