May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Home Switchboard Unix Administration Red Hat TCP/IP Networks Neoliberalism Toxic Managers
(slightly skeptical) Educational society promoting "Back to basics" movement against IT overcomplexity and  bastardization of classic Unix

Nikolai Bezroukov. Portraits of Open Source Pioneers

For readers with high sensitivity to grammar errors access to this page is not recommended :-)

Softpanorama Linus Torvalds' Interviews Collection (2003)
(preserving Linus Torvalds interviews for humanity ;-)

Prev Contents Next


MercuryNews.com 07-04-2003 Linux creator an open source Posted on Fri, Jul. 04, 2003 Torvalds on SCO suit, Microsoft and his exit from Transmeta

Linus Torvalds is the creator of the Linux operating system, the open source version of Unix that is sweeping through the software world in a direct challenge to Microsoft. He is a technical leader and an outspoken advocate of open source development, which allows software users to develop and modify their own versions of software for free. He spoke candidly with Mercury News staff writer Dean Takahashi about the lawsuit from SCO Group versus IBM (where Big Blue is accused of illegally putting Unix code into Linux), on Microsoft and open source development. He also shed light on his decision to leave chip maker Transmeta for a Linux corporate software consortium, the Open Source Development Lab. Here is an edited transcript:

Q: The SCO Group has sued IBM for illegally contributing Unix code to Linux. Do you believe this episode reveals any vulnerabilities in the open source movement?

A: Not really. Open source software is very visible. That means it's very easy to see if there is something wrong. I think that is a good thing. I think the whole point is that, with the kind of transparency you get with open source, people are a lot less likely to ever have intellectual property issues. I compare it to stealing a car. Do you steal a car in the bright daylight with a lot of people around? Or do you steal a car, go for a joyride at 4 am in the morning when there aren't a lot of people around. With open source, there is a lot of daylight. A lot of people looking at the code. You don't really go around and steal things.

Q: There was some mention of the origins of Linux being murky.

A: There has been a lot of rumor. It's more of an allegation. It's complete crap. Quite the reverse. If you look at murky, it's SCO's allegations that are murky. With Linux code, you can see how it's been developed. You can see who applied patches. You can see when they got applied. It's all in the open.

Q: They were referring to the original creation of Linux.

A: No, it's not an issue. Some of the history might be slightly hard to find, but compared to other projects, it's a lot better documented than any proprietary operating system ever. Most of the stuff that has been on public mailing lists is archived.

Q: How about the history of Unix itself. Is it hard to follow?

A: There was a lawsuit between AT&T and Berkeley. AT&T sued UC Berkeley for copyright infringement because the Berkeley version of Unix was made available openly with the Berkeley license. It took a few years but it was shown that it wasn't Berkeley that stole code from AT&T but it was AT&T that stole code from Berkeley, removed Berkeley copyrights, and they ended up settling out of court. So there is no judge that has said so officially but it was believed that Berkeley had done nothing wrong. This is the same code at issue. In that case, there was a clear genetic continuation. Now SCO is trying to use the same code that already failed a test once and to apply it to something where there isn't the same genetic continuation.

Q: For our readers who don't know the origins of Linux, can you talk about how it was written given the existence of Unix?

A: The origin was all written by me. For the first six months or so I was the only person working on Linux. It took almost a year before there was a major contribution from people outside. It's all original code since day one.

Q: The SCO Group has said that you haven't had the highest respect for intellectual property rights. How do you react to that?

A: That's very normal that you always try to twist the truth in lawsuits. The only part that has been irritating is they make it personal. They are showing my e-mails to the Linux community to the press. They called my approach cavalier because I made a joke in an e-mail. OK. Tough. If they can't take a joke, that's their problem. I think it backfired. Most journalists do have a sense of humor. They didn't mind.

Does it surprise you that Linux is a pawn in a battle between big companies, like IBM and Microsoft?

