The 25th Anniversary Issue
"Linux is an independent implementation of the POSIX operating system specification (basically a public specification of much of the Unix operating system) that has been written entirely from scratch. Linux currently works on IBM PC compatibles with an ISA or EISA bus and a 386 or higher processor. The Linux kernel was written by Linus Torvalds from Finland, and by other volunteers."
Thus begins the very first Letter from the Editor (written by Phil Hughes), in the very first issue of Linux Journal, published in the March/April issue in 1994...25 years ago—coinciding, as fate would have it, with the 1.0.0 release of the Linux kernel itself (on March 14th).
A quarter of a century.
Back when that first issue was published, Microsoft hadn't yet released Windows 95 (version 3.11 running on MS-DOS still dominated home computing). The Commodore Amiga line of computers was still being produced and sold. The music billboards were topped by the likes of Toni Braxton, Ace of Base and Boyz II Men. If you were born the day Linux Journal debuted, by now you'd be a full-grown adult, possibly with three kids, a dog and a mortgage.
Yeah, it was a while ago. (It's okay to take a break and feel old now.)
In that first issue, Robert Young (who, aside from being one of the founders of Linux Journal, you also might recognize as the founder of Red Hat) had an interview with Linus Torvalds.
During the interview, Linus talked about his hope to one day "make a living off this", that he'd guesstimate Linux has "a user base of about 50,000", and the new port of Linux to Amiga computers.
A lot changes in a quarter century, eh?
To mark this momentous occasion, we've reunited Robert Young with Linus Torvalds for a new interview—filled with Linus' thoughts on family, changes since 1994, his dislike of Social Media, and a whole lot more. It is, without a doubt, a fun read. (We're also republishing the complete original 1994 interview in this issue for reference.)
And, if you're curious about the history of Linux Journal, Kyle Rankin's "What Linux Journal's Resurrection Taught Me about the FOSS Community" provides an excellent—and highly personal—look over the last roughly 20 years of not just Linux Journal, but of Linux and free software itself. He even includes pictures of his ahem "super-leet Desktop from 1999". How can you go wrong?
Then we thought to ourselves, "How do we celebrate 25 years of talking about Linux?" The answer was obvious: by looking to the future—to where we (the Linux community) are going. And what better way to understand the future of Linux than to talk to the kids who will shape the world of Linux (and free and open-source software) to come.
In "The Kids Take Over", Doc Searls (Linux Journal's Editor in Chief) dives into the world of kidOYO, a non-profit helping to teach computer programming to kids, with a healthy dose of Linux and open source. Doc talks to the folks behind the project and gets a demonstration from the kids themselves.
We follow up with Marcel Gagné's "Linux...Do It for the Children", where he gives us a run-down on educational (and edu-tainment) software available for Linux. How do you introduce kids to the wide, wonderful world of computing (and Linux)? How do you give them the fundamental understanding and experience to empower them to do whatever they want in the Open Source world throughout their lives? Turns out, there's some great options, and Marcel goes through a handful of solid ones to get them started.
Then I get the chance to talk to three teenagers with a passion for Linux—what got them started on their Linux-y journeys, what they're interested in using it for, and where they see Linux fitting into their lives in the future. In our Upfront section, we also give a quick look at a computer club (known as the Asian Penguins) that is doing some truly fantastic work for both the kids involved and their community and tell the story of an eight-year-old girl's first pull request.
On a personal note: I'd like to take a quick moment to thank every single person who has worked on Linux Journal over the last two and a half decades, as well as every subscriber who helped keep this ship sailing. I've joined the team only fairly recently, but this magazine had a huge impact on me throughout the late 1990s and into the modern day. Back when it was rare to find like-minded Linux nerds, Linux Journal was there, talking about the things I cared about. In a sea of closed-source systems, LJ was a safe harbor—a place to remind me (and others) of just how awesome computing can be. Thank you. To all of you. And thank you for letting me be part of this crazy, rag-tag crew of Linux-i-ness.
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