"Five years ago, Miguel de Icaza had what most hackers would
consider a comfortable gig. A 24-year-old dropout at the national
university in Mexico City, he spent most of his time in a cramped
room as a computer technician for the nuclear sciences department.
He had free Internet access--and the privacy to hack away at all
"What little English Icaza knew (he taught himself through
Internet chat rooms) was enough to communicate with a dedicated
group of 'free software' enthusiasts like himself, programmers who
considered it a higher calling in life to create applications that
anybody could use, change, or redistribute. Icaza had recently
persuaded his counterparts to start pitching in their time, and
hundreds of thousands of lines of new code, in service of an
impossible über-task: creating a free, easy-to-use interface
for Linux, the operating system that was quickly becoming the
standard-bearer of free software..."