September 17th 2011
Back almost 30 years ago, I was into OS9 (no not Apples OS9) which is a multiuser, multiprocessing, operating system based off of Unix from AT&T. It was a very powerful OS for 8-bit computers initially using the Motorola 6809 processor. If you were even into computers back in the early 80’s when I first got introduced to computing and programming, you were probably into CP/M or worse yet MS-DOS. I read about those but was more intrigued with the power of the OS9 Level 1 and 2 operating systems. Having friends and working in retail selling computers and electronic devices, we were always arguing about which system was better. In my research, I was finding out that the Radio Shack Color Computer was not much compared to the other 8 bit computers popular at the time like the Commodore 64. However, when you booted up with an old 5-1/4” floppy that only held 160K, that had the OS9 Operating System on it, you were in another league. The Commodore 64 and any MS-DOS machine and later the earlier versions of Windows up to say 3.0, were no comparison as features (power) goes. OS9 RULED !!!
OS9 soon was ported to the more powerful 16 and 32 bit computers using the 68000 CPU and has since dominated the Industrial embedded chips used in manufacturing and other complex systems. It is very reliable and is still a major operating system.
However, in the early 90’s came along Linus Torvalds – The Creator Of Linux. In 1991 he made his soon to be know Linux Operating System public and the result is an operating system that in my opinion has the best of Unix and OS9 combined making it the worlds BEST Operating System. Fighting off the popularity of Microsoft’s Windows Operating System, Linux has established itself behind the backs of people unfamiliar with Linux. To most, they aren’t even aware of what Linux is, let alone what it is used for. But Linux is now used in many devices that everyone uses everyday. They are just now becoming more aware of it thanks to great articles published by Mashable.com and others. Google now with the worlds most popular phone OS, Android, is bringing more attention to Linux as Linux today is celebrating it 20th Birthday.
Happy 20th Birthday Linux !
Here is a graphic showing some of the milestones for Linux
Here is a great article by Mashable.com
The Linux operating system is not just for nerds. Even though you may not realize it, chances are you probably have a version of Linux running right under your nose. It’s found its way into a multitude of devices, both large and small.
Today, Sept. 17, 2011, is the 20th anniversary of the date when the first Linux kernel (version 0.01) was released and uploaded to an FTP server by Linus Torvalds in Helsinki. Although Torvalds had been working on the code since April, 1991 (recognized by some as the birthday of Linux), it wasn’t until September of that year that he released the first Linux kernel to the world. That early iteration consisted of a mere 10,239 lines of code.
Fast-forward to the present day, where the Linux kernel 2.6.35 contains more than 13.5 million lines of code, and controls gadgets, devices and instruments you might never have expected. Take a look at our gallery below and be surprised by the ubiquity of this useful, versatile and compact operating system on its 20th birthday:
Underneath the digital video recorder TiVo’s user-friendly and popular interface is a modified version of Linux. We have a hunch that those Linux underpinnings are responsible for TiVo’s snappy response and smooth video playback.
The Android operating system is showing up in multitudes of handheld devices. It was created by the Open Handset Alliance, headed up by Google. Lots of smartphone providers place their own brand of user interface enhancements on top of Android, and there’s a lot of tricky programming called middleware in between, but underneath? Good old Linux.
3. AT&T MiFi
This pocket-sized device gives users a mobile access point that makes it so multiple people can use a single 3G connection. That gives any Wi-Fi device the ability to go online practically anywhere. What’s in it for you? Imagine never having to pay a $12.95 Wi-Fi charge in a hotel again, thanks to Linux.
4. Large Hadron Collider
When it’s time to answer big questions, physicists are turning to Linux to run the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest and highest-energy particle accelerator. Just what questions are they trying to answer with this $9 billion scientific instrument? They’re trying to understand some of the deepest and most fundamental laws of physics, such as the structure of space and time.
5. Refrigerator (Electrolux Infinity I-Kitchen)
Why would you need Linux in your refrigerator? How about running a touchscreen on the front, storing your contacts and calendars, recipes and reminders, and letting you keep your family organized with electronic Post-it notes? And, some refrigerators are smart enough to remind you that it’s time to buy more milk.
6. Sony Bravia HDTV
We tested the latest Sony Bravia connected TV, which brings you your favorite video-on-demand service from Netflix or Amazon and a lot more. That’s thanks (in part) to its Linux underpinnings. Of course, it can show you the latest 3-D video, and the one we tested was even smart enough to turn itself off if there was no one sitting in the room.
This little supersmart alarm clock runs more than 1,000 apps, and it’s all made possible by Linux under the hood. Don’t let its diminutive size fool you — this gadget can display video, call up your favorite Pandora Radio channels and remind you of appointments. Best of all, it’s fun.
8. GPS (Tom Tom)
Bet you didn’t know that GPS unit on your car’s dashboard was running Linux. Humming away inside many Garmin, Tom Tom (and other) GPS navigators are versions of Linux. Now if the accuracy of the maps could measure up to that sharp Linux code running inside, we wouldn’t have to recalculate so often.
The electronics reader that made e-reading famous is the Amazon Kindle, and displaying its E-Ink screen with enough speed to make it a pleasure to use is — you guess it — starts with an "L."
10. Self-Driving Car
Self-driving cars, otherwise known as autonomous vehicles, are not perfect yet, but they’re getting there. Many of them are running Linux, and researchers are using the operating system to find their way toward someday eliminating the need for traffic signals, driver’s licenses, and maybe even rules of the road.