Feeds

Thief open-sources Richard Stallman's laptop, passport, visa

Free Software firebrand's hardware liberated in Argy-bargy

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation, was distressed to find his personal belongings had been liberally distributed sans GPL - his prized laptop, wallet and passport were nicked at a conference in Argentina.

The snatch happened as fans of the Emacs author shouted over each other in an attempt to talk to him after he gave a speech at the University of Buenos Aires on Friday, reports an eyewitness and various Spanish-speaking bloggers.

Richard Stallman, credit: Victor Powell

The free software firebrand in happier times

The thief, who had presumably sat through the lecture, was looking for more than a FSF-themed fridge magnet - and instead made off with Stallman's bag while the bearded GNU Public Licence (GPL) mastermind was handing out stickers, chatting and flogging merchandise.

The bag taken also contained the GCC granddaddy's medicine and money. An audience member claimed that a tearful RMS was clearly cheesed off:

I was right there, after the talk. It was a very sad moment. He was really distressed. He started yelling and punching himself in the head. He was worried because he had to be in Brazil soon, and he wouldn’t make it without his passport and all.

Stallman's laptop will be even harder to replace than his passport and visa: it's a Leemote Yeeloong, which runs free software from the BIOS up and is one of the rare bits of hardware compatible with his hardline stance on software freedom. Presumably the thief will have spent the day battling a command prompt and failing to install the right codecs and packages just to watch a YouTube video.

Fans posting on the Devthought blog asked how they can set up a fund to buy him a new one. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Sway: Microsoft's new Office app doesn't have an Undo function
Content aggregation, meet the workplace ... oh
Sign off my IT project or I’ll PHONE your MUM
Honestly, it’s a piece of piss
Return of the Jedi – Apache reclaims web server crown
.london, .hamburg and .公司 - that's .com in Chinese - storm the web server charts
NetWare sales revive in China thanks to that man Snowden
If it ain't Microsoft, it's in fashion behind the Great Firewall
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.