Related link: https://agia.fsf.org/mp/order.py?make-donation=1
The other day I compiled a C++ program. It’s the first time in years that I’ve compiled and linked a program to create an executable. Most of what I’ve done lately has been in Oracle PL/SQL.
I compiled this program for fun; typed it in from a book I’m editing. Remember writing code for fun? It brought back memories of me as a teenager, when I used to visit the local Radio Shack just to type in short BASIC programs on the TRS-80s they had on display.
When I was a kid, the whole point of buying a computer was to write code. Almost every computer came with at least BASIC. Now, PCs are sold as appliances to run programs that you buy. Apple is the only company I know of to ship PCs that you can actually program out-of-the-box.
I used GNU’s GCC C++ compiler for the little program I typed in from a book, and as I reflected on how much fun I was having, I got to thinking how much I owe the people who run the Free Software Foundation, who make it possible for me to play with C++ so casually, without having to go out and buy a compiler. So I dropped by and made a donation.
There’s still a few days left in 2002, so if you’re looking for an extra tax deduction, consider throwing some money to the good folks of the Free Software Foundation. Here’s a link to their donation page.