Free for All: How LINUX and the Free Software Movement Undercut the High-Tech Titans

3.92 avg rating
( 38 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780066620503: Free for All: How LINUX and the Free Software Movement Undercut the High-Tech Titans
View all copies of this ISBN edition:
 
 

A journalist who covers technology for The New York TImes takes a close-up look at the rise and popular acceptance of Linux and explains how free software is changing the nature of business and wealth.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

Can you get rich selling free software? It's a question that's got Wall Street excited, computer makers curious, and Bill Gates nervous. Peter Wayner's Free for All explores the history of open-source programming, its emerging threat to Microsoft, and its struggle to retain its ideals in the face of big money.

Like Eric Raymond's The Cathedral and the Bazaar, Free for All outlines the arguments for leaving software source code open and free for anyone to tinker with. But Wayner's account delves deeper into the politics of the movement, reading like a high-tech soap opera. Brash and colorful characters populate the pages: Richard Stallman, the quasi-communist coder who has done as much to inspire open source as he has to alienate big business; Linus Torvalds, the self-effacing grad student whose talent for organizing the work of others resulted in the bombproof operating system Linux; and libertarian techno-philosopher Eric Raymond, whose passion for free source code is matched only by his passion for the freedom to own guns. Each has a different vision of what it means to collaborate on software development, and their clashes over the "rules" of a largely unregulated process have created fault lines that run deep.

But what may ultimately prove more challenging than these differences, says Wayner, is the open-source movement's own success. As big names like IBM and Dell court the largely volunteer community, and companies like Red Hat produce stock-option millionaires, uncomfortable questions arise. "Getting people to join together for the group is easy to do when no one is getting rich," says Wayner. "What happens when more money starts pouring into some folks' pockets? Will people defect? Will they stop contributing?" Wayner leaves the question open, and only time will provide the answer. In the meantime, Free for All offers as thorough and engaging an account of the open-source movement--and the pitfalls in its path--as readers are likely to find anywhere. --Demian McLean

From Publishers Weekly:

Necessity remains the mother of invention-or so it seems judging by this intriguing history of the free software movement. A self-confessed nerd who covers technology for the New York Times, Wayner starts by describing how computer programmers who wanted to tinker with proprietary source code were frustrated by the "no trespass" signs posted on operating systems like UNIX, Apple, DOS and Windows. They ultimately formed a grassroots movement that retaliated by building independent systems. Once they achieved their goal, they were determined to keep the source code open to all, following the tradition of academic research labs. As soon as these hackers developed a simple operating system, a worldwide network of interested programmers contributed free time and ideas to make it run smoothly on all manner of machines. One of the major results of this experiment in intellectual freedom is Linux (named after its originator, Linus Torvalds), an operating system that many claim is more stable, more adaptable and more accessible (and infinitely less expensive) than the current commercial leaders. That may explain why it's used in more than 50% of the Web servers on the Internet. Wayner writes in hushed tones of the exclusive group (almost all men) who worked on Linux out of the simple desire to play in the guts of the machine. But if anybody thinks that these are a bunch of harmonious code-lovers, Wayner's tales of nasty flame wars between the founding fathers and of turf battles petty enough for Dynasty reveal that even nerds are not above a little mud wrestling. Illus. not seen by PW. Agents, Daniel Greenberg, James Levine Agency. Author tour; 15-city NPR radio tour. (July)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Wayner, Peter
Published by HarperBusiness (2000)
ISBN 10: 0066620503 ISBN 13: 9780066620503
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Book Lover's Warehouse
(Watauga, TN, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HarperBusiness, 2000. Hardcover. Condition: New. Pages are clean, crisp and unmarked. Dustjacket shows minor shelfwear from storage. Seller Inventory # 114819

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 9.98
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

2.

Peter Wayner
Published by Harperbusiness (2000)
ISBN 10: 0066620503 ISBN 13: 9780066620503
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Irish Booksellers
(Portland, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Harperbusiness, 2000. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0066620503

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 20.26
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.27
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

3.

Peter Wayner
Published by HarperBusiness (2000)
ISBN 10: 0066620503 ISBN 13: 9780066620503
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Ergodebooks
(RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HarperBusiness, 2000. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0066620503

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 25.88
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

4.

Wayner, Peter
Published by Harperbusiness (2000)
ISBN 10: 0066620503 ISBN 13: 9780066620503
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Murray Media
(NORTH MIAMI BEACH, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Harperbusiness, 2000. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110066620503

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 54.23
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

5.

Peter Wayner
ISBN 10: 0066620503 ISBN 13: 9780066620503
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
BennettBooksLtd
(San Diego, CA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # STRM-0066620503

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 78.28
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.95
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

6.

Peter Wayner
Published by HarperBusiness (2000)
ISBN 10: 0066620503 ISBN 13: 9780066620503
New Hardcover First Edition Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Books Express
(Portsmouth, NH, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HarperBusiness, 2000. Hardcover. Condition: New. 1st. Ships with Tracking Number! INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE Shipping available. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Seller Inventory # 0066620503n

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 95.63
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds