Graduating by Linux Advocacy, part 2

Here's an early draft for my undergraduate final work outline; please feel free to comment...

In case my friends are wondering, yes I originally wrote this in English; I didn't waste any precious time translating this from Indonesian. And I'm also wondering if I can save some effort by not translating; outline kita bisa nggak sih dimasukkin ke jurusan dalam Bahasa Inggris? Bisa aja sih gue terjemahin tapi kayaknya pegel deh...

Remember that this text is copyrighted by me and licensed under a Creative Commons License:)

Social Marketing for Free Software

an undergraduate final work outline

by Ferdinand F. Zebua
Communications Sciences Department
Regular Undergraduate Program
majoring in Advertising
Faculty of Social and Political Sciences
Universitas Indonesia

1. Introduction
GNU/Linux[FFZ1], and free software in general (more commonly known as open-source software), can be legally had by anyone living in Indonesia, without paying the exhorbitantly high prices of non-free software, which in a lot of cases cost as much as, or even more than, an annual salary for a lot of people in Indonesia. For example current local prices for MS Windows plus MS Office - the bare minimal for a complete, usable operating system - in total is over US$1,000, or approximately Rp 8.500.000. In a nation where average yearly GNP is Rp 4.250.000[FFZ2].

A lot of people say that the rule of law is nonexistant in our nation. At the very least it must be accepted as truth that a lot of crimes go unpunished here. Take for example a common traffic violation such as running a red light. Nor the graft which often take place right after, where the violator pays the arresting officer as much as Rp 100.000, sometimes a lot more, for a 'peaceful settlement.'

One example of these kinds of lawlessness also common throughout the nation is the piracy of copyrighted software.

We must make it so that Indonesian society understands, appreciates, and apply the rule of law in their daily lives and in society. These ideals may have been observed in the past history of our society, but the face of law enforcement and the courts has been so thouroughly smeared during these past years that lawlessnes has more and more become the norm-de-plume of our society. This is not a fault of the current administration nor the one before it. But rather it is the fault of the Soeharto administration which has emphasised crony capitalism, in effect lawlessness. The Indonesian reform simply uncovered it and democratized it insofar as to make everyone know how to get into the crony capitalism system of wealth gain. This in turn has also intensified .

Law obedience must be cultivated; that is it must be made part of Indonesian culture. It must be made so that it is more convenient and more profitable for Indonesia as a society in general - and primarily to the 'under-educated' masses - to live in accordance to the rule of law. One good place to start is the observation of software copyright. It is feasible due to the fact that free software is not just free as in freedom, but that it is also free as in free beer.

Freedom in an information society must be explored and discussed, at least academically if not in public discourse. The speed at which technology develops has made it imperative for us to congregate all the information around us and understand it. It is crucial for society at large to understand the freedoms that are theirs lest they loose it. And it has already begun.

Copyright is not a fundamental human right, it is a social contract[FFZ3]. The concept of copyright was first communicated in the pages of the US constitution. When the founding fathers of the USA agreed to copyright law, they agreed to it under the condition that copyright be a means to stimulate the development of sciences and arts[FFZ4].

The way in which I propose to do this is on the message that it is better to use free software. How am I going to convince people to do that? Firstly I am going to demonstrate how simple Windows programs not requiring DirectX (which include almost all commercial software available in the WindowsX platform except for video games) can mostly run on GNU/Linux systems, and sometimes run faster and more stable. This is achieved throught Wine (Wine Is Not an Emulator), a Win32 API layer for Unix-like systems. Hopefully this will get people to run business applications in GNU/Linux systems.

Afterwards I shall go into the legas aspects of free software. Again focusing on the price difference between free and non-free software.

Finally I must go to the philosophical aspects of free software. Because without an understanding of the freedom that free software entails, software in Indonesia might not remain free for long.

The vehicles I would like to employ in the dissemination of these ideas are the computer rentals and Internet kiosks common throughout our nation. Specifically I plan to go to the ones around Margonda.

