Welcome to the Extra issue this February. We had a few extra things in the queue here this time and figured you just couldn't wait, so here they are!
I have to say I am really very impressed by the Human Genome Project's results. There seem to be two sides of the camp... but, we can't call them "the Cathedral and the Bazaar":
Um, let's call them the College and the Commerce. Mr. James Kent in Santa Cruz wrote, over a fairly short time, a program to have about 100 pentiums help him assemble the genome data out of public and academic fragments. (I'm not sure which he used more of, ice packs, or Jolt Cola.)
Meanwhile, Celera was pouring lots of hours and corporate resources into doing the same thing. They both succeeded to an announceable degree, within days of each other. We're not quite at curing cancer yet, but maybe there are enough resources now to start nailing some of the more clearly genetic diseases. There's certainly a lot of work to be done. Anyways, you can read a lot about all this in the New York Times -- I did.
Of course, to read the New York Times online at http://www.nytimes.com, they want you to register. Sigh. To access Celera's database, you have to pay for access (but, they might have more than they published about, too, so maybe you're at least paying for some serious R&D). Still, what the school system paid for is available to all of us... though not terribly readable unless you're into genetics:
Hey wait a minute, I hear you cry. This isn't Linux! Well, I don't know. It could have been. It doesn't matter. (Gasp! Linux doesn't matter? What can you mean!?) What's more important is what gets done with a computer.
The sheer number of people who have contributed to figure out how we really tick, and the time they continue to put in, since we aren't nearly at the point where we can run a make script, have the waldos get out a petri dish, and create even so tiny a creature as a mouse "from scratch" is just amazing. (Let's see, if the Creator writes and debugs one line of code a year in us, we're as big as... er, never mind.) Compared to that, my effort every month on LG seems like a breeze.