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Just for fun

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"I was a nerd. Geek. From fairly early on. I didn't duct-tape my glasses together, but I might as well have, because I had all the other traits. Good at math, good at physics, and with no social graces whatsoever. And this was before being a nerd was considered to be a good thing."

In this witty and engrossing narrative, Linus Torvalds, the brilliant mastermind behind the latest Internet revolution, in collaboration with writer David Diamond, chronicles his transformation from a pale, skinny Helsinki college kid to an international folk hero. What began as a childhood hobby soon became the astonishing phenomenon known as the LINUX operating system.

LINUX was created because Linus was curious to see if he could improve upon the operating systems already out there, such as UNIX. How could he create a system that could run all of his favorite software with fewer crashes and faster productivity? Linus posted his early versions of LINUX on the Internet and called upon the most brilliant minds in computer science to enhance his system. What happened next took the world by storm.

Linus wasn't the first to use the power of the open source movement, but the excitement he generated when he offered his system to the world was unprecedented. What made LINUX revolutionary was its journey to become the marvel it is today — and how the system grew from the meeting of thousands of minds around the world. Suddenly, Linus's creation was available for everyone to use, for free! Anyone could improve LINUX at whim. No monopolies, no trade secrets, no whispering behind closed doors. LINUX wasn't controlled by a select few — this remarkable creation was accessible to absolutely anyone — and still is. The LINUX system is still constantly evolving and improving every day a decade after its inception. Linus describes the history of LINUX in graspable terms and details how the system itself works, without lapsing into mindboggling technical jargon.

Part autobiography and part business philosophy, Just for Fun brims with biographical detail about the radical spirit and creativity of Linus Torvalds. It offers a unique glimpse into the mind of an accidental revolutionary and how the altruistic creation of LINUX flourished so successfully in the open source movement.

For general readers, Torvalds spins a witty tale of his fascinating life. Here is the story of a young man who, as a still-rising star, keeps his feet on the ground through a combination of self-deprecating humor and the realization that life is simply about having a good time. Linus's narrative teems with clever anecdotes and his captivating opinions on the future of competition in the computer world. Linus even reveals his own take on the meaning of life.

For techies, this is a candid glimpse at the life of this honored, yet unintentional hero. Linus offers a compelling look at how he sees the road ahead for LINUX and the computer industry. He also divulges how LINUX began as a small spark and spread like wildfire across the world.

Although he's the first to admit that roaring down the freeway in his shiny new BMW has its benefits, Linus never intentionally sought fame and fortune. Yet both found him when Linus Torvalds radically changed the world of technology for one selfish reason: He did it just for fun.


"Just for Fun" is a fascinating self-portrait of the software mastermind who invented Linux and turned the high tech world upside down by taking a hobby and creating the open-source movement.

About the Author

Linus Torvalds was born in Finland. He graduated from the University of Helsinki and lives with his wife, the six-time karate champion of Finland, and his children. Linus currently works as a programmer on several projects for Transmeta.

Product Details

Diamond, David
Diamond, David
Torvalds, Linus
New York
Operating Systems - LINUX
Scientists - Inventors
Computer programmers
General Biography
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
9.48x6.40x1.03 in. 1.21 lbs.

Related Subjects

Computers and Internet » Operating Systems » Linux
Science and Mathematics » History of Science » Computers

Just for fun
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Product details 288 pages HarperBusiness - English 9780066620725 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , "Just for Fun" is a fascinating self-portrait of the software mastermind who invented Linux and turned the high tech world upside down by taking a hobby and creating the open-source movement.
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