One point that I must stress is that the Free Software movement is not against copyright; in fact it relies on copyright to enforce their philosophies on freedom of information. The GNU General Public License, the most common - if not the primary - licensing scheme the community uses relies primarily on copyright law to stress that the use and modification of their respective software must be made public and must be developed for the good of society in general.

Another is the unpopularity of desktop GNU/Linux systems. This is mostly due to the fact that the most profitable application of free software is in high-end information systems and web/internet businesses. This has created a situation in which most of the effort put into free software development is put into development of these mission-critical systems and ivory tower ideals. This is also intensified by Linus Trovalds' position that open source software should be promoted primarily on its technical merits [FFZ5]- that it is more secure, more easily developed, faster-executing in real-life implementations. He does not care for the philosophy; at least he does not put much effort in diseminating them. Thus desktop-GNU/Linux is lethargically developed, if you can't say not being developed at all.

2. Objectives
- to promote desktop GNU/Linux for everyday desktop uses
- to cultivate awareness of copyright law and how it applies to software.
- to promote free software in general

3. SWOT analysis
3.1. Strengths
- Free Software is Free as in Freedom
- Free Software is free as in Free Beer
- Free Software is as capable as - if not more capable than - non-free, proprietary software
- Free Software is more adaptable to individual needs.
3.2. Weaknesses
- Free Software has a perceived complexity attached to it
- Free Software is not as commonly used in domestic situations as
3.3. Opportunities
- Computer rentals and internet kiosks are abundant in Indonesia, and they have the power to dictate what software their customers use, so long as they work in concert.
3.4. Threats
- Producers of propietary software see Free Software as a threat to their monopolies, and even to its currently established business model.

4. Significance
4.1. Academic significance
- To explore strategies in grass-roots social promotion
- To explore the intricacies of copyright law, specifically software copyright and the separation of content and tools.
4.2. Practical significance
- To encourage observation of copyright law
- To lessen Indonesia's dependence on transnational companies, specifically monopoly-based software behemoths like Microsoft.

5. Closing
I have chosen this topic as my undergraduate thesis because I fell issues to be discussed in this undertaking is dear to my heart. I have loved personal computers since my first introduction to them in 3rd grade elementary school, when I was introduced to Apple II computers and learned to type on them.

I also feel somewhat peeved by opinions very common among my peers that legal reform is a utopian dream because of the ingrained culture that permeates in our society, a culture which pays little attention to the rule of law, if not to say that we as a society ignores it completely.

I also personally want to demonstrate that you can learn a lot of useful facts from the Internet, if you know where to look.

And lastly I want to demonstrate to my peers that we Indonesians can use personal computers legally and practically, both at the same time.

6. References
- The Free Software Foundation (www.fsf.org)
- The Open Source Initiative (www.opensource.org)
- The Linux Documentation Project (www.tldp.org),
and various documents developed throughh these movements.

[FFZ1]Formerly: Knoppix, or more specifically GNU/Linux
[FFZ2]VERIFY these figures!!!
[FFZ3]QUOTE a source!!!
[FFZ4]Find a quoted source with the same meaning; preferably from US constitutional sources.
[FFZ5]Quote, quote, quote!!! Preferably from Trovalds himself...

Posted at 1:36:11 am by ferdikom98
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Graduating by Linux Advocacy

How about promoting linux? I mean, I just woke up, and there's this thought that just suddenly popped into my head. I need a 'thesis' topic which I can appreciate and for the past few days I'd just been practically drowning myself in lots and lots of information on free software (free as in free people not free beer), and I'm majoring in advertising.

So why not promote linux? I'm thinking I'm gonna start aiming at SES A- to C+ audience, and I'm also thinking that a lot of my nation's law problems stem from the 'fact' that a lot of Indonesians its more comfortable to live in our current pseudo-lawlessness rather than to seek ways in which to live conveniently and at the same time create a stable order of ....

Posted at 1:23:22 am by ferdikom98
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Brain freeze

I need out of this house; this house is not condusive to thinking. Too many problems and too many people to concern with them. I need to graduate, but my graduation depends on creative inspiration; a very fickle element, often fleeting by when I can least grasp them.

