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Happy mother's day, Linus Torvalds

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Linux

Today, May 10th 2009, is Mother's day for many countries around the world from Anguilla to Zimbabwe. How fitting, then, to offer a tribute to Linus Torvalds, the "mother" of Linux.

If your Linux-based computer could talk, today it would be expressing a warm Happy Mother’s Day greeting to its virtual mother, Finnish born Linus Benedict Torvalds.

Torvalds was born on December 28th, 1969 in Helsinki. His parents, Nils and Anna Torvalds, are journalists and his grandfather Ole Torvalds was a prominent journalist and poet, who received an honorary doctorate in 1978 for his work.

Despite such a literary heritage Linus was drawn towards the 8-bit computers that were popular during his youth. Like many young people in the 1980’s, he began with a Commodore VIC-20 and next purchased a Sinclair QL. Unlike most, however, he modified the QL extensively, especially its operating system!

In 1988 Torvalds attended the University of Helsinki studying Computer Science. On January 2nd, 1991, he purchased an Intel 80386-based IBM PC. Initially he used this to play Prince of Persia but soon received a copy of MINIX which changed his life, and ours too.

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