"That thump you heard was the Linux community falling from Eden.
Long assured of their superiority over the other animals - because
God told them so - Linux coders were offered a shiny green apple
from a serpent named Wall Street last week, and they bit, and bit
hard. The repercussions will fundamentally change the way the OS is
developed, works, is sold. Linux is out in the real world now with
the rest of us, naked, cold, and faced with covering its
"Briefly, Linux is an 'alternative' - where 'alternative' is
defined as 'not Microsoft' - operating system for personal
computers. Begun as a part-time project by Finnish college student
Linus Torvalds, it has since evolved into the Holy Grail of the
taped-glasses set. While there are many technical details that make
Linux attractive to the sort of people to whom technical details
are attractive, perhaps its most appealing aspects are political
and economic rather than technological."
"Political: Linux is 'open source' software, meaning that nobody
owns or controls the raw programming instructions. Anybody can goof
with it. Find a bug? Fix it and share the solution. Do unto
"Economic: Linux is free. Grab yourself a copy. Grab 10. If
you're a corporation, grab 10,000. It's legal to sell Linux, but
since nobody owns the software, there's always some Mother Teresa
type happy to make it available without charge."
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