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Who Wrote Linux? 339

Dozix007 writes "There is an interesting article by Jan Stafford on the myths of Linux creation. This episode of the series of Linux creation myths, one fellow plays "I Spy," and the other reveals the true origins of the man from Redmond. The author is offering a $50 gift certificate and IT books to the best spinners of tall Linux creation tales. If you can outdo these tall tales."
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Who Wrote Linux?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @02:58PM (#9624317)
    Tell me how, when, where and why you created Linux. The best story I receive-- as judged by an impartial jury of editors -- will win a $50 gift certificate

    OK, this should be fun... a /. sanctioned trollfest...

    • by Pharmboy ( 216950 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @03:10PM (#9624471) Journal
      or at least mod Taco as "-1 Troll". You know he was laughing his ass off when he posted this one.

      Can we do that? ;)
      • Sad, ignorant troll. It has been written long ago:

        Everything else will be just a sad imitation...

        P.S. It is the same guy who writes the BOFH stories. Just these are much better:
    • "OK, this should be fun... a /. sanctioned trollfest..."

      I dunno, I kind of picture it as more of a food fight. But maybe I'm giving you all too much credit in assuming this thread won't result in people banging their fists on the table.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @03:22PM (#9624604)
      Linux is a fine DOS-like operating system with many uses, the number one of which is compiling the Linux kernel itself.

      Compiling the kernel is an activity that must be accomplished time and time over again, sometimes several times per day. It is recommended that the Linux kernel be recompiled at least once per day on the most critical systems. Doing otherwise would likely result in system instability.

      Since compiling the kernel is such an important activity, Linux users often benchmark and compare machines solely based on kernel compile times. Most distributions provide the source code of the kernel to the users in an effort to ease the learning curve of the unfriendly environment.

      There are many reasons to compile the Linux kernel. Here are a few:

      -Installation of new hardware such as a USB mouse
      -Application of daily security patches
      -Training towards RedHat Certified Systems Engineer certification
      -Impressing friends, mates and family

      Please be careful when compiling your Linux kernel. You could hose your system.
    • by Rasputin ( 5106 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @03:29PM (#9624677) Homepage

      A race of super-intelligent interstellar penguins did it.

    • by rcamans ( 252182 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @03:53PM (#9624952)
      You are looking for the Mythcreant who "invented" Linux?
      Look no further.
      Everyone knows it is Al Gore, inventor of the Internet.
    • I'm sick of this, the truth must be told before the end of my days.

      The truth is that Linus Torvalds isn't real, or at least he wasn't, he's was fictional character made up by me. A few years ago, around 1987 I was doing some snooping around the NSA's mainframes and I broke into one of their spy satellites. I decided it'd be fun to hack around, so I wrote my own custom firmware for the satellite and attempted to do a soft load and retask it to spy on Soeil MoonFrye (the chick who played Punky Brewster) but
  • by Anonymous Coward
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @02:58PM (#9624330)
    SCO wrote Linux. Zing!
  • by angst7 ( 62954 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @02:59PM (#9624339) Homepage
    Unfortunately there is not room in the margin of this webpage for the full source...
    • Re:I wrote linux... (Score:4, Informative)

      by AndroidCat ( 229562 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @04:16PM (#9625182) Homepage
      I think it might be this guy [], but from the sounds of it, I doubt it'll ever amount to anything.
      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 is a program for hackers by a hacker. I've enjouyed doing it, and somebody might enjoy looking at it and even modifying it for their own needs. It is still small enough to understand, use and modify, and I'm looking forward to any comments you might have.
      After all, it's just not Windows compatible.
  • Al Gore, no?
  • Linus the writer? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SIGALRM ( 784769 ) * on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @03:00PM (#9624347) Journal
    Who wrote Linux? The spy who loved Linux
    Isn't it more proper to ask, "Who created/developed Linux?"....

    I mean, Linus is the creator of Linux, not the "writer of Linux", am I correct? I know I'm being picky (I "write" code) but I see this alot.
    • by Pharmboy ( 216950 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @03:06PM (#9624433) Journal
      I mean, Linus is the creator of Linux, not the "writer of Linux", am I correct? I know I'm being picky (I "write" code) but I see this alot.

