Alan Cox

    What do you think, would Linux be so popular now if it did not have good network support? And if he did not have the much-needed stability? I think not, and the fact that Linux is exactly the way we know it today is a very great merit of “the second person in the team after Linus Torvalds” - Alan Cox.

    Now many people know Alan as a prominent IT activist. But in reality, he is still more a programmer than an orator, although he is difficult to refuse oratory. He was born on July 22, 1968 in the city of Solihull, in the UK. Alan's first computer was the ZX spectrum 128. The boy became interested in computers and, as you can see, from children's amusements it grew into his work and became a hobby of his life.

    He entered the University of Wales in Swansea (University of Wales, Swansea). At that time there were 3 computers, and a day you could work for them for 15-20 minutes, but it was already very good. Thanks to those teachers who devoted their free time to him and studied with him in the evenings after work.

    While studying at the university, he became the owner of the ZX81 - the first mass computer in the UK. By the end of his studies, he had already taught a lot of teachers himself and showed excellent results on the exam.

    At the same time, he worked in the gaming world, helping to make Scott Adams game ports for computers in the UK. This gave him a lot to represent the then IT world. There he created his first computer game.

    Then he entered the University of Aberystwyth (University of Wales, Aberystwyth). While studying at this university, he was destined to see Linux for the first time. Why did he choose Linux? The fact is that at that time, according to him, he was terribly addicted to text games. And Linux was the best suited for developing its text-based game AberMUD. The name of the game comes from the name of the university. A team of students worked on the game and eventually they created the first such popular game. The game still has fans, during which time it has changed about 20 versions, but players can still be found there.

    It was during his studies at the University of Aberystwyth, earning money on the university campus that he installed Linux on a working computer network for the first time in history. After installation, many shortcomings and shortcomings in the system were revealed in terms of working with the network. Alan’s inquiring mind and skillful hands began to rectify the situation, and eventually he became a member of the Linux community and became one of the main developers of the system.

    Linux was not at all tuned to work with networks in its first versions. Until 93, it had no built-in TCP / IP stack. To correct this situation, a team was created. In fact, the TCP / IP stack was the first major subsystem that was developed almost entirely without Linus (Linus was never strong on networks).

    Since 2000, he worked at Red Hat as a consultant, and his work has helped Red Hat stay on top of the “Linux distribution wave” for many years. For several years (1998-2002), the Red Hat badge was a profile thumbnail of Alan's head. Prior to that, he managed to work at Cable Online and 3Com Corporation.

    Alan supported the Linux 2.2 branch and his own, 2.4, which was usually labeled with the letters “ac,” for example, “2.4.9-ac.” As you might guess, “ac” are the initials of our hero and “concurrently” his nickname. Branch 2.4 was very stable and contained bug fixes. During this period, he probably overshadowed Linus Torvalds in the Linux community.

    His role as a person supporting the Linux kernel was very useful for the entire Linux community, as he managed to compensate for Linus’s obvious personality problems: “Linus is a good developer, but a scary engineer,” Cox said in an interview, “I’m sure he I agree with that. ” Alan's tremendous contribution has enabled Linux to be ported to home computers. For this, he often worked without sleep for several days in a row. His performance is amazing: he was a man who was worth a dozen developers.

    He supported kernel development until 2002. Then he resigned. He also participated in the development of GNOME and X.Org.

    Alan is now better known as an activist for the free software movement. He has long opposed the use of DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) and CBDTPA (Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act) licensing patents. These patents prohibit not only the copying and distribution of copyrighted materials, but also the production and distribution of technologies that circumvent protection systems against illegal copying.

    In 2001, a major scandal was associated with the DMCA. Then the Russian programmer Dmitry Sklyarov, right at the DefCon conference, was arrested by the FBI on charges of breaking into Adobe's electronic document protection system. The fact is that Sklyarov developed the algorithm of the Advanced eBook Processor program, which really made it possible to bypass the protection of PDF e-books. At DefCon, he presented a report on the insecurity of electronic books, and in particular the PDF format. He accompanied all this with examples using the Advanced eBook Processor. And after the end of the conference he was arrested. Despite the fact that in the end he was released on bail, and then completely acquitted, Sklyarov spent several months in a US prison, and this incident caused a very great resonance. It was after Sklyarov’s arrest that Cox refused to attend a major Usenix conference, where he was a member of the organizing committee. He also called on all non-US programmers to boycott events held in the United States, and organizers to organize conferences in other countries. “Who next, speaking at the conference, will go to American prison for several years for not committing anything?” Cox asks in an interview.

    For his services, Cox won a number of prizes. For example, the LinuxWorld Awards for common achievements in 2001 and the Free Software Award for contributions to the Linux kernel in 2003. He is also a consultant to the British organization Open Rights Group, which is fighting to abolish DRM (Digital Rights Management).

    Thanks for editing the text: iley , tass temujin

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