Brief History Of Linux (#23)
Linus Torvalds certainly wasn't the only person to create their own
operating system from scratch. Other people working from their leaky
basements did create their own systems and now they are sick that they
didn't become an Alpha Geek like Torvalds or a Beta Geek like Alan Cox.
Linus had one advantage not many else did: Internet access. The world was
full of half-implemented-Unix-kernels at the time, but they were sitting
isolated on some hacker's hard drive, destined to be destroyed by a hard
drive crash. Thankfully that never happened to Linux, mostly because
everyone with Net access could download a copy instead of paying shipping
charges to receive the code on a huge stack of unreliable floppy disks.
Indeed, buried deep within a landfill in Lansing, Michigan sits a stack of
still-readable 5-1/4 floppies containing the only known copy of "Windows
Killer", a fully functional Unix kernel so elegant, so efficient, so
easy-to-use that Ken Thompson himself would be jealous of its design.
Unfortunately the author's mother threw out the stack of floppies in a
bout of spring cleaning. The 14 year old author's talents were lost
forever as his parents sent him to Law School.