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Linus' First Linux Post, 20 Years Ago Today

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the know-the-score dept.

Open Source 181

jrepin writes "One midsummer's night, a student at the University of Helsinki posted a query to the newsgroup comp.os.minix asking, 'What would you like to see most in minix?' The student's name was Linus Torvalds, and that Usenet post was the beginning of the Linux operating system. The date was 25 August 1991, exactly 20 years ago today. In 1991 Unix had existed for about 20 years, Apple had come out with its Mac OS in 1984, and Microsoft had been flogging Windows since 1985. Torvalds' ambitions for his 'new (free) operating system' were modest. It was to be 'just a hobby, won't be big and professional like gnu' for IBM PC '386(486) AT clones.' He wanted to call his OS kernel 'Freax,' but a friend who ran the FTP server that hosted the software named Torvalds' source code download directory 'linux' and the name stuck."

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My first post (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 3 years ago | (#37207580)

Thanks a lot Linus. A lot of the industry's heavyweights are getting older though. Linus, RMS. Jobs, Woz and Gates already semi-retired. Malda is moving on.

The big question is going to be: who will be as influential in the next 20 years as those guys and is it even possible or necessary?

Re:My first post (1, Interesting)

UnresolvedExternal (665288) | more than 3 years ago | (#37207666)

He may have written a decent OS but he sucked at predictions....

Re:My first post (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 3 years ago | (#37209004)

He did just complete his task of forcing Steve Jobs out of Apple...

Re:My first post (5, Insightful)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 3 years ago | (#37207678)

The influence will most likely come from outside the US, EU, China, India, or other large tech countries.
Reason being? Restrictive policies that hamper innovation, such as copyright, "method patents", and large companies afraid of competition.

Re:My first post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37207778)

So... the big influencers in high tech will come from somewhere where they don't have technology and live in primitive third world conditions?

Yeah... great forecast.

Re:My first post (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37207850)

Or you know, one of the many non-poor areas in places like South America, South Africa, Russia, Japan, Korea...

Not everyone outside of the US, EU, China and India are currently experiencing a famine, despite your US-centric view of the world as "Us and poor people reliant on Us".

Re:My first post (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 3 years ago | (#37207918)

Nah, Canada (no software patents up here) will just have to take over!

Re:My first post (1)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 3 years ago | (#37208182)

We don't have software patents?

I didn't know that. Can't last long with Harper at the helm.

Re:My first post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37208398)

Don't worry, the bill may is still in the freeze, but it is there, and waiting for the appropriate moment to jump and freeze all the innovation.

Re:My first post (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 3 years ago | (#37208346)

You do know there's this magical number, "2," that sits between 1 and 3 right?

Second world (4, Funny)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#37208470)

the big influencers in high tech will come from somewhere where they don't have technology and live in primitive third world conditions?

You do know there's this magical number, "2," that sits between 1 and 3 right?

"Second world" traditionally means Warsaw Pact countries like former Soviet Russia, where 1 and 3 sit on YOU.

Re:My first post (4, Interesting)

peter hoffman (2017) | more than 3 years ago | (#37208060)

I don't think anyone will be as influential in the computer world. It was a much smaller community back then and it was easier to stand out. That's not to say there won't be people who do things that are as meaningful but they will now be one of dozens of projects.

If a person is going to be that sort of stand out today, he will have to be in another field - perhaps nanotechnology or bio-engineering - where the foundations are still being laid.

Re:My first post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37208222)

most likely scenario is that at the first sign of money to be made it will be sued to oblivion by a horde of angry lawyers

Re:My first post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37208162)

... why was malda included in that list? slashdot is hardly comparable to the achievements of the other people you listed.

Re:My first post (1)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 3 years ago | (#37208254)

Sucking up.

Re:My first post (2)

knuthin (2255242) | more than 3 years ago | (#37208266)

Bite your tongue!

