Be grateful for free stuff

A few people in the Ubuntu forums have of late been complaining about things they don’t like. Harsh words have been used. When someone referred to GRUB2 as “crap”, I found myself inspired to write a rant, reminding people that they don’t know how lucky they are. It is reproduced, lightly edited, below…

No non-trivial software is perfect.

I’ve been using Linux since 1992, maybe 1993. Started with Slackware on dozens of 1.44Mb floppies. I dropped Windows from my personal usage two years later, and have used Linux for pretty much all my work and play since, with a bit of Solaris thrown in.

I’ve used Ubuntu since 6.04. It has always had stuff I didn’t like. It has always had stuff I didn’t need. Each and every version has needed some tweaks to work the way I wanted it, but not once has it ever really let me down; not once has it been bad enough for me to even consider, for one second, moving away from the extraordinary convenience and completeness that Ubuntu offers.

Complaints (as distinct from constructive criticism) about GRUB2 being “crap” are the operating system equivalent of first world problems. The people who make them are the equivalent of the whining child throwing a tantrum because Daddy gave them a white Mercedes for their eighteenth birthday instead of a silver one. I.e., they have no idea how good they have it, nor the amount of work and effort that has gone in behind the scenes to make their lives better.

Every selfish whinge about free and open source software like Linux, every wild accusation of incompetence, is an ungrateful slap in the face to those who give of their time and effort and then give us the result. Including those who give of their time and effort to help us in forums like the Ubuntu users mailing list.

Keep slapping them and they’ll stop. And we’ll be back to sending hundreds of dollars to Microsoft or Apple for a substandard, closed product serving not us, but them. They don’t mind being spat on, as long as we pay.

It’s FREE, people! And it’s AMAZING! Stand back, stand in AWE, and be THANKFUL that you live in a world with such people as will GIVE you tools of this ASTOUNDING power and versatility.

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