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Apple. Intel. Genentech. Atari. Google. Cisco. Stratospheric successes with high stakes all around. Behind some of the world's most revolutionary companies are a handful of men who (through... See full summary »
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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
[when awarded the Linus Torvalds Award]
Richard M. Stallman:
So, very ironic things have happened, but nothing to match this. Giving the Linus Torvalds Award to the Free Software Foundation is sort of like giving the Han Solo Award to the rebel fleet.
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Even Bill Gates would have to admit this is a good film
I had been hearing about Revolution OS from some programmers at my company for the past several months. I'm a management-type so I didn't think the film would really be my type of thing. I then heard a CNET radio segment on the film and decided it might be kind of interesting after all.
As it ended up, I caught the last show at the Towne 3 in San Jose. I was tired by the time I sat down in my seat, but I was surprised that I actually stayed awake through the whole film. The director really succeed in making the film a lot more entertaining and involving than I would have thought possible. There were lots of talking heads, but I not as much as I was expecting. The best thing about the film was that it had a sense of humor about the whole thing.
If you don't know anything about Linux or Open Source, but are interested in the topics, then you will really like Revolution OS. If you are looking for an intelligent documentary about something pretty important, then you will definitely like Revolution OS. If you are looking for some sort of super-technical film about how to write software or how and why obscure software patches were created, then this film is not for you.
Basically, the director, J.T.S. Moore, approached the film like he was telling the story of a revolution with its own heroes, villains, defeats and sly comebacks. That's why I liked it because it was about people and some universal ideas.
One final note, I don't see a lot a documentaries in the theater, but Revolution OS seemed really well made. The print I saw was scratched up from a lot of screenings, but the cinematography, editing, shot design, and music were totally top notch. A lot better than the stuff on TLC or The History Channel. I think the whole film was shot on 35mm and in cinemascope. Very neat. I will definitely get the DVD when it comes out.
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