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This blog is to document my progress with Linux and programming in general. I started off trying to fix my computer which led me down a road of great intrigue into Linux and programming. From this, I also developed a passion to document what I do for two reason; first is to have a history of what I have done and second is leave the possibility open for feedback and suggestions or even simple discussion. Feel free to email me or send me a message on here. I can also be found on twitter, mastadon, manjaro forums, arch forums, and IRC all of which I have the same handle.
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Posted 03-02-2019 at 06:40 AM by schulidr

Continuing on with my early trials in figuring out where I wanted to go with computers, Linux had piqued my interest enough to the point I was strongly considering making the jump. But I had to be sure! I turned to the one thing I knew I could sacrifice without really giving a shit if I bricked it. “Bricking”, for those how are reading this and may not know, is a term given to things that are rendered useless through means of tinkering and attempts at repairing. And so I started to look around my house for my old laptop I discarded months ago, never intending to return.

Finding the computer was the easy part. Finding the charger for it might pose an entirely new adventure. I had to dig through many boxes given the fact we had just recently moved, but I found it, and I was ready to see just how this might work. So I fired up the Asus R510C, got the required USB drive, and downloaded a program called Rufus to make the stick bootable with the ISO I had also downloaded earlier.

It was go time! I glanced over the installation instructions and started to it. Nothing I tried seemed to work, though, and I was becoming frustrated. So I went back and read a little more comprehensibly, noted a few things I had completely overlooked, made the changes, and held my breath once more to see if this time I had actually figured it out.

I considered it a success when Rufus decided to actually continue past my final confirmation with the GUI. It sounded like it was working!! But now I had to wait. And I wasn't sure how long it would be. So I checked, constantly, for about the next 5 minutes until finally I saw the screen display it had finished. My excitement at this point was at the crest of blowing out my ears. But I was so hesitant to see if it had actually worked. So I shut down the laptop, plugged in the USB, and crossed my fingers.

I powered up the dusty, bulky Asus and rapidly hit esc until the boot menu appeared. I carefully read over my options as this was my first time going into this menu with an intention of something other than simply exiting without saving changes. This was a whole new world to me and I was terrified of making a mistake that would render my computer useless. And this was a laptop I hadn't used in months and likely never would again. Yet I was nervous; probably in the hopes it work.

I selected my option for the USB drive and hit enter to continue. I saw the splash screen pop up and it was beautiful! Something new and exciting! I had done it! But what was next? And how exactly do I get this thing on here while leaving the other OS untouched? Luckily for me, the instructions provided through the installation tool were nearly as easy as putting my pants on in the morning.

The entire process was driven entirely by the GUI. All I selected was the option to have my brand new OS installed next to the current one. Once complete, I rebooted and saw my first Grub screen with option for either OS I now had on my useless old laptop. Useless no more! What a fun little toy this now was!

I found myself rebooting just to see the glory that was the grub screen. I had done something I never thought I'd be able to do and all it took was a bit of reading and the availability of an old computer I didn't need anymore. I was proud of myself! This fueled my thirst for more. I wanted to learn, but now I also wanted to play. I had Linux on a computer and I could now do what I wanted with it. So I played, and tinkered, and came to realize two things; the first was that this operating system seems limitless in options and customization, and the second was that I needed to learn how to use the command line if I ever wanted to be more than a casual user.

Edit: As I am reading through this entry, I am realizing that there are some fairly important items I miss in the actual steps to preparing and installing a dual boot as a completely unaware rookie user like myself. My intent is not to provide complete documentation on the process, although at some point I feel like I may want to. My intent with this blog is to simply provide a narrative timeline to document my journey. Some may find it interesting to read which is why I publish my thoughts.
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