History of Linux

Written by Ragib Hasan

History of Linux

by Ragib Hasan (Copyright: Ragib Hasan 2000)

Table of Contents

a. In The Beginning b. New Baby inrepparttar horizon c. Confrontation and development d. Some Linux Cookies e. Ackknowledgments

a. In The Beginning

It was 1991, andrepparttar 107878 ruthless agonies ofrepparttar 107879 cold war was gradually coming to an end. There was an air of peace and tranquility that prevailed inrepparttar 107880 horizon. Inrepparttar 107881 field of computing, a great future seemed to be inrepparttar 107882 offing, as powerful hardware pushedrepparttar 107883 limits ofrepparttar 107884 computers beyond what anyone expected.

But still, something was missing.

And it wasrepparttar 107885 none other thanrepparttar 107886 Operating Systems, where a great void seemed to have appeared.

For one thing, DOS was still reigning supreme in its vast empire of personal computers. Bought by Bill Gates from a Seattle hacker for $50,000,repparttar 107887 bare bones operating system had sneaked into every corner ofrepparttar 107888 world by virtue of a clever marketing strategy. PC users had no other choice. Apple Macs were better, but with astronomical prices that nobody could afford, they remained a horizon away fromrepparttar 107889 eager millions.

The other dedicated camp of computing wasrepparttar 107890 Unix world. But Unix itself was far more expensive. In quest of big money,repparttar 107891 Unix vendors priced it high enough to ensure small pc users stayed away from it. The source code of Unix, once taught in 1universities courtesy of Bell Labs, was now cautiously and not published publicly. To add torepparttar 107892 frustration of PC users worldwide,repparttar 107893 big players inrepparttar 107894 software market failed to provide an efficient solution to this problem.

A solution seemed to appear in form of MINIX. It was written from scratch by Andrew S. Tanenbaum, a dutch professor who wanted to teach his studentsrepparttar 107895 inner workings of a real operating system. It was designed to run onrepparttar 107896 Intel 8086 microprocessors that had floodedrepparttar 107897 world market.

As an operating system, MINIX was not a superb one. But it hadrepparttar 107898 advantage thatrepparttar 107899 source code was available. Anyone who happened to getrepparttar 107900 book 'Operating System' by Tanenbaum could get hold ofrepparttar 107901 12,000 lines of code, written in C and assembly language. Forrepparttar 107902 first time, an aspiring programmer or hacker could readrepparttar 107903 source codes ofrepparttar 107904 operating system, which to that timerepparttar 107905 software vendors had guarded vigorously. Students of Computer Science all overrepparttar 107906 world poured overrepparttar 107907 book, reading throughrepparttar 107908 codes to understandrepparttar 107909 very system that runs their computer.

And one of them was Linus Torvalds.


b. New Baby inrepparttar 107910 Horizon

In 1991, Linus Benedict Torvalds was a second year student of Computer Science atrepparttar 107911 University of Helsinki and a self-taught hacker. The 21 year old sandy haired soft-spoken Finn loved to tinker withrepparttar 107912 power ofrepparttar 107913 computers andrepparttar 107914 limits to whichrepparttar 107915 system can be pushed. But all that was lacking was an operating system that could meetrepparttar 107916 demands ofrepparttar 107917 professionals. MINIX was good, but still it was simply an operating system forrepparttar 107918 students, designed as a teaching tool rather than an industry strength one.

At that time, programmers worldwide were greatly inspired byrepparttar 107919 GNU project by Richard Stallman, a software movement to provide free and quality software. The much awaited Gnu C compiler was available by then, but there was still no operating system. Even MINIX had to be licensed. Work was goingrepparttar 107920 GNU kernel HURD, but that was not supposed to come out within a few years.

That was too much of a delay for Linus.

In August 25, 1991repparttar 107921 historic post was sent torepparttar 107922 MINIX news group by Linus .....

From: torvalds@klaava.Helsinki.FI (Linus Benedict Torvalds) Newsgroups: comp.os.minix Subject: What would you like to see most in minix? Summary: small poll for my new operating system Message-ID: <1991Aug25.205708.9541@klaava.Helsinki.FI> Date: 25 Aug 91 20:57:08 GMT Organization: University of Helsinki

Hello everybody out there using minix - I'm doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won't be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones. This has been brewing ; since april, and is starting to get ready. I'd like any feedback on things people like/dislike in minix, as my OS resembles it somewhat (same physical layout ofrepparttar 107923 file-system (due to practical reasons) among other things). I've currently ported bash(1.08) and gcc(1.40),and things seem to work.This implies that I'll get something practical within a few months, andI'd like to know what features most people would want. Any suggestions are welcome, but I won't promise I'll implement them :-) Linus (torvalds@kruuna.helsinki.fi) PS. Yes - it's free of any minix code, and it has a multi-threaded fs. It is NOT protable (uses 386 task switching etc), and it probably never will support anything other than AT-harddisks, as that's all I have :-(.

