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Veteran BSD hacker Marshall Kirk McKusick has played down fears that the FreeBSD project will fall short of its target of raising $US500,000 through donations for this year.

The American tech news aggregation website, Slashdot, carried an item about the fund-raising on Sunday, headlined "FreeBSD Project Falls Short of Year End Funding Target By Nearly 50%".

Though the total amount collected so far is about $US220,000 short of the target, McKusick said this was normal.

"It is fairly common that the final half of our funding comes in during the last two months of the year," he said in response to a query from iTWire.

FreeBSD is an advanced operating system for modern server, desktop and embedded platforms.

It is one of three well-known operating systems - the others are NetBSD and OpenBSD - which took root based on the BSD developed by Bill Joy at Sun in 1980s. McKusick shared an office with Joy and for quite some time was the only other person working on BSD.

"I think that many folks just get inspired to contribute at this time of the year," McKusick said , with reference to the fund-raising appeal. "Now it may be because we have always sent out our solicitation letter about now, but that is probably just a small part of it.

"Between the straggling in commitments from companies and a flurry of contributions from individuals we usually get close to our goal. I expect this year to be similar. Check back on the FreeBSD Foundation web site in the last few days of the year or January of next year to see the final result.

"We try to make the case for FreeBSD on the FreeBSD.org web site but especially on the FreeBSDFoundation.org web site," he added, pointing to this flyer for a rundown of the features of FreeBSD.

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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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