Re:My first post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37208644)

>> Linus, RMS. Jobs, Woz and Gates

One of them is a nerd. Two of them are geeks. One was a manager, and the one left was a salesman.

Not in order. Go figure.

oh yeah... (2)

ak_hepcat (468765) | more than 3 years ago | (#37207626)

Brings back the memories. I remember the usenet post because I was camping on the .minix trying to decide how best to conquer my computer...

then Linus showed up with his post, and I soon had my answer.

I've been running Linux non-stop since 1993, and have never looked back.

Re:oh yeah... (3, Interesting)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 3 years ago | (#37207662)

Related - post from Lars Wirzenius http://liw.fi/linux20/ [liw.fi]

Re:oh yeah... (1)

taiwanjohn (103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#37208460)

Thanks for the link. (And thanks to Lars for posting it.)

I started using Linux in 1995, and have been using it almost exclusively since about 1999. But I never knew so much "deep background" about the early days.

Congrats and thanks to all who have contributed over the years! Many happy returns.

Re:oh yeah... (4, Insightful)

peter hoffman (2017) | more than 3 years ago | (#37207960)

I was running Coherent at the time and looking for something better. I'd looked at Minix but I was looking for something open. I started playing with Linux as soon as code first became available for download and also played with 386BSD which had the lead over Linux for some time. Soon after that, the AT&T lawsuit began to cast a pall over the BSD community and Linux got TCP/IP going. Not wanting to depend on something potentially embroiled in a lawsuit (who might get sued wasn't clear then), I went with Linux as my base OS. Since then, I have continued to dabble with the various BSDs and use OpenBSD when security is a strong concern but Linux has been my first choice. It's interesting to wonder how things might have turned out if the lawsuit hadn't happened.

Re:oh yeah... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37208136)

Meaning, of course, that you were waiting for someone else to conquer your computer for you because you lacked the talent to do so yourself.

The modus operandi of Open Source. Some guy works dilligently on his own to write some software, then once he releases it its all 'look how great we are!' 'we don't need stupid proprietary software!'.

Re:oh yeah... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37208320)

Hey, asshole. Eat shit. Oh, and then die. That too.

Taking credit (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37208552)

My company is one of those that pays very well, treats its people very well, and therefore has tons of talented people working there. The one thing that kills me about the place, though, is the propensity of "we," as in "We did this" or "We made that," when none of the people saying "we" were even involved. Truth is, one guy pulled a year of all-nighters and weekends, made something great, and then "we" took credit for it.

The problem isn't that I don't think that work is a team sport, and I don't think that everyone should go around tooting their own horn and proclaiming how awesome they are. I *DO* think that people should individually get credit for their work, and I *do* believe that everyone should name names for accomplishments and give credit where credit is due.

It especially pisses me off when someone says "Can we get this done?" meaning "Can YOU get this done?" I've started responding to that by saying "Sure - go ahead! Let me know if you need any help!" The look on their face is priceless. :)

Anyway, yeah. Just a rant to go along with what the GP was saying. I've seen it too much myself.

Re:Taking credit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37208666)

You sound like a real rebel living life with such an unconventional point of view and all. I'll bet you sit in quiet reflection on your disdain for the norm all the time. If only we could all be as cool as you. Oh and the GGP.

Re:oh yeah... (1)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 3 years ago | (#37208312)

I've been running Linux non-stop since 1993, and have never looked back.

Me too, built an ISP with Linux 1993. Had a Sun box on back order, but eventually we just cancelled it and got everything working for free.

That was awesome.

Re:oh yeah... (1)

andrewa (18630) | more than 3 years ago | (#37209208)

The joy I experienced on getting X Window running on my Packard Bell 386 in 1994 has never been bettered. :-) I played with xeyes for, must have been, 2 minutes. Ah, Slackware....

