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Suck.com: Out of Eden

Aug 21, 1999, 14:48 (15 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Greg Knauss)

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"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 privates."

"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 others."

"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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