71-year-old Jon “maddog” Hall has been involved with Linux from the very beginning, and for Christmas shared two of the earliest recordings ever made of young Linus Torvalds speaking about Linux — recordings long thought to be lost.
Hall shares the story at Archive.org. In Februay of 1994 the chair of a user group for the Digital Equipment Computer Users’ Society “started sending emails (and copying me for some reason) about wanting to bring this person I had never heard about from Finland (of all places) to talk about a project that did not even run on Ultrix or DEC/OSF1…. After many emails and no luck in raising money for this trip I took mercy…and asked my management to fund the trip. I sat down to use it, and was amazed. It was good. It was very, very good.”
24-year-old Torvalds was giving his first talks ever at a major conference — this one attended by 19,000 people — and he was nervous. In the end only 40 people showed up for “An Introduction to Linux” and “Implementation Issues in Linux”, but Hall remembers that “there was great applause.”
Unfortunately the talks that Linus gave were lost.
As I was cleaning my office I found some audio tapes made of Linus’ talk, and which I purchased with my own money. Now, to make your present, I had to buy a good audio tape playback machine and capture the audio in Audacity, then produce a digital copy of those tapes, which are listed here…
Here is your Christmas present, from close to three decades ago. Happy Linuxing” to all, no matter what your religion or creed.