Not only do I believe that free software, or freedomware as I like to call it, is the moral way of doing software, making me more or less a subscriber to the FSFs views.

However, I have only been aware of freedomware for a couple of years now. I really do appreciate the freedom it gives me, to be in control over my own computer; to use my computer how I want.

Also, I’m increasingly of the belief that growing up with propeitary software was actually bad for me. I am, and always been inquisitive. From when I first had a computer, I wanted to find out how stuff worked, and how I could do the same thing. For example, not soon after I started regularly using the internet, I was right clicking and selecting view source to copy and tweak parts for my own HTML documents. As a result of that and the following learning process I am not quiet proficient in XML and can also code my own PHP scripts.

However, the big thing that Windows, and proprietary software in general prevents you from doing is looking at the source code. This restricted me greatly I’m sure of it. I still remember my futile attempts to run code in the same way other applications were run. I thought that the “proper” ways of doing it cost money, lots of money (most development tools are hundreds of pounds). Therefore, I was limited to batch scripting and yabasic etc.

Its so painful in hindsight to realise that wonderful things that were out there. Open code that I could look at and modif, just like I did web pages. Free (in both senses) compilers so that I could make my own applications that ran in the same way as professionals.  However, I could not see these things – I only knew the proprietary world I had entered in. I could not create, innovate or learn to my full potential because of these restrictions, at a time, as a child were I could have developed greatly.

Yes, I truly believe proprietary software hindered my personal development, and I will forever loathe it for that.