FIRST POST! (5, Informative)

ilsaloving (1534307) | more than 3 years ago | (#37207632)

From: torvalds@klaava.Helsinki.FI (Linus Benedict Torvalds)
Newsgroups: comp.os.minix
Subject: What would you like to see most in minix?
Summary: small poll for my new operating system
Message-ID:
Date: 25 Aug 91 20:57:08 GMT
Organization: University of Helsinki

Hello everybody out there using minix -

I’m doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won’t be big and
professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones. This has been brewing
since april, and is starting to get ready. I’d like any feedback on
things people like/dislike in minix, as my OS resembles it somewhat
(same physical layout of the file-system (due to practical reasons)
among other things).

I’ve currently ported bash(1.08) and gcc(1.40), and things seem to work.
This implies that I’ll get something practical within a few months, and
I’d like to know what features most people would want. Any suggestions
are welcome, but I won’t promise I’ll implement them :-)

Linus (torvalds@kruuna.helsinki.fi)

PS. Yes – it’s free of any minix code, and it has a multi-threaded fs.
It is NOT protable (uses 386 task switching etc), and it probably never
will support anything other than AT-harddisks, as that’s all I have :-(.

Re:FIRST POST! (1)

cholokoy (265199) | more than 3 years ago | (#37207670)

Oh yeah!

The memories.

Re:FIRST POST! (3, Interesting)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 3 years ago | (#37207764)

Hrm, and didn't this start out as simply because Linux needed a way to dial in and get his usenet fix? It started out as a terminal emulator (multithreaded for performance), then when he accidentally "dialed" his hard drive, added permissions and other stuff.

A bit more spit and polish led to Linux 0.1. All because Linux wanted to read his usenet.

DUPE :FIRST POST! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37208156)

Dupe! Seriously, this was on USENET like 20 years ago. Come on already!

Re:FIRST POST! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37208572)

From: torvalds@klaava.Helsinki.FI (Linus Benedict Torvalds)

I’m doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won’t be big and
professional like gnu)

LIAR!

Re:FIRST POST! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37208706)

A multi-threaded fs? Everyone knows that's just a performance hack.

Re:FIRST POST! (1)

cant_get_a_good_nick (172131) | more than 3 years ago | (#37208896)

(just a hobby, won’t be big and professional like gnu)

Quite a few things have changed since then

Twenty years but still awaiting (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37207658)

The year of Linux on the Desktop. And no, a display piped in from the server room doesn't count, nor does a handheld netbook or tablet.

Re:Twenty years but still awaiting (1)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 3 years ago | (#37208362)

Said the AC Troll.

Very insteresting day (1, Insightful)

cholokoy (265199) | more than 3 years ago | (#37207698)

Maybe a hundred years from now this day will be a holiday.

Freax (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37207700)

Would it have taken off in the same manner if it had actually been called Freax? Names do matter.

Re:Freax (3, Funny)

RDW (41497) | more than 3 years ago | (#37208012)

"Would it have taken off in the same manner if it had actually been called Freax? Names do matter."

I think you'll find the correct name is GNU/Freax (a terrific platform for GIMP, git and Iceweasel!).

Re:Freax (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 3 years ago | (#37208374)

Why the hell didn't GNU complete the entire GNU system? Saw Linus' kernel and said "Forget it, he's already got one running"?

Re:Freax (1)

Monkey-Man2000 (603495) | more than 3 years ago | (#37208492)

Why the hell didn't GNU complete the entire GNU system? Saw Linus' kernel and said "Forget it, he's already got one running"?

Pretty much [wikipedia.org] , but it's still apparently under "active development" [gnu.org] .

Re:Freax (1)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 3 years ago | (#37208590)

Hey, they got teh Hurd kernel to boot last year...

For some insights on this, watch Revolution OS ...

Re:Freax (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37209374)

This is the year of Hurd in the desktop!!

Ahh, so that's why Malda picked today. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37207712)

Slashdot's favourite narcissist is still convinced that he is relevant to Linux somehow simply because he blathered and trolled about it every second post.

