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Old 03-15-2014, 02:27 AM   #181
Registered: Feb 2012
Location: Koblenz, Germany
Distribution: aptosid
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Thumbs up stability and robustness

This is a long story.
Up until 2001 I used an Atari ST, the mousenet a 33k modem and two needle printers for everything. As there seemed to be more programs to use for different stuff, like school, I bought a PC with a Pentium 2 and Windows ME preinstalled. Had some fun with it but as some others suggested, the ME really did stand for "more errors". I had plenty of blue screens all the time. Even at times when I started Masosoft's (I have my reasons for calling them that) Word and did nothing for 30 seconds because I was distracted by watching a movie on the little TV next to my monitor. ME just was ridiculous.
My older Brother had tried several things, amongst them a DOS from some different Company than Masosoft and Linux from some Library CD. I did'nt know anything about Linux being free at the time and was just very disappointed by ME, so I went to some shop and bought the SuSE 8.0 set. (Yes, bought. Yes, the set, i. e. three printed Manuals came with seven CDs and a DVD. At the time that was 70 DM, I think (roughly 35 USD at the exchange rate at that time). ) Installed a lot of software. And more. Off those DVDs. I was amazed about how much you could get for a price that other companies would sell you an OS for and take more money for specific drivers. The hard disk in that computer was a piece of junk.
After a while track 0 was broken. Some may know what that means: No OS started any more. ME would not install any more. But SuSE DID install. Without even complaining! That's robust, isn't it?
Finally, the drive was so broken that even in Linux I had problems, so I got a new one in the end. That was when I was studying computer science. Used Linux for everything I needed in the classes except for one semester when I also used the Bloodshed Dev-C++ IDE because that way it was easyer to cooperate with the two students working at the same homework project. And even then I used WinE most of the time (as then it was possible to use a working Windows partition as the WinE partition; not being able to do that ist a serious regression to me).
When working on my diploma thesis (a lot closer to a master than to a bachelor thesis) my PC was 8 years old and it broke. (According to the symptoms it displayed, the electrolyte had evaporated from the condensators, so there was no point in trying to fix it.) I Really confused the sales guy at a local computer store when I told him I needed a Computer with a 368-based CPU architecture. :-> His boss then understood and I got a Core2 Dual machine. Took me one day to modify the grub settings and after that I hat my old (otherwise unchanged) SuSE Linux 9.0 (I had upgraded since 8.0, but in 2009 9.0 was really old) up and running on my new PC. No fuss about finding and installing all the packages I had/needed/wanted! Did I mention Linux is robust? I tried to start ME on that machine, but that wouldn't work on multiprocessor boards. So I used WinE as before.
Except for an old game (rarely; could get it installed via WinE, too), I don't use anything off the ME partition any more. I don't have Windows installed on that machine and I sure don't look back to that old, bluescreen-throwing (and more weird errors) and infection-prone garbage OS.
Due to writing the thesis and programming on that old PC, I used WMX/WM6 a long time and later switched to plain openbox. You have to use the shell most of the time with them, so I gained a lot of knowledge there which I put to use at work now. (Besides programming.)
Old 03-15-2014, 08:10 PM   #182
Registered: Jan 2009
Location: Maryland-Pennsylvania border, USA
Distribution: openSUSE 13.2, 42.1, and Tumbleweed, Fedora 23, OS X 10.10, Ubuntu 16.04, and Linux Mint 17.3
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I was curious interested in Linux since maybe 2004 or 2005, when my uncle showed me SUSE Linux 9.1 (give or take a few) on an old computer that originally had NT 4.0.

When I was 11, I became increasingly interested in Linux, and my uncle bought me a Brainshare Linux Starter Kit with SLED 10 for Christmas 2007. It was on a DVD, and I learned how to install a DVD drive on a computer so I could install Linux. At first, I thought it would delete my data if I installed it, but I progressively worked my way through YaST's install dialog until after a month I got far enough to see it would shrink my Windows XP partition.

After a few months, I hopped online and downloaded openSUSE 11.0, Ubuntu 8.04, OpenSolaris 2008.05, Gentoo 2008.??, and Fedora 9 LiveCDs. I miss the days of Sun Microsystems, Ubuntu and GNOME actually getting better, and openSUSE and Fedora releasing on time.

I decided because of YaST to stay with openSUSE 11.0, and have been a Geeko enthusiast since. Things got a bit easier in 2011 when we finally were able to switch from Dial Up to DSL.

Before Linux, I grew up as a fanatical pro-Microsoft and pro-Windows child, and chastised every Mac/Linux user I saw. Linux has saved me from being such a fool.

You know you are a Linux lover when you remember the first day you installed Linux, January 28, 2008.

Last edited by wagscat123; 03-15-2014 at 08:20 PM.
Old 03-17-2014, 01:12 AM   #183
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Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Virginia
Distribution: Slackware 14 is Main OpSys on Main PC, 2ndary are OpenSuSe 13 and SolydK
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Anger and Refusal to be Raped by M$

Oops... double posted

Last edited by enorbet; 03-17-2014 at 01:18 AM.
Old 03-17-2014, 06:25 AM   #184
Registered: Dec 2011
Distribution: Mageia 5 [RPM based]
Posts: 49

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Originally Posted by Bruce from Canada View Post
Dear Hunter:

Thanks for your reply.

