My Movie Review : Revolution OS (English) 2001

October 28, 2005 at 7:51 pm (Other)

This movie is not to be seen for its entertainment value, but for the history that it documents and the knowledge one gains from it.

A very interesting documentary which even, clueless as to the secrets of operating systems, will readily understand. You can watch it with barest comprehension of Linux or the philosophy underlying the open source concept.

Much credit to the filmmaker for not only explaining the seminal value of open source – the commitment to free interchange of ideas with minimal incorporation of legal protection for intellectual property – but for also succinctly allowing contrasting values and competing personalities screen time. This documentary is a very concise but excellent guide for the uninitiated into a world usually the arcane preserve of specialists most adept at talking to each other.

Straight on the face documentary is what “Revolution OS” is about. It traces the history of GNU, Linux, Free Software and the Open Source movement.

To keep the truth close to reality, film showcases interviews from every one who contributed big to the GNU and to the birth of Linux. Includes the gurus Linus Torvalds and Richard Stallman.

Here is the list of who’s who in this movie:

Linus Torvalds                Himself

Richard M. Stallman       Himself

Eric Raymond                Himself

Bruce Perens                Himself

Larry Augustin               Himself

Michael Tiemann           Himself

Brian Behlendorf            Himself

Frank Hecker                Himself

Chris DiBona                Himself (Windows Refund Day Scene)

Nick Moffitt                   Himself (Windows Refund Day Scene)

Rob Malda                   Himself (On Inflatable Couch)

Donnie Barnes             Himself

Susan Egan                 Narrator (voice)

Marc Merlin                  Himself (Silicon Valley Linux Users’ Group President)

Terry Egan                   Self (Installfest Interview)

Now, most of us know only bits and pieces of facts about Linux. Watching this movie is like putting all those previous comprehensions together in to a well molded form of knowledge.

Watching all these greats talk will surely send a chill through you spine. We are witnessing a revolution in making since the birth of Personal computing in 80s.

This 90-minute film begins with Richard Stallman’s quest to create a free operating system. Stallman kicked off the beginning of an era with his famous memo to the world community. It then follows the movement through its two-decades-long evolution in interviews with Stallman, Linus Torvalds (creator of the open-source operating system Linux), Eric Raymond (author of The Cathedral and the Bazaar), Bruce Perens (author of the Open Source Definition), Brian Behlendorf (leader of the Apache Web server project), Michael Tiemann (founder of the first open source company) and Larry Augustin (founder of VA Linux Systems)

Revolution OS enlightens and informs, but sometimes gets bogged down in the technical jargon a little too much. However, a documentary is meant to be a snapshot of a specific slice of life, and J.T.S.Moore achieves this admirably.

Revolution OS home page: http://www.revolution-os.com/

The word “hacker” has varied interpretations from various sects of people. It mostly meant negative to me, before watching this movie.

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