Summary of Just for Fun

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Just for Fun book summary


8 Overall

4 Applicability

7 Innovation

10 Style


In Just for Fun, Linus Torvalds, the Finnish creator of the Linux operating system, mixes his personal story, told in both narrative and e-mail dispatches, with the saga of his development of the Linux operating system. Torvalds’ personal account makes the book fascinating. He began as a self-proclaimed nerd (and even a jerk) who labored to create an operating system in his garage and eventually became the head of the world’s largest open source project. By requiring buyers and licensees to keep the Linux source code open, Torvalds assures the continued technological evolution of his system. The episodic nature of the book makes it choppy, the technical descriptions are hard for the uninitiated to track and co-writer David Diamond’s digressions are revealing about Torvalds’ personal life, but a little disruptive. Even so, recommends this entertaining, interesting book that may even lead you to consider using Linux on your computer, whether or not you are another self-proclaimed computer nerd.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How Linus Torvalds developed the Linux operating system;
  • How Linux grew into a popular operating system during the 1990s as Torvalds grew as a person; and
  • Why the open source licensing system makes economic sense.

About the Authors

Linus Torvalds was born in Finland and graduated from the University of Helsinki. He created the Linux operating system and is currently a programmer at Transmeta. David Diamond has written for The New York Times, Wired, USA Today, BusinessWeek and many other publications



Torvalds the Computer Nerd
Linus Torvalds was born in Finland into a family of Swedish descent. A "beaverish runt" and a "nerd," he wore glasses, and had bad hair and clothing. He was good at math and physics, but sadly lacked social graces. He was fascinated with his grandfather’s calculator...

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