Yesterday, RIT hosted Richard Stallman and I have to say it was not nearly as odd as I had set myself up for.
The main issue is that RMS’s reputation as a bit of an eccentric precedes him and that can be a bit of a turn off even for those of us who are somewhat familiar with the whole idea of freedom in computing.
Though to be fair to those who are thinking – “Not odd, then why is that the only picture you have of him?” The image you’re seeing here is the Emacs Saint costume that was brought out at the end.
There was video taken of the event and I’m tracking down when and where it will be made available for everyone to see.
For me the best part of the talk was that there seemed to be a fairly diverse crowd. Those, like myself, who are already familar with the ideas of GNU and Libre software and those who were brand new to the ideas presented.
He even covered all the goodies like students getting access to low/no cost Proprietary software. Because it’s like your first hit of crack being free and making you pay once you’re hooked.
All in all it was a very good talk and I’m sure it hit home with many of the students and staff in attendance. I also hope that it will be the begining of even more free software development and usage at RIT.
Since my son will be home from school shortly and I have an errand to run this afternoon, I’ll talk a little bit about my dinner with Stallman in a Part 2 post.