I came to a sudden realization recently and it can be expressed easily:
I started using OSS because it was free, using OSS has made me free.
(I’m finally getting what RMS means by free software!)
I just gave a round table presentation at the OLA (Oklahoma Library Association) conference titled OSS onramp, and I am relieved to have it over and quite excited with the feedback from it. The round table featured my fellow students from last semester who had used OSS in their projects. What I found quite touching was that my postings to the discussion boards about OSS, had a strong influence on their decisions to use OSS and they were all “converts” and as nearly zealous as I.
My semester project that I presented on was ossonramp.org. One of my goals in this project was to use only open source software in the creation of the site even to the extent of making sure that my hosting service was using OSS. I loaded my laptop with Ubuntu , used GIMP for image editing, InkScape (quite nice considering it is still at version .4x) for vector graphics, FireFox (of course), OpenOffice, and Drupal.
I am amazed at the quality of OSS and quite relieved to find all the tools I need without the costly hassles of EULA and all the restrictions that go with proprietary software.