Linus Torvalds, Wizard of Open Sourcery, Relocates to Oregon

Linus Torvalds, Wizard of Open Sourcery, Relocates to Oregon

Linus and Tove Torvalds are moving. It's time, they have decided, for them and their family to say bye-bye to the Bay Area - which Linus says he will not miss since, as he told one newspaper: "We want to be somewhere calmer and saner. Silicon Valley is a bit crazy" - and hello instead to warm and wet Portland, Oregon.  

For the past year, since OSDL hired him, Torvalds has been a "virtual" employee; that will now change, and he will be physically located at Beaverton, OSDL's base.

With characteristic wry humor, he quipped - with Portland's rainy reputation in mind:.

"The plan was to try to acclimatize and have time to grow webbed feet (although I'm told there are implants available) by moving during the summer."

No amount of rain is likely to dampen his enthusiasm for the Linux kernel and besides, in the Northwest anyway, Portland is known as the "Silicon Forest" because much of Intel's R&D and fabrication occurs in the Portland Metro area. So he isn't exactly moving to the Moon.

Probably the main question, when considering the implications of this geographical shift, is: will Microsoft take Linux any more seriously now that its prime mover is just 250 miles away? 

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Most Recent Comments
Xzzy 06/11/04 03:23:29 PM EDT

I've lived in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, New York City, and Chicago over the last ten years.

Whenever my mind turns to where I would like to go if I could live anywhere, Portland always pops into my head first (though I wouldn't mind a chance to try Denver out).

Talk about an awesome place to live.

Yay! 06/11/04 03:21:51 PM EDT

The fact that *2* major icons of nerd-dom (Billy G and now Linus) choose to be someplace other than Silly Con valley (or its East Coast equivalent in Boston) should be a wake-up call to the VC leeches and technodrones that it might be time to start considering the geography beyond the confines of the intersection of I-80, I-680, and Hwy-101.

StefanJ 06/11/04 03:20:21 PM EDT

Linus is actually moving to Beaverton, a largish edge city that borders Portland on the West.

It's a pretty spread-out place. There's an old, kind of abbreviated downtown in the SW portion; mostly it's strip malls, industrial / office parks, and residential areas ranging from condo-racks to nice suburban tracts.

There are some very nice wilderness parks nestled in there too. The Metro planning board keeps strict urban growth boundaries, so you can find working farms just a few miles to the SW.

Some of the office parks and complexes do have a "Silicon Valley" flavor, but are unsurprisingly a lot smaller. (I once worked in Oracle's Redwood Shores HQ, which kind of sets a high standard.)

I work in the far NW corner of Beaverton, in an area that really should be its own town because it's so far from the Post Office and town hall.

Traffic is usually not too bad, at least compared to Silicon Valley. Mass transit consists of lots of busses and a spiffy light rail line that goes to downtown Portland and the airport.

Bryce 06/11/04 03:18:38 PM EDT

I'm working at OSDL and looking forward to having Linus here on-site. :-) We got the confirmation today that yes, he's coming, and will have a cube here with the rest of us. I expect he'll be working from home a lot but who knows.

Linus had visited last year not long after he joined the lab, and we asked if he'd be moving up here. At the time he said he'd had enough of cold weather for one lifetime, so this is a surprise! (Well, not a total surprise, Portland is a great city to live in, IMHO. Some of us figured he'd want to move up here once he had time to think about it.)