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c. Confrontation & Development
Soon Linus faced some confrontation from none other than Andrew Tanenbaum, great teacher who wrote MINIX. In a post to Linus, Tanenbaum commented:
" I still maintain point that designing a monolithic kernel in 1991 is a fundamental error. Be thankful you are not my student. You would not get a high grade for such a design :-)" (Andrew Tanenbaum to Linus Torvalds)
Linus later admitted that it was worst point of his development of Linux. Tanenbaum was certainly famous professor, and anything he said certainly mattered. But he was wrong with Linux, for Linus was one stubborn guy who won't admit defeat. Tanenbaum also remarked that : "Linux is obsolete".
Now was turn for new Linux generation. Backed by strong Linux community, Linus gave a reply to Tanenbaum which seems to be most fitting:
Your job is being a professor and researcher: That's one hell of a good excuse for some of brain-damages of minix. (Linus Torvalds to Andrew Tanenbaum)
And work went on. Soon more than a hundred people joined Linux camp. Then thousands. Then hundreds of thousands. This was no longer a hackers toy. Powered by a plethora of programs from GNU project, Linux was ready for actual showdown. It was licensed under GNU General Public License, thus ensuring that source codes will be free for all to copy, study and to change. Students and computer programmers grabbed it.
Soon, commercial vendors moved in. Linux itself was, and is free. What vendors did was to compile up various software and gather them in a distributable format, more like other operating systems with which people were more familiar. Red Hat , Caldera, Debian, and some other companies gained substantial amount of response from users worldwide. With new Graphical User Interfaces (like X-windows, KDE) Linux distributions became very popular.
Meanwhile, there were amazing things happening with Linux. Engineers have tweaked Linux to run 3Com's handheld PalmPilot computer. Red Hat Software's version of Linux won 1996 award for bestdesktop computer operating system from trade magazine InfoWorld. In April that year researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory used Linux to run 68 PCs as a single parallel processing machine to simulate atomic shock waves.The do-it-yourself supercomputer cost only $152,000, including labor (connecting 68 PCs with cables)-about one tenth price of a comparable commercial machine. It reached a peak speed of 19 billion calculations per second, making it 315th most powerful supercomputer in world. Three months later it still didn't have to be rebooted.
The best thing about Linux today is fanatic following it commands. Whenever a new piece of hardware is out, Linux kernel is tweaked to take advantage of it. For example, within weeks after introduction of Intel Xeon® Microprocessor, Linux kernel was tweaked and was ready for it. It has also been adapted for use in Alpha, Mac, PowerPC, and even for palmtops, a feat which is hardly matched by any other operating system. And it continues its journey into new millenium, with same enthusiasm that started one fine day back in 1991. As for Linus, he remains a simple man. Unlike Bill Gates, he is not a billionaire. Having completed studies, he moved to USA and landed a job at Transmeta Corporation. Recently married, he is proud father of a girl, Patricia Miranda Torvalds. But he remains as world's most favorite and most famous programmer to this date. Revered by Computer communities worldwide, Linus is by far most popular programmer on this planet. He deserves it.
Epilogue 2000 The year 2000 started as beginning of a new century, and of course, a brand new millenium. With ever increasing popularity of Linux sky-rocketing to new heights, it was clear that Linux was to stay as an inevitable part of computing in 3rd Millenium. And father of Linux, Linus Torvalds also created headlines when his company Transmeta Corporation delivered ultimate result of their secret product, amazing Crusoe(TM) processor. Linus worked from beginning as a project member, and resultant Crusoe processor is another testimony to his remarkable abilities as a dreamer. One thing is clear, The Future Belongs To Linux!
History is always boring, but history of Computing and that of Linux are very interesting. Much of source of this article has been taken from Internet. It was inspired by questions asked by many would be Linux users at meetings and postings of Bangladesh Linux Users Group.Thanks to all. All materials taken from various sources belong to their respective authors. All trademarks belong to respective corporations and companies. Microsoft and Windows are registered trademarks of Microsoft corp.
The author fully reserve right to portions of this article written solely by himself, under Gnu GPL. However all are requested to distribute this article freely and vigorosly provided my name and email address is given clearly with this article. ( If this legal things bore you, don't blame me. Who knows, Microsoft lawyers might find a way to sue for their Logo or name... :) ).
For all mistakes and suggestions Contact me: Ragib Hasan, Department of Computer Science & Engineering, Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ragib Hasan is a senior year Student of Computer Science and Engineering at Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology. He is an ardent follower of the Linux movement for free and open operating system and the GNU free software project. His other interests include Computer Programming (He is an award winning programmer), writing and Science fiction. A member of IEEE and BDLUG, he hopes for a better tomorrow. He can be reached at email@example.com