The Debian Linux OS is releasing its latest version this weekend, code named “Squeeze”. While most of the technologically oriented people don’t even know its happening, the whole process amazes me. If you think of what must happen to release a new version of Windows or Mac OS X, all the software pieces, the scores of people, the millions of lines of code, it is just amazing. Those take place with the coordination of a business structure and paid employees. Debian, on the other hand is a community of volunteers. Now try to wrap your head around the concept that Debian is not just an operating system. It includes nearly 30,000 software packages from the OpenOffice suite, web browsers, mail programs to a plethora of programming and scientific applications. So, when Debian releases a new version it is comparable to Microsoft rolling the top few thousand applications into their OS version and releasing that. Even more, this huge base of software is coded to run on 12 different hardware platforms. The full standard PC collection takes up 52 CDs. Truly amazing!