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Software freedom activist Richard Stallman, speaking at IIT-M, argued that non-free software created a system of “digital colonisation” and applauded the states that have introduced GNU/Linux operating systems in their schools. He declared, “More Indian states should open their windows to free software. It is safer and cheaper than available alternatives.”

I was impressed. When a Linux-lover offered to change the OS on my desktop to Ubuntu (Linux), I nodded. I was thrilled this would let me modify and personalise programmes on my PC. It was a 160-GB version of 12.04 LTS (long-term-support for five years) and free, free!

The installation was smooth. With the option box I could install codecs right then, instead of doing it later. I went to the Appearance section at System Settings and chose the lovely pangolin (this version is called Precise Pangolin!) on an earth-coloured background as my wallpaper.

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