Friday, December 30, 2005

Some Software Thoughts

For the holidays I pitched in with my brother to buy my mom a mahjongg computer game (her old one has to run under the classic emulator on Mac OS X). This raised some interesting feelings about paying for software. Usually all the open source (or free software if you prefer that term) gurus say make a point that you can technically charge for open source software, but in actuality it's part of the open source culture that you don't charge. In fact the only open source software I've seen costing money is scientific codes, and those would be proprietary, but scientists sometimes require tearing the thing open and looking inside.

So why don't I like it when software costs money, even if I'm not buying it? I think part of is that it feels like someone is being taken advantage of when they buy software. There's almost always a free equivalent out there somewhere, and paying for it seems a waste. I don't mind it much (other than my cheapness) for most big games because most of the cost they are charging for is the art. Another part of it, I think, is money seems to restrict users, but this is less important than the feeling of being taken advantage of.

Anyways, I'm cheap to, so that may color my feelings.

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