November 30, 2003

A journey into the penguin's world

For the past decade, consumer computing has been at the mercy of a near monopoly. Few Americans outside of a few wonks working on university or military Unix systems are even aware a choice exists besides the ubiquitous Microsoft Windows operating system and the wanna-be hep Apple Macintosh.

But in Helsinki in the early 1990s, Linus Torvalds, "for the fun of it," in his words, began writing a Unix-like operating system that would operate on just about any computer. Soon hackers around the globe were pitching in to polish, upgrade and maintain Torvalds' so-called "open-source" software. The fruit of their genius is free and open to anyone to take, use and improve. Torvalds picked a chubby penguin as the symbol of Linux, because, well, he likes penguins.

Link: Salt Lake Tribune


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