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The key to faster technological progress is the more widespread use of free software. Free versus proprietary (or non-free) software is similar to the divide between science and alchemy. Before science, there was alchemy, where people guarded their ideas because they wanted to corner the market on the means to convert lead into gold. Computers are an advancement comparable to the invention of movable type. While computers and the Internet have already changed many aspects of our lives, we still live in the dark ages of computing because proprietary software is still the dominant model. One might say that the richest alchemist who ever lived is my former boss, Bill Gates. (Oracle founder Larry Ellison, and Google cofounders Sergey Brin and Larry Page are close behind.)

This eBook will discuss free software, but the question of whether scientific research and resources of information such as libraries should be free was answered long ago. People can only share ideas when they also share the software to display and modify them. It is the expanded use of free software that will allow a greater ability for people to work together and increase the pace of progress.

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Keith Curtis, Keith Curtis:eBook, After the Software Wars, free software
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