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I was almost finishing my PhD (1996) and I was introduced to Linux after being working with Unix. I came back home with 10 floppy of the Slackware distribution... a lot of machines and distributions since then..
I do engineering analysis and related programming, mostly in Fortran. For years I worked under Windows, but the compiler I had was just too primitive for large scientific code. Of course, the computer security types got carte blanche after 9/11 and all but disabled engineering analysis capabilities under Windows. And then, the code editors and computer graphics under Windows weren't very good either, though perhaps they are better now. Where I work, the Windows network doesn't even allow access to the DOS prompt, or whatever they call it now. So, when I was offered an SGI unix box (later a linux box), I jumped at the chance.
Before there was Red Hat or any other, with kernel version 0.9 in 1993. Then Caldera, Red Hat, SUSE (and SLES), Puppy, and Ubuntu. (And _way_ before that was CP/M, MP/M, MS-DOS/PC-DOS, OS/2, Windows from 2.0 --> 7, and various other environments.)
Last edited by treborsitnay; 02-17-2014 at 06:21 PM.
A fellow blogger at My Opera was always singing the praises of Linux. At the time, I was blogging via cellphone. When I finally decided to 'upgrade' to a 'real' computer, I made a point of finding one with Linux pre-installed. The only one in existence here in South Africa, the Acer Aspire One 110l (aka: zg5)
Linpus Lite turn out to be a stripped to the skeleton version of an obsolete Fedora variant. I replaced that with the unofficial Ubuntu Netbook Remix. (later superseded by Ubuntu Netbook Edition)
When Canonical put Unity on that, I simply switched to the full desktop version, only to have them force Unity on that one release later.
Then I found Openbox and searched for a distro based on that. Which is how I ended up with Crunchbang.
I was working on a PhD in the early 1990's doing a lot on numerical work. The research group had PC's running an early version of Window's that needed very frequent reboots for all kinds of reasons. I got access to Sun computers running Unix and got used to Unix that way. Then found out of the SLS distro, copied the boot disk, tried it on a lab PC. Linux was very stable and very similar to Sun Unix. Finally I bought a PC that would run Linux and this has been my main OS thereafter. Still using Slackware that replaced SLS.
It was back in the 90's and this Linux thing was catching on. I downloaded and created 17 (I think) disks to run Slackware on a spare 386 or 486 system that was not being used. I kept it updated until Red Hat started putting together a decent system sometime in the late 90's. I now run RHEL for work and Fedora for home.
Just like a good drug, I was hooked the first time
My first experience with Linux was in 2001, I was 48 years old. I worked for a major telecom company and I wanted to compete with the SUN/Unix people, the Windows people were looked down upon as second class citizens. My very first attempt at Linux on a desktop was with a Red Hat CD given to me by a server guy, it didn't work. I looked around and found Mandrake, I loaded it, it worked ! Everything worked, I had OpenOffice and Gnome as a desktop. I learned and tuned it up and I became the desktop hero, especially when I loaded up Opera from a 1.4 MB floppy. I wrote white papers for our management why I thought Linux would work in our company. I still run Linux (Salix) everyday now that I'm retired.
If memory serves correct, i first used red hat 4. Was 16 at the time and for some reason my dad bought the cds from best buy. Never used them, so one day picked them up and tried it. Never thought much of it until 2 years after that when i ran suse as the main system. Then over to debian then centos and debian.
I was introduced the Linux through experimenting with K12LTSP. It was an interesting approach to using a low-cost approach to introducing computer technology and skills in an educational environment utilizing older, re-purposed PC's unable to keep up with the ever increasing hardware requirements for the Windows OS.
I was intrigued by an article in a computing magazine, which had an installation disc for an early Red Hat version at the back. I managed to install it and used several subsequent Red Hat versions until I tried Debian, which I have used thankfully ever since. I have kept Windows 7 on a small partition on my Notebook 'because I had paid for it' but only use it when I can't find a suitable Open Source application. I am so grateful to Linus T. and all the Gnu/Linux developers. I am not an expert but I have come much further in computing using Linux than ever I did with various Windows iterations. John.
Absolute first was Open BSD on the Bourne Again shell (love that name) in an online course from the local university. First downloaded and installed was Debian Lenny. Beginner's mistake, I didn't need that much control, and it was on an older machine. Current distro is Linux Mint Cinnamon, if u read my profile it does say "Lazy" in there somewhere...
After having had an Amiga from 1986 to 1996 (I was one of the first people in my county to have an Amiga, and one of the last to continue using one), went to Windows 95 (having used a kludge to have the system recognize my gargantuan 2 GB drive) and discovered the wild wooly world of malware. I stayed with M$ until 2008, being an old gamer, until XP got ridiculously attacked and I asked my nephew to burn me a CD. I booted and was unexpectedly pleased to see that my wired internet worked, and my 2004 printer printed directly via USB. That was it for me. I wiped the disc and it became sda, and I started using, liking, and learning. In fact, for the first time since using the Amiga, I was having fun using my computer again.
I had, since at least 2002, used open source programs available for Windows (Audacity, OpenOffice, and, yes, the GIMP) in preference to their expensive alternatives, so it wasn't a big philosophical leap for me to embrace an open source OS. I am, at 65, what I'd call experienced, but hardly an expert. On ubuntuforums.org, I've gotten, and given assistance, and the community I found (and still find) has been the best part about using and open source OS.
I dared to buy my first computer 10 years ago from a neighbor who ran a computer shop, because he convinced me I could learn to use it (even at age 70) and promised he would fix it for me if anything went wrong. Four years later he announced he was moving away. I had read about Linux, knew it was something you were meant to be able to manage on your own, and succeeded in installing Ubuntu 8.10 on a hand-me down eMachine in 2009. Never looked back since.
I started using UNIX in 1991 at my one and only programming internship -- working on a visual data analysis software tool -- and thought it was really powerful and useful. Could never get a copy for my wimpy PC and just accepted that my fate was with Windows. Years later I picked up hacking again (I needed some tools at work that I couldn't afford to buy, but thought I could make myself), re-read K&R 2nd Ed. and was reminded of my interest in UNIX. I started looking into Linux and studied a bunch of distros. I made my first bootable USB using Fedora and was immediately enamored of Linux. I've tried a number of distros now, and am looking forward to installing Linux from scratch. There is so much I love about Linux, chief among them is how supportive the linux using/developing/sys-admining (if there is such a word!) communities are. I prize the fact that I can know absolutely as much about the system as I want. And as a father, I can't wait to use it as a tool to teach my sons all about computers, systems, and programming. I can't say enough about how amazed I am every time I boot up Fedora (on my laptop) or Debian (the server on my home network). Simply put, I just really enjoy using it. Thank your Fedora for starting me on this journey!