5.1. Hacks 51 59: Introduction
Where would computing be without free software? Whether you define free as open source, where the source code is available for all to see and modify, or simply freeware, both are important and have their place. If you tried out every commercial program that tickled your fancy, you'd be nickeled and dimed to death. Luckily there are custom applications that come free of charge if you know where to look. Because RIM chose J2ME as their platform for the BlackBerry, the device is seen as a viable operating system by the millions of Java developers worldwide.
This chapter includes a small subset of the free applications available for the BlackBerry. You can view the night sky [Hack #55], go shopping [Hack #58], and even put your device through the paces [Hack #54] to see how it stacks up. As the BlackBerry third-party application explosion continues, the number of free programs available for the device will continue to grow.