It's GNU's 25th celeb., says celeb.

In Wednesday's IT Blogwatch, we join celebrity polymath Stephen Fry in celebrating 25 years of the GNU Project. Not to mention Kermit Bale...

Stephen Fry has The Nearly Complete and Utter History of GNU:

Twenty five years ago this month, a man called

Stephen Fry
Richard Stallman announced to the world his intention to create a complete operating system from the ground up. He called it, GNU, which stands for GNU’s Not Unix.

To help celebrate this occasion, I’ve made a video to tell you about GNU, and free software ... You can watch the video over at

Wikimedia's Erik Möller is Quite Interesting:

In September 1983, Richard Stallman first announced the plan to develop a free software operating system called GNU. Today, in combination with the Linux kernel, GNU/Linux is a completely free operating system running on many millions of computers world-wide. You are using GNU/Linux every day when surfing the web, as it’s one of the most popular operating systems to power web servers, database servers, and the other infrastructure that makes the web work.


We use free software developed by the GNU projects and other communities for servers and clients. For example, we use the Apache web server, the MySQL database server, the Squid proxy server, the PHP scripting language, and the Ubuntu GNU/Linux distribution on our servers. But even our phone systems are built on top of free software, and we use important open standards like Ogg Theora and Ogg Vorbis on Wikipedia.


And, of course, Wikipedia itself is given away under legal code developed by the GNU project: the GNU Free Documentation License. So, we owe an enormous debt to the GNU project and to the Free Software Foundation.

Some bloke called Richi Jennings rants A Little Bit: [That's enough Stephen Fry TV titles -Ed.]

Stephen Fry, we love you very much. You are a National Treasure.

But... If you're going to expound the delights of free software, you could at least make an effort to pronounce Linus's name correctly.

Anyway, if you can't be bothered to muck about with Ogg Vorbis and such, I found this version of the video on the evil, unfree YouTube

Sun's Barton "808" George states: [You're fired -Ed.]

Given that John McCain has chosen Monty Python alum, Michael Palin as his running mate, its no surprise that the Free Software Foundation has found their own British comedian to promote the 25th birthday of the GNU operating system.

The FSF have teamed up with Steven Fry English humorist, actor and novelist to produce a very cool five minute video explaining the history of GNU and the ethos behind Free Software.

Simon Phipps agrees:

Today marks the start of celebrations for the 25th anniversary of GNU. It took a long time to get a working operating system, and a new paradigm to get it adopted, but the tenacious idealism of RMS has bourne fruit.

Like Barton, I am especially delighted that the Java platform has gone from being a case study in closedness to being the chosen technology for hosting the birthday video by polymathic British actor Stephen Fry.

Colin Charles offers his agenda:

I first heard of Stephen Fry when he narrated The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Then, I saw him in V for Vendetta. Today, I can only highly recommend you look at Freedom Fry - Happy Birthday to GNU.

GNU is 25 years old. Wow, it has come a long way. The Hurd is nowhere to be reckoned with, but Stephen does talk about Linux being a pillar. I have no idea why he seems to mention gNewSense, as I’m sure the non-free binary blobs usually entails something like working wireless, or working video, etc. Ubuntu with its non-free blobs, IMHO, is the best choice for new users…


Must watch video. And Happy Birthday GNU… you definitely shaped my professional life for the better.

Mark J. Wielaard has another date for the diary:

And don’t forget to start preparing for Software Freedom Day on September 20.

Borez sumz up:

Mr. Stephen Fry ... is one of the most well read and knowledgeable humans on the face of the planet, if he says it's good... then it probably is.

And finally...

Buffer overflow:

Other Computerworld bloggers:

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Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/adviser/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and spam. A 22 year, cross-functional IT veteran, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You can follow him on Twitter, pretend to be Richi's friend on Facebook, or just use boring old email:

Previously in IT Blogwatch:

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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