Has the World's Total of Linux Users Reached the 18 Million Mark?
"I reserved registration #1 for Linus Torvalds in 1993, and it's still open."
By: Linux News Desk
Oct. 13, 2003 12:00 AM
Anyone unfamiliar with the Linux Counter Organization, a non-profit organization established to encourage, promote and support the counting of Linux users, may not be aware that for 10 years this Norwegian-registered membership organization has been encouraging Linux users to register themselves and their machines, so as to give a statistical basis for estimating the real size of the Linux community.
Right now there are 139,971 users registered and 125,648 machines registered at the Linux Counter site, which leads to an overall estimate of about 18 million users - up from about 7.5 million users which was the official estimate in March 1998.
The Linux Counter Organization was created in May 1999 to take over the running of the counter from its Norwegian-born founder, Harald Tveit Alvestrand, who had been running the project since 1993 after posting the following message to the then-newborn newsgroup comp.os.linux.announce:
California-based Alvestrand remains chief executive officer of the organization. "Linux is, to me, one of the greatest experiments in social engineering that this planet has ever seen," he says, "in the sense of doing engineering as a social activity, not in trying to revamp society."
"Running the Linux Counter project," Alvestrand continues, "has allowed me to have contacts and see things happening that I would otherwise have no way of knowing - getting e-mail from the Norfolk Islands, the backwoods of Laos and Antarctica; finding resources and enjoying finding the right ways to utilize them; letting a problem stew until the solution was obvious (and, far too often, long overdue) - all these, to me, add up to joy in the project."
His only regret, it seems, is that Linus Torvalds hasn't yet come by to pick up registration number #1. "I reserved it for him in 1993," Alvestrand says, "and it's still open."
LinuxWorld wishes the project a happy 10th birthday.
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