Ian Murdock (1973-2015) on why he was compelled to found Debian (partial fieldwork interview from 2004)

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Ian: Well for us mere mortals... If we were lucky we could log into a computer through a 2400 baud modem from home and so having UNIX at my own computer at home where I could log in as root and do anything I wanted was, inititally very interested to me.. The novelty starts to wear off and it just becomes software, another OS system What really grabbed me off the bat was the community. That was what really grabbed me and you have to understand at the time, it was a completely foreign notion that I somehow had stumbled upon this group of people that were interested in the same things that I was interested in who had basically for no particular reason built this thing, this operating system and it had actually worked and I could do my work on it and I had not paid a dime for it, they did not ask anything of me when I download it or used it. And whenever you are in a situation like that when people have given so much to you, one of the first instincts is like what can I do for you, what can I give back?

via Gabriella Coleman

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