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Revolution OS (2001)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 1,770 users   Metascore: 46/100
Reviews: 16 user | 10 critic | 7 from Metacritic.com

While Microsoft may be the biggest software company in the world, not every computer user is a fan of their products, or their way of doing business. While Microsoft's Windows became the ... See full summary »

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Title: Revolution OS (2001)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Linus Torvalds ...
Himself - Creator, Linux Kernel
Richard M. Stallman ...
Himself - Founder, GNU Project
Eric Raymond ...
Himself - Author
Bruce Perens ...
Himself - Author, Open Source Definition
Larry Augustin ...
Himself - Co-Founder, CEO, VA Linux Systems
Michael Tiemann ...
Himself - Co-Founder, Cygnus Solutions
Brian Behlendorf ...
Himself
Frank Hecker ...
Himself - Former Netscape Systems Engineer
Chris DiBona ...
Himself (Windows Refund Day Scene)
Nick Moffitt ...
Himself (Windows Refund Day Scene)
Rob Malda ...
Himself (On Inflatable Couch)
Donnie Barnes ...
Himself - Employee, Red Hat Software
...
Narrator (voice)
...
Himself (Silicon Valley Linux Users' Group President)
Terry Egan ...
Himself
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Storyline

While Microsoft may be the biggest software company in the world, not every computer user is a fan of their products, or their way of doing business. While Microsoft's Windows became the most widely used operating system for personal computers in the world, many experts took issue with Microsoft's strict policies regarding licensing, ownership, distribution, and alteration of their software. The objections of many high-profile technology experts, most notably Richard Stallman, led to what has become known as "the Open Source Movement," which is centered on the belief that computer software should be free both in the economic and intellectual senses of the word. Eventually, one of Stallman's admirers, Linus Torvalds, created a new operating system called Linux, a freely distributed software which many programmers consider to be markedly superior to Windows. Revolution OS is a documentary that examines the genesis of the Open Source Movement, and explores and explains the technical and ... Written by Mark Deming, Rovi

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Hackers, Programmers & Rebels UNITE!


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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

15 February 2002 (USA)  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$3,500 (USA) (23 August 2002)

Gross:

$3,500 (USA) (23 August 2002)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

[First Line]
Eric Raymond: I was at Agenda 2000, and one of the people who was there was Craig Mundy, who is some kind of high mucky-muck at Microsoft. I think Vice President of Consumer Products or something like that. And, I hadn't actually met him. I bumped into him in an elevator, and I looked at his badge and said 'I see you work for Microsoft,' and he loked back at me and said 'Oh, yeah, and what do you do?' and I thought he seemed just a tad dismissive. I mean here is the archtypical guy in a suit ...
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Connections

References Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

The Free Software Song
Lyrics by Richard Stallman
Performed by The GNU/Stallmans
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User Reviews

 
I know nothing about computers (and if you don't either, this film is very interesting)
24 November 2003 | by (Seattle) – See all my reviews

Given that I have no knowledge about computers nor how they operate, I found

this film very informative with some basic descriptions of the free software and open source movement (which have some ideological differences... not that I

had ever heard of either). The film recounts the historical evolution (and

subsequent "revolution") through a series of interviews of key players in the development of the Linux operating systems for computers. If you know nothing about computers, do not assume that you will find this film uninteresting. In fact, although dense with information, the narrative is straight forward and almost all the information is explained for the ignorant like myself.

There are some relatively small problems with the film, mainly near its

conclusion. The finale of the film does not address the disparity between the commercial aspects of open source in the 90's and the long-term growth of the philosophy and practical applications. I assume that the Linux OS and the idea of open source did not lose steam after the dot-com stock bubble burst. Given I don't work around computers, besides for internet research and writing, I must make that assumption. Yet the film implies, for those of us who are ignorant, that perhaps it was derailed by the economic problems. But given the stable

foundation of the idea that the film describes, I cannot imagine that commercial problems would have a long-term affect.

The film ultimately is a nicely constructed lesson for those of us out of the loop. I recommend it to anyone who is interested in watching documentaries or

learning interesting kernels about our world. In terms of emotional involvement, the way the director juxtaposes the interviewees creates interesting moments of humor (there seems to be a jockeying for credit happening within the community of programmers). Where the credit belongs and how people have used this

ideology (which it is according to one of the founders of GNU-- see the movie, it will all be explained) to launch practical business operations creates a nice tension. Of course, there are some mentions of Microsoft's relationship, which is adversarial, to the Linux OS that can help the laymen get emotionally involved in the story by means of creating a hero (the Open Source community) and a

villain (Microsoft). Of course the Microsoft way of business (proprietary rights) is never really given voice with the exception involving an over-dramatized

reading of argumentative letter written in the 70's by Bill Gates (given I am originally from Seattle and some of my friends work for the giant, it seems a little one-sided).

Again, if you have no knowledge of computers, do not avoid this film for that reason alone. If you are on this site, you have an interest in films. You can at least appreciate it as a nicely constructed documentary (although not excellent) that will illuminate a part of recent history.

A small note: although there are some mannerisms of the interviewees that can be regarded as stereotypical regarding computer enthusiasts, they are some of the more well-spoken interviewees I have seen in film in awhile.


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