His laptop breaking brought about 0.0001% of the actual work on linux to a halt, if that. Every linux developer continued developing as normal. Every code reviewer continued reviewing code as normal. Every subsystem maintainer kept maintaining their subsystem as normal. Every automatic test built robot kept automatically doing build tests as normal. People who desperately needed the patches that Linus was going to push put, if they really were that desperate, would have just pulled them from linux-next, or the relevant subsystem maintainer's tree, or, *most likely*, would already have them!