I just got a call from Jono. He and some of my friends have a plan to mother me into complete submission, or at least to the point where I can actually graduate. They have an agreement among them, somewhat known to me, to harras me, for my own good, into actually moving towards a future still hazy in my eyes.

And yet.

I really want a new PC. My mom can't afford one. Or at least won't afford one. I keep getting offers to make money. Its really frustrating when I know I can make the money quick if I put my mind to it, but....

Its been such a long time since my last entry. I've been online often, though, browsing through free software sites (free as in free people, not free beer). I'm considering getting Knoppix, when I should be considering writing my graduation paper outline....

A poem.

I Killed an ant.

I accidentaly crippled it badly while sweeping.

I think I was sweeping it for quite a few meters before I noticed it.

When nearing the trash can I looked at it and remembered:

"When his friends find him, they will kill him..."

Because he can no longer survive.

I crushed it with the tip of my broom.

I thought I felt tears welling up, but I must have been imagining it.

Then I remember me.

I am at a physical age where I should be independent,

yet I still can't carry my own weight.

Probably never will.

I am crippled.

Kembangan, West Jakarta, December 16 2003

Posted at 11:26:14 pm by ferdikom98
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A night at the Opera

Did anyone see Michael Bolton on TV7 tonight? He was singing the opera in a 1998 tv production called My Secret Passion. I din't really plan on watching it, I was watching Survivor Combat Mission and I was channel-zipping. I didn't have much expectation for Bolton's attempt, which I think was one reason I was -- at least slightly -- captivated by his voice.

He may be weak in the base range, and his voice often waivers due to his Pop instincts, but you gotta admit dude he's got a great opera voice, I would dare say. And you know what's so great about watching, no, listening to Opera? Its the feeling afterward, kinda like the feeling you get after watching a great movie, but always consistently wonderful because the Masters of the Past would never consider publishing anything that at least they themselves would consider stellar. It feels the way one might feel after watching... you know, I don't think I've ever felt this way after watching a film, only after listening to concerts.

Bjork unplugged, I'd imagine, would be a relevant example. Nirvana, to a slightly -- only slightly -- lesser extent. The Corrs, Elton John, Sheryl Crow, Bryan Adams, other Unpluggeds. Maybe its the sound of natural music, perhaps. Non-electronic.

Not that I don't like electronica, mind you. I appreciate the work of electronica in general, at least the 'original' ones (but consider that no new music can be created nowadays; everything's been done before). I think the Chemical Brothers are wonderful creative artists. Along with Fat Boy Slim. And Moloko.

But getting back to the Opera, one of the show's highligts was Nessun Dorma from the Opera Turandot written by Giacomo Puccini and written around 1924-1926 (for a great page on opera, check out OperaResource. I guess I never thought of this before, but its written around the same time that Fransisco Tarrega wrote his Four Pieces for the guitar -- Adelita, Marietta, Sueno and Pavana. And lotsa other classical guitar has been written by others way before that, and arranged originally for the guitar, not just adapted to it like Asturias. If Turandot is classical then so is classical guitar. This is an uplifting thought for me 'cause its often said that the guitar is the youngest of the classical instruments and so the least developed; sometimes people would say its not even a classical but rather a folk instrument. I guess the date thing kinda reassured me in my mind that the stuffs I've been playing in private for these past years IS classical and that at least in MY mind I am a classical artist enjoying playing classical music.

But Michael Bolton wasn't a classical artist. As great a voice as he had he started his career in pop and would never have sung the opera like tonight if it wasn't for his money and connections. He's an original pop artist. Or is he? I think that might be an interesting web search.

Posted at 2:46:42 am by ferdikom98
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Web crawler

Today I had an adventure in cyberspace. I started my other (defunct) blog at blogspot.com. Then while editing there I tried to get their template editing faq by browsing blogger.com. After that I browsed its help section (help.blogger.com) and read What to do if your Mom discovers your blog.... One topic in there talked about how to prevent Google from indexing your web page by telling its web-crawler to keep away using robots.txt Now web-crawlers -- which should be called robots according to their programmers -- are interesting programs which goes around the Web looking for web sites. This is a simplification which can be clarified by looking at the above links.

