Sarah Thayer - Revolution OS


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Revision as of 18:45, 24 November 2009

Sadly, I was unable to watch Revolution OS in the great Cinestudio, but I caught it on Google Video over the weekend, and must say it was better done than I expected. Though in my past couple of years at Trinity, I've learned a great deal about the Free Software Movement and the Open Source Initiative, there were certain things which were new and therefore stood out.

I was startled to be so intrigued by the concept of passwords at MIT. It seemed so clear, in this context, that passwords were the first step in removing community-building lifestyles. On a personal computer, this makes some sense - though you should be able to trust the people in your home - because more private things can be stored on a personal computer. On a lab computer, such as the ones at MIT, where everyone has a common goal to make or improve a system, putting passwords on the computers seems obnoxious. Richard Stallman's reaction to this, however amusing, was also well-played, though the world would soon come to disagree.

I think what surprised me most was exactly how big the free/open source software movement was in the 90s. The clips about the stock prices for VA Linux and the huge conferences was incredible to me. I've only just learned about it at all since I came to Trinity, and even then it took me until sophomore year to understand why we had these new and strange Linux machines in the computer science labs. I was younger, yes, but suddenly I felt so out of the loop as I watched this - what was I missing in the 90s? I'm curious now if my parents knew about it at all. Thanksgiving comes at a good time!

Highlights:

  • Richard Stallman: certainly an interesting character, it was somewhat amusing to know I met and interacted with him (however briefly) during HFOSS '08.
  • The focus on Linus Torvalds kids during Stallman's speech.
  • The Free Software Song: That band really, really tried to rock it out.