Good riddance to him, hope he and his STD-riddled wife keep each other occupied for a while.

Re:Ahh, so that's why Malda picked today. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37208428)

What a coincidence! We all hope you die in a fire!

Midsummer? (2)

Mindjiver (71) | more than 3 years ago | (#37207730)

Midsummer is in June, not in August.

Re:Midsummer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37207860)

Is not - summer starts on June 21

Re:Midsummer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37207984)

Midsummer refers to the period around the summer solstice, which is around June 21.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midsummer

Re:Midsummer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37208038)

The middle of summer may be some time in July, but the term 'midsummer' specifically refers to the solstice.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midsummer [wikipedia.org]

Re:Midsummer? (2)

taiwanjohn (103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#37208050)

No, that's mid-summer. The word midsummer [wikipedia.org] refers specifically to the solstice.

Re:Midsummer? (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 3 years ago | (#37208690)

summer starts on June 21

Maybe in your f*ed up world, but for most of us, summer runs from may to august.

Geez .. talk about slow news day (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 3 years ago | (#37207738)

This story is 20 years old. How about something new and fresh?

Re:Geez .. talk about slow news day (1)

froggymana (1896008) | more than 3 years ago | (#37209280)

Give them a break, CmdrTaco did just retire.

20 years ago today? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37207772)

Well, Linux has been going in and out of style, but it's still guaranteed to raise a smile.

Re:20 years ago today? (1)

Pricetx (1986510) | more than 3 years ago | (#37208120)

Hah, nice reference. I wonder how much of the modern Slashdot community will get it though

So was that a typo or what? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37207784)

If some guy named the ftp directory "linux", was that a typo for "linus"? "X" and "S" are diagonally adjacent on a QWERTY keyboard.

Re:So was that a typo or what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37207812)

Watch any cartoon from that age, you will understand why the x was put there.

Re:So was that a typo or what? (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 3 years ago | (#37208496)

Linus + Minix = Linus' Minix = Linux

It should be obvious, but not everyone seems to have a functioning brain.

It was 20 years ago today... (5, Interesting)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 3 years ago | (#37207840)

It was twenty years ago today
Col. Torvalds gave the source away.
We've been going in and out of drives
but we guarantee to raise uptimes.
So may I introduce to you
the hack you've known for all these years
Col. Torvalds' Linux slash GNU Band!

We're Col. Torvalds' Linux slash GNU Band,
we hope you will enjoy the code.
Col. Torvalds' Linux slash GNU Band,
just hack and let the evening go!

Col. Torvalds' Linux
Col. Torvalds' Linux
Col. Torvalds' Linux slash GNU Band!

It's wonderful to post here,
it's certainly no troll.
You're such a loyal userbase,
we'd like to merge your code with ours,
we'd love to grep your /home.

I don't really want to freeze the code,
but I thought you might like to know
this release is going to fix the root
and we want you all to patch for good.
So let me introduce to you
the one and only Billy's fear
Col. Torvalds' Linux slash GNU Band!

Re:It was 20 years ago today... (2)

MagikSlinger (259969) | more than 3 years ago | (#37208118)

EPIC!!!

Re:It was 20 years ago today... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37208122)

Which Nickelback song should I hum this along to?

Re:It was 20 years ago today... (4, Informative)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 3 years ago | (#37208180)

I have no idea what Nickelback is, but check my sig or journal for the finished song.

Re:It was 20 years ago today... (1)

frenchbedroom (936100) | more than 3 years ago | (#37208426)

Cool stuff ! Gave me a smile :) I appreciate that you pronounce "Torvalds" and "Linux" properly ;)

Re:It was 20 years ago today... (2)

NJRoadfan (1254248) | more than 3 years ago | (#37208218)

Does it really matter? They all sound the same anyway.