No. I'm not surprised about lawsuits per se. When there is enough money involved, lawsuits are inevitable. I don't think that's anything strange. To a large degree, and a reason I made it open source in the first place, was I was interested in the technical side, and not the legal and commercial side. It's not a pawn that somebody takes over. That's one of the points. I find it interesting that people have used it in different ways that I didn't envision and also that they're raising issues that I don't care about.

Q: What do you care about?

A: I still care about the technology and the community. The people putting it together. And I do care about if someone has actually copied stuff into Linux that they don't have rights to, I'd be upset about that. I care about software rights. Right now I'm taking a leave. From what it looks like, as long as it is contract rights between SCO and IBM, I don't care at all. IBM can defend themselves. And if IBM ends up having to say OK we did something bad, it's not my problem.

Q: Microsoft took out a license from SCO. Do you think that was necessary and that the timing seemed strange?

A: It's not exactly clear what they licensed. Most people see it as a PR move. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. I'm not a lawyer.

Q: Do you worry now that, regardless of who wins the lawsuit, that it will do some damage to the adoption of Linux?

A: What I worry most about is these things tend to drag out. If somebody were to show this is what a judge thinks about this case, I'm fairly confident that Linux is OK. I worry that it will drag out forever.

Q: Can you tell us how Linux evolves?

A: It all boils down to hundreds of different groups. A group can be a huge company that has an agenda. Or it can mean one person at a university working on a research project. They have their own thing they want to fix. All of these people make their modifications, and not all of them are accepted. I see it as a kind of ecosystem. You have survival of the fittest. Some changes work better. Sometimes it is for purely technical reasons. It's just the right thing to do. Sometimes it is for personality reasons. Some people who push their changes are more likely to get things done because they are nicer about it. It's not really centralized. I am at the center, but I don't direct any teams. All these people are trying to pull me in different directions. Some groups pull together in the same direction. It's a very dynamic situation.

Q: Do you think it works well that you have the final say?

A: I think it works well because I don't have the final say. I have this final say in my tree. It is special in that a lot of people trust my tree. So some people will not use it if it is not my tree. That is a minority. But most people end up using various appendages. My tree is really not. Yes I have the final say on my tree. There is always this forking but there is always this joining. There is more forking than there is joining. But that just means that there are all these dead branches that not end up not being interesting. My branch is to some degree, you could think of it as the trunk of the tree. People try to join back into my tree.

Q: Competitively, do you think this controlled chaos works against a company like Microsoft?

A: I think it ultimately the only way to do software. I have arguments why. The main one is the complexity issue. It's very hard for someone who doesn't work like this to keep control of an increasingly complex source base and increasingly complex user base. If you try to control the process too much, you can go straight to the end point where you want to go. That works well if you know where the end point is. If you don't know where it is and you can't control where people want to use your software, it's a very bad thing to have one branch that is very concentrated on one line of development. The best analogy is biological diversity. You have the Linux approach that is fairly diverse and all over the map. Maybe it is not very efficient. But it works very well in the face of complexity and changing circumstances. Changing circumstances will really show that part of that diversity really works. Biology on the other extreme is a very mono culture, which works very well as long as the circumstances stay the same. To some degree they are seen as very efficient and they can live on for a long time. A perfect case in genetics is sharks. They are very stable but they also don't evolve anymore. That works, but if you want to go past a certain point, it's a problem.

Q: That's what Bill Gates is.

A: That's a fairly good analogy but sharks is a bad word. I should make up another example. Turtles! Turtles are very stable and have been around forever. But they have problems adapting. When humans came along, turtles came under serious threat. The Dodo too. Biodiversity is good and I think it is good in technology as well. If you look at a lot of stable things, you have a certain amount of biodiversity. Look at cars. The U.S. car industry was sloppy. There wasn't a lot of biodiversity. There no real competition from true diverse species. The Japanese came in and provided new diversity for the market. It was a huge boon for the car industry, though not so good for certain countries. Cars started improving.

Q: If you look at how Microsoft is now struggling to deal with Linux, what do you think?