As it is apparent fromrepparttar 107924 posting, Linus himself didn't believe that his creation was going to be big enough to change computing forever. Linux version 0.01 was released by mid september 1991, and was put onrepparttar 107925 net. Enthusiasm gathered around this new kid onrepparttar 107926 block, and codes were downloaded, tested, tweaked, and returned to Linus. 0.02 came on October 5th, along with this famous declaration from Linus:

From: torvalds@klaava.Helsinki.FI (Linus Benedict Torvalds) Newsgroups: comp.os.minix Subject: Free minix-like kernel sources for 386-AT Message-ID: <1991Oct5.054106.4647@klaava.Helsinki.FI> Date: 5 Oct 91 05:41:06 GMT Organization: University of Helsinki Do you pine forrepparttar 107927 nice days of minix-1.1, when men were men and wrote their own device drivers? Are you without a nice project and just dying to cut your teeth on a OS you can try to modify for your ; needs? Are you finding it frustrating when everything works on minix? No more all-nighters to get a nifty program working? Then this post might be just for you :-) As I mentioned a month(?) ago, I'm working on a free version of a minix-lookalike for AT-386 computers. It has finally reachedrepparttar 107928 stage where it's even usable (though may not be depending on what you want), and I am willing to put outrepparttar 107929 sources for wider distribution. It is just version 0.02 (+1 (very small) patch already), but I've successfully run bash/gcc/gnu-make/gnu-sed/compress etc under it. Sources for this pet project of mine can be found at nic.funet.fi ( inrepparttar 107930 directory /pub/OS/Linux. The directory also contains some README-file and a couple of binaries to work under linux (bash, update and gcc, what more can you ask for :-). Full kernel source is provided, as no minix code has been used. Library sources are only partially free, so that cannot be distributed currently. The system is able to compile "as-is" and has been known to work. Heh. Sources torepparttar 107931 binaries (bash and gcc) can be found atrepparttar 107932 same place in /pub/gnu. Linux version 0.03 came in a few weeks. By December came version 0.10. Still Linux was little more than in skeletal form. It had only support for AT hard disks, had no login ( booted directly to bash). version 0.11 was much better with support for multilingual keyboards, floppy disk drivers, support for VGA,EGA, Hercules etc. The version numbers went directly from 0.12 to 0.95 and 0.96 and so on. Soonrepparttar 107933 code went worldwide via ftp sites at Finland and elsewhere.

How to Tame Your Mouse

Written by By Stephen Bucaro

Reprintable Article: Permission is granted forrepparttar following article to forward, reprint, distribute, use for ezine, newsletter, website, offer as free bonus or part of a product for sale as long as no changes are made andrepparttar 107877 byline, copyright, and resource box is included. ---------------------------------------------------------- How to Tame Your Mouse

By Stephen Bucaro

Does your mouse work erratically, skip and jump acrossrepparttar 107878 screen, or freeze up? Most problems withrepparttar 107879 mouse are caused by dirt or miscalibration.

Clean Your Mouse

Most mouses (mice?) work by use of a rubber ball that moves three rollers. It is very common forrepparttar 107880 rubber ball to pick up dirt and feed it intorepparttar 107881 internal mechanism ofrepparttar 107882 mouse. Tame your mouse by giving it a good cleaning.

To clean a mouse, turn it over and removerepparttar 107883 cover that retainsrepparttar 107884 rubber ball. The cover is usually circular with groves that let you turnrepparttar 107885 cover in a counter clockwise direction for removal. Removerepparttar 107886 rubber ball fromrepparttar 107887 housing, wipe it clean, and blow air intorepparttar 107888 mouse housing. Inspectrepparttar 107889 rollers to make sure they are free of dirt. Then reassemblerepparttar 107890 mouse.

Jerky mouse movement can also be caused byrepparttar 107891 mouse pad. Most plastic laminate covered mouse pads do not provide enough friction forrepparttar 107892 mouse to track reliably. Cloth covered mouse pads perform much better, although they don't last as long.

Calibrate Your Mouse

If your mouse still does not behave, check it's calibration. Select Start | Settings | Control Panel, and openrepparttar 107893 Mouse utility. Inrepparttar 107894 Mouse Properties dialog box, selectrepparttar 107895 Buttons tab and moverepparttar 107896 Double-click speed slider control to setrepparttar 107897 time between clicks that you want to be recognized as a double click.

Then selectrepparttar 107898 Motion tab and adjustrepparttar 107899 Pointer Speed slider control to your preference. Inrepparttar 107900 Acceleration section, setrepparttar 107901 None radio button, then click onrepparttar 107902 OK button.

Check The Mouse Driver

On startup, Windows loads a virtual PS2 mouse driver that is contained (along with other virtual device drivers) inrepparttar 107903 file C:Windowssystemvmm32.vxd. If another mouse driver is located inrepparttar 107904 folder c:windowssystemvmm32, Windows will load that one to replacerepparttar 107905 mouse driver in vmm32.vxd.

A second mouse driver, or other device driver may be interfering withrepparttar 107906 PS2 mouse driver. Userepparttar 107907 Device Manager to troubleshoot errors. To access Device Manager select Start | Settings | Control Panel, then openrepparttar 107908 System utility. Selectrepparttar 107909 Device Manager tab. Inrepparttar 107910 list of devices, double-click on Mouse. If there is an exclamation mark (!) or a red X onrepparttar 107911 mouse icon, this meansrepparttar 107912 mouse has a problem. A PS2 mouse uses IRQ 12. Make sure no other device is configured to use IRQ 12, causing a conflict.

Cont'd on page 2 ==>
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