Document modified on September 16, 1997 by Bernard Lang to keep only the freeware part.

Original complete document available at

SURPRISE 96 Journal

Department of Computing,
Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering,
Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine,
180 Queen's Gate, London SW7 2BZ, UK

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Open Systems, Free Software?

Reporters Robert Beck (rcb1) and Daniel Godfrey (dmg4)
Supervisor Dr. Thomas Clarke (
Article 1 (rcb1) Open Systems and Free Software: The Future of Computing?
Article 1 (dmg4) Linux - The Legacy
Article 2 (rcb1) Hackers Line Up Behind Linux, Will They Give Commercial Operating System Developers A Run For There Money?
Article 2 (dmg4) Software - Then, Now and the Future
Q&A Test Questions and and Answers on Open Systems, Free Software, The GNU Philosophy and The Legacy of LINUX
Report Evading The Software Squeeze
Proposal A new phenomena has emerged in the computer industry - open systems. Hardware standards such as the IBM PC are published, and "clone" manufacturers have led to a fiercely competitive market. A small but significant sector of the software industry believes that the same openness should apply to software. They argue that all software should be distributed with licences that encourage users to develop and enhance source code. In practice this means free software. As a result the GNU software (for example gcc, a state of the art C compiler) is available, free of charge, on almost any hardware platform. Recently a well supported free version of Unix called Linux has been developed which runs on IBM PCs. Linux is in some ways technically superior to competitive PC operating systems, but its future impact on the software industry remains uncertain. In this project you will be asked to review the current technical status of Linux, identify the relationships between it and commercial software application developers, and predict the likely future of free operating systems for the PC.
Library Tour Friday 11 am

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