Over there in 'dem robots website is a database of currently active robots. Looking at the list of names, the second one was Acme.spider which was made by... ACME Laboratories!! The labs don't really have much to do with the Looney Tunes or Warner Bros. Studios, but its interesting isn't it to discover that ACME Labs actually exist and that it creates lots of neat stuffs like the ACME Heart Maker (perfect for valentine -- it is, after all, February), which has a link to the church sign generator and will.work.forfood.org.

Now going back a bit, the Church Sign Generator has a link to the Mucho Sucko Generator list, and one generator I noticed was the Anarchy Cookbook Generator, which also has an explanation of what the Anarchy Cookbook really is, which links to a more thorough explanation of Anarchy, which in turn has a link to a pretty complete anarchy FAQ; an idea that is NOT neccesarily anti-order, and definitely NOT pro-violence, but more accurately anti-authority (at least the oppresive type).

A good quote I found among these pages was made by Leo Tolstoy, the Russian novelist. Tolstoy wrote "The anarchists are right in the assertion that, without Authority, there could not be worse violence than that of Authority under existing conditions."

I mean, look at our (or my, depending on your nationality) impossible nation-state of Indonesia:)

Posted at 1:55:00 am by ferdikom98
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Plans (for the creation of Trash for my dumpster)

I plan on putting some of my past poetry in my blog, perhaps future ones too... I'm gonna start with a 'haiku' (at least its a Haiku to me; I'll learn better soon enough) inspired by a conversation I had with Rina (or Blue-Sea if you prefer) and Rey, over some coffe, cigarettes, and lots and lots of schoolwork:)...
Dirimu seperti
adonan roti yang ingin kuremas-remas
Hatiku meranggas

Café Cadas, Depok, November '03

Posted at 12:39:00 pm by ferdikom98
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Today after a few frustrating hours... minutes perhaps... of trying to get my HTML template to work with BlogDrive, I finally discover that there's a teeny-weeny link entitled 'template help' at the top left corner of the 'edit main template' page. Guess I can begin to figure out how to customize my blog some more...

Yesterday my friends told me to come to campus today, but I must confess I can't come again... Or more accurately I don't feel like going anymore because its getting too late in the afternoon, because I had to drive Mom to WTC Sudirman. I mean, I don't really HAVE to, but in the end I'm still driving her...

I think I'm gonna go into pre-beta now. I'm gonna tell Rina...

Posted at 11:57:56 am by ferdikom98
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To be or not to be

Today I planned on going to campus early in the morning. Yesterday I planned on going to campus early in the morning. On both days I am still at home. I really wanted to say something when I logged ini, but now I can't seem to remember just what.

I think I write better offline.

Posted at 9:03:05 am by ferdikom98
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Alpha flight

OK, another first entry in another blog. My first one is at http://lemi4.blogspot.com/. Tried blogdrive cuz I thought I'd be able to add images to my blog; appers not. Well, guess bandwidth is getting scarce in this day in age...

The choice between Blogspot and Blogdrive is the choice between HTML flexibility and fun toys. I think.

Posted at 10:21:54 pm by ferdikom98
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Links: Web & Blog Tech

Clues on how to make websites. And blogs too.



Other blogging tools

Aside from BlogDrive, of course :) This list is definitely not exhaustive.

this article is part of the links section of fERDI:)'s mind-Dumpster.
Go to: link main | FOSS | free culture | blogosphere | blog-tech | cyber-activism | tsunami help

Posted at 5:41:42 pm by ferdikom98
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Next Page

I don't write intellectually. I write expressively. I don't claim to be accurate, fair or thorough. I don't wanna get stuck on certain topics. Though I sometimes do. But not that often. I'd like to expand. I wanna write more poems. But I'll only upload them if they're good. I only rant about my life's hardships if it will rescue just a little bit of my sanity. I'm saner than I make myself out to be, though.

If I am an OS kernel, and I just had a kernel dump, I'd imagine that the text in this blog is what it would more or less look like.

There. Do you get it?


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