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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Benefactors of Mankind-2: Linus Torvalds

Computer Genius who gave it all away!

Most of the books that adorn my bookshelves are bought either from platform booksellers or second-hand bookshops. It is a joy to find unexpectedly some wonderful book at throw-away price. Recently, I bought this old issue of Reader's Digest for Rs.5/- from a platform bookseller at Madurai. It was the March 2001 issue, with Linus Torvalds on the cover. Though I knew a little about Linux and its creator Torvalds, I learnt a lot from this very interesting article by Fergus M.Bordewich.
Linus Torvalds, in August 1991 at the age of 21, created the kernel of a new computer operating system and gave it to the world FREE! This O/S has transformed the whole landscape of computer use.
Other interesting info furnished by Fergus M.Bordewich:
An estimated 30 million people around the world are using Linux (as of 2001).
IBM has embraced Linus across all of its new series of mainframe computers, the mainstay of data centres in business around the world.
From childhood, Torvalds was a voracious reader and feasted on novels like Treasure Island or The Last of the Mohicans. He was bright at Maths and Physics. As a child, he idolized Albert Einstein, the personification of the great scientist committed to sharing his ideas with humanity. He says: "If you don't share your ideas and ideals, they wind up being worthless... Sharing is what makes them powerful." So he launched his new operating system, now called Linus, free of charge to the world.
Thank you, Linus Torvalds, thank you very much!

Linus Torvalds Bio: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linus_Torvalds
Businessweek Interview of Torvalds: http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/aug2004/tc20040818_1593.htm
Wired Magazine Interview of Torvalds: http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/11.07/40torvalds.html
The Seattle Times Interview of Torvalds: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2002059632_linus11.html

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