The basic needs of the Third World are food, health and education.
The teaching of basic computering skills is mandatory so that future generations can reduce the techno-gap between the first and the third world. Unfortunately propriety software producers, who constantly change the software versions, formats and oblige the user to update, force the third world out of the learning spheres. It is impossible for third world students to keep up with the ever climbing costs of the software vendors. This obliges them in to indulging in software piracy or becoming uncompetitive and technologically redundant.
For some time now, and thanks to Richard Stallman, often called father of the "free software" concept, it is possible that using obsolete computers, incapable of running recent versions of propriety software, and with very little memory, the countries of the Third World can have access to the computering world. Linux enables people to have the latest and best in software, free of charge, and be able to run it on modest machines.
Open Source or" Free" software gives a vital opportunity to the third world. NGO's that donate propriety software driven equipment to the Third World should ask themselves if they are not acting as agents for the software vendors as they are training people to depend on a system they will not be able to keep up financially or legally.
Linux, is free, it is downloaded from Internet.
Linux is very strong, stable y fast.
Linux you to change and reprogram it as much as you wish, there are no secrets, no back doors.
Linux comes in over 400 different versions, propriety software producers can not make more than two versions at the most. A bit like the "you can have any colour car you wish so long as it is black".
Linux is not restricted to great computer experts but it is easy to use for every body.
Linux is for people so that they can be productive. The objective of restrictive propriety software is to make money for the company that produces it, the objective of Linux is to make the best computering accessible to all humanity so that people can do things with it. It is not an end in itself, it is a means.
The countries of the third world need efficient and cheap technology. They need to be able to use properly the sometimes outdated computering equipment they are given, and that is where Linux can also step in.
In the last few years its popularity has been increasing and it is slowly becoming a part of normal computering life. It has started to be a household name and a sure and reliable alternative.
Mediterranea has been taking computers to the Third World with Linux installed for over six years. We estimate about over 150 computers have been delivered with this operating system to : Ghana, Cuba, Kenya and Ethiopia.
An student of the University of Granada has carried out an investigation project about the movement of the free software and its impact in the improvement of the educational and living conditions of the impoverished countries of the Third World. (To see the article click : HERE)
Richard Stallman is a well known free thinker, humanist and activist who is not motivated by money, in fact he sleeps in a sleeping bag and he hasn't got any property, he doesn't use mobile phone, he doesn't sleep at hotels... and he could be multimillionaire.
And as a sample of this versatile man, here there is a video in which he sings his version of the well known song "Guantanamera", titled "Guantanamero" in memoriam of the prisoners in the American base of Guantanamo.
Richard Stallman and Cuban musicians - Guantanamero
And of course this post is written on a computer running a version of the Linux operating system, in this case, Ubuntu 9.10
Picture: Richard Stallman.