A: They are not in trouble. I think they are struggling to deal with Linux partly because Linux is undermining them the same way they undercut their competition. If you look at DOS, or maybe compilers, one thing that happened with Microsoft was that these small upstarts came out and had cheaper compilers. DOS was also cheap and it undercut the competition. They never had a competitor like themselves. Then comes somebody who undercuts them and they start acting exactly how all of their competitors acted. If you look at how Unix vendors acted toward Microsoft, they were belittling Microsoft. They were saying yes we're more expensive but we're better and we give better support. Whether that was true or not was not the point. The reaction to somebody coming in and undercutting you is for Microsoft exactly the same as the failure mode for their competitors. Microsoft is on the receiving end of this undercutting.

Q: You have left Transmeta (the Santa Clara maker of low-power microprocessors) where you worked for six years. Now you've joined the Open Source Development Lab (which is creating a version of Linux for corporations). Can you explain why you took the leave of absence?

A: It's a number of reasons. One was for the last six months I was spending a lot of time working on the next 2.6 release of Linux. We're getting close. But I expect it to take a few more months at least. This happened before with other releases. I don't like doing releases but we have to do them. Before releases you get into a painful mode. Transmeta has been very good to me. This time I felt I'd have a hard time bouncing back to the Transmeta work. I was feeling more guilty about that. I talked to a lot of people there. They knew how I worked. The OSDL thing came along. I asked about that position when I decided I needed to leave. It was a neutral place. I need to concentrate on Linux. Why not let somebody pay me for that? I can't go to a Linux vendor like Red Hat because I would no longer be seen as neutral.

Q: With Transmeta, their plan didn't work out as expected. Did that affect your decision to leave them?

A: A lot of companies share that problem. I don't know. What made it easier to leave now was that it seems to have stabilized lately. We didn't have the panic problems we had. That made it easier and I didn't feel like I was a rat leaving a sinking ship. The fact that it didn't worked out affected a lot of my co-workers more than it did me. I ended up being able to cash in on my dream. It happened in a strange way. But I got my house in the area. In that sense it didn't affect me. Because the Transmeta dream didn't work out, it has less resources to do fundamental research. It has to concentrate on the customers and the products. For me, because I'm interested in the crazy stuff, that made Transmeta maybe not as fun as it was five or six years ago. Five or six years ago we did stuff at Transmeta that universities didn't do. We did fundamental research. That made Transmeta a very special place.

Q: You want to concentrate on going after one monopoly at a time?

A: (Laughs). I never saw Intel as a monopoly. It has competition. To me personally, Intel has always had a healthier position. A lot of people thought, yeah, he's always going after the big guys. That wasn't the point of being at Transmeta. I want to do something that is relevant, and if it is relevant there is always somebody else out there.

Q: Do you see any boundaries for Linux? Do you want to go after Wind River and other companies in the embedded software space?

A: That is a traditional company question. If you're a company, you want to go after certain markets. The point of open source is there is no such thing as certain markets you go after. It's more like certain companies use Linux to go after a market. The embedded space has been very receptive to Linux. It's not like Wind River doesn't exist, but Linux is growing.

Q: Did it surprise you that IBM, this big giant company, embraced Linux?

A: I always thought IBM was interesting. Early on in 1998 and 1999, a lot of people were going through the motions of embracing Linux. They would mention it in a press release. But IBM always followed through. Because I was never interested in the commercial market, I never found fault with how people used Linux there. I enjoyed that IBM started porting Linux to the S390, found that hugely amusing. I thought, OK, somebody has done a few too many drugs. But it ended up being a master stroke. The people who started it just did it because they found it interesting. It ended up working out really well.

Q: You mentioned you wanted to end up at a neutral space. Do you feel like a religious leader? Or what kind of leader do you see yourself as?

