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Linus Benedict Torvalds was born in 1970 and grew up in Helsinki. He started programming on his grandfather's Commodore VIC-20 and in studied computer sciences at University of Helsinki. In 1991 he decided to develop a Unix alternative for personal computers, or in his words: "a free version of a minix-lookalike for AT-386 computers". After he had finished a primitive kernel of "Linux" he posted the message below to the Usenet to recruit other programmers for his project. He offered the software for free and, as was a common practice among software developers at the time, he released the source code, which meant that anyone with knowledge of computer programming could modify Linux to suit their own purposes.
Linux became very popular among developers and because they had access to the source code, the code and the quality of the code evolved into a very reliable, and efficient system. The commercial breakthrough for Linux came in the late 1990s and by 1999 an estimated seven million computers were running on Linux and major software companies decided to support it. Torvalds had taken a position with Transmeta Corp., owned by Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen, working on the optimization of Linux for the Transmeta processor, a CPU that is consuming less power than comparable CPU's, a solution perfectly suited for portable devices.
In his 1991 usenet post he revels his idea and invites other programmers to join his project.