"Marc Torres has experienced Linux from its raw roots to the
executive suite. He co-founded a major Linux trade show, has hacked
his share of code, and now offers insight about where his favorite
OS is headed."
"Marc Torres, one of the founders of the Atlanta Linux Showcase
(ALS), started hacking Linux in 1992. Somewhere along the way,
Linux went from a hobby to a job. Torres, the former president of
SuSE of America, is currently the chief technology officer for
Atipa Technologies of Kansas City, Mo., a vendor and integrator of
"It started innocuously enough in the early '90s, when Torres
was looking for a version of Unix he could run on his 386 machine.
There wasn't much. "That's when I came across Linux," Torres said.
"I started using it around August of 1992." At the time, Linux was
a floppy-based distribution that fit on about 10 discs. It was also
anything but polished, both in features and ease of use. Torres
said, "Not everything that was there was up to snuff, but it was
"For Torres, one of Linux's most intriguing aspects was the open
development model. "There were mailing lists and news groups and a
continuous development effort going on and you could provide good
feedback to the developers," he said. "It was very enjoyable to
work on this stuff. What's more, if you saw a need, you could fill
it yourself instead of submitting a request to a company and
waiting for the next release."
"That was enough to start him hacking on Linux as an avocation.
"I had experience with SCO, ATT, Sun, NeXt, Ultrix, and some other
variations of Unix before I got to Linux, so I knew some things
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