Saturday, January 26, 2008

Linux user education from an old guy

What an interesting afternoon I had today as I reflected on the Linux story. I wish I was a part of all that but I didn't live in the computer mecca "Silicon Valley". Anyway, it's kind of cool to look at how things came about. There is a movie out called "The Pirates of Silicon Valley", which I haven't seen yet, that tells the story of Jobs and Gates of Apple and Microsoft. I don't know how true to life it is but it perpetuates the myth that there is basically two names associated with personal computers. There is another story that remains to be told in the ears of the general public. PC history is lopsided without telling about Linus Torvalds, Linux and the folks who invented the open source movement. I can hear the groans in the background, I'm a user not a programmer, I don't need to know this, that's boring, that's nothing new. I can tell you that part of my great excitement years ago was being even remotely part of the PC's use and development. I read "Byte Magazine" early on and couldn't wait to buy my first PC, a Sinclair 1000 with a Zilog Z80 processor and later a PC clone with an Intel 286. I'm not going to list all the stuff I read so you can catch up. But if you are into "You Tube", there are some movies that are enlightening. Look up "The Linux Code", "Revolution OS" and "The Free Software Movement" videos. They are fairly long movies but they explain the mysteries behind Linux and Open Source Software and Silicon Valley. You can see that the typical entrepreneur moxie of Jobs and Gates is not the only way to have success in the computer world. And I can tell you first hand that we need to consider different new ways to deal with things in life and technology. This is good for a techie like me because I can put myself in the timeline and begin to comprehend how we got here today. If you are a real glutton for history go to and search out the operating system timeline. PC history is at least as interesting as political history. Now about that Edison and Tesla story........

No comments: