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Stop the Presses

What's happens when the Penguin-in-Chief himself issues an oh-by-the-way e-mail to the Kernel Mailing List that takes the form of a halfhearted (dare we say half-minded?) and clearly tongue-in-cheek press release that just happens to be entirely about the long-awaited version 2.4 of the Linux kernel?

A worldwide sigh of thanks, followed by traffic jams at the ftp servers.

It went like this:

Date: Thu, 4 Jan 2001 16:01:22 -0800 (PST)<\n> From: Linus Torvalds torvalds@transmeta.comTo: Kernel Mailing List linux-kernel@vger.kernel.orgSubject: And oh, btw...

In a move unanimously hailed by the trade press and industry analysts as being a sure sign of incipient brain damage, Linus Torvalds (also known as the “father of Linux” or, more commonly, as “mush-for-brains”) decided that enough is enough, and that things don't get better from having the same people test it over and over again. In short, 2.4.0 is out there.

Anxiously awaited for the last too many months, 2.4.0 brings to the table many improvements, none of which come to mind to the exhausted release manager right now. “It's better”, was the only printable quote. Pressed for details, Linus bared his teeth and hissed at reporters, most of whom suddenly remembered that they'd rather cover “Home and Gardening” than the IT industry anyway.

Anyway, have fun. And don't bother reporting any bugs for the next few days. I won't care anyway.

—Linus

Context: The kernel had a bit of a Y2K problem of its own. In January 2000, Linus said the 2.4 kernel would be out in the summer. Then in November he said the kernel would be released in early December. Now here it is, pretty much exactly one year, um, later. And hey: so what?

The features? USB support, symmetric multiprocessing support, a rewritten networking layer, driver updates, other good stuff.

2.6 is next. Let the wait begin.

—Doc Searls

They Said It

Never attribute malice to what can be adequately explained as pure-unfiltered-idiocy.

—Joseph E. Arruda

Black holes are where God divided by zero.

—Steven Wright

Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.

—Anonymous Psychopath on Slashdot

Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.

—Don Marti (as far as we know)

Every revolution has been preceded by hard critical thinking, the diffusion of culture, and the spread of ideas among men who are at first unwilling to listen, men concerned with solving their private economic and political problems.

—Antonio Gramsci.

What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite.

—Bertrand Russell

It is a myth that people resist change. People resist what other people make them do, not what they themselves choose to do. . . . That's why companies that innovate successfully year after year seek their people's ideas, let them initiate new projects and encourage more experiments.

—Rosabeth Moss Kanter

Long-range planning does not deal with future decisions, but with the future of present decisions.

—Peter F. Drucker.

You can't depend on your judgment when your imagination is out of focus.

—Mark Twain.

Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.

—Albert Szent-Gyorgyi.

The Internet never retreats.

—Vint Cerf

Linux (le-nuks, lin-uks) noun. A version of the UNIX System V Release 3.0 kernel developed for PCs with 80386 and higher microprocessors. Developed by Linus Torvalds of Sweden (for whom it is named).

—from Microsoft Bookshelf (spotted by Wojciech Tatina)

The only piece of software I've never cursed is emacs. It changes modes effortlessly. When I'm editing a Perl script it adds the tags and checks the parens. When I edit a letter it gives me all the carriage returns in the right place. It's one piece of software, but it understands file extensions. emacs knows what I'm up to. It's okay with what I do and it tries to help. I often find Word trying to add bullet points or numbers where I don't want them. emacs never does that to me. Of course emacs and I grew up in the same environment, so maybe that makes sense.

—Clay Shirky

...being a Linux user is sort of like living in a house inhabited by a large family of carpenters and architects. Every morning when you wake up, the house is a little different. Maybe there is a new turret, or some walls have moved. Or perhaps someone has temporarily removed the floor under your bed.

—John R. Levine and Margaret Levine Young

To try to do something that is inherently impossible is always a corrupting enterprise.

—Michael Oakshott

Bored people are the best consumers.

—John Taylor Gatto

You people just don't get it, do you? All Linux applications run on Solaris, which is our implementation of Linux.

—Scott McNealy

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