I am not blind, however I have had some nice experiences with blind people over the years.

Linux is more complex, and effectively a bigger system than windows, but versatility and complexity go, and will go to eternity, together - not only in IT, but ubiquitously (everywhere).

This also related to why Linux is more stable. Linux has about 8 (or now possibly more) layers in the operating system alone. Win XP had 3.

This makes updates, patches and fixes much more manageable for those who have to support us.

However, any good operating system needs hardware that is user-adequate without bearing exhorbitant cost.

What I have seen done for the disabled in the marketplace IMHO leaves a lot to be desired. also IMHO, improvement in this area does hold beneficial spinoff potential for many others who, not seeing themselves as having a disabieachlity, may find that some implementations made for thre disabled can also be helpful to others who may actually have minor disabilities that have simply been ignored, the imposed limitations so being ignored alike.

My Problem is more to do with small motor coordination - the kind of physical coordination that relates to manipulating small physical objects.

It also affects my typing and use of the Mouse/trackball.

While I prefer a trackball to a mouse, the trackballs I see have some ergonomic issues that don't seem to have been attended to in the marketplace.

Being a retired electroneachic technician, I habve plans to custom build a special type of joystick designed to replace a mouse, however this is not my only DIY project.

I have been a technology DIYer since the age of 14. I am now 67!

The "Joypointer":

Much of that project is small metal work, as the problem I have with commercial mice and trackballs is more mechanical and ergonomic than electronic. This is going to be very time consuming - Rome was not built in a day!!

This approach could also be of help to blind operators, especially those who were blind from birth.

This is because the operator will place his/her hand on the joystick and likely not have to remove it very often. the device, as with trackballs does not have to move around the table, so it will take less space. (Overall size about 10" deep by 7" wide, and allow 2 inches free at the back to accommodate the cables.)

The electronics is handles by cannibalizing an old PS/2 non-optical mouse. The buttons are repolaced by button modules that can use ordinary pushbuttons - user replaceable! the buttons are mounted on top of the 10" X 7" X 2" aluminum chassis on sub-assembly plates that can be removed and/or replaced as needed.

The two resolvers are removed and their pulse inputs to the interface electronics are driven from an oscillator and dividers. The 4 independently divided pulse trains are switched by switches in the joystick, after having been further split to provide the 2 different quadrature sequences needed for each axis. Thus when the joystick is moved up, for example, a pulse train makes the mouse cursor rise at a rate determined by the speed setting for the vertical. If the joyustick is pulled down, the same happens in respect of down, using the opposite quadrature derivative of the divided pulse stream.

The same apples for left and right.

since this device will need power, the back of the box will have 2 connectors: a DB9F and a USB2 F or Type B.

The DB9 will connect to my wired 12 volt desktop modular remote control panel, and another switch on the "Joypointer" will make it possible to switch to a standard USB mouse or trackball plugged into the USB connector plugged into the back of the Joypointer box. This could be useful if the operator needs another person to operate the pointer function from time to time.each

Best Regards,
Bruce M.
My impression is that you are reinventing the wheel more than you might need to
I do understand that buttons that go click have good positive feedback
there are software solutions
part of the fun is the doing
we that linux, certainly are, we that tinker

my right wrist is about shot, after a very short time using a mouse righty my arm starts to go mumb, I can work lefty, with no problem, I use the arrow keys when possible, the old thinkpad finger thingy is ok, a track pad is better
I like a keyboard with trackpad
the trackpad is tiny & takes some getting used to
makes a great emergency backup for laptops with defective keyboards
any trackpad makes me wish for an actual scrollwheel, with detents I can feel
I'll have to keep my eyes open for a usb gaming controller

Last edited by Garthhh; 03-17-2014 at 06:31 AM.
Old 03-17-2014, 11:04 AM   #185
Registered: Sep 2007
Posts: 50

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I became the owner of It was first hosted on freeBSD, but I soon changed to CentOS, had a fling with Ubuntu and am now back to CentOS.
Old 03-17-2014, 12:21 PM   #186
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Registered: May 2005
Location: Atlanta Georgia USA
Distribution: Redhat (RHEL), CentOS, Fedora, Debian, FreeBSD, HP-UX, Solaris, SCO
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I began working on AT&T UNIX in the mid 80s as part of my job. As time progressed I worked on various *nix versions.

I first began working on Linux at a job where I was a UNIX Admin (HP-UX and Solaris) using Caldera as my main Linux desktop. I also had a copy of early RedHat back then (early/mid 90s).