      More importantly, Linus is the copyright holder for the name Linux. I think everyone knows the whole story by now: Linus gets Minix, doesn't like limitations, uses it to write a new OS, quoted for the famous "real men don't backup, they mirror their data via ftp" or similar, a year later, goes GPL, everyone pitches in, it gets popular, Darl smokes crack (that bill bought for him) and can't just break into Linus's house to steal Linux so he hires lawyers to do it for him.
      • Re:Linus the writer? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Feztaa ( 633745 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @03:14PM (#9624532) Homepage
        Linus is the copyright holder for the name Linux

        I think you mean "trademark" holder.
      • Copyright confusion (Score:5, Interesting)

        by wurp ( 51446 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @03:17PM (#9624553) Homepage
        Linus holds the *trademark* for the word Linux. He holds the copyright on some of the code for Linux, but at this point I'm sure it's far from all of it, probably not actually even a large fraction of it. If I write a patch and submit it to Linus, I hold the copyright on that patch. Copyright on the patched code would be a very sticky issue, but since we all agree to distribute the code under the GPL license, as long as you stay within the terms of the license who owns the copyright is moot.

        It's possible that Linus requires you to agree to assign copyright to him to submit code, but I doubt it.

        Personally, I write code. You can call it developing or creating, and you're right, but the specifics of what I do is writing. It is no different than writing a book, except that it's instructions in a very pedantic language.

        <Note: I personally have not contributed to the Linux kernel; I'm using the royal we above :)>
        • my bad, i knew that, but my fingers didn't ;)
        • It's possible that Linus requires you to agree to assign copyright to him to submit code, but I doubt it.

          They (the kernel devs) don't, all they want is your permission to release it under the GPL. The FSF, though, demands the copyright on all contributions to GNU software.

    • but I see this alot.

      That's okay, I see 'alot' a lot.

      BTW, I agree it should be creator/developer.
      • "That's okay, I see 'alot' a lot."

        I see it alot too. In fact, I see it so often that at this point, I treat it as a valid compound word. This, of course, makes me a bad person and probably a comunist or terrorist or the like, but I tend to read, write and speak colloquial English as it is presented to me, not what the OED has pre-approved. I prefer a living, breathing language to bookworm-food.

        If you know what the word means from context or repeated usage, why bother "correcting"? Next thing, you're going
        • by mwillems ( 266506 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @04:02PM (#9625037) Homepage

          Eh, that would be "existence", not "existance". And "communist", not "comunist".

          Spelling convention is not just power exercised by published writers. Not at all, in fact. It is simply a way that we agree words ought to be written so we all have the same understanding. Yes, language lives; but no, the fact a lot of people write something a certain way does not make it right.

          I.e. it is variable, but within limits. Today, in 2004, a sentence like

          "In there wisdom, the school's principles wrote this sentance while standing in the quue. Its true that in it's previous live, the school bored had no moral principals". just utter nonsense, whether 100 million people write it all that way or not. I presume you would agree? Yet I have seen all those mistakes made, recently.

          Thanks (not "thank's") for reading...

    • That ain't writin' - that's typin'!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @03:00PM (#9624349)
    Linus Benedict Torvalds (born December 28, 1969) began the development of Linux, an operating system kernel, and today acts as the project coordinator (or Benevolent Dictator for Life). Inspired by the demo-system Minix developed by Andrew Tanenbaum, he felt the need for a capable UNIX operating system that he could run on his home PC. Torvalds did the original development of the Linux kernel primarily in his own time and on his equipment.

    Torvalds was born in Helsinki, the capital of Finland, as the son of Nils and Anna Torvalds. Both of his parents were campus radicals at the University of Helsinki in the 1960s, his father a Communist who in the mid-1970s spent a year studying in Moscow. This caused embarrassment to Linus at the time since other children would tease him about his father's politics.

    His family belongs to the Swedish-speaking minority (roughly 6% of Finland's population). Torvalds was named after Linus Pauling. He attended the University of Helsinki from 1988 to 1996, graduating with a masters degree in computer science.

    Linus Torvalds currently lives in San Jose, California with his wife Tove (six-time Finnish national Karate champion), whom he first met in fall 1993, his cat Randi (short for Mithrandir, the Elvish name for Gandalf, a wizard in The Lord of the Rings), and his three daughters Patricia Miranda (born December 5, 1996), Daniela Yolanda (born April 16, 1998) and Celeste Amanda (born November 20, 2000). In June 2004 Linus purchased a home in Beaverton, Oregon and enrolled his children in school.

    He worked for Transmeta Corporation from February 1997 until June 2003, and is now seconded to OSDL to work on the Linux kernel full-time. Although OSDL is based in Portland, Oregon, he worked from his home in San Jose.

    His personal mascot is a penguin nicknamed Tux, widely adopted by the Linux community as the mascot of Linux.

