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A revolution is sweeping the software world -- one that threatens to pull even the mighty Microsoft Corporation from its throne. Bill Gates and his company's rule over the software industry through their tight control of Microsoft Windows is facing their biggest challenge ever -- a new competitor that can't be bought, coopted, or manipulated with any of the traditional tools of corporate power. Its name: Linux
Free for All
is the story of a group of dedicated software hackers from around the world who, in their spare time, created an "open" operating system that rivals and in many ways surpasses Microsoft's.
, a writer whose coverage of technology appears frequently in the New York Times and Salon magazine, tells a fascinating tale of how a simple idea creating and giving away an "open" operating system that people can change and customize -- sparked a grass-roots movement among programmers and revolutionized the software business.This book goes behind the scenes, telling us about the creators and users of Linux. Along the way you will meet the leaders of this revolution, including Richard Stallman
, who founded the free software movement, Linus Torvalds
, the coding genius, who became the master and coordinator of the evolving system (and named it after himself), and many others who aided and nurtured the growing free software movement. You'll learn how and why they gave their code away for free, threatening the Redmond, Washington, giant's hegemony and spawning a whole new industry of Linux-related companies and software.
You will also learn where the Linux movement is going and how it is likely to affect the high-tech industry and, ultimately, the computers you use at home and on the job. As fresh and exciting as today's headlines and tomorrow's IPOs, the story of Linux is just beginning (ed
: This book is written in 1999). Here is Act I.
:| Some parts held my interest, and I give Wayner credit for seeing the most significant aspects of Linux: the GPL, the "bazaar" style of programming, and intellectual property concerns. His conclusions, though, need much more work.
:) In fact, it reminds me of Stephen Levy's Hackers, in part because it shares a sense of exhiliration and admiration for the people involved, as well as a freewheeling, back-to-the-story-in-progress story telling style.