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

    by Gewalt (1200451) on Sunday October 05, 2008 @10:29PM (#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.

  • Re:Made for hackers (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SgtPepperKSU (905229) on Sunday October 05, 2008 @10:39PM (#25269191)

    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:what (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 05, 2008 @11:26PM (#25269451)

    Why not version 0.01 like Slashdot celebrated back in the days [slashdot.org]? We should choose one date and stick to it, guys.

  • Re:Made for hackers (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rtb61 (674572) on Sunday October 05, 2008 @11:26PM (#25269459) Homepage

    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 relation to hacker, white hat or black hat is appended. Imagine, allowing mass media hockey puck 'mom' journalists from those colleges for dummies to define our language for us, what are ya thinkin, next you all be lettin em become president, 'er', wink, giggle.

  • Re:Made for hackers (Score:3, Interesting)

    by slap20 (168152) on Sunday October 05, 2008 @11:36PM (#25269527)

    I believe this is the link you were looking for?

    http://catb.org/esr/jargon/html/magic-story.html [catb.org]

    Magic... or More Magic?

  • Re:Poor Quality (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bmo (77928) on Monday October 06, 2008 @12:05AM (#25269687)

    I'm commenting on the Britannica article that I clicked through to. It wasn't written by Doc. It's written by some guy called Anthony Craine, who I have never heard of.

    Britannica is supposed to be "high quality" (because it was when I was a wee tyke when it was only available in dead-tree edition).

    I guess I should have been more clear.

    --
    BMO

  • Re:Linus... humble!? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BobNET (119675) on Monday October 06, 2008 @12:29AM (#25269813)

    Or did you conveniently forget that it's GNU/Linux?

    Like how people conveniently forget that it wasn't published under the GPL until late 1992. Or that it can currently be compiled with at least one compiler other than GCC. Or that it's possible to run it with a modified *BSD userland and non-glibc C library. But yeah, aside from that, it's all Stallman's doing...

  • Re:Made for hackers (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 06, 2008 @12:49AM (#25269897)

    Cracker is racist slang (used to describe people like ESR), and will never appear in the mainstream media, so sorry you lost this one.

  • by symbolset (646467) on Monday October 06, 2008 @01:33AM (#25270063) Journal

    I remember printing earlier versions on an old Okidata tractor fed serial printer. I think it was V 0.91.

    Of course I had to do some coding to get the printer to form feed, but that's what it cost back then to be on the bleeding edge.

    /you had to put the printer in compressed mode first because some of the lines were too long.

    <sigh> There was a lot to learn in that code. For an eager student it was like being a kid in a candy store. And much of it was very, very bad.

  • Re:Linus... humble!? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Cathbard (954906) on Monday October 06, 2008 @02:33AM (#25270319)
    I think you are underestimating the influence of the GPL in the success of GNU/Linux. Knowing that some slimy corporation wasn't able to take your contribution, close it off and sell it made the whole deal far more palatable. There's no way I would contribute without the protections offered by the GPL license and I know I'm not alone in having that attitude. The only thing worse than working for a corporation is working for them for free.
  • by SL Baur (19540) <steve@xemacs.org> on Monday October 06, 2008 @06:05AM (#25271109) Homepage Journal

    No problem. Your points are valid.

    It's easier to make a case that Stallman has been hindering the advancement of Linux, rather than helping it.

    No one other than the handful of people who already had our own private versions of hand rewritten versions of Unix utilities really care anyway. Desktop users do not.

    And as to programming skills ... I do not think of Linus as the very best programmer in the Linux kernel world today (I'd rate AKPM, Al Viro and Davem higher), he's very good ... but as a manager and arbiter of programming taste, he gets top score. He knows how to trust people and delegate responsibility and get things done at a rate I would have considered impossible 10 years ago.

I've never been canoeing before, but I imagine there must be just a few simple heuristics you have to remember... Yes, don't fall out, and don't hit rocks.

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