July 17, 2014, 12:55 PM — Linus Torvalds is the undisputed superstar celebrity of the Linux world. When he speaks the world of technology listens to what he has to say. Now you can get an insider's view of Linus' home office and see for yourself what his work environment is really like as he strives to continually improve Linux.
I really enjoyed a behind-the-scenes peek at how Linus works, and I particularly appreciated his walking desk. One of the health challenges that Linux geeks and computer users in general face is too much sitting. There have been numerous articles about the negative health consequences of sitting for long periods of time, including one from WebMD. So I'm very glad that Linus is setting a good example for other Linux users by using a walking desk. You can check out some walking desks at Amazon if you are curious about getting one.
I also noticed, however, that Linus looks a bit chunky in the video. Now I'm not trying to be judgmental, but Linus is aging like the rest of us. So some sort of fitness program might be something for him to consider. He could burn off a lot of that fat and replace it with muscle via some home workouts that don't require a trip to the gym. I'd like to see a small weight bench, a rack and some dumbbells added to Linus' home office. They could take the place of the old desk that isn't being used any more by Linus.
Beach Body has some great workout programs that are also available at Amazon and some of them only require a half hour per day or so of your time. So they fit in well with pretty much anybody's work schedule or overall lifestyle. I have been doing Body Beast as I really enjoy lifting weights, but I also use different P90X and P90X 3 cardio and flexibility routines since Body Beast is weak in those areas.
Given his celebrity status, it would be great if Linus became a spokesman for health issues among geeks. Working with computers is a wonderful thing, but it also has the potential to adversely affect people's health if they aren't careful. Linus could make a real difference if he started speaking out on computing-related health habits.
I got a bit of a chuckle at the clutter on his other desk, it comes frighteningly close to what my own situation is like. I try so hard not to be a clutterbug, but I inevitably fail and then have to straighten things up every once in a while. I also found Linus' comments about the sun to be right on. I hate having the shades up when I'm working, it's such a distraction.
Thanks very much to Linus and the Linux Foundation for giving us a peek at his office. It's always fun to see how such a venerated icon does his daily work.
Does open source licensing still matter?
InfoWorld thinks that open source licensing just doesn't matter much any more.
According to InfoWorld:
After years of bitter feuds between free software and open source advocates, open source won. But it was a temporary victory. While proponents of Apache-style licensing had a brief period to gloat, the GitHub generation actually seems determined to take open source to its logical conclusion: Releasing most software under no license at all.
Are developers simply too careless to bother with a license, or is there something bigger underway?
I have to admit that I haven't paid much attention lately to open source licensing issues. Based on this article though it seems like things are a bit in flux, with developers less concerned about which license they use or if they even use one at all. It's an interesting wrinkle in open source software that I'm not sure anyone could have predicted ten years ago.
Where will it end up going? I'm still not sure, but I like what GitHub is doing with choosealicense.com in terms of helping to guide developers into finding the right license and also alerting them that they might not need one at all. That's a very helpful way of educating developers and offering them useful options with a minimum of fuss.
What is open source?
Speaking of open source, OpenSource.com has a primer on what open source actually is and how it compares to other kinds of software. This might be a helpful link to send someone who is just taking their first steps into the world of open source software.
According to Opensource.com:
Open source software is software whose source code is available for modification or enhancement by anyone.
"Source code" is the part of software that most computer users don't ever see; it's the code computer programmers can manipulate to change how a piece of software—a "program" or "application"—works. Programmers who have access to a computer program's source code can improve that program by adding features to it or fixing parts that don't always work correctly.
You can also find more information about open source on Wikipedia's open source page. The article covers many things including the history of open source, economics, applications, and society and culture. It's certainly a useful resource for anyone who wants an overview of open source.
Sure, a lot of the information might be very familiar to experienced Linux users. But it's important to remember that there are still a lot of folks out there who might not really understand what open source is all about. So taking a moment to share an educational link or two can be a great way of spreading the word about open source to friends and family.
What's your take on all this? Tell me in the comments below.
The opinions expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the views of ITworld.