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My story goes like this:
At some point in 2001: Got my first pc with Windows Me.
2001, some months later: Windows Me gave me a blue screen, a friend installed Windows NT server for me.
2001, some more months later: Windows NT inexplicably stopped working, I stayed without computer for some months.
Maybe early 2002? My brother-in-law gave me an OpenSuse live cd. I tried, it worked, but I had no idea how to make it permanent on my pc
2002 some months later: Got 7 Debian Woody cd's, installed Debian.
Stuck with Debian up to...
2010: The hard drive of my laptop with Debian Squeeze/Sid died. I plugged another disk, but I didn't have a Debian cd - or even a Windows XP cd. I decided to install Slackware 13.0 that I had downloaded, I don't remember for what purpose.
Stuck with Slackware since - my laptop still runs Slackware 13.1, my desktop that I bought shortly after 14.0 was released runs 14.0 and FreeBSD, another old computer I was given runs Slack 14.0 as well and I have a netbook with Windows XP
Last edited by dreamwalking; 04-10-2013 at 04:28 PM.
I first heard of Linux somewhere around 1998. I was an under grad doing my engineering in India and one of my professors told me about Linux. At that time, there weren't that many books on Linux or any high-speed connections so I hunted for anything linux related I could get my hands on. Finally I located a Red Hat Linux book (I forget the title) but it came with an install cd and that's how I started with Linux. I had this state-of-the-art (at that time) pentium 333 MHz machine with Windows on it and I pretty much installed and reinstalled every week trying to figure out how I can get Linux going. This exercise may sound mundane but I learned quite a lot from just seeing what goes during setup.
Anyway, fast forward to 2003, I was in US and looking to install Linux and my first instinct was to go to Red Hat Linux. I believe at that time it was Red Hat 9 and it was going to be the last free edition of Red Hat Linux. I stuck with it for about year or so and then tried Fedora, SuSE, Debian and Gentoo. Right around this time I lurked in the LQ-Newbie section a lot trying to gather basic knowledge/troubleshooting tips and I saw people constantly mentioned Slackware and how hard it was and how newbies were better advised to stay away from it. Mind you this was just uninformed newbie advice to other newbies and I thought well if it is hard then I must try it and so I installed Slackware 10 and have never looked back since.
I use Slackware on laptop, personal server and on a headless box connected to my living room TV running MythTV.
I love that statement – especially the part after the comma.
Hehe, I've never been a 'distro-hopper'. I had this dvd lying around at a time I had no intention to ever switch from Debian. Slackware was simply the only OS I had when my hard drive died, and I'm lucky for that! It hasn't ever occur me to go back to Debian since.
Back in 1999 I bought a copy of Mandrake Linux for Windows 98 as my first attempt at a Linux distribution. It went horribly wrong as the install refused to work correctly.
In 2001 I got into SuSE Linux only to find it was way too complex and really left a bad taste in my mouth.
In early 2004 after wanting to try Linux again, I bought a copy of Red Hat, which like before, was more or less a joke. A reinstall confirmed this as it refused to allow the Red Hat Updater to work without me repurchasing a license.
In mid 2004 I decided to give Slackware a try. It was the oldest distribution still maintained, so I decided, to throw caution to the wind and if this didn't work out it was back to Windows forever, no questions asked. Needless to say, on the first install, I loved it. The documentation was simply, easy to understand, and it was written for a human being.
Since then, I've tried Ubuntu and hated it. I tried FreeBSD last year, but the 9.0 ports packages weren't working too well and crashed my system, but I did like the PC-BSD version so Free/PC-BSD isn't off my list yet.
To me Slackware is easy to use, easy to understand, built with humans in mind, documented with humans in mind, and really is stable in all areas.
I don't know when exactly that happened, all I can remember is after a brief flirting with the 13.1 release, the 13.37 release 'literally' managed to stop me turning into a distro-whore.
I owe Pat a beer if he comes here anytime.
Back in March 1994 I wanted to learn programming C++. I had Windows 3.1 on my computer but couldn't afford to purchase a compiler because I was a student back then. I heard about Linux and ordered Slackware which came as about 56 floppy-disks. I've never learned C++, but found Perl very interesting, so I stayed with Slackware and Perl. I've tried Gentoo and Arch some years ago, but I always came back.
I discovered Slackware after several years of RH and a year of distro-hopping. I met some people who were using Slack on a web forum and got Slack-curious. I think I had a short stint with Debian at the time, but it didn't really suit me and I decided to give Slack a try. My Intel 536ep finally worked and I got hooked.
Oh, I suppose my entry into Slackware was via Redhat 6.0, although I had used a Slackware 3.X version of some sort in that timeframe. These were via the CDROMs from books I had. I was a faithful Slackware user from '00 through somewhere around '08 I imagine it was. I had worked with various Unix system prior to that timeframe, those going back to the later '80s with varying degrees of administrative responsibilities.
Then I started using Ubuntu. GASP!
Eh, the days of me scrounging for hard drives and CPU capacity were grinding to an end. I did scrounge for 1 gig drives in '99-'00. I was poor. The all out effort to be as efficient as possible came to an end as my need to find the most efficient use of the gear I had wasn't necessary.
Ubuntu at that time provided a user interface I liked (Gnome 2) and it was fairly easy to accomplish what I needed to do in order to do the work I was presented with. For me, that's what it's all about. The efficiency I needed was a platform that allowed me to do the work I needed -- without spending too much time manipulating the OS. In my opinion Slackware wasn't my best choice. I moved on.
Then Ubuntu became more bloated, and more cumbersome, and then they disposed of Gnome 2. I don't like Unity, and I really don't like what Ubuntu has become. I then migrated to Debian. Debian has been doing my OS of choice for the last year or two. There have been OpenBSD installs on some of the systems I have had, and I have to say I _really_ like OpenBSD, but for quite a bit of the work I need to do, that wasn't a feasible choice either.
I have Slackware installed on a VM, don't fire it up often, and honestly can't recall the last time I did. Don't get me wrong, I consider it to be a great OS, but it just doesn't suit my needs.
I had some 7 or 8 years where Slackware was the OS I used as my main OS at home, and I'm grateful for that stretch. I learned quite a bit about networking security through that time, and appreciate everything that it provided me.
Ah, shucks, thanks! Right now I'm planning on replacing Linux Mint on my ThinkPad T61, but I haven't decided what kind of Slackware setup I want on it yet: Xfce, KDE, or Openbox.
My Slackware t-shirt is getting a little rough, I think it's time to order a new one, those nice Mayan theme, Slackware 14 versions, along with perhaps a subscription and the book.
Update: Got my Slackware 14 (Mayan) t-shirt in the mail yesterday, and just switched the T61 over to Slack from Linux Mint. Settled on Xfce. One thing, though... I already miss the smooth font rendering in Linux Mint. I guess I'm gonna have to follow Dugan's Optimizing Slackware Linuxs Fonts tutorial. Otherwise, I'm a happy Slacker!