Sgt Peppers Lonely Heart Club Band (1)

bobs666 (146801) | more than 3 years ago | (#37209098)

For the young people. It was 20 years ago today... [youtube.com]

Freax? Really? (1)

null etc. (524767) | more than 3 years ago | (#37207928)

What is it with geeks choosing really horrible, horrible names for software products? I can't count the number of directors at public companies that I've spoken with in the past who refuse to go anywhere even near GIMP based on its name alone.

Re:Freax? Really? (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 3 years ago | (#37208152)

What is it with geeks choosing really horrible, horrible names for software products?

Maybe because it was "just a hobby, won’t be big and professional like gnu". I think being a geek is all about having fun in your own way, and that means not succumbing to boring corporate ideals. "Freax" was short for "free freak unix" or something like that -- perhaps not the most creative name for an OS, but nevertheless reflects the verbally playful side that many geeks seem to have.

Re:Freax? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37208176)

You must be fun at parties.

"Hey, nice to meet you. Have you heard about this image manipulation program? It's made by these geeks and it's got a horrible name, GIMP! Can you believe that? So, um, would your company use an application called GIMP, huh?"
(repeat until you can't remember how many times you've done it)

Re:Freax? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37208248)

Or you could say: "Hey bros, want to buy these program called Photoshop." *get handed tons of cash* KA-CHING!

So THAT's why Steve Jobs resigned... (4, Funny)

SomeoneGotMyNick (200685) | more than 3 years ago | (#37207942)

...to redirect the news focus AWAY from this historical anniversary.

Re:So THAT's why Steve Jobs resigned... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37208894)

A good day to bury bad GNUs / Linuxes.

Just a few months later (3, Interesting)

Alioth (221270) | more than 3 years ago | (#37208016)

Just a few months later, I was really wanting a Unixy like OS for my 16 MHz 386 PC with a whopping 2.5 Mb of RAM and 40MB hard disc. In the cold wet January of 1992, I think it was Linux (kernel 0.12, or perhaps 0.11) which we started with.

Two of us made a few of the PCs in the university's PC lab dual boot Linux and DOS. In those days there were no distros, you had a root disc and boot disc, and had to use cp -r to copy the root disc to the hard disc, then use a hex editor to change the kernel binary to use the hard disc for the root filesystem instead of the floppy.

I started learning C on this system. All the stuff I needed to learn C on a partition of a 40MB IDE disc. (Later I had a 486 with an 80MB IDE disc, partitioned 50/50 DOS and Linux, on the Linux side I had the X Window System, a C compiler and all the development libraries and enough space to write programs in C for X11. By then there was an early TCP stack too, so a friend and I networked our computers and shared files with NFS).

Re:Just a few months later (2)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 3 years ago | (#37208406)

Yea, and nowadays the networkmanager applet sucks up 20MB of resident set. Somehow I managed to have a graphical desktop with Netscape run on a machine with 8MB of RAM total and run well with 16MB. Granted it was Netscape 0.9 on an 8bit display but still. Then I ran RedHat 4.x on an old clunker laptop with a 486SX and 40MB ram and ran Netscape 4.x with 16bit color. Now Fedora has trouble installing if you don't have a GB of ram. And we wonder why we got left out of the embedded world. Yes it all 'runs linux' but doesn't run any of the modern graphical stacks because they are more bloated than even Windows. Had we worried more about keeping our apps lean and mean Android wouldn't have been required. The GNOMES are hellbent on making a tablet interface without realizing that none of the existing hardware can run GNOME because it is too bloated.

Re:Just a few months later (1)

taiwanjohn (103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#37208730)

Jeebus! You had a 40MB hard drive in 1992?!?! I remember spending about $300 for an 8MB "Bigfoot" in the mid-90's... that computer must have cost you the price of a new car at the time.

