The enlightened minds of mathematicians, cryptographers, engineers, physicists, inventors and others have shaped the computer and the Internet into what we know today. Some of them also caught a glimpse of the future and envisioned the technology we are using now or are about to see. Keeping an eye on the visionaries helps us prepare for the future.
Open source enthusiasts this month celebrate Linus Torvalds, a Finnish-American software engineer who is credited as the main force behind the development of the most popular kernel for operating systems in the world. His Linux kernel is at the core of the Linux computer operating system, as well as the Android mobile OS.
Linus Benedict Torvalds, who turns 45 on December 28, is among many other things the coordinator for the Linux kernel project (the kernel being the central module of a computer operating system).
Linus Torvalds (Wikimedia Commons)
Earlier this month, he released a new version of the kernel, The Register reported. Linux version 3.18 features better sleep and resumption for Linux servers, more support for NVIDIA and AMD graphics devices and other improvements aimed at business users, according to The Register. The technology site estimates that version 3.19 will be released in March.
Torvalds famously said that “open source is the only right way to do software.” Under the sponsorship of the Linux Foundation, he now works full-time on improving Linux. According to Torvalds, his work now mainly consists in linking together bits of code produced by others. He is still the one who decides which new code goes into the Linux kernel.
Linux is also known for the fact that it is one of the most secure operating systems in the world and powers almost 70% of the server market today. It’s this ever increasing popularity that brought Linux in the hackers’ attention. The BASH bug is only one of the recent incidents that could allow hackers to take over a Linux box remotely. This should serve as a reminder about the need to secure even the systems we believe are extremely safe.