I first started seeing Linux used for servers in the IT shop I worked in around 2002 when folks started migrating application tiers from pricy UNIX boxes to Intel Boxes running Linux (RHEL 2.x). In my current job we'd used old RedHat 7.3 and 9 as well as FreeBSD for some purposes when I got here but were still mainly a UNIX (and Windoze) shop but now most of what was on UNIX has been migrated to RHEL (starting with 3 then onto 4, 5 and 6) including our main ERP and Data Warehouse databases. Of course a lot of appliances are using embedded Linux and VMWare started as a thinly disguised RedHat release.
Old 03-17-2014, 12:24 PM   #187
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Registered: Dec 2004
Location: Caracas, Venezuela
Distribution: Debian Sid, OpenSUSE 13.2
Posts: 1,145

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I read an article in a magazine about Linux, open source and all that, and even though I was a computer illiterate person, it immediately sparked my interest. A few days later I downloaded Mandrake and started playing with Linux. I've been using it for almost 10 years now.
Old 03-17-2014, 12:49 PM   #188
Registered: Sep 2005
Location: Rishon Le Ziyyon Israel
Posts: 149

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About 10 years ago, a friend of mine told me that there was an alternative to Microsoft Windows. I did some searching on the Internet and came across Mandriva. Living in Israel I needed something that would type also in Hebrew besides English. I read that there was at the time an Israeli branch of Linux. There was also at the time Mandriva Israel, which I don't think exists today. The Managing Director, undertook to try and sell the Power PC version which I learnt without success at the time. When I sent him an e-mail requesting a free Mandriva disk, he contacted me after sending it to me. At the time my router was not geared up for Linux. He personally came to my home with his to see what he can do. He got me onto the Internet, and advised that I change the router. This the following Morning I did. So began my experience of Linux. Something I do not regret. I have tried several distros, Mandriva, Ubuntu, Ultimate Edition, Linux Mint, Puppy. Puppy I installed on a 4 GB Hard Drive HP Laptop, that had Win98. I moved from Ultimate to Linux Mint, and then to Mageia 2, 3 and 4. The 3 I thought was better than the Mageia 4. My personal view. I then decided on Linux Mint 16 Petra KDE4 on my desktop sitting in 70 GB partition with plenty of empty space.
Old 03-17-2014, 01:34 PM   #189
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Registered: Dec 2003
Location: Fairbanks Alaska
Distribution: Mandriva 2010, Fedora 20
Posts: 20

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Got involved

I bought the first copy of linux off e-bay for one dollar.
Old 03-17-2014, 01:46 PM   #190
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Registered: Aug 2006
Location: Detroit, MI
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Originally Posted by Akflash View Post
I bought the first copy of linux off e-bay for one dollar.
Was it slackware?
Old 03-17-2014, 02:50 PM   #191
Registered: Sep 2007
Location: Poland
Distribution: Ubuntu LTS
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It was year 2000. I needed cheap (or better - free) web and mail server. I used CD attached to some computer magazine with Slackware. It installed smoothly.
I remember the nightmare of getting X-Windows to work. Finally I administered it using only CLI (mainly via SSH from Windows machine )
Old 03-17-2014, 02:53 PM   #192
Registered: Jun 2006
Location: Leeds&Liverpool Canal, Yorkshire
Distribution: Salix-14.1
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Someone gave me an Ubuntu disk. I'm always game for something alternative and I liked it.
Wasn't long before I graduated to Slackware and of course I never looked back.
Old 03-17-2014, 05:08 PM   #193
Registered: Feb 2009
Location: Scotland
Distribution: Linux Mint 17.3 Cinnamon 64 bit
Posts: 289

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As a silver surfer quickly approaching 70 with very little technical knowledge, I found an Ubuntu disk that someone had given me months earlier. I couldn't keep up with the cost of running Microsoft products, at the time I was running XP, I found that Ubuntu had everything I needed, facility for email, printing, surfing the Web and playing music and films, I had everything in one package and the beautiful thing was ... it didn't cost an arm and a leg. Since then I have moved over to Linux Mint Cinnamon, learned quite a lot, never crashed my system in all those years and introduced literally hundreds of old-timers to the joys of Open Source. Incidentally, I have never heard back from one single person that has ever returned to the expensive horrors that Microsoft Windows and all the peripherals had to offer. I correspond generally through email with all my old friends, and dare I say, this would not have been viable if our young and enthusiastic young contributors on forums like this had not made all this possible. On behalf of all the oldies out there ... We thank you.
Old 03-17-2014, 05:18 PM   #194
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Registered: Apr 2008
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Smile How I found Linux

Received the first form of UNIX from Bel Labs on a tape
after going to a meeting in Caifornia and listening to
a speech on the beginning of UNIX. Ran it on a PDP 11/34.
It was wonderful. After going through many version of UNIX
I saw LINUX and compared it to programs running on a SPARC.
Linux won! Used RedHat and then running through a number of
versions finally settled on Ubuntu. Love Linux.
Old 03-17-2014, 05:28 PM   #195
Registered: Jul 2009
Distribution: Debian Sid
Posts: 67

Rep: Reputation: 7
Talking SLACKWARE! from a stack of floppies

Mid 1990's, I wanted to set up a multi-line BBS and I needed to use more than two serial ports at once. Linux, using setserial, did it just peachy assigning unused IRQ's to com ports 3 and 4. Last time I used Windows was 3.3.1 and I never looked back. I don't even install wine. Ric



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