Re:Just a few months later (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37208948)

Don't see anything wrong with that. My parents gave me a i386DX (can't remember if it was 25 or 33Mhz) for Christmas in 91 or 92 (again, can't be sure, it's been 20 years!), and it came with a 40Mb HD. A year later that same said HD was upgraded to a 105Mb unit, and as I recall it, it cost the equivalent of 500 EUR, give or take, plus the old 40Mb drive as a trade in. Of course, accounting for inflation and whatnot it's probably close to 1000 of todays euros.

Re:Just a few months later (1)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 3 years ago | (#37209066)

> Jeebus! You had a 40MB hard drive in 1992?!?!

Methinks you are misremembering and have misplaced the decimal point. I had a 10MB hard drive on my Tandy Color Computer 3 in 1988. It was a surplused out MIniscribe and a seperate Adaptec MFM to SCSI interface.

By 1990 I had a PC with an 85MB drive. I suspect that 'Bigfoot' drive you mention was 800MB.

Re:Just a few months later (1)

taiwanjohn (103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#37209302)

Yeah, now that you mention it, that must have been an 8GB drive. Never mind. ;-)

Re:Just a few months later (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37209160)

8Mb in the mid 90's? Are you serious? I remember having a 540Mb Quantum Maverick in 94 or so, and a 5.25" Quantum Fireball with a whooping 1.2Gb in 95 or 96.

Just a couple weeks ago I recycled an old computer I had around for years, unused. It was a P166MMX with 64Mb RAM and an old 540 Gb Conner drive. That box last served as a firewall and it booted fine at first try, I spent over an hour rummaging around looking for a non-USB keyboard to dig around a bit into that old treasure trove :-) it was running Slackware 3.0. According to finger I had last logged in in 2000, and the oldest file I could find in /root was from January 1996.

Re:Just a few months later (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37209260)

Then you got raped. Mid 1980s is the time frame for your hard drive. I didn't even know there were 8MB drives. In 1992 I had an Amiga 3000 with 12M of RAM and 120M of SCSI hard drive. No car.

Re:Just a few months later (1)

mingot (665080) | more than 3 years ago | (#37209278)

Er, we're talking about megabytes.

Does This Mean... (1)

FurtiveGlancer (1274746) | more than 3 years ago | (#37208024)

That we're Linux Freax?

- Thanks Linus!

Re:Does This Mean... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37209184)

You should wear the label proudly

Let me know if you find this post: (1)

Y-Crate (540566) | more than 3 years ago | (#37208138)

"1992 will be the year of the Linux desktop!"

Re:Let me know if you find this post: (1)

pe1chl (90186) | more than 3 years ago | (#37208550)

I had a Linux desktop system in 1992 (ok, I installed it in december of that year) and it actually was quite impressive what you could already do back then.

It had a working X11 system with many interesting applications.
Even the networking already worked. I took it to work and connected it to the ethernet, and I could use it as an X client and server with the DEC VAX and X terminals we had there. Except that I had color and those X terminals were b/w :-)
Everyone was really impressed...

Remember that Windows 95 did not appear until 3 years later!

Re:Let me know if you find this post: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37209336)

...and it actually was quite impressive what you could already do back then.

Which is about the same which you can still do today, that's why there will never be a year of the Linux on the desktop.

And two years later... (2)

SwedishChef (69313) | more than 3 years ago | (#37208164)

I downloaded and installed Linux onto a 386 PC that had been running Coherent (not very well, I might add). I think it was Slackware but it might have been Ygdrasil. I was pretty happy to get a version of Unix that I could afford. I have since run Red Hat, Suse, Centos, Debian and Ubuntu plus a couple BSDs. I have always thought of Linux as the "Swiss army knife" of operating systems because I've set up email servers, web servers, database servers, VPN routers, Vyatta routers, remote backup servers and desktops with LInux. I have one server with over 656 days of uptime.

I have made a comfortable living from understanding Unix and applying that to Linux over the past 18 years.

And it was way better than Coherent!!!

