Staden for Mac/PC?

Greg jquinn at nntp.best.com
Mon Oct 14 04:57:26 EST 1996


Eric Cabot (cabot at bangs.gcg.com) wrote:

: >or had dealings with are heavily Mac based. For this reason, the
: >availablity of good (and hopefully free) molecular biology software
:                      ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
: >for the Mac is very important. 
: Sorry if this strays abit from the intent of your post, but the above
: highlighted phrase really gets me. It surprising how cheap people
: can be when it comes to software. If I had a nickel for every machine
: that I've seen fully loaded with free and stolen software *I* would be
: rich.  Please don't mis-interpret this as crass commercialism on my
: part, I like freebies as much as anyone else...it is just that I'm
: continually apalled by the basic ingratitude of those who get
: something for nothing.

<SNIP>

Well Eric,
You *have* completely misinterpreted my post, which actually was a comment
on the tools available for software development, rather than on the
availability of free software. However, since we are on this subject, I
will comment that I consider it both a useful and extremely healthy
feature of the academic scientific community that software is developed
and made freely available. This isn't just a 'freebie' factor, but vital
for progress, particularly since many academic labs are just plain broke
or running on 'near-the-bone' budgets, and where graduate students and
postdocs effectively subsidize research costs through appalling wages 
and work schedules; the idea for many academics or labs of
buying a program that costs even just a few hundred bucks would be
heavily scrutinized. Outside of the academic environment, where in many
cases (though certainly not all) there can be more money around to play
with, I might tend to agree that the search for freebies might be
considered 'cheap'. This is not an attempt at a defense of unlicensed
commercial software, but rather to promote the concept of the free
development and distribution of software tools by and for the people who
actually use them. There's nothing wrong with that.
My 0.02c worth, too!




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