Archive for August, 2007

Grateful for Emacs

August 31, 2007

Grateful for Emacs? Kind of an odd statement for a nongeek to make. But I am.

Emacs is free software. It’s free in two senses, in fact. First, and of most immediate importance to those of us on a tight budget, Emacs doesn’t cost money. Second, and more important, Emacs is free in the sense that it is unencumbered by a restrictive, proprietary license. It has a license, yes, but the license is designed to give rights to the end user rather than restrict them. A better explanation that I can give can be found at the article The Free Software Definition.

With Emacs, and other free software that I’ll talk about another time, I have been able to do some wonderful things, at least wonderful to me. Not the least of these is transcribing a 130-year-old journal of my great-great-grandfather, Benjamin Franklin Knowlton (ok, if you’re really interested, the PDF copy can be found at So, yes, I’m grateful for Emacs. 🙂

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