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Interview with Richard Matthew Stallman in Boston










I started working at the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Massachvsetts Institvte Of Technology in 1971.


I became part of a community of hackers very active, liked to make plans and explore what they could do with computers.


They developed a complete operating system written entirely there.



 I became one of them and continued to improve the operating system by adding new features.


It was my job and liked it, we all loved that's why we did it we called this system Incompatible Timesharing System http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incompatible_Timesharing_System that exemplifies the playful spirit of a typical hacker, hackers are people lively intelligence.


All started to go wrong when we did the outside pressure to use the passwords.


In our computers  there were no passwords, because the first hackers who had designed the system they realized that through the passwords the administrators could control all the users,


They did not want to build devices lock and key with which administrators could control them, so they did not left out to insert.


According to our philosophy, anyone sitting at the computer should have the ability to do whatever he wanted and someone else had used that computer the day before did not have the way to control what you did today.


To me and and to a group of hackers did not like, when at MIT were inserted the passwords in one of the machines, i wanted groped a kind of subversive action computer.


I found out how to decipher the passwords and looking at the database of encrypted passwords was able to identify what each person typed to enter in the system..


Then i sent messages saying hello I know you've chosen the password "mambo" or whatever it was.


What do you say to do like me and just type Enter, as a password is much shorter and easier to write.


Implicitly with this message i told them that security was just a joke and i was making them also participate in this action and to the end 1/5 of all users of that computer did like me and only used for password Enter.


And then i found myself in front of an ethical problem, because, at that time, it was the early 80's for a cutting-edge computer you had to get a proprietary operating system but the developers of those systems did not share,  the contrary, trying to manage users, to dominate, to contain them, saying, for this system, you agree not to share it with anyone else.


For me to accept that promise meant to be a bad person, betray or isolate myself from society, cooperating community.


I had already lived on my skin what had happened when other people had behaved so with us, when they refused to share with us because they had signed one of these agreements, the entire laboratory was diminished there was prevented from doing useful things, then i would never behave like that, i felt it was wrong, i do not want to live this way.


I looked for an alternative and then i realized that i was a developer of operating systems, if i had developed another operating system as an author, i encouraged everyone to share it i would have said that they could take it and use it and form a new community.


Not only i could continue to use computers without betraying other people, but i could pass it to all the others. Everyone would have a way out of this ethical question, i realized that that was my mission in life.


I started working on the project in January 1984, that is when I left my job at MIT to start developing the GNU operating system, I would like to explain that the term GNU is typical of the world of the hackers is a recursive acronym, meaning GNU = GNU'S Not Unix! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU and then the initials stand for GNU.


GNU acronym means that i was developing a system that was like the Unix operating system but was not Unix! It was a different system that had to be written from scratch because Unix was a proprietary system, we did not have permission to share Unix! we could not use Unix! and then to a community was useless, so we had to write one that would replace



Unix was formed by a large number of separate programs that communicate with each other, we had to replace these programs one by one, then began to write a program substitute for one of these, then for another, and yet another one and then another began to join to me, because i had placed an ad http://www.gnu.org/gnu/initial-announcement.html where i asked for help to write programs. Around 1991 we had pretty much replaced them all.

In substance to have a complete system you need a kernel that is the program that allocates resources to all the other programs you need a compiler that translates a program from a human-readable source that programmers can understand, in incomprehensible numbers that a computer can actually run. There is need of other useful programs to the compiler http://gcc.gnu.org/ to assist it in its task, you need a debugger, http://www.gnu.org/software/gdb  a text editor, http://www.gnu.org/software/emacs of a text formatter, programs for mail and more, there are hundreds of programs in an operating system Unix-like!

The fundamental aspect is that GNU is Free Software, Free Software in English must be understood as free and not gratis, so you have to think of free speech rather than free beer.

The freedom of which i speak is the freedom to make changes if you want or ask someone else to make them for you or if you use a software for business, those redistribute copies to share with others, make improvements and publish them so that others can also benefit.

