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 email@example.comTo: Kernel Mailing List firstname.lastname@example.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.
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.
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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).
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