05 May 2006

Ubuntu's relation to Linux

Oddly enough, Africa’s “own” Ubuntu Linux is — like Open Source — named for relationships.

Penguins (genus Spheniscidae) are named for their (usually) white-based wedge-like wings (roughly “spen” in Latin). Appropriately enough, Ubuntu is raising a relatively large amount of noise for the Tux-represented peguinistic Linux software: many penguin names (e.g. Maori “Hoiho”/noise-shouter, African “demersus”/jackass/I-sink because they can sound like a jackass and dive very rapidly) are derived from the awesome sounds and actions these surprisingly little (up to a little over 1m) waterbirds can often perform.

Penguins can make nests out of rock and the “blokes” empouch living eggs within them in (outside air) temperatures down to below minus 60 degress celcius for over two months at a time, so I guess that even more emphatically than humans, the husbands’ feet are typically warmer. In addition — like the original (AFAICT) use of the word Ubuntu — there’s some serious work behind it all.

Also, as with embeaked/feathery/damp penguins, Linux can be much greater than expected: the fossil bird specimens range to nearly 3m tall, and the community-founded software is operating everything from watches and DVD players up to supercomputers and large industry clusters, inclusive.

1 comment:

Leon Brooks said...

A modified Linus Torvalds statement about Tux is proposed:

Some people have told me they don’t think a fat penguin really embodies the grace of Linux, which just tells me they have never seen an angry 300cm penguin charging at them in excess of 100kph. They’d be a lot more careful about what they say if they had.

So would I. (-: