Sunday, January 29, 2006

Pining for snow!

Usually, I'd be gloomy all through the midwest winter. Until I came to Illinois 3 years ago, the only ice I'd ever see was inside the freezer. The last to harsh winters had me wishing a relief from the snow for months.

But this year, things are different.

It only snowed for a day or two in December. That snowfall was quite heavy. But after that, there hasn't been any snow even as we reach the end of January.

Is this the global warming effect people have been dreading for long? I watched the movie "The Day after Tomorrow" recently, and the movie now seems more and more realistic.

Anyway, as a result 0f the snow-less winter, I'm kind of missing the flurries and powdery snows, and the funny way of walking on the snow. Strange!!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

My Linux History article

In this post, I'm going to look back at my article on the History of Linux. (also available from here ).

Ok, let me start with how it began. Back in 1999, I had just installed Linux, and was one of the first members of Bangladesh Linux Users Group (BDLUG). Back in those days, I had a rickety 19.2 kbps dial up connection, at cut-throat price ... taka 3 per minute. Yet, I spent probably a week looking for the History of Linux. Those were the days before Google became such a hot thing for search, so I think I probably used Yahoo! search. After learning the interesting History of Linux, and with the zeal of a newbie, I wrote a small article on the history of Linux.

First, I posted it in my free web host, It was also mirrored at the BDLug site. It remained there, and I almost forgot about it, until I started getting mails from complete strangers regarding permission to use the article. Many of them wanted to use it for a course, or a LUG meeting, but several of the people wanted to use it for inclusion in a book. After thinking about the whole thing, I decided to release the article free for all non-commercial use.

Next, in 2000, I published the article in a local news paper, The Daily Star. I'd have to check to see if they kept an archive back to 2000, but I may have the copy of the news paper.

By this time, I got several requests from people, who wanted to translate it to other languages. The first one is probably from a Japanese guy, who translated it, and put it in his website. Following that, the article has been translated into 5 or 6 more languages. Here is a list of the different languages.

[Hebrew] | [Bulgarian] [Japanese] [Chinese] [Romanian] [Portuguese]

I recently released version 2.2.0. I wrote about Tanenbaum, Richard Stallman, and other people who were influential in providing the whole basis of Linux.

I keep expanding and enhancing the article on a regular basis. What makes me happy is that the article has proven to be useful to a lot of people, and also many instructors (at least 5 I know of) have used it for their university level courses.