A: I try to avoid that. I think I've been fairly successful. Some of the free software people don't like how I'm not very religious. I try to be pragmatic. People know that. At the same time I have a very high profile and because people trust me and want to continue to trust me and I want people to trust me, I want to make sure that there is nothing that has the appearance of being bad. Going to work for a specific Linux company would, even if I work the way I've always worked, it would still look like I was favoring one vendor over another. You can't avoid it in the environment we're in.. I want to make sure everyone sees that I'm neutral. They may disagree with me and quite often they do. But at least they know I'm not working for the competition. I may not care about their viewpoint, but they know I do it for my own personal reasons. That makes people a lot more accepting. That makes it easier for me to make decisions. People will accept those decisions more if they understand they are my personal decisions and not because I am trying to screw them over as a competitor. It gives me more authority. That's the only authority I have. I don't have legal rights. I have one special right since I started Linux as the owner of the collective copyright. From a license standpoint I don't have any special rights.

Q: What about cashing in on Linux? Where do you stand on where it is appropriate for you to make money from Linux?

A: I'm cashing in in the sense that I have a good salary. I did get stock options and I accepted them when there were no strings attached. In the good old days there were a few Linux companies that gave me stock options as a thank-you. Nobody thought they would be worth that much when they gave them to me. I bought a house in this area so they were worth a lot. I'm doing OK. I'm not a Larry Ellison. There only needs to be one.

Q: You moved from Finland. How do you like living in Silicon Valley.

A: Some parts I love. I have a convertible. I will never ever move to a place where I can't drive a convertible. I like the dynamics. Sometimes it's sad how you go into a random restaurant and all the tables around you talk about technology. At the same time, it is nice to be where you understand the people. Genetically maybe not very homogenous. But perspective wise, it's a nice place to be. It's too crowded. It's too expensive.

Q: And what about the bust?

A: Everybody was expecting it. Everybody was calling it a bubble. The people who now complain about it. They didn't complain two years ago. What I think is sad is the people who came here two years ago, just as the bust was starting, had jobs for not very long, got laid off, and had to move back. They changed their lives. That's nasty. I remember it took me four years to get a green card. The people who came in at the wrong time, they had to go back. The social issues there are huge.

Q: Any irony that you might be deposed by (SCO counsel) David Boies, who led the case against Microsoft?

A: I was a bit surprised. I realize that David Boies wasn't against Microsoft. It's that he likes high-profile cases against big companies. That's what he specializes in. In that sense, SCO vs IBM makes sense. It's a nice twist but it doesn't mean anything.

filterlog 10-18-03 - fUSION Anomalog.


By DAVID DIAMOND (NYT) Interview words
filterlog 10/18/03  ~ Linus Torvalds on Microsoft... Who Cares? [+]

It makes sense. People who use economics as a model may see the open source movement as a potential enemy. The open source community could care less, because they are living in a totally different model. Potential communism (there never was a real one) made the mistake of trying to play the game by the enemy's rules. It's time to not play the game. Don't play the religion game. Don't play the science game. We're creating our own rules and fuck all anyone that gets in the way

Wired 11.07 Linus Torvalds: The Peacemaker How Linus Torvalds, the man behind Linux, keeps the revolution from becoming a jihad. By David Diamond (Linus personal biographer)

 It's no accident that Linus Torvalds has been calling the shots for Linux longer than most world leaders have been in power. In the 12 years since he uploaded his operating system and became de facto master of the open source universe, the 33-year-old programmer has endured waves of attacks from developer zealots seeking to hijack open source to further their own agendas - toppling Microsoft, fighting the music industry, stopping the commercialization of open source software. Through it all, Torvalds has maintained a Zen-like ability to defuse political opposition and saved Linux from being either co-opted or abandoned. Torvalds, who holds down a day job as a software engineer at chipmaker Transmeta, told Wired how he keeps the peace. 


Michael Grecco
Michael Grecco
WIRED: The open source community has all manner of rabid devotees. What's your strategy for keeping these forces at bay?
TORVALDS: My basic strategy has always been to not care too much. It actually ends up working wonders - avoiding confrontation by just walking away. The thing is, I don't usually feel as deeply about some of the issues they feel strongly about, and that makes it easier just to ignore the politics - and as a result, the political consequences. That also allows me to concentrate on the things I do enjoy, namely the technical discussions.

