The story of a teacher, who thought Linux was illegal and a Linux guru, who overreacted a little

Friday, 2 January 2009, 19:34 | Category : Computer Stuff, Slices
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The story goes like this… There is a certain organization called The HeliOS Project. Its goal is to supply working computers to children in low income families. The cheapest way to do that, of course, is to supply them with Linux rather than Windows.
One day, Mr Ken Starks, who is behind the project, received an e-mail from a teacher based in Texas. The e-mail included the following:

observed one of my students with a group of other children gathered around his laptop. Upon looking at his computer, I saw he was giving a demonstration of some sort. The student was showing the ability of the laptop and handing out Linux disks. After confiscating the disks I called a confrence with the student and that is how I came to discover you and your organization. Mr. Starks, I am sure you strongly believe in what you are doing but I cannot either support your efforts or allow them to happen in my classroom. At this point, I am not sure what you are doing is legal. No software is free and spreading that misconception is harmful. These children look up to adults for guidance and discipline. I will research this as time allows and I want to assure you, if you are doing anything illegal, I will pursue charges as the law allows. Mr. Starks, I along with many others tried Linux during college and I assure you, the claims you make are grossly over-stated and hinge on falsehoods. I admire your attempts in getting computers in the hands of disadvantaged people but putting linux on these machines is holding our kids back.

This is a world where Windows runs on virtually every computer and putting on a carnival show for an operating system is not helping these children at all. I am sure if you contacted Microsoft, they would be more than happy to supply you with copies of an older verison of Windows and that way, your computers would actually be of service to those receiving them

Mr Starks, who has dedicated much to the project, was pretty angry and decided to respond to the e-mail publicly on his blog.
To his surprise, what he thought would be just some venting about how trapped people are in the Microsoft mindset, turned into a massive news story. The rest of what happened is here :)

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