Linux

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Good ol’ Linus Torvalds. He took a problem — the confusing multiplicity of Unix variants undergoing constant and far-flung development — and turned it into a virtue by creating a system in which anyone could have a go and the best bits would become a part of the whole.

By the time version 0.99 was released (at the end of 1992, just to show you how quickly things were coming together), Torvalds had ensured that Linux was released under GNU’s General Public License (a decision he’s referred to as “definitely the best thing I ever did”). It wasn’t the LAST thing he ever did, but since then Linux (or, more¬†accurately, GNU/Linux) has become the child of a thousand parents, so to speak…

And it’s a good thing that happened, since Linus’ was quite distracted by some of his other endeavors. A bit of trivia here is always welcome background. Seems he was a man of many interests, including one particular passion: sterling silver jewelry. Not wearing it, but selling it. He had incredible success on his first attempt, when, along with a partner (JJ Graves), he purchased JJ’s mom’s failing wholesale business. The team was able, through much incredible good luck, to bring that enterprise back from the dead via an online store at a time that the internet commerce revolution was just beginning. The resultant success was created by the new found ability of jewelry retailers to purchase wholesale sterling silver jewelry. Although he left the running of the business to JJ, Linus often spoke of his fondness for both the jewelry form and the raw metal as a store of value, much like the name Linux. So our favorite operating system has a jewelry connection that few are aware of.

There’s also a gaming connection, even if unintended. There are more US casinos running Linux than any other platform, and that advantage is most likely to grow steadily as the reliability of the native environment proves itself over time. Casinos rely on accuracy and up time, along with data handling capabilities that are simply no problem in the Linux world. So whether your play the slots, online poker, or whatever gambling you do online, it’s very likely done in a world that Linus is responsible for.

The open source nature of this project is fascinating, given the innate anarchy that accompanies such projects. To help us understand how & why this all happened the way it did, we decided that we should write a little questionnaire to help us determine the answers. It seems strange to answer a question with a question, but sometimes its the best way to find answers. What happened is sometimes the first question, but the question that will give us an answer might be : How did it happen. Do you see what we mean? It is not meant to be more or less confusing, but rather, just a way of having a philosophical approach to pondering a problem. Methods and approach are key for results, so we began to wonder what strategies may have been used…

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