Back in 1991, a brilliant and determined 21-year-old computer science student at the University of Helsinki had an idea. From what I understand, Linus Torvalds was unhappy with MS-DOS, and since he was already familiar with Unix, he decided to try his hand at creating his own PC-style operating system. He did just that and called it Linux.
Linux has since evolved to become ever more refined and useful. Distributed as open-source, Linux is the product of the combined brainpower of millions of brilliant programmers around the world, each making a contribution to it. It has reached the point where some foresee that it will become a serious threat to Microsoft.
With demonstrated staying power, Linux looks to me like it’s ready for prime time. As evidence, I recently shook the dust off my old Compaq 1800-XL notebook computer to see how easy it would be to install a modern-day Linux operating system. With so many distributions available, I began a Google search for something lightweight and small that could be downloaded quickly and was contained on a single disk. My search led me to several Linux distributions, and I chose Mandriva One, which came as an ISO CD image for download.
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