Tomorrow marks the 25 year anniversary since the first version of the Linux kernel (0.01) was released to the internet. It is also, almost to the day, 25 years since I started university at Cambridge.
This weekend we have our reunion at Girton College. I have been a passionate racket sport player since my teens and will play Real Tennis at Cambridge this weekend on a court celebrating it’s 150 year anniversary.
I was reflecting on these timelines in preparing for this blog.
Charles Handy in The Age of Unreason exploring the future of work in a changing World makes a grizzly analogy:
“If you put a frog in a pot of cold water and slowly heat it, the frog adapts its body temperature to that of the water until at 100 degrees centigrade it boils alive.”
Real tennis has a history of over 800 years. At the peak there were over 150 courts in Paris alone. Now there are about 43 actively used courts in mainly the UK, France, Australia and America. The Real tennis frog is still in relatively constant tepid waters. However there are many popular variants in warmer water such as lawn tennis, padel, squash and badminton.
Information technology is in punishingly hot water. The Xerox 914 was the first successful commercial plain paper copier released 57 years ago today revolutionised the document-copying industry. Early machines provided a “scorch eliminator”, which was actually a small fire extinguisher, along with the copier!
Basic operating system features were developed in the 1950s. 20 years ago enthusiasts engaged with Linux purely for the technical challenge.
The green chameleon in the photo is the SUSE logo, (called Geeko). SUSE pioneered the commercial distribution of Linux. Today Linux is pervasive as a commercial technology supporting the business and wider world from supercomputers, mainframes and datacentres through to desk top, dedicated devices and mobile. SUSE leverages open source development to adapt to change and is primed for the future of Big Data & Analytics, SAP HANA, S4/-HANA and Cloud Computing among others.
At SUSE, as part of Micro Focus, (celebrating 40 year anniversary next month), we are excited to be the largest software company in the UK next year after the recently announced merger with a spinout of HPE.
The phrase “cut to the chase” is from Real Tennis. I will try to do this by summarising:
Be the chameleon not the frog
It must be about 5 years since it became the norm to add bold numbers without explanation to presentations and articles to try to engage with the audience. If you have got this far, thank you for reading my first blog at SUSE.
Jon Speirs, SUSE
17th September 2016