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Maclean’s: Bill Gates besieged

Thanks to Hans Johnson for this link.

Earlier we reported on a
Maclean’s story, not yet available. Today it is available for
reading on their website.

“They came by the thousands last week, a ragtag army of
pasty-faced computer geeks in sandals and T-shirts, streaming into
the San Jose Convention Center in California’s Silicon Valley to
honour the 29-year-old hacker from Helsinki who might just be the
one to dethrone Bill Gates. Linus Torvalds, the Finnish anti-Gates
who gave birth to the Linux operating system, was waiting with his
wife, Tove, and a double stroller carrying their two infant girls,
the very picture of domesticity with a diaper bag slung over his
shoulder the way other programmers haul around laptops. But when he
ambled on to the stage to deliver his keynote address, the geeks
hailed him as their leader, erupting into cheers and prolonged
applause. “Calm down,” an obviously embarrassed Torvalds said, and
the crowd obediently fell silent. Afterward, they mobbed him for
his autograph, grown men behaving like adolescent groupies at a
rock concert.”

“Who is Linus Torvalds, and why has he become a high-tech hero?
He may not be well-known outside the computer industry, but in
places like Silicon Valley Torvalds’ name inspires awe and respect
in equal measure, and for one very good reason. Linux, the
operating system he invented as a 21-year-old university student in
Finland, has in recent months emerged as a potential threat to
Windows, the product that has made Microsoft Corp. of Redmond,
Wash., the world’s most highly valued company by market
capitalization. And nothing, but nothing, would delight the hackers
of Silicon Valley more than to see mighty Microsoft brought down to
size. To them, Gates is the Darth Vader of the desktop, a dangerous
megalomaniac who must be stopped before he and his $594-billion
company achieve total world domination.”


Complete Story

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