The Perks And Pains Of Trying To Live An Open-Source Lifestyle

Greg Thomas | Motherboard | September 16, 2013

Sam Muirhead admits that his plan to live an "open-source lifestyle" for one year sounds a bit like a recreation of Super Size Me for privileged techies. But he assures me it's nothing like that—or it's at least a more nuanced undertaking.

Rather than holding himself to a strict regimen, Muirhead sought to see how much of his daily routine he could square with open-source philosophy in 12 months. That is, he would re-imagine work projects, rethink spending habits, and re-prioritize mundane tasks most Westerners take for granted to reflect the four pillars of openness:

  • The freedom to run the program, for any purpose.
  • The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish.
  • The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor.
  • The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others.

Muirhead, a Kiwi living in Berlin, launched an Indiegogo campaign last year that netted him a modest $6,700. His "Year of Open Source" project began in August 2012 and wrapped last month.