The end of an Era

I was surprised to read tonight that Groklaw.net will cease publishing new articles on May 16th of this year.  What does this have to do with Amateur Radio.  A lot actually.

Groaklaw was formed by Pamela Jones when SCO filed a lawsuit against IBM for its contributions to Linux the Open Source operating system not copied from but functionally similar to Unix.

It was a full attack on Linux and the Open Source Community.  It took many twists and turns over the years and Groklaw was there to cover it all and accumulate evidence about the development of Linux and other matters that were important to the Open Source Community.  Well PJ has decided that Linux has won and her services will no longer be needed, so she will be closing shop on the anniversary of starting Groklaw.  I wish her well and hope to see her someday in her red dress.  (You have to check out really old posts on Groklaw to understand the red dress)  I learned an awful lot about the American Legal system by following her posts and also some things about the seedier side of American Business and the news media.

What does that have to do with Amateur Radio?  Well several things come to mind.  Many of the software innovations that we have in Ham Radio today run on Linux.  IRLP is just one of the major ones I can think of off the top of my head.  This blog is running on a Linux server.  Many of the major Amateur Radio sites run on Linux.  Your phone probably is running on Android which is derived from Linux.

Also the open source community is really an evolution of Amateur Radio isn’t it?  Before there was Collins, Heathkit etc.  There was a community of Hams working together to develop our hobby.  When major corporations go after communities like that, we need to stand up and defend them, just like we would defend our hobby.

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