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The Kingdom of Prosol and the Village of Fresol

A little allegorical tale about Proprietary, Free and Open Source :-)

If you’re looking for a tale to introduce the concept of freedom of software to younger generations, or people who just “don’t get computers,” take this one and run (with) it :-)

I’ve tried to maintain as many parallels as possible to the story of Free Software, for the fun of it, but also to be able to enable points of discussion. I’ve deliberately kept to generic characters and actions so as to remain general, and allowing anyone else to build upon the story. On that note…

Unlike a bard of olde, I have at my disposal two extra tools: the Internet, and Copyright Law. Regarding the latter:

I release this text under the Creative Commons License 4.0 Attribution-ShareAlike

You may copy, adapt and redistribute the work, even commercially, PROVIDED you grant this same license to the derivative work.

You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.

See https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

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The Surf

I was reading an article on why DRM has always been a bad idea, with mounting evidence to show it when the following came to mind:

Spread out your arms to stop the waves
From crashing into your lovely little sand castle
And be vanquished by its might

Or swim out into the unknown waters
Tussle with the ever changing unmarked currents
Fight to stay afloat in these tides

And then turn shorewards once more
Rush in with the swell and the implacable force of nature
Ride in on a wave of victory

Voila.

I took a train to London town

The following is based on a true story told to me by my flatmate. Here, re-told in verse and in her voice.

I took a train to London town one day in February
A journey I would not forget for this is what happened to me:

I sat at a tabled seat – you know, the ones where two face two
And as we pulled away, two drunks approached from out of the blue

The two men sat at my same berth, before me and beside
And every time one smiled at me, I died a little inside;

His teeth were rotten, breath was foul; his skin was rugged, limp and white
And every time he slurred his words I died a little inside

My neighbour spoke to me foul words, half in jest and half insult
But I remained polite for fear a fight may otherwise result

He hurled abuse accross the carriage at an Asian family
The turned to me and showed he bore a swastika under his sleeve

“I left the prison just today,” declared the drunken savage,
“And I’m going home to my bonnie lass to ask her hand in marriage”

His friend exclaimed, “excuse my pal, he’s normally not this bad;
We’re getting off at the next stop.” For this I was truly glad.

Then up they stood, up went their hoods, and they turned to another drunken pack
“Yer all a bunch o wankers, eh!” — Oh kettle! Oh pot! Oh black! Oh black!

And on the platform they did stand swaggering side to side
And thinking of their brides to be I died a little inside …

The Walk

I’d like to take your for a walk in town this evening
I thought it might be a fun little thing to do
I didn’t know what kind of things you liked
So I thought we could go out, and decide along the way
It’s just, I wanted to spend some time with you

May I offer you a coffee?
It may be slightly strong, I hope it will do
A coffee from a street stall on an evening promenade
These little things you might remember for a time
It’s just, I’d like to give something to you

May I share my scarf with you?
It’s not particularly long, I hope it can do
As we stop on the brow of a wintery hill
Looking out across the grey tranquility of this town
It’s just, I want to share something with you

May I hold your hand as we walk?
Mine’s hardly even warm, I hope it will do
As we tread the freshly iced evening streets
And you smile at me when I blunder speaking
It’s just, I need your reassurance when I talk

Shall I walk you back to your place?
If you’d allow, I would certainly like to
And when we’d arrive I’d move for a good-bye embrace
And hope by chance, maybe…
Hope that maybe…
It’s just, I’m hopelessly in love with you.

The Working Week

Monday is met with courage, to face the coming trials
Five days hard work, short sleep, and tired nights

Tuesday tells little, as we quietly carry on

Wednesday wishes for the courage of Monday
Eye on Friday as nearer we creep
A limbo in the middle of the working week

Thursday sighs hope, and awaits the coming dawn

Friday hails the free days, to cure with much delight
Five days hard work, short sleep and tired nights

A silly poem

My friend Tom told me a tale once, which I versify here.

I took a little toy that I had acquired
To setup on the lawn to be admired
It was beautifully sturdy
I got it up by seven-thirty
But was sad to learn I had to take it down

I was told that I had raised an illegal erection
Which I thought was rather odd upon reflexion:
There were no explicit directions
To forbid my splendid erection
On a delicate piece of turf by Sallie’s gate

Really, he set up a gazebo in St Salvator’s (“Sallie’s”) Quadrangle (St Andrew’s University, Scotland) and was promptly told by the staff that he could not leave it there, as it was an “illegal” (“unauthorized”?) erection.

For some strange reason I remembered it today whilst going to buy lunch and composed the two verses above on my return (well, the second one came first…)