Fed up with Microsoft's operating system and unable to afford Unix, computer programmer Linus Benedict Trovalds (1969-) was a 21-year-old student at the University of Helsinki when he wrote his own operating system, Linux. He posted the source code and allowed free downloads.
Today millions continue to use the Linux operating system. "I don't mind Microsoft making money," Trovalds said. "I mind them having a bad operating system."
Torvalds was born in Helsinki, Finland and was named for both Charles Schulz's Peanuts character and chemist Linus Pauling. He began programming games on his Commodore VIC-20 when he was 10.
"If you're good," he said, "It's easy to get paid. Good programmers are rare enough that people pay them well. A big part of personal satisfaction is having your work recognized by your peers."
Linux is registered under a General Public License (GPL) with the Free Software Foundation. Linux was called "the biggest collaborative project in history" by Wired magazine. Thousands of programmers have improved the code, a celebration of international Internet collaboration. collaboration.
"By sharing information--and allowing and even encouraging people to add to the body of information-- you open yourself up to continued improvement," Trovalds said.
Enjoy it and get ready for success.