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Portrait: Dr. Alain Empain Helps Grow Open Source

Jun 21, 2007, 10:30 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by K.G. Schneider)

"Twice a week, Dr. Alain Empain drives his car away from his solar-paneled home in the Belgian countryside, then parks and boards a train that an hour and 10 minutes later will take him to a bus, which half an hour later will take him a small village called Meise and to his job as a botanist with Belgium's National Botanic Garden, where since the early 1990s he has been a persistent pioneer of open source software.

"Empain has spent the last several decades, as he puts it, 'mixing biology and the nascent ... informatics world.' Empain first connected a few computers to a Unix minicomputer in 1986; he was experimenting with Linux by 1993; soon after that had the first Linux server in the Belgian federal government, and by 1998 had switched not only servers but desktops at the National Botanic Garden to Linux..."

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