    Linus's law, a tenet inspired by Linus and coined by Eric S. Raymond in his paper The Cathedral and the Bazaar, is: "Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow." A deep bug is one which is hard to find, and with many people looking for it, the hope (and so far most experience) is that no bug will be deep. Both men share an open source philosophy, which has been in part (and implicitly) based on this belief.

    Unlike many open source "evangelists", Torvalds keeps a low profile and generally refuses to comment on competing software products, such as Microsoft's commercially dominant Windows operating system. He is neutral enough to even have been criticized by the GNU project, specifically for having worked on proprietary software with Transmeta and for his use and alleged advocacy of Bitkeeper. Nevertheless, Torvalds has occasionally reacted with strong statements to what has been widely perceived as anti-Linux (and anti open source) FUD from proprietary software vendors like Microsoft or SCO.

    For example, in one e-mail reaction to statements by Microsoft Senior-VP Craig Mundie, who criticized open source software for not being innovative and destructive to intellectual property, Torvalds wrote: "I wonder if Mundie has ever heard of Sir Isaac Newton? He's not only famous for having set the foundations for classical mechanics (and the original theory of gravitation, which is what most people remember, along with the apple tree story), but he is also famous for how he acknowledged the achievement: If I have been able to see further, it was only because I stood on the shoulders of giants ... I'd rather listen to Newton than to Mundie. He may have been dead for almost three hundred years, but despite that he stinks up the room less."

    Linus Torvalds originally used the Minix OS on his system which he replaced by his own OS; he gave a working name of Linux (Linus' Minix); but thought the name to be too egotistical and planned to have it named Freax (a combination of "free", "freak", and the letter x). His friend Ari Lemmke encouraged Linus to upload it to a network so it could be easily downloaded
  • My bet (Score:5, Funny)

    by WormholeFiend ( 674934 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @03:01PM (#9624355)
    I bet this thread gets the highest AC post ratio EVAR.
  • by Myrmi ( 730278 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @03:01PM (#9624366)
    It was Tux!
  • by Quarters ( 18322 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @03:02PM (#9624370)
    The post or the story to which it refers.
  • Al Gore... (Score:4, Funny)

    by entrager ( 567758 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @03:02PM (#9624373)
    ...I'm pretty confident about that.
  • by clester ( 744726 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @03:02PM (#9624381) Homepage
    Linux is free to share,
    sharing is caring,
    caring shows love,
    love is blind,
    Ray Charles is blind,
    Ray Charles wrote linux....
  • My story (Score:5, Funny)

    by ( 782137 ) <.joe. .at.> on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @03:02PM (#9624384) Homepage Journal
    It was written by Bill Gates, but Shawn Fanning stole the floppy disk with the code on it! He subsequently dropped it and it was found by the FreeBSD maintainers, who promptly died. Andrew Tanenbaum picked up the disk and ran away, only to be sucker-punched to the throat by SCO, who were sucker-punched to the throat by IBM, who in a spirit of generosity gave it to the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus, who made a copy each. The Tooth Fairy shoved her disk into Torvald's mouth and Santa Claus gave it to him for Christmas.

    The End.
  • by GICodeWarrior ( 794483 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @03:03PM (#9624391) Homepage
    He created the kernel.
    • I am not 100% sure but I think Condolezza Rice did the security layer.
    • by MrHanky ( 141717 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @03:54PM (#9624964) Homepage Journal
      On the second day? No, it was later. Here's how it went:

      On the first day of Krishnah,
      McBride he sent to me
      binutils and GCC [in source form, apparently]

      On the second day of Krishnah,
      McBride he sent to me
      Two broken builds of
      binutils and GCC

      On the third day of Krishnah,
      McBride he sent to me
      vi version three
      Two broken builds of
      binutils and GCC

      ... and so on for some verses. Krishnah has many days.

      On the 87th day of Krishnah,
      McBride he sent to me
      87 linux source files
      A TI-85
      Orwell's 84
      A TI-83
      A TI-82
      81 small furred animals
      80 copies of Lion's unix book
      79 years of pain:
      emacs 19
      emacs 18
      emacs 17
      (come on, you know the words!)
      And a lawsuit as a GCC compiler error message

      Sorry, I'm not really inspired. Sorry!
  • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @03:04PM (#9624408) Homepage
    Darl McBride. Face it, none of the rest of us come even close to make up such tall tales of Linux development.

  • by scrotch ( 605605 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @03:09PM (#9624467)
    Linux was written by a large group of Knights Templar and Rosicrucians around 1340 AD. It is also said to have been discovered by Jewish Cabalists within the Torah around the same time. Partial source is said to be found in the Koran, but recent disputes about whether the Koran was actually written in Aramaic cast many doubts on that.

