There are two nice anniversaries in the end of this year. The first one was 50 years of Lisp and the second one is going to be 15 years of Linux on my desktop computers.
Lisp was the second (after FORTRAN) real higher level programming language. During the years Lisp has brought many important pioneering concepts to programming languages, some of them remain quite unique even today (e.g. the concept of little distinction between code and data). Lisp is a demonstration of competent (although not always perfect) approach to various problems in the area of programming and programming languages. And interesting things staying out of mainstream popularity gather interesting people. Lisp community is still full of smart and creative ideas. I hope I’ll have opportunity to learn a lot there during the start of the next half of century.
Linux is the most popular free operating system kernel today. But 15 years ago it wasn’t very easy to install and use free operating systems on desktop computers (thanks to Yenya for guiding me!). It required significant effort but it was completely worth of it. The experience of competent and working software under your control was great and unique, this is not something you can easily meet today. Such things combined with pioneering work leave permanent traces in a man. Unlike Lisp, Linux based operating systems achieved wide popularity and that have brought to them a lot of good and a lot of damage. Linux will never be again what it was in its early days. But it’s still an interesting and powerful platform and I believe it survives the next 15 years in healthy state.