Tags: history


After 26 years, Linux is still essential and growing, and new technologies are growing beyond Linux into the broader open source landscape.

Linux, Open Source, and Beyond

Linux is 26 years old, and look what happened in those 26 years: everything. Now what? Linux is both shrinking and expanding. Cloudy Linux Cloud is a perfect metaphor for Linux. Once upon a time the Linux world was small, with well-defined boundaries, and populated by fierce partisans. Linux was...
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Unix to GitHub: 10 Key Events in Free and Open Source Software History

It's easy to take open source software for granted today, but free and open source software as we know it is the product of a long series of developments that stretch back a half-century. Here's a look at some of the big moments in free and open source history -- from the heyday of free Unix, to...
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Linus Torvalds
To understand the widespread use of Linux today, you need to know the history of the larger free and open source universe.

For Fun and Profit: A New Book on the History of Linux and Open Source

Twenty-six years ago this month, a geeky student in Finland released the Linux kernel to the world. Today, hundreds of millions of people are using Linux. Why? That’s a question I try to answer in my new book For Fun and Profit: A History of the Free and Open Source Software Revolution. Sure, you...
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A History of Microprocessor Debug, 1980–2016

Since the dawn of electronics design, where there have been designs, there have been bugs. But where they have been bugs, there inevitably was debug, engaged in an epic wrestling match with faults, bugs, and errors to determine which would prevail -- and how thoroughly. In many ways, the evolution...
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Long Live Gopher: The Techies Keeping the Text-Driven Internet Alive

Gopher, an protocol for distributing documents and files over the internet, has a lot of similarities to the web, but also some major differences: For one thing, a gopher server is organized around a set hierarchy, akin to mixing a text document and a file server together. That's unlike the web,...
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Internet History Timeline: ARPANET to the World Wide Web

Credit for the initial concept that developed into the World Wide Web is typically given to Leonard Kleinrock. In 1961, he wrote about ARPANET, the predecessor of the Internet, in a paper entitled "Information Flow in Large Communication Nets." Kleinrock, along with other innnovators such as J.C.R...
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How Open Source Took Over the World

GOING WAY BACK, pretty much all software was effectively open source. That's because it was the preserve of a small number of scientists and engineers who shared and adapted each other's code (or punch cards) to suit their particular area of research. Later, when computing left the lab for the...
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The Birth and Rise of Ethernet: A History

Today, no company would consider using anything except Ethernet for its wired local-area network. But it wasn't always that way. Steven Vaughan-Nichols tracks the history of Ethernet, and its once-upon-a-time networking protocol competitors. Nowadays, we take Ethernet for granted. We plug a cable...
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The World’s Very First Spam: A Remembrance

This month saw the 39th anniversary of the world’s very first spam. It was written on May 1st, 1978 — and sent on May 3rd — by then 31-year-old Gary Thuerk, from Chicago. Young Thuerk had served as an officer in the Navy, and had written FORTRAN programs for IBM mainframes. After one year at...
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Software Heritage Backed By UNESCO

UNESCO and INRIA signed last Monday an agreement to contribute to the preservation of the technological and scientific knowledge contained in software. This includes promoting universal access to software source code. The agreement, signed by UNESCO's Director-General, Irina Bokova, and INRIA's...
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