How long will that work?
Well, it's worked so far. Every once in a while an issue comes up where I have to make a statement. I can't totally avoid all political issues, but I try my best to minimize them. When I do make a statement, I try to be fairly neutral. Again, that comes from me caring a lot more about the technology than about the politics, and that usually means that my opinions are colored mostly by what I think is the right thing to do technically rather than for some nebulous good.

You got royally flamed for a recent statement on Slashdot.org in which you defended digital rights management, which is hated by many in the open source community because it allows hardware to lock out some applications. Why did you stick your neck out?
I rewrote that post three times. I expected to offend some people, but I wanted to make sure I was fairly noninflammatory. I used humor and tried not to make it a black and white thing.

You basically said you're OK with DRM. What effect will that have?
The whole point of that post was to set developer expectations right. We've allowed a lot of the technology that DRM requires for a long while already, but from my discussions with some kernel developers, it was clear that not everybody was on the same page as to what that meant for Linux. To avoid future clashes and disappointment, I would much rather bring the issue into the open and make sure people know about it. That way developers can make up their own minds about whether they want to work on a system that may someday be used in ways they don't agree with.

Have you lost any sleep over the DRM flamefest?
I lose sleep if I end up feeling bad about something I've said. Usually that happens when I send something out without having read it over a few times, or when I call somebody names. I like being on friendly terms with most people. This time it's been a fairly amicable discussion. I expected much worse.

Most leaders expend a lot of energy trying to stay in power. What do you do to maintain support?
To me, the most important part has always been a certain aura of neutrality. By staying neutral, I end up being somebody that everybody can trust. Even if they don't always agree with my decisions, they know I'm not working against them. People know that when I make a technical decision, it's not politically motivated. Obviously, I also try to maintain support by just being good at what I do.

Don't you run the risk of alienating supporters out on the fringes?
Part of my job is managing expectations. I have a nagging fear that someone will come up to me years from now and say, "I gave you the best five years of my life, and look what you've let Linux become."

You seem pretty thick-skinned and even-keeled. Do you ever doubt yourself?
Not really. But I think part of that is because I'm fairly comfortable with the notion of saying "Sorry, I was wrong," even in public. Another way of putting it: I don't have to doubt myself, because to some degree I don't have to care whether I'm right or wrong. If I'm right, I'm right, and if I'm wrong we can go back and fix it. The only thing you generally can't go back and fix later on is that small detail of trust, which is another reason I'd rather bring these things out in the open, so that people know what I think.

You've said that you're "just an engineer." What do you mean by that?
I wear that as a badge of honor. I think of myself as an engineer, not as a visionary or "big thinker." I don't have any lofty goals. I just want to have fun making the best damn operating system I can.

David Diamond (ddiamond@well.com) wrote about Philippine labor exports in Wired 10.06. He's the coauthor, with Torvalds, of Just For Fun: The Story of an Accidental Revolutionary.

TOPDOG08.COM Linus Torvalds' interview with the NY Times

September 28, 2003

Linus Torvalds' interview with the NY Times

My favorite quotes:

Is file-sharing, which has the recording industry so up in arms, the ''dark side'' of open-source attitudes?

Sharing is certainly not bad in itself. In open source, we feel strongly that to really do something well, you have to get a lot of people involved. What the recording industry is so worried about is obviously something totally different -- the ''sharing'' of stuff that isn't yours to share in the first place.

O.K. So what are your views on sharing music files?

I don't actually think about it much; I listen to the radio if I listen to music. What I do find interesting is how the file-sharing thing ends up changing how people think about computers and copyright law. Some of it is a bit scary: just the fact that your question equated sharing with something bad is a pretty scary statement in itself. What also bothers me is the apparent dishonesty of especially the R.I.A.A., claiming that file-sharing is destroying their business and that they are losing billions of dollars on it. There's been a number of studies done, and it looks like the major reason for the dip in CD sales ends up being lack of interest in the music produced. And let's face it -- how many boy bands can you try to sell before your revenues start dipping?

