Linux is 14 years old this month

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This is from a blog email I read cause I have Linspire:

"Just ask my wife and she'll tell you, if I have one fault, it's my forgetfulness about anniversaries. Actually, she would probably feel unduly restricted by mentioning only one of my faults. "You can't do the man justice by picking just one fault over another" she'd say, while preparing a more comprehensive rundown of my failings.

But certainly, forgetting anniversaries would be near the top of the list. And that's why I amazed myself by recalling that this month, August 2005, marks the 14th anniversary of Linux. It was 14 years ago that computer science undergraduate Linus Torvalds posted these words announcing his plan to develop Linux.

Learn more about Linus Torvalds
From: [email protected] (Linus Benedict Torvalds)

Summary: small poll for my new operating system

Date: 25 Aug. 1991 20:57:08 GMT

Organization: University of Helsinki

I'm doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won't be big and professional like GNU) for 386 AT clones.

Today, that little acorn of an idea has grown into a mighty oak of software. Linus Torvalds was not the first person to conceive ambitious plans for a software project. But he was the first person to successfully harness the Internet to organize volunteers everywhere to contribute to the project.

Linus knew that keeping his software open and free from proprietary restrictions would garner the most help from other programmers. So he published his work under the GNU license. That license allows people to freely use or sell the software, but insists that they "show their work" - publish any changes they make, so others can build on them, too.

To people who aren't professional programmers, open source licensing may seem like a small or unimportant detail. Actually, it's a big deal. It ensures no one company can seize control and hold the entire computer industry to ransom, as we have seen with other PC software. Everyone has a stake in Linux's success, and everyone benefits.

The Linux development process and culture is really just a form of scientific research. People publish their research (software); others build on it cooperatively to provide new results; the best researchers are rewarded through support and consulting work; everyone gains. Today, far more programmers work on the Linux kernel than on Windows.

But Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer famously compared Linux to "a cancer," while Bill Gates suggested that it was a form of communism. No word yet on when Microsoft is planning to denounce Linux as a splinter group of fundamentalist extremism, but it might not be far away. Two words explain Redmond's exaggerated fantasies and fears over Linux: Market Share.

Linux is making substantial inroads into the space between high-end servers and low-end handhelds: the consumer desktop. And it's driving Microsoft executives nuts to see Linux cut into their core revenues. Every local government in the world now realizes that it can get Windows almost for free (in the short term at least) by telling its Microsoft sales rep that it is doing a "Linux evaluation." A couple of years ago, Ballmer flew to Munich to personally offer massive rebates in an attempt to stop the city administration from evaluating Linux. The ploy failed.

Dynamic organizations like the Munich city administration follow through on their open source evaluations, make the switch, and reap the benefits. IBM is migrating most of its internal desktops to Linux. So is Novell. The entire school system in New Zealand just switched to Linux. The University of Detroit Jesuit High School, Michigan, saved around $100,000 when it switched to Linux a couple of years ago.Indiana has just started a Linspire evaluation in high school systems across the state. If successful, the evaluation will lead to the roll-out of 300,000 Linux desktops for students.

Research group IDC estimates that about 3% of desktop PCs worldwide are already using Linux, and that will double over the next three years. That's just desktop PCs; Linux's share of the server market is already ten times greater. For several years, Linux has met all the needs of MOB users (not the Mafia, but those using only Mail, Office, and Browser applications). With Linspire Five-0, the features are equal to Windows XP, and including software for Music, Images, Server web pages, and Calendar management (the MISC applications), too.

Now, more than ever, consumers need educational help as they switch desktops from Windows to Linspire Linux. To fill this need, I have spent the last 12 months researching and writing "Peter van der Linden's Guide to Linux." The book is for home users who are comfortable using Windows, and want to leverage their knowledge as they switch to Linux. The guide is available now.

The text covers a wealth of Linux topics: DVD playing and copying, digital photography, wireless networking, email configuration, security and privacy. It walks through the troubleshooting to solve the real world problems that people describe in the Linspire customer forums.

The publishers say "the author is flat-out brilliant at simplifying and explaining technology." If only I could remember anniversaries, too."

So, happy birthday Linux on the 25th. :)
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Anyway, I'll bake the cake!

Tom B

Established Member
27 Jul 2005
Wish I could join in the horaay, I'll say it anyway :-


Now back to slaughtering Bindoze and adding to the pile of knackered CD-Rs... (I'll get it to burn a bootable CD from an ISO... eventually :x)


Established Member
11 Jun 2005
not going to well then? I had a bootable cd done on first try using nero 5. not a hard thing to do! I hope your not stupid enough to have not told the computer to boot from cd because some don't do it for you!
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