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Old 10-18-2005, 03:05 PM   #1
Registered: Apr 2005
Location: UK
Distribution: Arch Linux 64
Posts: 76

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My first linux experience (long post)

Hi, thought you might want to read this, it's a little tale about how and why I switched to linux.

It was 1998, and I had a P1 166 running windows 98se. Surely the most stable of all the Microsoft releases you say?
well, not for me. It crashed on average twice a day, then i decided I didn't like the front end. It was too....straightforward. Too easy to use. (i can already hear the gasps of 'what do you mean too easy to use? surely thats the point?')
Nope, not for me. I got bored. And I mean BORED. so, time to fiddle I thought...I know lets change the shell...yeah, sounds like a good idea. I also went into the DOS backend and played and looked up, and discovered windows 98's secrets. I learnt how to edit the registry, and cut out all of the uninstalled shite etc. Anyway, back to changing the shell; I had a good look around the web and found the Litestep project. I fell in love with the front end of that. It was just
So , I installed it. it seemed like a good idea at the time but was very buggy, but I loved the nextstep menu style, and at the time (I can't remember how) I stumbled into I discovered that there were linux users in there, and they were having great fun with an OS that was just so stable etc. By this time I had found out how to write my own .ini files..yes, I re-wrote them. Windows didn't like this, and one day I was removing a piece of useless software, and it deleted system32.dll. I don't know how, but it did. I re-booted and got that all-time classic:
'General Protection Fault'.

w00t! i thought. I've royally fscked the system!

At this point, I had been down my local market bookstall and discovered the Joys of 'The complete Idiots guide to linux' complete with Caldera 1.3!
I started to read it in bed that night, and was tossing over what to do with my system, whether to re-install and dual-boot, but decided against it, and the following day, I just installed Caldera Linux, with KDE. Wiped the windows install altogether. 'I can live without the games' I thought. I also discovered that i would have to live without an internet connection, due to the fact that it took me nearly 6 months to figure out the hardware layout of the system from linuxes point of view. But, i'm a tryer, and I spent those 6 months playing with it, trying things in the CLI, and learning what the commands did. After those 6 months, I discovered Redhat 6 whilst lurking in a magazine shop one day. It was free with Linux Format (which I still buy to this day), and it found my modem on install and asked if I would like to set up my internet connection. Iwas very impressed at having the internet back at last, and soon found out about UF's IRC channel. I met up with some people on there, and one of them, Alex Hanff, invited me to come up to Lancaster in the UK (I was living in Leicester in the UK), bring my machine, he would teach me a bit about it, and show me his set-up. So, I did. He told me that my install of Redhat was b0rked, and handed me a CD of Slackware 7.0 with the words 'Here, learn linux properly'. He guided me through the install, and getting it's internet set-up, and soon I was a happy slacker. It's been a long and sometimes difficult road since then , with other distro's tried along the way , and 2 more computers since. I also went back to dual-booting windows briefly just so I had a sim-city box, and to find out what shite Microsoft had replaced 98 with. I have learnt linux at the CLI level, and am just as happy in console-only mode as in the GUI. As a test once I set the system back to booting to runlevel 3, and didn't use the GUI for a whole week, and learnt some more of the CLI commands, and even used BitchX and lynx for net use, with wvdial for connecting.
I now use ubuntu 64 bit, as this is a box I built myself from a Kit from Komplett. I am very impressed, and now dual boot slamd64 with ubuntu.
Old 10-18-2005, 03:29 PM   #2
Mega Man X
LQ Guru
Registered: Apr 2003
Location: ~
Distribution: Ubuntu, FreeBSD, Solaris, DSL
Posts: 5,339

Rep: Reputation: 65
So this is a thread with a happy ending about Linux _and_ on the General... what are the odds of that? I was expecting something on the lines "Linux sucks", or "Is not ready for the prime time" or even the good-guy "I really like linux BUT yadda yadda yadda" and I was about to run my script:

1 - Copy and paste my signature link saying the OP is a newbie;
2 - Copy and paste from a .txt file my classic: "Search before posting" and "How to ask questions, the smart way";
3 - Click on Report this post to a moderator link...

I guess I don't need it this time, since you've spoiled all the fun . Seriously though, great story. I wish more peoples was eager to learn things like you do. I've just answered a few questions today and the OP quit using Linux... even without knowing what he/she needed (a driver or something).

Best Regards!

Last edited by Mega Man X; 10-18-2005 at 03:35 PM.


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