These are the freedoms that distinguish free software from a non-free these are the freedoms that allow people to form a community, if these freedoms are lacking is divided and dominated by someone.

If we do become a public domain software, others may make some changes and make it a proprietary software package, which means that users would use our software but would not have the freedom to cooperate and share, to prevent this from happening we use the CopyLeft or permission copyright.

The CopyLeft is the idea of CopyRight to the contrary, what we are saying is: this software is protected by CopyRight authors and we give you permission to redistribute copies, to change, add some improvements but when you distribute it you must do so under these conditions it more nor less, so anyone who receives you will too if you wish, the freedom to cooperate with other people.

In this way, where does the software should also have the freedom and becomes a right essential to collaborate with other people and form a community.

The CopyLeft is a general concept and to use it you must use a specific example of what we use for most GNU software packages is the GNU General Public License http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl-3.0.html a document in legal language that performs this function, many others use this License for example Linus Torvalds uses this license for linux.

Since the beginning of the Free Software movement i had the idea that there was space to earn one of the advantages of Free Software is that there is an open market for any type of service or assistance, so if you use the software for work and would like to a good support service have the possibility to choose from a vast number of people, you can choose between various companies involved in the field of services.

In general, should provide a quality service otherwise you turn to someone else, with proprietary software support is a monopoly there is only one company that usually has the source code and only she can 'guarantee assistance, so you are at the mercy of a monopoly 'the case for example of microsoft, so do not be surprised if the warranty is so poor.

The kernel was one of the last things on which we began to work and we started a long Linus Torvalds when he arrived.

He developed a kernel and managed to make it work faster than we could do ourselves and it worked very well and stable, this kernel is called linux.

Linus used the traditional tried and tested method to write a program that works and is immediately able to make it work, actually did much more quickly than I thought possible.

In fact we started GNU/HURD just before he started linux, it just so happens, however, we chose a design very advanced in terms of power available but proved very difficult to identify the bug, we decided to split the kernel which traditionally had always been a unique program in a series of programs more little which would communicate with each other via asynchronous messages.




It 's easy, however, that in this type of programming many bugs are formed which are often difficult to detect because they depend on the fact that this program sends a message before or after this program has sent another message, so we started the years to operate the system.


When Linus developed its kernel was not working on the GNU Project http://www.gnu.org/home.html him independently and released it independently, we were just not aware of it, but some people who knew decided to see where they arrived using the kernel to create a complete system around and tried everything they needed was already available, that dumb luck thought, but in reality it was not luck had found all the pieces of the GNU system which lacked only the kernel, so when they put everything together that did  entered into the void of GNU systembut this they did not know, thought to take a lot of components and place them around linux, and so came to call together a linux system, for some reason, the definition caught on, the result is that now this variant of GNU system, the operating system GNU/linux is used by 10,000,000 people and most of them do not even know.


When I was a child to school teachers tried to teach us to share, they said if you bring sweets you can not eat them all yourself you have to share it with the other kids now authorities say that teachers should educate children to respect the licenses of the software if you bring at school oh, no, do not share it, share it means you're a pirate and you'll be put in prison.

That's not how society should work, we need good will, willingness to help others at least when it is not too hard, because this is the foundation of society is the foundation that distinguishes the company from a ruthless jungle.

The entire GNU Project http://www.gnu.org/home.html is actually one big hack, a large share of creative intelligence and subversive aims to change society for the better, because they are only interested in change only in better, but in a smart way.


Interview with Richard Matthew Stallman in Brasil



In 1983 i decided that i wanted to live in the world of Free Software, but this was impossible at that time: to operate a computer requires an operating system and in 1983 all operating systems were proprietary, in order to have and use a computer you had to sign the promise that you would not have traded the software with any other case, there was no way to use a computer and be a good citizen, being a good neighbor decided to change this situation.

I could not do it by changing the laws, I was just a single individual, the government would never have heard i could not even convince companies to change their policy even they would have listened to me the only thing I could do was to program, so I decided to create a other operating system that would be Free Software, so we would be Free.