Thanks, Linux. :)

Re:And two years later... (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 3 years ago | (#37208444)

one of the great things about early linux distros was that they came with lots of software.

so a cd set of couple of distros was a real treasure trove.

Re:And two years later... (1)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 3 years ago | (#37208520)

ditto. And I'm grateful too.

Thanks for the memories.... (1)

farrellj (563) | more than 3 years ago | (#37208252)

Wow, such memories...I was playing with Minix back then, and I didn't really start playing around with Linux until kernel v0.12...I would take the boot and root disks to people's places with a 386, and then boot it and type "ls"...and the list of files would show up, and everyone who was in the know would go "Wow....". Now, I have made a living using Linux, an I am typing this message on my main workstation, a Linux box using Salix (Slackware variant). Thanks to Linus, RMS, ESR and everyone from Multics on for some wonderful and fun technology over the years!

ttyl
          Farrell

GNU/Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37208358)

Does anyone happen to know when the campaign to add the GNU prefix to Linux began? Was that also a Usenet campaign?

Re:GNU/Linux (1)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 3 years ago | (#37208566)

Do not feed the troll.

Re:GNU/Linux (3, Interesting)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 3 years ago | (#37208674)

No, that is RMS being bitter.

Had he been willing to see the opportunity he would have adopted the Linux kernel (Linus wasn't willing to make Linux an official GNU project with copyright assignment) as an interium solution and completed GNU. Had the FSF got its act together and put out a complete bootable distribution of Linux + GNU + X with their official seal of approval it would almost certainly become (had it not sucked, been updated, etc) the primary distribution and we wouldn't have had most of the others because they wouldn't have had a reason to exist. And if they ever finished HURD they could have, like Debian is doing now, began offering a distro with that as the kernel and the users would have decided which they liked.

A GNU with only FSF copyrighted code was and is never going to happen (no attempt is even being made at things like X for example) so what was the objection to putting Linux in to get to a complete bootable GNU system? Once Linus adopted GPL2 as the license all the parts were in place to produce GNU 1.0 but they waited for HURD. Their fault.

Resume (1)

bogidu (300637) | more than 3 years ago | (#37208554)

So those guys who put that they have 25 years experience with Linux on their resumes are lying?? *gasp*

Re:Resume (1)

garyebickford (222422) | more than 3 years ago | (#37209214)

They're including overtime. :D

I'm feeling a bit old today. (1)

scumdamn (82357) | more than 3 years ago | (#37208592)

I think I read the Slashdot article when it was ten years.

And for the next 15 years... (1)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 3 years ago | (#37208978)

Americans pronounced it "Line-icks."

electrosensitivity (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37208990)