    That Torvalds discovered and attempted to run the sacred kernel is still considered to have been the most arrogant hubris by those who know.
  • Einstein (Score:5, Funny)

    by ajlitt ( 19055 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @03:11PM (#9624490)
    Albert Einstein wrote it while trying to explain where all the missing left socks go, but dismissed it as rubbish. Little did he know that eighty years later it would be resurrected by a young Finnish student hoping to impress the ladies with a reimplementation of Minix.
  • by necrognome ( 236545 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @03:12PM (#9624498) Homepage
    I post on /., so for all intents and purposes I am a kernel hacker, right?
  • by callipygian-showsyst ( 631222 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @03:13PM (#9624511) Homepage
    How many of you here ran MINIX, before, say, 1988?

    [ raises hand ]

  • by manabadman ( 589984 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @03:13PM (#9624515)

    The truth is just as unlikely as these made up stories.

    A world class operating system started from scratch by a single person, with no commercial incentive?

    A group of hundreds (thousands?) of persons are from differing countries organization, commercial and voluntarily maintaining and improving it? Concerted development support from companies (IBM, Sun, Novell, HP, Fujitsu, et al) that are fierce competitors every other day of the week?

    Its really amazing. Good luck to everyone trying to spin a better tale than this.

    • A world class operating system started from scratch by a single person, with no commercial incentive?

      I assume you mean Stallman. ;-)
    • Good luck to everyone trying to spin a better tale than this.
      Probably too late for anyone to actually see this but, I couldn't help myself. With appologies to Tom Waits.


      Well he came home from the bar
      with a kernel in his head
      and a modified computer from intel
      and a hunk of code he opened up
      like GPL'ed things
      and a coding itch that he couldn't make still

      He tried to take up with the OpenBSD coding crowd
      but Theo said he'd code the blowfish all alone
      He went to sleep at the bottom of the kth

  • by ArmenTanzarian ( 210418 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @03:13PM (#9624519) Homepage Journal
    I wrote Linux in college, but my roomate (some Torvalds guy) stole it from me while I was taking a nap. I'm the REAL Linus!!
  • Cereal Box (Score:5, Funny)

    by Mr. Neutron ( 3115 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @03:14PM (#9624531) Homepage Journal
    The original kernel was stolen from the back of a "Star Bix" breakfast cereal box. One day, when time-travel is implemented, Linus will go back in time and sue Star Bix (and Andy Tanenbaum) for patent infringement.
  • by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @03:15PM (#9624538) Homepage Journal
    C'mon, everyone knows where Linuxes come from. Microsoft opened its Minix source code to inspire innovation, competition, and freedom. Some commie kid from an ex-soviet state copied it, changed its name, and threw it through a loophole in Microsoft's license, spamming the Internet with his technoporn. A global horde of terrorists have kept the antiamerican project running by stealing Windows code with worms, viruses and spyware. Fortunately, since the World Trade Center collapsed after its Linux firewall failed, Bill Gates has given stock options in Microsoft to anyone who patches these insidious attacks and delivers the scalp of one of these demonic hackers. That's how we got bin Laden: when Saddam Hussein turned over his buddy's secret IM ID. Now we're all safe here in the Utah-rded States of a Microsoft.
  • And the obvious answer is CowboyNeal!
  • by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @03:16PM (#9624547)
    It was me.

    With Professor Plum

    In the Conservatory

  • by NanoGator ( 522640 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @03:18PM (#9624567) Homepage Journal
    ... is if you replace 'written' with 'created', 'based on', or 'developed', you can concievably get different answers.

    Sorry if I'm being nauseatingly obvious, but it occured to me after considering that I was blending the terms 'written' and 'created by' together.
  • In A.D. 1989 War was beginning. Captain: What happen ? Mechanic: Somebody set up us the BSOD. Operator: We get no signal. Captain: What, CTRL+ALT+DEL ! Operator: Main screen turn on. Captain: It's You !! Gates: How are you gentlemen !! Gates: All your b0x3n are belong to us. Gates: You are on the way to destruction. Captain: What you say !! Gates: You have no chance to survive make your time. Gates: HA HA HA HA .... Operator: Captain !! Captain: Take off every 'kernel hacker' !! Captain: You know what you d
  • by oldosadmin ( 759103 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @03:21PM (#9624594) Homepage
    In the beginning God created the dos and the windows. And the Windows was without stability, and void; and blueness was upon the face of the CRT. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the code.