In January of 1984 i began the real work developing the GNU operating system and the beginning of the 90s the GNU operating system was largely finished, but there was still an important piece.


Then someone else filled the gap by writing a free program that did just what was missing, the program is called linux, so, using linux to complete the GNU operating system was obtained a complete free operating system.

We are the developers of GNU we realized this combination because we were developing another kernel that we thought would be ready in a short time but it did not, other people took the GNU almost finished and used linux to complete, in other words the people began to use a system that is GNU with the addition of linux and this system is now used on tens of millions of computers.


Linus Torvalds wrote the linux kernel and this was a great contribution to our community, but was not the beginning.


Free Software means software that respects the freedom of the user, the software usually owns the software that normally you have is a proprietary software and that means holding people isolated and helpless isolated because it is forbidden to share it with their neighbors and no help because you can not study the source code and change it so you can not control what the software does. Free Software means that you can share and change free software means that you have four freedoms precise:

Freedom 0: is the Freedom to use the program as you wish and for any purpose legitimized.
Freedom 1: Freedom is to help themselves or the freedom to study the source code to see what exactly the program and then change it to make it do anything you want.

Freedom 2: The freedom to help your neighbor that is the Freedom to distribute copies to others.
Freedom 3 is the freedom to help build your community that is the Freedom to publish a modified version so that others can benefit from your changes.

All of these are essential Freedoms, if a program offers all of these Freedoms is Free Software.

When using Non Free Software,  you have two choices: take it or leave it, because you can not change it you can have as it is, but with free software, there are more possibilities you can keep it as it is or can leave but you can also use a small change or a change a little bigger or a change or even larger still with that other small change there are many possibilities clearly greater the changes and will cost more, then we will try the best alternative, and assuming that you will make a change then you will pay a programmer to do it just like when you buy a house to live or work you can keep exactly as it is but you can also pay the masons to change and make it more functional, there are various possibilities there are so many programmers paid by different customers to make several changes to the program and is in fact what is happening in Europe there are several people who make a living from it and one of the important news is that when pay to have the option of using a Free Software money is not absorbed in huge quantities by a small number of large companies, but when people pay for free software to adapt to change, tend to employ people of your country, in your area , because they are better speak the same language, and so the money is circulated within different regions instead of being absorbed by a few large companies elsewhere so overall i think it is economically better switch to Free Software but i repeat this is only a secondary aspect of our freedom to cooperate is much more important.

There are four reasons why schools should insist on Free Software I'll start with the most superficial reason:  In order to save

In order to have a copy of Free Software not normally need to pay now even in the richest countries there are never sufficient funds for schools are constantly lagging behind for lack of money, so why should you spend money to be able to use softwares of the school system can make use of free softwares and make freely all copies they want and distribute them to anyone including all schools.

And this brings us to another one of the reasons why schools should train adults who know how to use Free Softwares why people grow addicted to something that constantly depletes the economy if schools teach people how to use Free Softwares not help the 'impoverishment of the region but if you teach how to use Software Release will allow people to become independent and strong because you know Microsoft can also provide free copies to schools to make people dependent but once you grow up and graduate Microsoft will not provide free copies in order to provide free copies to schools to children is that when they grow up will be constantly forced to pay.

I'm analyzing the various reasons from the most superficial to the deepest reason why the next school children should use Softwares Free is for educational purposes computer education see some kids are fascinated by the program and want to know everything that happens to 'the computer, and this includes asking how this program works? and if that program is not Free Software, the teacher will say, i do not know, i'm not allowed to know, and you're not even allowed to know and so the student's education ends there but if the program is Free Software the teacher can say, here is the source code from this you can read exactly how this works and you can exercise program to improve it or to change it you're just beginning and you can not write an entire program like this but could you make a small change and that is how people learn to be a good programmer to be a good programmer and write the valid codes must read and write a lot of code at the beginning you are not able to write an entire program on your own and then you must have access to the codes of programs written by others to be able to read and change and making a change after the other will acquire the ability to write an entire program and do a good job you need to read the work of others to see what is easy and what is difficult to understand and when you read something that is very difficle to understand you learn to explain everything in its programs do not make it complicated the understanding of this is essential to train those who are interested in preparing them to be good programmers and this is the third reason.

