(Or: Things still make sense.)
Last week — just as Wayne Rosso stopped comparing RIAA to Stalin — M$ did its own volte-face and not only stopped calling GPL a “cancer” but decided to release some 20,000 lines of code carrying the plague itself. Pigs started flying. Some of the open-source evangelists started fantasizing about
Microsoft as an ally
suddenoutbreakofcommonsense and the cautious ones — who suspected some ulterior motive behind the move — were declared by them to be paranoid and rabid haters.
The storm didn’t last long though, as it was later reported that the change of heart was prompted by a GPL violation in Hyper-V. Some see this as a win for GPL. Some see this as a perfect backdrop for FUD against open-source (“it’s so goddamned viral it even infected us when we wanted interoperablity”) while some see this as a failure at M$’ part for not honestly explaining the reasons behind the code release. Whichever category you belong to, it’s nice to know that swine still have their feet firmly on ground.
, Open Source
After trying out TrueCrypt for a day, I decided to migrate all of my encrypted data from BestCrypt to its containers. A number of reasons compelled me to transfer 30 GB of data spread across various containers, some of which included:
- TrueCrypt doesn’t load a plethora of kernel modules whenever I load the main one in memory. I despise seeing about 10 modules, one for each supported algorithm, whenever I tried to load the basic one (
- Similarly, TrueCrypt doesn’t bloat my
bin directory with redundant
- It also saves me the trouble of even (un)loading the modules as the application automatically takes care of it.
- TrueCrypt has nice wizards for its command-line application. Which spares me the trouble of remembering all those switches involved with the
- It also provides some useful features which aren’t present in BestCrypt e.g. key-files and volume header backups.
- Unlike BestCrypt, TrueCrypt can be run without root privileges on Linux.
- One reason to rule them all: it’s free and released under GPL.
For those of your who’re wondering what exactly is TrueCrypt: it’s a disk encryption software which can create virtual password-protected ‘encrypted’ drives on your PC; it’s easy-to-learn and has excellent documentation for beginners. Just head over to the official website and download a version suited to your operating system (and have my sympathies if you’re using a Mac).
Nowadays, the general perception of media about open source is that of an efficient development model which is rapidly gaining user base. (more…)