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Just For Fun, a Subjective Review

Frank Rennemann

Linus has written a book, just for fun.

Some people may think: "Oh, the guru has finally written a bible-like work for his followers, to show us the way". Be warned, folks, you couldn't be more wrong!

Some others might think: "Oh, I see, Linus, that's the one who has declared war to Bill Gates". Sorry, but you are mistaken too.

If you want to know why you are wrong, read it - just for fun (I love the title's ambiguity).

What Linus presents in his book is precisely why he is not and doesn't want to be the guru of a movement, and why it is not about Linux competing against other operating systems. For him it is simply a matter of doing it ...just for fun.

For all those who just want to read an impartial version of how Linux came to be, and of course for all those who have recognized themselves in the above train of thoughts, "Just For Fun", Linus Torvalds's book, will be a funny and at the same time interesting reading. Particularly you, nerds and geeks, will love it. It shows that you can also become someone, even with your style that "in the best cases can be described as interesting" and your shabby promotional t-shirts in which you spend most of the day.

The anecdotes and scenery portrayed by Linus and his co-writer David Diamond provide a very entertaining, thrilling and, what's more, interesting insight into the current, almost revolutionary development of the IT industry.

Furthermore, the Linux inventor gives his particular answer to the meaning of life. There are three really important things in life and they follow a natural sequence. The first motif is survival, the second one, social system, and the third stage is pleasure and entertainment. What is more, Linus can even explain why this basic principle applies to everything, from a water hole to aerospace, from the amoeba to the homo sapiens.

Ony the penguin affair remains somehow lost in the fog of history. The book offers two credible versions of it: one by Linus' wife, Tove, and one by Linus himself. At least both involve a biting penguin in an Australian zoo. Has anybody noticed that Tux's yellow beak and feet are entirely unusual for a penguin? "As if Daffy Duck got a little kwazy on a cruise to Antarctica and had a wild one-night-stand with some native fowl" (quotation from book).

Conclusion: absolutely worth reading. Alleged followers and separatists will be set right, as well as dogmatic operating system warriors. And all of them will be guaranteed tons of fun at reading time.



Just for Fun: The Story of an Accidental Revolutionary

288 pages, $18.20
ISBN 0-066-62072-4



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