Linus Torvalds, the inventor of the Linux kernel, has an absolute disdain for mobile phones. All of the ones he has purchased in the past, the man writes on his personal blog, ended up being “mostly used for playing Galaga and Solitaire on long flights” even though they were naturally all phones run on open source operating systems.
Torvalds has owned a number of phones before, including Google’s G1 device and ‘one of the early China-only Motorola Linux phones’, but it took for Google to add multi-touch capabilities to the Nexus One before he finally broke down and bought one from the company’s web store.
And he’s loving it:
But I have to admit, the Nexus One is a winner. I wasn’t enthusiastic about buying a phone on the internet sight unseen, but the day it was reported that it finally had the pinch-to-zoom thing enabled, I decided to take the plunge. I’ve wanted to have a GPS unit for my car anyway, and I thought that google navigation might finally make a phone useful.
And it does. What a difference! I no longer feel like I’m dragging a phone with me “just in case” I would need to get in touch with somebody – now I’m having a useful (and admittedly pretty good-looking) gadget instead. The fact that you can use it as a phone too is kind of secondary.
While Google hasn’t disclosed how many phones it’s sold so far, the company is believed to have sold closer to 100,000 than 1 million devices. But at least one of them made one of the most famous software engineers in the world one happy camper.