Revolution

Trawling through a DVD of videos from Prof. Mungbean — Excelent stuff: Charlie Chaplin, Jan Svankmejer, The Trapdoor, etc. — I happen upon something I didn’re realise I had: Revolution OS (A documentary about the history and success of the Linux operating system.)

Two things arise from this discovery (but not necessarily in this order):…

Second:

I showed the movie to the students here. Well actually to the last two stages who, for their sins which must be many, get sto study JKUAT’s Diploma in IT and are taking a Unix course in which Linux is discussed. This is a whole story in itself but mostly a booring one that has to do with how Kioko and I struggled to set the show up despite every piece of hardware we tried to use letting us down in some way and having to be replaced. Nevertheless I think the show was a success. Before the show I asked the group two questions, one they should know the answer to already (though they would know it much better after the movie) :

  • Who is Linus Torvalds? what did he create? and why is it important?

and one they should learn the answer to by watching the movie:

This ought to have ended in a raucus discussion about whether the GNU General Public Licence could change society. But, this being Kenya, the girls (with one notable exception, I wonder if she’s reading this) sat quietly and waited for me to spill the beans.

First:

There’s a moment in the movie when some geek in a pony tail gets interviewed at a Linux install-fest. He wants someone to help him install Linux on some tiny and obsolete PDA. And I shout (even though there’s nobody there with me in the house at that point): **I’ve danced with this guy!**

And I have. It turns out to be Dave who came and visited London a year or so back. Also responsible for a Lindy Exchange at Burning Man, or for the concept of one at least.

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