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Linux Turns 17 Today 285

Posted by kdawson
from the hippo-birdies dept.
Meshach writes "Over at the Linux Journal, Doc Searles is noting that today marks 17 years since Linus posted to Usenet, starting Linux (post). As a Linux user at work and at home I say, thanks Linus!" The anniversary is also featured on the top page of the Encyclopedia Britannica.
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Linux Turns 17 Today

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  • by BaldGhoti (265981) on Sunday October 05, 2008 @08:55PM (#25268933) Homepage
    One more year and it should be legal.
  • by nawcom (941663)
    ..until Microsoft can legally fuck Linux in the asshole... these days though it seems like Linux is going to be the one "giving it". Smile Balmer :)
  • by narcberry (1328009) on Sunday October 05, 2008 @09:00PM (#25268955) Journal

    It is currently meant for hackers

    OMG SHUT IT DOWN!!!

    • by Gewalt (1200451)

      It is currently meant for hackers

      OMG SHUT IT DOWN!!!

      lol, that was back in the day when nerds actually mistook the word hacker to be a positive reference. (I hear some still do... the poor souls..)

      • Re:Made for hackers (Score:5, Informative)

        by Mick R (932337) on Sunday October 05, 2008 @09:18PM (#25269051)
        Don't mistake the word "hacker" for what the ill-informed media use it to mean. It is the popular media that have given the term a negative meaning, and then only in recent years. It WAS a positive term, and STILL IS to those who know what it really means.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by bigstrat2003 (1058574) *

          and STILL IS to those who know what it really means.

          No, it really isn't. The old usage of the word has been eclipsed at this point. Not fair, but nothing you can do about it either. Insisting that "hacker" is still a positive label is needlessly muddying the language at this point.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Not only that, but it was a negative term before, too.

            A "hack" is an ugly thrown-together bit of code that is used because "it works" rather than coming up with a proper solution. A "hacker" is someone who largely produces this low quality, but mostly functional code.

            I usually stay quiet when all these people insist that they are "hackers" since, by and large, I agree with them (based on the above definition).

            And, this goes right along with the "It is currently meant for hackers", because at the beginning

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by SgtPepperKSU (905229)

              Of course, the "just works" in the fourth paragraph should be another "it works". I feel I should make that clear since the term "just works" has been taken over, too.

              I see you are still on my lawn...

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by rtb61 (674572)

            You are obviously lost, perhaps this forum is not really meant for you. Computer hacker in geek/nerd speak is technically neutral, neither good nor bad, cracker on the other hand is definitively bad and has always been considered so. Just as the individuals who know and understand this have re-defined the language in terms of the use of nerd and geek from negative to positive, so we, not the knuckle dragging jockstraps, define the use of the term hacker.

            So in geek/nerd speak to clarify good or bad in rel

          • by pizzach (1011925)

            No, it really isn't. The old usage of the word has been eclipsed at this point. Not fair, but nothing you can do about it either. Insisting that "hacker" is still a positive label is needlessly muddying the language at this point.

            General usage of the word has been eclipsed at this point. But people who do know the difference should not necessarily be randomly throwing them around regardless. While you can call everything a taskbar, sometimes calling a gnome-panel a gnome-panel is more clear and make more sense.

        • Re:Made for hackers (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Gewalt (1200451) on Sunday October 05, 2008 @09:29PM (#25269131)

          And it was a negative term "to hack" long before a small group of programmers started misusing it. Because the general populous perceived the word akin it's etymology, to the public the word could only be used to describe something malign.

          • by KGIII (973947) *

            There was a table, according to the lore that I recall but I can't think of any search terms to find it again in today's diluted internet, that had a power switch and anything (at that time) that was placed on it tended to ground out. I *think* it was at MIT. Leaving it on was considered a hack as there was absolutely no reason why it would not work with it on or off as it wasn't even connected with anything. I just spent way too much time actually looking for it but the terms I'm using are obviously failin

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by ozphx (1061292)

          Languages evolve. For this reason I tend not to talk about the large amounts of faggots on my back porch.

          I hearby hand you an official "Waa Waa, Cry Some More?" tag.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        This is partially related to Linux's slow adoption rate, the "Hacker" stereotype presented in movies and such. If "Hacker" was portrayed accurately as similar to say "Skilled Mechanic", would Linux have more adoption? A Hacker being the one who helps get more from the hardware/software like a skilled mechanic getting you 5 MPG more than stock, and a cracker (not mentioned due to USA racial concerns?) being the one who takes your car on joy rides and brings it back beat up.

        I think that the true hackers ne

        • by KGIII (973947) *

          Trademark or copyright. Those are what protects Linux today. If it is a term than I'd suggest trademark.

  • what (Score:5, Funny)

    by mikesd81 (518581) <mikesd1&verizon,net> on Sunday October 05, 2008 @09:06PM (#25268983) Homepage
    No google logo for this?! I expected a penguin or something like that.
    • The problem is, when do you call Linux "released"? Is it today when the original code was written, or when it became stable with a 1.0 release? Or would it be when the first major Linux distribution was released? As you see, there is a lot of dates you could call Linux as being "released".
      • by mikesd81 (518581)
        I thought it was universally agreed that Linux is the kernel? Which would be Oct 5, 1991 with version 0.02. Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] states:

        Linux is a Unix-like computer operating system family which uses the Linux kernel.

