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Linux Journal: My Life and Free Software

May 24, 2000, 01:09 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jon)

"The godfather of Linus' children and the glue that holds the Linux community together tells us a bit about his life and involvement in the programming community."

"I somehow made the acquaintance of the Digital Equipment Corporation salesman who gave me a couple of paperback books, one of which was on the fundamentals of programming in assembler, the other entitled Programming the PDP-8. From these two books, I started the task of learning to program the machines in assembly language. While learning assembler language programming from a book might sound daunting to some, the books (part of a handbook series put out by Digital) were very good, and along with the other students using the lab (the ``lab rats''), we managed to coach each other through the process. ... I never forgot the kindness of that Digital salesman, nor the philosophy of the DECUS organization. It would have a profound effect on my later life, both as I chose new jobs and as I dealt with other people."

"While working at Aetna, two major things occurred. First, I started going to graduate school at night for my MSCS; the second was making friends with some of the operators of the machines. The second event brought me out of a shell I was in, and made me more outgoing. It also gave me physical access to the computer floor, something very useful from time to time as a programmer at Aetna. I also noticed that my tapes got mounted faster, my listings were sorted nicer, and various good things happened to me because I liked these people and treated them with respect. Other programmers who did not treat them with respect often had a hard time getting good service. Another major lesson learned in life."

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