    And God said, Let there be linux; and there was linux. And God saw the linux, that it was good: and God divided the linux from the windows. And God called the linux 0wn4g3, and the windows he called suck4g3.
  • Fun and misinformation, all roled into one! 10 years from now, a highschool kid will be researching finland and find a juicy tidbit on how thier primary export is free software written by one solitary penguin monk who hasn't uttered a peep in 30 years. and never touches a text editor, he manually flips bits with his flippers.
  • by dekeji ( 784080 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @03:23PM (#9624619)
    The truth is out. There is no more use pretending. Finland doesn't actually exist. The Europeans are pretending that there is a country there to hide the fact that there is a vast, cross-national research area there, where European scientists experiment with alien artifacts, antigravity, and the perfect Martini. A kind of European Area 51, just with reindeer, bartenders who know what they are doing, gorgeous Italian lab assistants, and the scientists are generally better dressed than their Area 51 counterparts.

    Of course, if you are trying to hide the existence of a huge secret cross-national government research lab, you have to do some fancy footwork. After some people got dangerously close to the truth, desparate measures were needed. Since the Europeans don't like Microsoft or AT&T anyway, they decided to kill two birds with one stone: the secret government labs churned out a UNIX-work-alike operating system and pretended it came from someone from Finland. Nobody would have guessed that any organization would have had the resources or the guts to do something like that just to hide the non-existence of an entire country.

    Originally, things were easy: the code got created, distributed over networks, and everybody thought there was an actual person from "Finland" behind it who created it. However, things backfired and they ended up needing a real person. Eventually, a Greek sailor by the name Linos Torvalos volunteered to undergo the necessary physical alterations (and live with hair dye products until the day he dies) in order to be passed off as someone from the non-existent nation of Finland.

    The SCO lawsuit, however, really has them in a bind: on the one hand, it is quite clear that their original story that a "Finnish student created Linux in his spare time" can't possibly be true, given the sheer volume of code, but on the other hand, they can't reveal the true origin of the code, the army of programmers in an undeground bunker (which they refer to as "Santa's Little Helpers"), that created Linux.

    We are all waiting with bated breath for the resolution of this real-life drama of espionage, deception, and government coverups.
  • by Esion Modnar ( 632431 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @03:24PM (#9624623)
    A roomful of monkeys wrote Linux. What else were they to do? They'd already finished typing out the complete works of Shakespeare.

    Oh, and they were under contract from SCO, so there.

  • by frozenray ( 308282 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @03:26PM (#9624650)
    Copy from these [] stories [] for instant karma.

    Quote, from one Mark Adams:
    I wrote Linux. It's true! Or rather, God did. And he coded it in Hebrew and Greek. I discovered this while working on a secret research project, to discover -- using Bible code -- the true cause of the sinking of the Titanic.

    Try it yourself! Take every 1,342nd character from the King James Bible beginning Exodus 14:32, transliterate into the 8-bit bytes using a base26 algorithm, and you have a tar file containing the Linux 2.2.12 source code.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    and i have the source to prove it...
  • "Who wrote Linux?" (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    "Who cares?"
  • by Conspiracy_Of_Doves ( 236787 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @03:30PM (#9624690)
    A long time ago, in a galaxy not unlike this one, the microprocessor was invented. There was much rejoicing over this discovery; no longer must computers be controlled by a mystic priest-hood. Computers can be used by all as useful tools!

    The knights of hackerdom, hereafter referred to as hackers, used and developed and promoted and in general considered this new breed of computer a Good Thing. These magical devices could lead to wonders never before seen in the galaxy. So these hackers, a strange group to begin with, devoted their lives to the development of this technology.

    For a while peace and prosperity filled the galaxy. This was the age of Apple II's and Commodore 64's, Atari's and TRS-80's. A renewed sense of learning and cooperation-operation filled all the lands. There was comfort in knowing that for all the programs being used the source was flowing freely. When one had the source code, happiness and well-being flowed.

    Unfortunately during this time there was a rumbling in the source. One of the first systems, the Altair system, had a BASIC interpreter crafted by a young hacker named Bill. Bill, however, did not want the source of his creation flowing freely. He enjoyed subverting the source for his own purposes, mainly for monetary benefit. The use of proprietary code is the dark side of the source.

    This new age of joy and prosperity had to come to an end sooner or later. An old Imperial Power, IBM, decided to try to control this new way of life. It released its PC, thus beginning the clone wars. With IBM clones flooding the market, backed by the old Empire, up-starts had little chance. The ix86 architecture was enforced. This was a chaotic time, and IBM made one mistake. Needing an Operating System to be the life-source of their new product, IBM chose young Bill to obtain one.