        • Yes, but which kernel? The stable 1.0 version? The beta version? The .02 version? Put it this way, while a lot of Linux-centered publications say that Linux was written in 1991, I've read even computer textbooks that use the 1994 date of the 1.0 release to say when Linux was released.
    • Re:what (Score:5, Informative)

      by Petrushka (815171) on Sunday October 05, 2008 @10:00PM (#25269297)

      Probably because Linux had already been announced in August 1991 [google.com], so that is probably the more important anniversary. But the October post linked in the summary is the first usenet post to refer to it as Linux, and to link to the source.

      (Incidentally, at the risk of starting a flamewar, I think the 28th of September [google.com] was also a fairly important anniversary ...)

  • by LM741N (258038) on Sunday October 05, 2008 @09:20PM (#25269065)

    Its called Ubuntu and he is supposed to be 60 years old and lives as a zoo keeper, naming all of his projects after various animals there.

  • Britannica? (Score:3, Funny)

    by paradoxSpirit (1172919) on Sunday October 05, 2008 @09:28PM (#25269125)

    "The anniversary is also featured on the top page of the Encyclopedia Britannica"

    Britannica is overrated, wake me when it make the first page of wikipedia ;-)

  • Has it really been that long???

    I remember being excited when 0.95b came out. It had a parallel port driver, and I could print on these flat cellulose sheets made from dead trees. You young whipper snappers probably don't know anything about that...

    • by deniable (76198)

      We know about paper. You forget Quality Assurance, developed by the paper industry to defeat the paperless office.

  • Grats! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Congrats! 17 years and almost 2% of the market share. This is the year!

    http://www.w3counter.com/globalstats.php

  • Somebody indulge me, but why is the *17th* birthday of the kernel worthy of main page? Slow news day?

    15, 20, 25, etc. yes. But 17?

  • by Nyall (646782) on Sunday October 05, 2008 @09:47PM (#25269223) Homepage

    Time keeps flowing.

  • and some of the best tags I've ever seen.

    Keep up the good work!

  • Britannica is so crap compared to Wikipedia. The article on Linux seems to have been written in 1999, and the description of Linux as an operating system would not make Stallman happy.
  • "For a definition of Linus Torvaldis, see Merriam Webster"

    OMG! I read TFA all the way to the end! And on this day of all things!!
     
    /me hides

  • by sleeponthemic (1253494) on Sunday October 05, 2008 @10:16PM (#25269395) Homepage
    "Barely Legal"
  • 17 years... (Score:5, Funny)

    by rampant mac (561036) on Sunday October 05, 2008 @10:17PM (#25269403)

    Obligatory:

    1991 - This is the year of the Linux desktop!, 1992 - This is the year of the Linux desktop!, 1993 - This is the year of the Linux desktop!, 1994 - This is the year of the Linux desktop!, 1995 - This is the year of the Linux desktop!, 1996 - This is the year of the Linux desktop!, 1997 - This is the year of the Linux desktop!, 1998 - This is the year of the Linux desktop!, 1999 - This is the year of the Linux desktop!, 2000 - This is the year of the Linux desktop!, 2001 - This is the year of the Linux desktop!, 2002 - This is the year of the Linux desktop!, 2003 - This is the year of the Linux desktop!, 2004 - This is the year of the Linux desktop!, 2005 - This is the year of the Linux desktop!, 2006 - This is the year of the Linux desktop!, 2007 - This is the year of the Linux desktop!, 2008 - This is the year of the Linux desktop!

    Stupid whitespace filter, yadda yadda

    • by pecosdave (536896)

      Nah, I would say that list should legitimately begun at 1998 or so, with low hopes. Before then I think it was said as more of a joke. The modern KDE and Gnome however are quite flashy and user friendly. Easier in Windows in many respects, and I've found a few things I like better about KDE (my prefered manager) than I do about Mac OS X.

    • by mcrbids (148650)

      It's been the year of MY Linux desktop since about 1999, the year a virus on my Windows 98 computer sent random copies of my word processing files to all of my customers. Since one of those documents was a list of usernames and passwords, I had the joy of contacting all my customers, giving them new passwords, and explaining the potential security breach.

      Never again. //Typing this on a Dell laptop running Fedora Core 8//

      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 05, 2008 @11:26PM (#25269791)

        I'll never forget the day I was at a large meeting with my clients. They never took me seriously and in fact started leaving the room. Turns out it was because my dick was hanging out of my pants. Never again will I use velcro. From that day forward, it was zipper only!

  • I swear, it's like some kind of geek Woodstock. Just like every baby boomer was at Woodstock, every geek says he ran Linux in '91. Guys who merely downloaded Slackware floppies? Please...we ran 0.1 and compiled it ourselves blah blah...

  • by Hurricane78 (562437) <deleted@slashd o t .org> on Monday October 06, 2008 @12:56AM (#25270175)

    I can (well, almost) hear you asking yourselves "why?". Hurd will be
    out in a year (or two, or next month, who knows), and I've already got
    minix.

    This brings tears to my eyes...
    I didn't know, that Hurd was already in development back than...
    And 17 years later... it's still not done...
    Even the Firefox spell checker does not know it... It recommends "Turd". *lol*
    Hey, it does not know "Firefox" too. Oh well...

    Think of what happened if Linus had waited* for Hurd instead...

    [* Is that correct English? It's not my first language... I don't know...)

  • by PinkyDead (862370) on Monday October 06, 2008 @04:26AM (#25270955) Journal

    ...coz, lord knows, it was an ugly baby.

Those who do not understand Unix are condemned to reinvent it, poorly. - Henry Spencer, University of Toronto Unix hack

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