Re: Free Lunches (was: OUTREACH 101)

Warrl kyree Tale'sedrin (
Tue, 16 Dec 1997 16:03:51 -0800

> From: Wayne Hayes <>
> To:
> Subject: Free Lunches (was: OUTREACH 101)
> Date: Tue, 16 Dec 1997 12:50:58 -0500
> Reply-to:

> "Michael M. Butler" <butler@comp*> writes:
> >TANSTAAFL is an acronym for "There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free
> >Lunch"--first (to my knowledge) used in Robert A. Heinlein's novel
> >_The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress_. It communicates the sentiment that
> >you usually get what you pay for, and that things that are labeled
> >"free" usually have some hidden cost.
> In general I agree that this is true, but there are some extremely
> notable exceptions. The one that pops to my mind is Linux, and much
> of the GNU/FSF (Free Software Foundation) software. Both Linux and
> GNU produce software that is generally better(*) than similar
> software produced commercially.

The cost of Linux is as high as the cost of any other OS of similar
complexity, power, and robustness: extremely high.

But many people have VOLUNTEERED to pay it on behalf of everyone,
without any compensation other than the fact that others VOLUNTEER
likewise and thus the cost to any one volunteer is acceptably low.

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