Putting Linux in Perspective

While I was cleaning up my office I ran into the March 1986 issue of UNIX/WORLD, a long-since deceased magazine. I had saved this particular magazine because I am the author of the article featured on the cover: The Unix System on the IBM PC.

While what I am writing here may sound like humor, it actually is real. That is, it is about what has happened in the last 20 years. That article was about the beginning of the revolution. Our "real" computer in the office was a Codata 3300 which featured an 8MHz 68000 processor, 750KB of RAM and a 27MB hard disk. What did it cost? About 16 thousand 1984 dollars.

In those 20+ years, the price of 1000 times as much hardward has dropped to one tenth the cost of the Codata and the cost of a UNIX-like operating system has dropped to almost zero while the capabilities have expanded possibly one thousand fold like the hardware. In any case, on to the article.