...People position you as the nemesis to Bill Gates. He started Microsoft and you started Linux, the big competition to Microsoft's dominance of operating systems. Is that an unfair or inaccurate characterization?

The thing is, at least to me personally, Microsoft just isn't relevant to what I do. That might sound strange, since they are clearly the dominant player in the market that Linux is in, but the thing is: I'm not in the ''market.'' I'm interested in Linux because of the technology, and Linux wasn't started as any kind of rebellion against the ''evil Microsoft empire.'' Quite the reverse, in fact: from a technology angle, Microsoft really has been one of the least interesting companies. So I've never seen it as a ''Linus versus Bill'' thing. I just can't see myself in the position of the nemesis, since I just don't care enough. To be a nemesis, you have to actively try to destroy something, don't you? Really, I'm not out to destroy Microsoft. That will just be a completely unintentional side effect.

CRN CRN Interview Linus Torvalds

CRN Interview: Linus Torvalds
Says Matter Is A Vendor-To-Vendor Contract Dispute
(URL: http://www.crn.com/sections/breakingnews/breakingnews.jhtml;jsessionid=GGFPFP0DRBPDUQSNDBCCKH0CJUMEKJVN?articleId=18823268&_requestid=497517)

By Steven Burke & Heather Clancy,

6:28 PM EDT Tue. Jul. 15, 2003

Linux creator Linus Torvalds defended the integrity of Linux intellectual property in an interview with CRN Editor Heather Clancy and Editor/News Steven Burke at the CA World conference. Torvalds--who recently left Transmeta to work on Linux full-time at the Open Source Development Lab--talks about Read Copy Update code, copyright protection and SCO during the half-hour interview.

CRN: How has the SCO-IBM lawsuit affected Linux?

Torvalds: The biggest effect by far has just been a lot of time wasted on discussion. Obviously there have been a lot of people worried. But it hasn't actually affected [Linux] in any real sense. Part of the reason is that it hasn't affected it in any real sense is the way we have done development, because it has been so open, there has always been a very real electronic trail of exactly how everything came into the kernel from which source and stuff like that.

So we actually have a very good notion of where the code came from and what the [intellectual property] rights are. ... It seems to me that what SCO really minds is not so much the code itself. It is the contract lawsuit with IBM. I don't know what the IBM contracts are. It is kind of ironic, because especially when it comes to the stuff that IBM has given Linux, we have been very, very careful about how we accept them. The one thing SCO has mentioned has been the Read Copy Update code that IBM gave us, and that wasn't accepted for the longest time into the kernel exactly because we knew the patents were owned by IBM. [But] we said we couldn't take it until you [IBM] said very explicitly that you also license the patents.

CRN: Do you have an explicit IP protection or due diligence process for Linux development?

Torvalds: We don't have an explicit one. It is kind of strange because the open-source community is regarded as being fairly laissez faire. But at the same time, the people who actually do the work take copyrights very seriously. Copyrights are what we use ourselves to kind of do our work. I know way too much about copyright law. I should not know as much as I do. The way things are organized we don't have a process like you would have in a company usually.

CRN: With the current situation, are you changing that at all?

Torvalds: I am personally convinced that exactly because we are so open we can follow the code through any time. If something bad happens, you have the trail, you can see who did it, what happened, how did it get here, which is actually not that common in proprietary systems. It is actually much harder, usually, to see that in other systems just because you can't go through the main list archives. That in itself says if something bad happens we can stop it. We can go and look at what was going on.

CRN: What is your advice for solution providers who may be concerned about the suit as they are building business solutions with Linux?

