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Weaning Oneself off Commercial Software

I recently bought a new hard drive for my MacBook Pro and used the extra space to install Fedora 8. However, I found myself not booting into it too often as I have some apps on OSX which are too tied into my workflow.

So, I’ve decided to take the opposite approach for now. I’ve partitioned my drive into 4 parts – one each for Leopard, Tiger, and Fedora, and one for my data directories (/Local under OSX, /home under Linux).

This only helps share data between OS’s, though – what I really need is application compatibility. So, I’m slowly migrating my data to other applications that are cross-platform, and open-source. AppleMail->Thunderbird, iTunes->Amarok, iPhoto->DigiKam, etc. Additionally, I plan to integrate OpenSync with iSync to get my peripherals well supported. Once this is done, then I can run among my OS’s with indifference.

Both The Fink Project and MacPorts are essential tools for getting the open source software over to OSX. Kudos to both projects.

While Apple does make a good OS and great hardware, they’re still a member of the Business Software Alliance, which makes its living off terrorizing small businesses. Were they to quit the BSA I could probably justify the risk of them abandoning their software I depend upon, but combining that with the BSA it’s just too risky for me to bet my business on. Even though I use precious little other BSA software, simply accepting the EULA agreement for an OS update is enough to agree to their invasive audits, a risk I’m keen to remove. Did you know having a license and box and media for purchased software isn’t enough? You need to be able to produce a receipt for all your purchases or you’ll be getting a fine or lawsuit if you’re audited.