Commit 0831561c authored by Abhas Abhinav's avatar Abhas Abhinav

Add student projects and steps after RMS talk

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---
title: Why should you do after attending a talk by RMS?
date: 2019-01-18
Author: Abhas Abhinav
layout: post
permalink: /after-rms-talk/
toc: true
image: /images/2019/01/after-rms-talk.png
subtitle: Here are some things that you can do after you have attended a
talk by Dr Richard Stallman (RMS). In my personal opinion, it is
would be a missed opportunity and a loss if we attend an inspiring
talk by Dr Richard Stallman today and are not able to reflect on his
message and act on it.
description: Here are some things that you can do after you have attended a
talk by Dr Richard Stallman (RMS). In my personal opinion, it is
would be a missed opportunity and a loss if we attend an inspiring
talk by Dr Richard Stallman today and are not able to reflect on his
message and act on it.
---
![after-rms-talk](/images/2019/01/after-rms-talk.png)
In my personal opinion, it is meaningless if we attend an inspiring talk
by Dr Richard Stallman today and are not able to reflect on his message
and act on it.
Here is a small set of things that you **can** do. There is no timeline.
But please see which of them are relevant to you.
A few months back, I wrote about how we can [personalise and deepen our
involvement with free software](/free-software-involvement/). Consider
those points in addition to what I've outlined below.
## Write about it
The first thing to do would be write about the experience, what you
learnt, what you agree with or disagree with (and why) and so on.
Writing about this will enable you to record your opinions and also
share them with others. Later, if your perspectives change, you can
revisit this writing and reflect on what has changed and why.
## Ask questions & Seek help
If you did not ask questions after the talk or didn't get a chance to,
then you can still ask questions. There are multiple forums where you
can ask these questions.
Similarly, if there is a conceptual, philosophical, technical or social
issue that you feel you need to seek help about, then do reach out.
## Audit and review your own software usage
An easy thing to act upon and do is to audit and review your software
and technology usage and then change it based on learning that you've
drawn from Dr Stallman's talk.
### Desktop and Laptop
The quickest and most impactful thing you can do is use Free Software
and GNU/Linux on your desktop or laptop computer. A good way to do that
would be to install [Debian GNU/Linux](https://debian.org) or
[PureOS](https://pureos.net) on your computer.
### Servers
Do you know about what software you run on your servers? What if the
operating system and software you ran on your servers was GNU/Linux?
What if you could power the services that you run on your server with
Free Software?
### Services
All the software that affects our lives does not on computers within our
control. Much of it runs on other people's computers (often termed as
"cloud") while some of it is only accessible as a service.
Service offered as a Software Substitute (SaSS) is a way for proprietary
software developers to offer the value of the software but not the
software itself. This is just another form of proprietary software that
robs you of your essential freedom to use, study, change and
redistribute the software.
Review your use of such services and see how you can substitute them
with self-hosted and free software services.
### Mobile Devices
Operating systems on mobile devices are another form of proprietary
software. As are the applications which run on these operating systems.
These proprietary software applications are more invasive since the
mobile phones are with us all the time and they have multiple types of
sensors that can track our location among other things.
Using free software on mobile devices is not only a way to have your
freedom but also protect your privacy.
### Proprietary Software on GNU/Linux
It is possible to run proprietary software on GNU/Linux as well. Many
times we don't even realise that we are using proprietary software on
GNU/Linux.
Check if there are any such cases in your daily software usage and then
replace them so that you can have more consistency between your beliefs
and your actual technology usage.
## Tell at least 3 others about it
If you learnt something useful and valuable in the talk, why not tell at
least 3 others about it? And then point them to other resources where
they can learn a lot more?
## You can contribute further!
### Release software
Are you a programmer? Do you build software?
Consider releasing it under a free software license - preferably a
strong copyleft license like the GPLv3.
### Participate
* Help others discover, adopt and appreciate free software
* Write or translate documentation
* Write tutorials about something you've done or figured out
* Give talks
* Build a local community and free software user's group
### Support & Donate
* Many volunteer free software projects accept donations today. See if
the free software project you love accepts donations. Then donate
to the project or to individual developers who contribute to it.
* Donate to the Free Software Foundation - your contributions are
the most important manner in which FSF finances its operations,
pays staff salaries and continues to advocate for software
freedom.
* Donate to other non-profit organisations such as the Software
Freedom Conservancy as a way of indirectly supporting some of the
biggest free software projects they help and contribute to.
## Reach out
I would personally be glad to help you in your journey to use, promote,
release and support free software. Please feel free to [get in
touch](mailto:abhas@deeproot.in).
-----
<small> Photo credit: Prof Renuka Prasad B from RV College of
Engineering.</small>
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