Back in August of 1991, a student from Finland began a post to the comp.os.minix newsgroup with the words:
The student was Linus Torvalds, and the ``hobby'' he spoke of eventually became Linux.
Hello everybody out there using minix -
I'm doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby,
won't be big and professional like gnu) for
386(486) AT clones.
Linux is a free, open source operating system. It is a clone of the Unix operating system. It was originally designed to run on Intel based personal computers, but has grown and expanded to run on nearly every kind of hardware and platform on the planet. It runs on handheld computers and personal digital assistants. It runs on Apple Macintoshes. It runs on IBM mainframe computers. It runs on Sun's UltraSparc computers. It runs on Atari and Amiga computers. It runs on Compaq Alpha risc servers.
Linux today is the operating system of choice for about 1/3 of the servers computers in the world. IBM thinks so highly of it that they are investing 1 billion dollars in its development. IBM supports it on all of their hardware from the wristwatch computer prototype to their newest, largest mainframe computers. Sony is making it available for the Playstation 2. Sharp is putting it on their handheld computers and PDAs. Compaq is offering it for their iPaq handheld computers free of charge.
Not bad for a free operating system that started as a hobby.