The deeper reason why schools should insist on the use of Free Softwares is to teach people how to be good citizens accustom cooperation to help their neighbors should schools teach facts and skills to people but the most important thing that the school teaches you how to be good neighbors then schools should have this rule: if you bring kids to school softwares can not keep to you must allow others to copy you have to share it with the class clearly schools must implement its own rules schools should say if you bring software to school you have to share with others can not keep it to yourself, and that means that you can not bring Softwares Free class schools so they should provide for tuition only Free Software and teach people that the knowledge must be shared.

A government has a responsibility to its citizens to maintain control of their computers and how they work and the only way to do this is to make sure you only use it when using Softwares Free Softwares Free No you are not able to control the their computers who developed the program checks to see what it does but you can not even find out what really makes you can not test, you can review which means that you have no control is now wrong if you and I have no control is wrong for us, but when a government does not have control of its computers, this is not only wrong it is wrong for the government to all citizens that the government is supposed to represent, and for whom he works, the government has not only the right but the responsibility the duty to insist on the use of Free Softwares in its computers.


In fact, many people use free software, but have never thought about the issue of freedom that is the foundation of Free Software, you see in the 90s when the operating system GNU/linux became popular and began to take hold people saw that it was technically superior that was powerful, it was reliable and therefore many people began to recommend it to others for these technical advantages, and many other people started using it to these technical advantages and have never spoken of Liberty and the result is that even in our most communities users have never thought to ethical questions are precisely the reason why the community exists and this is a dangerous situation, when people have the freedom but do not recognize it and not give them value the danger is that if you leave the escape of hand there are so many possibilities of losing the freedom in life that if you value your freedom you will end up losing it.


If am i a hacker? Yes i am, and specifically i was a hacker since the early 70's, but you've probably been misinformed about the meaning of this word at MIT in 1970 to be a hacker meant to be someone who liked to plan intelligently who liked to solve problems such as create a shorter program of all existing ones to do a job, or create programs that do something for the sole purpose to fun or that they were strange

how to print romans numbers this is something that was done by a hacker and had only importance to hackers because it was not practical at all and it was just for fun, so if you know how to program in that you were considered a hacker. 


Later i generalized and reinterpreted a bit and today the term hacker is my definition of hacker is: "someone who likes to play in a smart way."


Writing the Free Software Song: http://www.gnu.org/music/writing-fs-song.html


to hear the soundtrack: free_software_song.ogg


to download the soundtrack: free_software_song.ogg


Free Software Song Lyrics: http://www.gnu.org/music/free-software-song.html


to watch the movie: Richard_Matthew_Stallman_free_software_song.ogv


to download the movie: Richard_Matthew_Stallman_free_software_song.ogv


to hear the soundtrack: guantanamero.ogg


to download the soundtrack: guantanamero.ogg


Guantamero Lyrics: http://stallman.org/guantanamero.html


25 Years Old: Stephen Fry about Happy Birthday GNU


to watch the movie:



to download the movie:


Free Software GNU/linux Distributions: The FSF supports computer facilities for two of these distributions, GNU/linux Ututo and GNU/linux gNewSense.


There are also completely Free Software GNU/linux distributions


Written by: Paolo Del Bene on officials documents, this documentation is covered by:

GNU Free Documentation License version 1.3 http://www.gnu.org/licenses/fdl.txt


Richard Matthew Stallman: http://stallman.org


Grav Mass                                Grav-mass is the celebration of physical laws.

                                         December 25 Isaac Newton's birthday. ¬°Feliz Gravidad!




Written by: Paolo Del Bene on officials documents, this documentation is covered by:

GNU Free Documentation License version 1.3 http://www.gnu.org/licenses/fdl.txt


Updated by: Paolo Del Bene, Thusday, February, 19  2015 at 04:40:00 p.m.



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