I assume some people don’t like Facebook, so I reformatted the text and included it here:
This is written by Jon “maddog” Hall
This is the long-promised Christmas present to all those good little girls and
boys who love GNU/Linux.
It was November of 1993 when I received my first CD of what was advertised as "A
complete Unix system with source code for 99 USD". While I was dubious about
this claim (since the USL vs BSDi lawsuit was in full swing) I said "What the
heck" and sent away my 99 dollars, just to receive a thin booklet and a CD-ROM
in the mail. Since I did not have an Intel "PC" to run it on, all I could do
was mount the CD on my MIPS/Ultrix workstation and read the man(1)ual pages.
I was interested, but I put it away in my filing cabinet.
About February of 1994 Kurt Reisler, Chair of the UNISIG of DECUS started
sending emails (and copying me for some reason) about wanting to bring this
person I had never heard about from FINLAND (of all places) to talk about a
project that did not even run on Ultrix OR DEC/OSF1 to DECUS in New Orleans in
May of 1994.
After many emails and no luck in raising money for this trip I took mercy on
Kurt and asked my management to fund the trip. There is much more to this
story, requiring me to also fund a stinking, weak, miserable Intel PC to run
this project on, but that has been described elsewhere.
Now I was at DECUS. I had found Kurt trying to install this "project" on this
stinking, weak, miserable Intel PC and not having much luck, when this nice
young man with sandy brown hair, wire-rim glasses, wool socks and sandals came
along. In a lilting European accent, speaking perfect English he said "May I
help you?" and ten minutes later GNU/Linux was running on that stinking, weak,
miserable Intel PC.
I sat down to use it, and was amazed. It was good. It was very, very good.
I found out that later that day Linus (for of course it was Linus Torvalds) was
going to give two talks that day. One was "An Introduction to Linux" and the
other was "Implementation Issues in Linux".
Linus was very nervous about giving these talks. This was the first time that
he was giving a talk at a major conference (19,000 people attended that DECUS)
to an English-speaking audience in English. He kept feeling as if he was going
to vomit. I told him that he would be fine.
He gave the talks. Only forty people showed up to each one, but there was great
The rest of the story about steam driven river boats, strong alcoholic drinks
named "Hurricanes", massive amounts of equipment and funding as well as
engineering resources based only on good will and handshakes have been told
before and in other places.
Unfortunately the talks that Linus gave were lost.
As I was cleaning my office I found some audio tapes made of Linus' talk, and
which I purchased with my own money. Now, to make your present, I had to buy a
good audio tape playback machine and capture the audio in Audacity, then produce
a digital copy of those tapes, which are listed here. Unfortunately I do not
have a copy of the slides, but I am not sure how many slides Linus had. I do
not think you will need them.
Here is your Christmas present, from close to three decades ago. Happy
Linuxing" to all, no matter what your religion or creed.
And if you can not hear the talks, you are probably using the wrong browser:
Introduction to Linux:
Implementation Issues with Linux:
Also I mirrored this on archive.org so people can find this after google no doubt caps the downloads.
Thanks! I really appreciate you posting the text.
It’s not so much that I don’t like Facebook, as that I literally cannot read things that are posted there, because it requires login and I don’t have an account. In my professional opinion as a privacy expert, neither should anyone else, but I realize that most people feel there isn’t really a choice.
I don’t have a Facebook account either (and agree that neither should anyone else), but this post is actually publicly available so you should be able to read it without one. (I did, as I got to the post via the RSS feed, rather than the site so didn’t see the post.)
That’s very interesting and good to know. I wonder whether it checks referrer or something? I do definitely get a hard login wall when I click it here.
(Sorry for the delayed reply!)
Someone also linked the slides in the archive.org link :)
Does anyone have links to the referenced anecdotes “described elsewhere”?
This format on Lobsters is really bad on mobile with the x-overflow, weird.
The parent put the quote in a code block instead of in a blockquote.
The link that @neozeed posted to archive.org has the same text and is much easier to read on a mobile device.
Thumbs up @Foxboron. I usually go out of my way to isolate facebook into a separate browser. I do have to say that this content was worth the facebook tax.