It began with the migraines, which I put down to stress. Recently divorced, I was running a television production company, employing more than 70 staff, as well as bringing up my five-year-old son.
My lifestyle was fast paced, exciting and affluent, so I wasn't surprised to find that I might be at risk from a stress-related illness.
As the headaches intensified over the next few months, becoming progressively more frequent, I began to worry, especially as I was also experiencing numbness down the right side of my body and bad digestion.
My GP thought I was probably overworking and told me to get some rest.
After consulting an allergy specialist, who said I could be suffering from a food intolerance, I cut out wheat and dairy from my diet in an effort to alleviate my symptoms. But nothing I did seemed to make any difference whatsoever. As I'd never had a serious day's illness in my life before, I just kept hoping my problems would gradually resolve themselves.
For the next seven years I continued to suffer from severe headaches and digestive problems, both slowly growing worse.
Meanwhile, as modern technology improved, I stocked up my office and home with more and more electronic equipment.
I had a mobile, two cordless phones and a laptop, but never did I think that these might be contributing to my illness.
Before I became ill I had a wide social circle and was physically fit - my hobbies included skiing, tango dancing, hillside walking and going to the gym.
Having been such an intensely energetic person, I was shocked to find myself now shuffling around the house after the slightest physical exertion.
In 2002, I met my partner, Rod, an engraver, and although he and my son were incredibly kind and supportive, I hated being a virtual invalid, and was determined to find out the cause of my illness and fix it.
Over the next two years I visited a succession of doctors and alternative therapists, and I tried all sorts of cures, but found nothing that did me any good.
As the symptoms grew worse, so new ones appeared. By 2003, I'd developed high blood pressure and started suffering from panic attacks and breathlessness.
Although I was naturally anxious about all of this, I knew that my problems were more than psychological, and that my condition was being made worse by worry rather than being the result of it.
Obviously it was by now becoming more difficult for me to continue running a company while feeling so unwell. But I did my best, continuing to function as well as I could, given the constraints of my ill-health.
Some days I felt so bad I could barely leave the house and, by 2004, I had started to experience blurred vision, heart arythmia, thyroid problems, vertigo, tinnitus, and chronic fatigue.
The following year, hoping to make a fresh start, I moved to a newly built luxury house. Little did I know that I was only making my problem worse.
Two weeks after moving in, I found a lump in my breast, which was diagnosed as a benign tumour. Added to this, my hair started to fall out, my teeth had become loose and my fingernails became so cracked and brittle they broke off under the slightest pressure.
Clearly, I could no longer continue working, so I decided to close the company, hoping it would only be a temporary measure.
Desperate for help, my son and partner began searching the internet for a solution to my problem. They found websites that warned of the harmful effects of electromagnetic impulses on the human body, and the symptoms listed were all identical to mine - it is called electro-hypersensitivity, or EHS.
Now I knew what to do. I cleared my bedroom of the phone, TV, computer and electrical wires of any kind, and lined it with foil wallpaper.
I also screened the windows with silver radiation-proof fabric, and started wearing a head net to protect against mast emissions.
I also began taking numerous nutritional supplements, and avoiding buildings with lots of electronic equipment. Almost immediately, I began to feel better, to have more energy, and to sleep and eat better.
Finally, in 2006, I was diagnosed with EHS by a specialist I found on the internet. The relief of knowing what had caused my mysterious symptoms for 14 years was overwhelming.
At last I could prove I was not mad, but ill. But it still remained very hard for me to function in day-to-day life. I could not use, or even be near, mobile phones, microwave ovens, radios, WiFi-enabled computers, or be in public buildings such as airports, railway stations, museums or restaurants; travel on the Tube, or drive on a motorway without triggering symptoms of EHS. I couldn't even visit friends.
Five months ago, I sold my house in London and moved to rural Kent. Within a month, my health improved dramatically. I stopped suffering from minor infections, slept better and felt physically stronger - I was even able to do heavy lifting work on my allotment.
I grow my own vegetables and eat an organic diet. I walk, garden and work, in a limited fashion, on a laptop, helping people come to terms with their own case of electro-hypersensitivity.
I am now physically stronger and healthier than I have felt in years. I have no income, but am working towards the day when I can perhaps once more resume my career in TV by making a programme about EHS.
My mission in life has now become to prevent anyone from suffering the way I did. And with our world filled with more and more electronics, there are going to be a lot more people like me out there soon.
For information on EHS, visit ww

Wait for Hurd !! (4, Funny)

Zoxed (676559) | more than 3 years ago | (#37209170)

My favourite early Linux quote is v0.02 (I think) (still 1991) "Hurd will be out in a year (or two, or next month, who knows)", and little later "Wait for Hurd if you want something real.".

Listen to the kernel! (2)

fcbs (1792506) | more than 3 years ago | (#37209360)

Is there a more appropriate day to listen to the kernel loudly? I guess not!

The Linux Radio has been updated, with a new design and easy access to the lyrics : http://www.linux.fm/ [linux.fm]

Happy birthday Linux, I'm glad I've been invited, thank you! Tonight is party time : just you, the computer, and me!

And as heard in mm/mempool.c : "Slash Asterisk we must not sleep!". PERIOD.

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