Sunday, July 29, 2012

Thoughts on Linus "F*ck you nvidia" video

I FINALLY took the time to actually see the whole video. And I find the whole video quite thought provoking. I would admit unabashedly that Linus is a hero for me. I look up to him and find the way he thinks to be interesting and worthwhile my time to actually get familiar with. That said, I'm going to talk about some of the highlights which I found interesting (apart from the f*ck nvidia part which I think is just Linus being Linus, not much to learn from there, except for maybe if I'm running Nvidia the company).

It is interesting for me that his level of programming is not just a passion and hobby thing, but all the way up to the level of a habit. He programmed a lot of his own tools. And Linux was originally written just because he couldn't afford Unix and he thought it wouldn't be very hard to write his own Unix. That is just awesome. And early on he would even program directly in machine code by doing the assembly by hand, and just output the machine code directly. Talk about bare metal.

He talks about how open sourced software is able to take advantage of the different kind of strength of people. People have their own interest and able to contribute what THEY are interested in. People did what they were good at doing. A funny part of this was that he said he have never done any web programming before. There are MIS people for that. He wasn't interested in that. He was interested in PROGRAMMING.... LOL.. I write web apps for a living, but I also agree with him. I don't feel what I'm doing is real programming. For me if you're not compiling your source code to machine code, and running it on bare metal, you're not really programming. You're just scripting. Fancy scripting certainly, but just scripting none the less. Of course that's just my view it.. :P

He also talks about why Linux has not taken over the desktop and basically it is down to getting it pre-installed for the users because normal users do not want to install their own OS. He feels that the biggest hope for Linux on the desktop might be on Google's Chrome Book. Sadly this is very true. Unless someone can produce extremely cool hardware that people just drool over it without even thinking it's running Linux, desktop Linux ain't gonna happen. At least not to most normal people. I've been using Linux as my main desktop for almost a decade already. I KNOW it's ready for the desktop. But then again, I'm a user that would install my own OS.

One of the things that I really like about Linus is how he seems to be able to say whatever he wants and never have to be sorry about it. It is so different from me. A lot of my regret comes from things and projects I didn't shut down very early on only because I am trying to be polite. But when the going gets tough, I couldn't deliver. People get dissapointed and I feel regret for not being fortright early on.

Linus is very proud of git. He doesn't feel Linux was his own design because Linux was just following Unix, but git was his own design. And he's very proud of it. For most of my own projects, I do use git. But at work, we started out using mercurial from early on, because we had to work on windows and at the time, mercurial would actually outperform git on windows. And if not anything else, tortoisehg is much more nicer than the tortoisegit. Not sure how things are now though because I haven't looked into this aspect for years already.

One last thing I'd like to point out, is that Linus is not really a big fan of vision statement kind of thing. I find this very interesting. Because another personal hero of mine, my own father, also does not believe in the whole vision statement thing. You should have a sort of general idea of where you're heading, but the most important thing is just to get down and work on it. You have to be responsible, and as Linus says, passionate about it enough that you just keep on working on it, regardless of whatever vision statement you have.

I like offending people because I think people who get offended should be offended - Linus Trovalds. :)

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