    About this time the dark side of the source became too much and young hacker Bill became Darth Gates. Obtaining an inferior 8-bit OS, he made this the mainstay of the IBM world. In just a few short years Darth Gates controlled the OS, managing to leave the old Imperial IBM far behind. While Gates could have used his powers for good, instead he chose to strive for evil.

    While all this was happening, rebel groups attempted to bring down the evil stronghold. Apple, Amiga, and Unix factions fought valiantly, as did some direct competitors in Darth Gates' market. Alas, to no avail. And as the evil OS moved from version 1.0 through version 6.0 the future looked dim.

    To make matters worse, Darth Gates hatched a sinister plan to counter-act the minimal success of the rebels; steal their technology. Thus the DeathOS was devised. The first half-working version was DeathOS3.1, and it could destroy the usefulness of even the most powerful 386. While the rebels learned to fight off this beast, the new DeathOS's, 95 and NT were developed that could even bring down mighty Pentium systems. The future looks grim, can no one stop this plague?

    Unbeknowned to Darth Gates, on the planet Finlandia a young hacker named Linus has a vision. He decided that a 386 could be made to do something useful after all. And out of this vision came **Linux**!!! Drawing from the mystic Unix religion, this new OS was developed. Strong in the free side of the source, **Linux** only grew more and more powerful every day. Improved by hackers throughout the galaxy, and aided by strong flightless waterfowl the OS became a major fighting tool of the rebels. Hackers, which had been a dying breed, rallied behind **Linux** and the GNU project. ALL IS NOT LOST! THE GALAXY CHAFING UNDER DARTH GATES WILL RISE AGAIN!! THE BATTLE HAS BEGUN!!!!!! WHO WILL WIN??????

    To find out, watch for the upcoming OS Wars Trilogy, appearing soon in a theater near you.

    And, as always, MAY THE SOURCE BE WITH YOU.

    respects to author Vince Weaver
  • I'm the older brother of Linus. Our wicked parents have kept me locked in the basement since the day I was born, due to me being somewhat weird looking and stinky.

    I've lived all my life locked in a cold, damp basement in my parents house in a little town in Finland. My only light is the dull glow of my greenscreen monitor. I've never washed or cut my hair. All I've ever had for company is an old 486, and Terry the rat (but he died of the cold and so I ate him).

    I wrote Linux, and my evil little brother Lin
  • How about a nice game of chess?
  • Da Vinci... What do ya think the 'Da Vinci Code' really was?
  • A good story probably isn't rewriting LOTR, Star Wars, Tron,or what have you like mad libs. However, those can be really funny if you know what you're doing!
  • How else would have I got it done so fast and cheap...
  • Unfortunately, I was tricked into buying what I THOUGHT was tin foil hat, but was instead ALUMINUM (see previous posts on this subject). This was part of an Al Queda plot back in 1990. I should have know, and have only myself to blame.

    When I came up with the idea for Pharm-x (what you call Linux now) I couldn't trust anyone, so I wrote all the code in my head, and committed it to memory (remember, we are just talking about the kernel, not the apps). But because of the defective tin foil hat, my thoughts
  • I was hanging in a pub in Amsterdam, having consumed far too much coffee with this Finnish guy I had met that morning, who's name I never did get, when suddenly I was gripped by this totally wild irrational urge to code a Unix-like OS! The whole thing just poured out of me in one horrible spasm of caffeine induced delirium! Thousands of lines of code on the back of napkins, envelopes, scratch paper. It was a total mess but my buddy kept gathering up the lose leafs and stuffing them into his coat, and gettin
  • by x0n ( 120596 ) <> on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @03:43PM (#9624824) Homepage Journal
    Someone should pay that moron Michael Drosnin -- of The Bible Code [] fame -- to pick the linux kernel source out of the Torah too.

    Hmm, is it any coincidince Michael that your name and book title itself can be anagrammed into "Shielded Belcher Combinations" or "Cobblers! Nice heathenism, dildo.", I wonder?

    - Oisin

    Sir, it is with deepest regret I inform you that Linux is in fact the result of a 20 year KGB plot to subvert US dominance of the computer software industry.

    Exerpt from Kremlin Communica

    Translation Begins......

    Back in the early 1980s, with the cold war still on and the STI system under construction, the Kremlin knew that its long term hopes of victory could only be secured by subverting capitalist industry and sepecifically, its new dependance on IT. To do this they needed a Soviet Operating System of surpassing power, that could, at will, ping Allied machines to death while simulatiously monitoring and controlling every aspect of the lives of Soviet citizens.

