Some of you may well be younger than Linux, some of you may have grown up with the OS, and some of you, more ancient ones, may well remember thinking that this stuff is going to ‘blow the bloody doors off’ as Michael Caine put it when you first encountered it. But how about Linus Torvald, the man who wrote the first kernel? Here we’re going to give you an insight into his life and personality.
He is Finnish but actually grew up speaking Swedish. This is because Linus is one of the “finlandssvensk” or “finlandssvenskar” community in Finland. These were Swedes who moved to Finland many hundreds of years ago when the country was part of the Swedish Empire and continue to speak Swedish.
It was on August 25th 1991 that Linus announced to the Usenet newsgroup “comp.os.minix.” that he was making a free OS, although he thought it wouldn’t be big or professional like Gnu. Well, who would have thought that Linux would turn the computing world on its head?
He hates phones, which he believes distracts him from more important things in life. This doesn’t mean he doesn’t own a phone, he just uses it for the GPS function when he’s driving.
Linus Torvald rarely gets to code any more. This is not because he’s spending all his time looking at his bill on www.o2.co.uk or crafting amazing images on photoshop, no, he’s replying to a huge email in-box and the few bits of code he does write are usually pasted in emails to questions explaining what to avoid.
I don’t know how much tea or coffee you drink, but Linus reckons he is a coffee addict and calculates that he and his wife have drunk an average of 4.7 double shots per day between 2002 and 2010 and that’s not including take-out coffees.
Despite this caffeine intake, he still manages to get a fairly serious nine hours sleep a night (he goes to bed at 10 and gets up at 7).
Perhaps this is because he likes drinking Guinness, that Irish stout from Dublin that contains a serious amount of iron and used to be taken as a health tonic in the British Isles before modern fads changed peoples’ opinions.
Prior to having laser surgery, Linus used to wear spectacles.
He is married and lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife Tove and their three daughters.
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