Torvalds: One of the issues is the suit really isn't about copyrights or IP at all. SCO and Darl [McBride, SCO CEO], dear Darl let's call him, have been talking a lot about IP, but in fact the suit is about a contract dispute between SCO and IBM. And I don't care about contract disputes between SCO and IBM. I think IBM has the lawyers to take care of that. I also think whatever happens, happens. The good thing about it being a contract dispute is that is purely between IBM and SCO. It has nothing to do with Linux. It has nothing to do with any users. Obviously SCO is trying to kind of push that notion that IBM violated their contracts and now IBM lost their license to AIX, which, let's face it, nobody really believes that. But it has nothing to do with Linux at all.

CRN: It's awfully weird timing, considering that Linux is really starting to build a business following.

Torvalds: But that's the thing that makes it not so very weird timing. I can't say that I expected SCO to sue IBM. But I mean it was clear that in the U.S.-business kind of climate [that] once enough money is involved, lawsuits will happen. This is not an 'if,' this is a 'when' question. And most lawsuits are resolved. This one has gotten a lot of press because Linux finally got big enough that people decided we can make money more easily by suing somebody than by using Linux. In the end, SCO is not a very surprising [company to bring a lawsuit]. Their business was zero and it was shrinking.

CRN: Are you playing a role to try to resolve this thing?

Torvalds: Not really. I want to have as little as possible to do with lawsuits. I am in the situation that maybe I will end up being a witness to one or the other side, most likely it will be IBM. But I am not involved in any way and I don't really want to be.

CRN: What kind of feedback are you seeing from solution providers?

Torvalds: I am not working with those people. Everything I hear is basically saying nobody cares. ... The people I work with are my technical people. They are worried about the lawsuit just because they want to make sure that we didn't do anything wrong.

CRN: Recently Microsoft lowered its price by as much as 35 percent to try to win the City of Munich's desktop upgrade business. How are Microsoft's selling strategies changing?

Torvalds: You are talking to the wrong person. You should talk to the CA person. I am really, really happy that I have never been involved with the salespeople, because that is never what I was interested in. So I don't see Microsoft.

CRN: Are you being called in by vendors such as CA and systems integrators to help win over some of these big Linux deals?

Torvalds: No. I never go to customer meetings. I don't like customers (laughing).

CRN: Is that why you decided to go to Open Source Development Lab and not a commercial vendor?

Torvalds: To me, the most important thing has always been that people be able to trust me. That doesn't mean that they agree with me. It just means that they know what my motivation is. And then it is very important not to be at a company where people start wondering, 'So is he motivated by the company?' I'd much rather be in a situation where people know that I make my decisions on my own personal grounds. Even when people don't agree with me, they are a lot happier about that than me being part of a commercial company and maybe making my technical decisions because of something their competition is doing.




Groupthink : Two Party System as Polyarchy : Corruption of Regulators : Bureaucracies : Understanding Micromanagers and Control Freaks : Toxic Managers :   Harvard Mafia : Diplomatic Communication : Surviving a Bad Performance Review : Insufficient Retirement Funds as Immanent Problem of Neoliberal Regime : PseudoScience : Who Rules America : Neoliberalism  : The Iron Law of Oligarchy : Libertarian Philosophy


War and Peace : Skeptical Finance : John Kenneth Galbraith :Talleyrand : Oscar Wilde : Otto Von Bismarck : Keynes : George Carlin : Skeptics : Propaganda  : SE quotes : Language Design and Programming Quotes : Random IT-related quotesSomerset Maugham : Marcus Aurelius : Kurt Vonnegut : Eric Hoffer : Winston Churchill : Napoleon Bonaparte : Ambrose BierceBernard Shaw : Mark Twain Quotes


Vol 25, No.12 (December, 2013) Rational Fools vs. Efficient Crooks The efficient markets hypothesis : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2013 : Unemployment Bulletin, 2010 :  Vol 23, No.10 (October, 2011) An observation about corporate security departments : Slightly Skeptical Euromaydan Chronicles, June 2014 : Greenspan legacy bulletin, 2008 : Vol 25, No.10 (October, 2013) Cryptolocker Trojan (Win32/Crilock.A) : Vol 25, No.08 (August, 2013) Cloud providers as intelligence collection hubs : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : Inequality Bulletin, 2009 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Copyleft Problems Bulletin, 2004 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Energy Bulletin, 2010 : Malware Protection Bulletin, 2010 : Vol 26, No.1 (January, 2013) Object-Oriented Cult : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2011 : Vol 23, No.11 (November, 2011) Softpanorama classification of sysadmin horror stories : Vol 25, No.05 (May, 2013) Corporate bullshit as a communication method  : Vol 25, No.06 (June, 2013) A Note on the Relationship of Brooks Law and Conway Law