    To this end the KGB were tasked with stealing the source code to the superior UNIX operating system. Already expierienced with pilfering designs for CPUs and 3.5'' floppies from the offices of IBM, the KGB were well up to the task. They set to work on slowly gaining access to AT&T labs across the globe, while superior soviet software engineers began the thankless task of reverse engineering UNIX binaries.

    But constructing this OS would require expertiese that the Union, due totally to capitalist interference of course, currently lacked. In order to bring all of the pieces together, and compile the piece they had found, they needed an agent trained in the west in the ways of capitalist programming, but still loyal to the revolution! Despite the best efforts of agents planted in every major computer lab available, they found decadent western programmers were only interested in money, 'code buzz' and vile capitalist pornography on USENET. USENET itself had eluded all efforts at subversion by the revolutionary divisions net.agents. It was felt that as a mass, the USENET hoards had collective intelligence somewhat less than was needed to rise up against tyranny.

    In short, Moscow needed to plant an agent, still young enough to learn, but old enough to remain loyal to the motherland. Enter, Linov Tolvachuk, AKA Linus Torvalds. Ala Kevin Cosner in 'Nowhere to Run' Linov was planted in nearby Finland, close to Moscow, yet near enough to the teaching methods of the west. For ten years under guidance of KGB handlers, he learned the ways of Object Orientation, Procedural programming and the secrets of IBM compatability.

    Despite setbacks, notibly suspisions of Linov's handlers being communists and what looked like a takeover of american computer industries by apple OSes, the project continued. Even pasted the fall of the Berlin wall and the ending of communism in Russia, the KGB continuded the operation, hoping once again for victory over the west and the revival of the revolution. Linov produced many works during this time, even suppling the comms software for the tank that Yelstin got drunk on.

    Finally by the early 90's the main objective of the project was underway. With a single USENET post and just over 10,000 lines of code, Linov published project KREMNIX, the muscovite OS to defeat the west. Heavily leaning on the UNIX code smuggled out by other agents in the MINIX project the used his training in charisima and psychology to influence and convert a learge number of western programmers, inciting a minor revolution in programming circles. Over the years Linux, as the project became known, grew to an OS that would challenge the west, yet would remain firmly in Moscow's hands.

    After Valdmir Putin, one of the agents behinf the project, came to power in Russia, the budget increased. By financing the companies they had set up to promote the project, notibly the rather obviously named RedHat, the Kremlin managed to increase the proliferation of of system.

    Simultanious to this, another plot had been brewing. To complement the expected increase in communist computer power, a corressponding sabotage of western OS quality was planned. The KGB successfully gained acces to, and altered, the code to the then infant MS-
  • Al Gore did (Score:2, Funny)

    by Beaker1 ( 624539 )
    Al Gore invented, er, wrote Linux cuz he needed something to run on the internet after he invented that.
  • by ak_hepcat ( 468765 ) <leif.denali@net> on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @03:52PM (#9624942) Homepage Journal
    This is a true story. I really did experience all of the events that transpired below.


    The origins of Linux begin on the Sabbath, when not completely without hesitation I boarded flight 152, service from Anchorage, AK to Fairbanks and Prudhoe Bay. Far from a normal trip, this particular route was to carry dread and evil for all its passengers.

    At exactly 12:30 P.M., the sparsely populated Boeing 737 began a leisurely take-off. The stewardesses had gone through the routine that every frequent flier knows by heart--often times better than the stewardesses. As the plane leveled into cruising altitude, drinks began to be served, I pulled my trusty laptop out of its storage compartment, and trouble appeared over the horizon.

    I was sitting in 13C--an aisle seat anyway, never mind the superstition--when the fasten-seatbelt indicator starting blinking threateningly, mirroring the flash of the disk-access LED as the code I was typing in was auto-saved every
    few minutes. Laptops die often, and autosave was my friend. However, not being one to buck tradition, I prised my fingers away from the keboard, reached down and calmly latched the cord of death around my waist and waited to hear
    what would cause such a violation of standard air traffic procedures.

    "This is your captain speaking, ladies and gentlemen, and I've just received news of some pretty rough turbulence at our cruising altitude of 37,500 feet, so we'll be dropping down a few thousand feet to see if we can avoid it."

    'Well, it was a lovely thought,' I began to myself as the plane suddenly lurched sickeningly downward. A hiss of static, some garbled words over the intercom and my popping ears made the next few moments only slightly more bearable. My hands shot forward in an attempt to keep the 11-lbs-light 'laptop' from becoming a ballistic missle of death. The plane was now lurching every
    which way, as if caught in some horrific version of pachinko. I could hear the beginnings of lunch begging to make themselves known in a very liquid fashion from a number of other people around me, as I initiated the shutdown procedure.

