People often don't understand why I choose to be my own provider and use libre software, or why I won't repair a broken Windows/macOS installation.1
Allow me to explain my reasoning/proselytize. Libre software has these benefits among others:
Free as in freedom and free as in free beer.
Libre software is collaborative. Bugs are reported, pull requests are made, and the software is better for everyone as a result. Even those that aren't developers.
Transparent. The behavior of a given program can be verified; consequently, FLOSS can be more private and secure since others review the source code.
More likely to adhere to the Unix philosophy.
People in the community volunteer their time to help others in need.
Unmaintained software can later be revived because the source code is available.
Old hardware is still viable many years later–no more planned obsolescence and forced upgrades.
Contrast the above with the experience proprietary software offers:
DRM means the user doesn't own anything in the undiluted sense of the word. It can be taken away from them on a whim, or they can get locked out if they refuse to comply with unreasonable terms of service.
Deliberately incompatible (try moving photos from macOS/iOS to a device outside Apple's ecosystem).
No say in the development process. Users barely have a voice in general.
Surveillance is commonplace and it's harder to tell what exactly a program is doing. Both Apple and Microsoft cooperate with the NSA.
Planned obsolescence and forced upgrades.
Proprietary software is developed with the express purpose of turning a profit. Large companies tend to turn a blind eye to flagrant violations of ethics and freedom if they further that end.
Misleads and takes advantage of users.
Any funds that go toward proprietary software perpetuate these problems.
Understand that my intent here isn't to be negative, nor do I want to attack those that use proprietary software. It's the companies that make said software that are to blame, not the users, and any honest account of these injustices is bound to be negative.
Instead, I've outlined the differences so I can drive this point home: those who run proprietary software are the product. I've experienced it firsthand and I'm certain that people deserve better.
Of course, this raises the following question: if proprietary software takes advantage of the user, how can the user combat that?
A good way to regain freedom is to exchange software that violates privacy/user rights for software that respects these values. That is to say, Libreoffice instead of Microsoft Office, Jitsi instead of Zoom, Tor Browser instead of a proprietary browser, and so on.
Bear in mind that this process doesn't have to be all or nothing. Gradually replace things as comfortable and note the differences. If those differences are more positive than negative, embrace it.
Check out my guide on self-hosting, software I use, and FLOSS OS recommendations for more ways to defend privacy and freedom.
See my article on building an OpenBSD router.
Retropie is great for those interested in retro gaming. I grew up with many of the games it supports so it caters to my nostalgia. The experience gets even better with multi-pass shaders, a good case (the Argon ONE is what I use), and a good audio system.
MPD, so I can play music on the speakers without toil.
Kodi, for my boyfriend.
When I run Linux on a device that has MMC storage, I prefer F2FS (otherwise known as the Flash-Friendly File System). For more information, see F2FS: A New File System for Flash Storage.
I realize that refusing to repair proprietary operating systems can come across as ‘holier-than-thou.‘ That said, I don't want to contribute to the success Microsoft and Apple enjoy, nor their hold on those that want my aid, for reasons mentioned in this document. ↩