Fifty glorious years (1950-2000): the triumph of the US computer engineering : Donald Knuth : TAoCP and its Influence of Computer Science : Richard Stallman : Linus Torvalds  : Larry Wall  : John K. Ousterhout : CTSS : Multix OS Unix History : Unix shell history : VI editor : History of pipes concept : Solaris : MS DOSProgramming Languages History : PL/1 : Simula 67 : C : History of GCC developmentScripting Languages : Perl history   : OS History : Mail : DNS : SSH : CPU Instruction Sets : SPARC systems 1987-2006 : Norton Commander : Norton Utilities : Norton Ghost : Frontpage history : Malware Defense History : GNU Screen : OSS early history

Classic books:

The Peter Principle : Parkinson Law : 1984 : The Mythical Man-MonthHow to Solve It by George Polya : The Art of Computer Programming : The Elements of Programming Style : The Unix Haterís Handbook : The Jargon file : The True Believer : Programming Pearls : The Good Soldier Svejk : The Power Elite

Most popular humor pages:

Manifest of the Softpanorama IT Slacker Society : Ten Commandments of the IT Slackers Society : Computer Humor Collection : BSD Logo Story : The Cuckoo's Egg : IT Slang : C++ Humor : ARE YOU A BBS ADDICT? : The Perl Purity Test : Object oriented programmers of all nations : Financial Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : The Most Comprehensive Collection of Editor-related Humor : Programming Language Humor : Goldman Sachs related humor : Greenspan humor : C Humor : Scripting Humor : Real Programmers Humor : Web Humor : GPL-related Humor : OFM Humor : Politically Incorrect Humor : IDS Humor : "Linux Sucks" Humor : Russian Musical Humor : Best Russian Programmer Humor : Microsoft plans to buy Catholic Church : Richard Stallman Related Humor : Admin Humor : Perl-related Humor : Linus Torvalds Related humor : PseudoScience Related Humor : Networking Humor : Shell Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2012 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2013 : Java Humor : Software Engineering Humor : Sun Solaris Related Humor : Education Humor : IBM Humor : Assembler-related Humor : VIM Humor : Computer Viruses Humor : Bright tomorrow is rescheduled to a day after tomorrow : Classic Computer Humor

The Last but not Least Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage and those who manage what they do not understand ~Archibald Putt. Ph.D

Copyright © 1996-2021 by Softpanorama Society. www.softpanorama.org was initially created as a service to the (now defunct) UN Sustainable Development Networking Programme (SDNP) without any remuneration. This document is an industrial compilation designed and created exclusively for educational use and is distributed under the Softpanorama Content License. Original materials copyright belong to respective owners. Quotes are made for educational purposes only in compliance with the fair use doctrine.

FAIR USE NOTICE This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to advance understanding of computer science, IT technology, economic, scientific, and social issues. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided by section 107 of the US Copyright Law according to which such material can be distributed without profit exclusively for research and educational purposes.

This is a Spartan WHYFF (We Help You For Free) site written by people for whom English is not a native language. Grammar and spelling errors should be expected. The site contain some broken links as it develops like a living tree...

You can use PayPal to to buy a cup of coffee for authors of this site


The statements, views and opinions presented on this web page are those of the author (or referenced source) and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of the Softpanorama society. We do not warrant the correctness of the information provided or its fitness for any purpose. The site uses AdSense so you need to be aware of Google privacy policy. You you do not want to be tracked by Google please disable Javascript for this site. This site is perfectly usable without Javascript.

Last modified: March 12, 2019