    Turning myself queasily toward the window, I was rewarded with a pale green light filling the port side of the aircraft. Not being able to make heads
    nor tails of the sudden change in luminesence, I quickly turned my head back to the center of the plane. Ears popping again in bitter frustration against the wild ride I was receiving, I slammed my hands to the sides of my head, hoping to relieve myself. There was to be no such luck.

    Opening my eyes once again, I was struck in awe at how the cabin of the aircraft had suddenly taken on a greenish hue, not at all unlike the
    emissions coming from outside.

    Then, as if on cue from some unholy stage-manager, the entire roof of the plane peeled back. My mind faulted, and presented me with images of a child peeling a banana. The wind, however was not to be felt. This was somewhat comforting, as the green light was now blindingly bright, and my skin felt like it was blistering under the intensity.

    A throbbing bass line wove under the sound of the airplanes engines, steadily increasing in volume. As the rumble grew louder, people and furniture began rocking back and forth, a visual reminder of the hell that was occurring.

    Much to her dismay, the lady in 11D diagonally across from me was the first to go. Forgetting to strap her seatbelt in was her own fault, I imagined. But instead of being sucked out of the plane and plummeting to her messy demise, she slowly rose from the cabin deeper into the green light which had blanketed the craft.

    Others began popping up, seat by seat, row by row. I felt my own chair giving out, and I started my upward traverse, my long-forgotten laptop still clutched tightly to my chest; a memory of raggety-andy dolls past, or perhaps some other comforting gesture. Eerily, instead of the light getting brighter, it became darker while the bass rumbling increased in
  • Long live Hank, the People Magazine's Most Beautiful Person (online edition anyway) and now according to many Slashdot readers the original author of Linux.
  • In the 9 months' polar winter blackness of Lapland I went outside the Quonset hut to feed some more blubber to the huskies. But since we'd been drinking Aqavit for about 3 days I hadda drain the snake. And then a flash of inspiration hit me like a solid nitrogen iceball and I peed out the kernel code.
  • ... that Linux was already encoded in the bible, and Linus did just find the decoding algorithm. Therefore the true writer of Linux was God himself.
  • Penguins? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Vinnie_333 ( 575483 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @04:18PM (#9625217)
    Wasn't it created by a grass roots race of super intelligent new-communist penguins with sociapathic tendencies that were attempting to undermine MS's monopoly and fundamentally change the way that software is developed?
  • by Creepy ( 93888 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @04:36PM (#9625484) Journal
    anyone besides me searching through the sigs to see if some guy named LinusTorvalds answered this post with a serious reply... and modded -1 Troll?

    anyhow, I suspect it was God on the 42nd day, but after a week or so he'd gotten too lazy to update his blog... we are made in his image, right :)
  • by zonix ( 592337 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @04:44PM (#9625603) Homepage Journal

    Say what you will, but I believe Linus' own explanation involving the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus is still sure to win. :-)

  • Bill Brasky (Score:5, Funny)

    by nightsweat ( 604367 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @05:00PM (#9625815)
    Bill Brasky wrote the entire Linux kernel in assembler one day in 1966 on an Underwood typewriter hooked up to a copper coil while he sat watching a baseball game. It took three teams of ten men each 22 years to translate the code backwards into C. To Bill Brasky!
  • by earthforce_1 ( 454968 ) <{moc.oohay} {ta} {1_ecrofhtrae}> on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @06:03PM (#9626506) Journal

    In an act of divine, immaculate compilation.
  • by identity0 ( 77976 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @06:27PM (#9626757) Journal
    "Mommy, where do linuxes come from?"
    "Well, when a man and a penguin are in love..."
    "They kiss?"
    "Well that, and they fuck."
    "It's when a man and his penguin get in bed together, and make little baby penguins."
    "Wow, I didn't know penguins could do that."
    "It's very natural, honey. You just have to make sure you don't catch BSDs."
    "Was Red Hat made like that?"
    "All the distros were made like this - first Linus had an affair with Tux. Their offspring was named Linux. Then Linux had a child named Yggdrasil, who died very young. In despair Linux joined a cult and had a child with its leader, Pat Volkerding who named their child Slackware. Then Linux became a slut and had children with Bob Young, Ian Murdock, and a whole bunch of other geeks who could never get it on with real women. A whole bunch of kids and grandkids, all of whom go back to Linus and Tux getting drunk together in a Helsinki dorm room."
    "Aren't I too young to be hearing this?"
    "No one's too young to learn the facts of Linux, honey."

(null cookie; hope that's ok)