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The first 'laptop' I actually owned was an Asus Eee PC 701 with Windows XP - and I kept getting it messed up until I learned a bit about operating systems, memory, storage space and not deleting Windows folders! I can't remember how I found out about it, but I bought a usb stick on ebay which said it had ubuntu for eee pc's on. I used the usb ubuntu stick live whenever Windows wasn't working. Then last year I bought another Eee pc, after my old one died which had puppy linux on it (XP now being too big for them). I didn't understand how to use it so started reading up about other linux distros, burning iso's and trying them out and settled on joli os for the eee pc - now changed it to Bodhi linux which I love, and works on 4gb! I also now have a used Windows 7 laptop, which I use for burning linux iso discs lol.
I'd had some basic experience with various distros in the past (Mandriva One, Knoppix, CentOS, RHEL, AIX...) and when I mean basic I mean I could find the command line, cd and ls directories, start processes and run some Java. That was about it.
But I nevertheless put "Linux" on my CV. When a recruiter asked me to demonstrate my Linux knowledge by installing Apache from source on a Lubuntu in VirtualBox, it became immensely clear that I didn't know what on earth I was talking about. The shame. I think I didn't even know to use apt-get...
For the next interview however I was determined to make darn sure I knew what I was talking about. I installed Lubuntu... eh. Bodhi... Wtf is up with that desktop? elementary OS - sweet, going to be my favorite! (decided it was too simplistic, and the default apps are... early-bird-stage) CentOS minimal. WHAT DO YOU MEAN NO NETWORK? [Read forums, read forums, post to... no just keep to reading forums] OpenSUSE. I even tried installing Arch (failed). Slitaz, TinyCore... Spare Me.
It's funny how much you can pick up with just Google and forums these days. The beauty of FOSS.
Oh and the interview? There were 6 interviews. And none of them asked me about Linux. But I still consider it to have been a fantastic use of my time :-)
Location: Earth, the Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy
Distribution: Debian stable
How I got into Debian
I was looking if it is possible to replace Windows with something free (that was when I had zero knowledge about computer science) and came across this. My experience with Linux actually led to majoring computer science.
As a "User" only, I had been using Windows since "95". These days I have been looking for another system I am comfortable with and have found it in "Mint". I just installed it last week. I do not see myself looking elsewhere. It's so easy to use even I could install it and use it easily.
In the late 90`s, I worked as a techie in a shop that sold hardware, pre-built PC`s etc, all of them running Windows 95/98/NT which were the OS flavours at that time.
Some guy, long hair, beard, barefoot, walks in and dumps his PC on the table saying he thinks his hard drive has crashed. I get him to fill in all the forms and tell him I`ll get back to him during the day.
Later that day I fire up his PC and see this weird boot thing happening, black screen just scrolling endless lines of white text, finally ending in "Kernel panic"
I`d never heard of Kernel Panic before, only General Failure, so I phone the guy up and we start chatting about what OS he is running. After a while he says he`ll bring a disk in for me with this Linux OS on it. Mandrake 6, I think IIRC, was my first install, it took me two weeks to finally figure out how it installs, but I learned the hard way, we had no Google in those days.
Years later, I`ll never look back...M$ can suck it.
Was working with Sperry/Unisys Unix boxes in the 80s so started using MS Xenix at home. Moved to SCO Xenix when MS sold it then went with SCO Unix.
Somewhere along the line I started playing with Linux (Redhat 4.2 was my first IIRC) and when SCO Openserver moved from free unlimited users to "pay per seat" I actively started developing/implementing on Redhat. Never looked back, now a committed fan of Fedora/CentOS.
Mine started back when Windows 95 was introduced and hardware started to become reasonably affordable. I was using OS/2 (Win3.1 / DOS) and loved it but got tired of messing with drivers while paying a premium for the OS. I figured, why dish out the bread for an OS that gave me headaches when I could get one for free and have less problems. Thus started the journey that I still travel today. Thanks to Open Source, I enjoy the better hardware compatibility, applications, and security then MS can offer. The only Windows box I use is at work (W7)and it works. I guess if it were not for MS Office and Quickbooks, most people would be using Linux.
I wanted to, but did not dare take the step. But after a long time in MS Windows, and after a long time when my son (free BSD) tried to convince me about the advantage of a transfer to free software and also a long time of hesitation (should I manage to bring all I was used to, to the new world?), I finally made the conversion in the mid 90's, to SUSE, which was what my son thought was a reasonably short step for a European.
Though exposed to Commodores and Atari's at a young age, it was about 1980 I moved away from DOS and GW Basic and started using a VAX system (assuming UNIX counts as LINUX I don't know if there even was a distro) because of a genomics software toolset called GCG (it could use X-windows). Fast-forward 30 years and the best genomics software is still LINUX, still command-line. One deciding factor was the <4GB memory limit imposed by M$. And backwards compatibility. It's still a struggle to get students onto the command line, but also a struggle to get some supercomputing centers (not here) to understand visualization of data is important.
My introduction to IT was around the age of 16 when I visited a state of the art computer room circa 1974 (punch cards and all) where my brother worked - it was awesome. Later I bought a TI99/4A home computer and was hooked - started writing some basiccode. Later again I ended up working in an IT environment (no qualifications :-( except the university of life) for many years with Dos/Novell/Windowsxx/VMS(VAX/Alpha) and as an enduser on some Unix systems but never got my hands on a Linux one. (Anybody remember DataEase dbase?)
More recently, semi-retired and with time on my hands, I decided to find out more about the this elusive Linux. I now have a headless Ubuntu Server with NFS file shares and web hosting and as a remote tv server via TVHeadend, Ubuntu (dual boot) HTPC for multimedia, XBMC as optional TV frontend, optical feed to surround sound amplifier and large flat screen tv + Ubuntu (dual boot) Laptop (the dual boot options are the original windows installs but they rarely if ever get a look in these days - am considering wiping them totally as I can do almost everything I want in Linux). All the kit is in excess of 7 years old and works brilliantly. Recently started looking at Python - maybe I can be a programmer after all!
Ubuntu has served me well but am considering a move to Cent or other Linux distro.