Open source and your old TV

14 09 2007

A while back I saved a page torn from a JDJ issue
cuz I was amused by the quote: “When a company has a dead-end product, it gives it away to the open source community. The only difference between that and putting your old TV out on the street is people take their TV out of the house quietly, while the software vendors make a loud noise about their donations.” In other words, if you give something away for free, it mustn’t be worth bragging about..

Now’s my time to brag. My daughter’s friends recently found an old TV for their college apartment. In exchange for some development on the TV repairman’s web site, their old TV is now broadcasting Red Sox games in high def to a very appreciative, and broke, college crowd. A resourceful crowd that somehow managed to scrape up the $ for cable service.

What these enterprising young college students did was take something offered for free, and tune it up in a way that fit with their economic model – or rather – their meager wallets. And the cable company benefits. A lot like what happens with the many developers out there joining open source communities. They take the software for free, use it, change it to fit their needs, give something back to the community, and then think about paying for commercial service to enhance their free experience.

Earlier this week IBM announced they are joining the community to collaborate on the development of software… to help expand the use of the Open Document Format (ODF)… to donate accessibility features from their work on Lotus Notes.

Seems like this is a good thing for consumers. Definitely worth all the noise.




3 responses

9 10 2007

Ahhhh….the college years, all in the interest of sharing and community and working for the common good. Yes! p.s. Curt Schilling’s splitter was sick, the other night. 🙂 <–Schilling’s blog

9 11 2007
runescape money

to donate accessibility features from their work on Lotus Notes.

1 03 2008

But Amy ….
Thursday Feb 28, 2008
Sun’s Open Archive Announcement
* Open sourced digital archive: We donated the source code for the Sun StorageTek 5800 (aka HoneyComb)
ummm … So much for "Storage with a Twist. 🙂

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