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Open Source Operating Systems Linux

Linus Torvalds Receives IEEE Computer Pioneer Award 141

mikejuk (1801200) writes "Linus Torvalds, the 'man who invented Linux' is the 2014 recipient of the IEEE Computer Society's Computer Pioneer Award, '[f]or pioneering development of the Linux kernel using the open-source approach.' According to Wikipedia, Torvalds had wanted to call the kernel he developed Freax (a combination of 'free,' 'freak,' and the letter X to indicate that it is a Unix-like system), but his friend Ari Lemmke, who administered the FTP server it was first hosted for download, named Torvalds' directory linux. In some ways Git can be seen as his more important contribution — but as it dates from 2005 it is outside the remit of the IEEE Computer Pioneer award."
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Linus Torvalds Receives IEEE Computer Pioneer Award

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  • by jfdavis668 ( 1414919 ) on Sunday May 04, 2014 @01:45PM (#46913803)
    He is very deserving of the award. Well done.
  • by SETY ( 46845 ) on Sunday May 04, 2014 @02:02PM (#46913893)

    "Git can be seen as his more important contribution"
    Umm no. The early 1990's were dark days. Linux was/is a big deal. Where would we be without Linux? It changed the world! The same can't quite be said about Git (although great in its domain).

  • Git? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 04, 2014 @02:07PM (#46913933)

    Git is a nice tool, but it's not even close to his work on Linux. Orders of magnitude less important. You'd be paying for commercial licenses of Solaris, GNU would have seen far less of an audience and not progressed nearly as fast as it has, and you'd be paying VMware license fees every time you started up an EC2 instance. If Git disappeared tomorrow, I'd switch to svn and probably grumble a couple more times than normal. If Linux disappeared tomorrow, I'd be bankrupt and broke.

  • Re:Good (I guess) (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cheesybagel ( 670288 ) on Sunday May 04, 2014 @02:31PM (#46914107)

    I can't help feeling that Linux, while extraordinarily powerful, has less relavance now than it did 10 years ago.

    Surely you are joking. Not only did it dethrone nearly all UNIXes used for server side tasks, is used in nearly all Top500 supercomputers, but it is ubiquitous on Android mobile platforms as well. If this is not success what is?

    The desktop needs to be thought over again.

  • by davester666 ( 731373 ) on Sunday May 04, 2014 @02:38PM (#46914159) Journal

    Git is really a gift from BitKeeper. If BitKeeper had chosen to not be dicks, everybody would still be using it for Linux kernel development. Hell, BitKeeper doesn't even put pricing information on their web site, you need to 'request' it [but you know it ain't cheap if they say it costs $$$ from a range of zero $ to $$$$].

  • Re:Good (I guess) (Score:4, Insightful)

    by NapalmV ( 1934294 ) on Sunday May 04, 2014 @02:43PM (#46914187)
    You're confusing the Linux kernel with a Linux distro. Linus got the award for his work on the kernel. Up to cca year 2000, the crushing dominance of DOS over Linux as a kernel in the desktop world cannot be explained by any technical merits of the former vs. the later. Even with the advent of XP and the "NT" kernel, there's still no technical reason why the "NT" kernel would technically be more adept to desktop use. If you want a good explanation on why Windows is the no 1 desktop system, the kernel is definitely not the place to look for answers.
  • by kthreadd ( 1558445 ) on Sunday May 04, 2014 @02:55PM (#46914267)

    The most innovative thing with Linux was not that it is a Unix look-a-like. It's that it's a _free software_ Unix look-a-like.

  • by Guy Harris ( 3803 ) <guy@alum.mit.edu> on Sunday May 04, 2014 @03:16PM (#46914393)

    We should not diminish the importance of Linux. But it's clear that Git is much more important today. Linux is wonderful, but its a commodity for most people. It doesn't matter that Android is based on Linux. It's awesome but most people don't care. It's just a technicality.

    It's "just a technicality" in the sense that Android might not exist if Linux hadn't existed; saying that it's less relevant because people don't know it's there is like saying that ARM isn't all that important because most people don't know they have ARM processors in their smartphones. Git is even less directly relevant to most people, as they're not developers.

    What Linus did by creating GitHub is of tremendously much more importance if you look at how well it brings open source developers together.

    Presumably you meant "by creating Git"; as far as I know, he no more created GitHub than he created Android, even if GitHub uses Git and Android uses Linux.

  • by BadDreamer ( 196188 ) on Sunday May 04, 2014 @03:47PM (#46914613) Homepage

    "In some ways Git can be seen as his more important contribution" - thus spake someone who was not there in the early 90's, and who takes free software and OS competition for granted. In other words, someone who is naive beyond words.

    The change brought by Git is insignificant next to that brought by Linux. Utterly insignificant.

  • by statemachine ( 840641 ) on Sunday May 04, 2014 @09:22PM (#46916021)

    I'm not going to say the kids need to leave the lawn, but saying Git can be seen in any way as Torvalds' more important contribution is speaking from ignorance. The people who say there were other OSes that could've filled the same role, but then list off prices for each, are ignorant too.

    Linux was free and freely available.

    I went from installing it out of the back of a book and from some odd company named Yggdrasil's ftp server, to installing it for a multi-million dollar enterprise fail-over solution.

    I went from twiddling values for "drums" to get my hard disks recognized, to it upgrading itself unattended on a phone in my pocket.

    Git got to where it was because Torvalds mandated it for Linux contributions. Linux, and the rest of the world, would be fine if Git didn't exist. There were and are plenty of free revision control systems out there. No one can say the same for Linux.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 04, 2014 @11:27PM (#46916373)

    How is it worse on the Desktop? My 60 year old Mother has zero issues using Xubuntu and she is completely Computer Illiterate, seriously, she barely knows where the power button is.

    The people who keep claiming how difficult Linux is are either folks who:

    tried it maybe in 1997

    Just parroting something they heard from someone (lame)

    Actually less computer literate than your dear Grams (pretty sad for people on a tech site)

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

    Here's a little list for folks who can't be bothered to follow the link:

    LinuxHas been ported to more platforms than any other OS Leading OS on servers and mainframes

    Most of the worlds supercomputers and all of the fastest run Linux variants


    Distros available for less powerful computers

    Software repositories online. Want a piece of software? Go to a repository, and click on it. It downloads all the dependent files. I've also found driver support to be better as of late. Several USB devices just work on my Mint and Ubuntu systems, and no drivers at all for Windows.

    Anyone that still thinks its so difficult needs to watch a Mint install. Even easier that Ubuntu, in itself easy.

On a paper submitted by a physicist colleague: "This isn't right. This isn't even wrong." -- Wolfgang Pauli