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View Poll Results: What is your age range?
<20 2 0.78%
21-30 17 6.64%
31-40 62 24.22%
41-50 72 28.13%
51-60 47 18.36%
61-70 40 15.63%
71-80 16 6.25%
81+ 0 0%
Voters: 256. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-02-2019, 04:25 AM   #1
Lysander666
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Age of Slackers


Sounds like something from Game of Thrones, a history of the Seven Kingdoms etc.

I thought someone else was going to make this, but that didn't happen. ReFracture's thread piqued my interest. One of these threads was probably done a while ago - and if so - let's have a recast for 2019. What is your age range? Do not feel you have to identify yourself in your post [but at least choose an option].

ReFracture's thread focuses on old computers that people here still run. Apropos of that, it would be interesting if people could also say something about the first computer that they ran any Linux/Unix system on back in the day.

I suppose I should say something about myself. I'm in my late 30s so probably fall into one of the younger brackets on this forum. I am seeing some interest in Slackware in the younger crowd [i.e. in their teens/20s], but not much. The more trendy 'harder' distros are Arch and Gentoo, but Slackware definitely retains some prestige.

The first computer I ever ran Linux on was my old Dell Dimension 4600 with its Pentium 4 and 512MB of RAM. Now, I used to think that it was Ubuntu Hardy Heron I ran on it, but that was years later, and I remember buying a Fedora for Dummies book back when I had the PC in 2004. So I must have temporarily run Fedora 1 on it, which I gave up because I couldn't game properly.

It would be interesting to see other people's experiences of varying kinds - and where they inhabit in the AoS.
 
Old 05-02-2019, 04:57 AM   #2
rkelsen
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"Code cracked by rkelsen" - Third of his name.

About me: Mid 40's. My first computer was an 80286 beige box clone with 1mb RAM and a 42mb Miniscribe IDE HDD. It had a turbo button which would make the CPU run at 16MHz... Normal speed was 12MHz. It ran DOS 3.3, which meant that the HDD had to be partitioned into 32Mb & 10Mb.

The first computer I ran Linux on was an overclocked Intel Celeron (can't remember the speed, but I think it was around mid-400MHz) with 256Mb RAM and a 2Gb Seagate Bigfoot HDD. Initially RedHat 6.0, replaced by Slackware 7.0 after a suggestion by someone on a local Linux Users board... Linux 2.2.13 & KDE 1. It was noteworthy[1].

[1] My wife, a language teacher, is on a personal crusade against the overuse of the word "awesome."
 
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Old 05-02-2019, 05:21 AM   #3
tramtrist
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How old is Pat? He must be in the 41-50 category? I'm 36 and think I first started using slack 20 years ago. Slackware would have already been 5 years old at the time? .. so he must be early 40s?
 
Old 05-02-2019, 05:43 AM   #4
Lockywolf
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So far the poll indicates the need to attract more younger people.

Maybe extend Slackware's presence in the media more favoured by students.
 
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Old 05-02-2019, 05:46 AM   #5
Lysander666
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkelsen View Post
[1] My wife, a language teacher, is on a personal crusade against the overuse of the word "awesome."
Replace it with 'rad'. Alternatively, mention its etymology?*. Maybe she's just against the overuse of superlatives.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tramtrist View Post
How old is Pat? He must be in the 41-50 category? I'm 36 and think I first started using slack 20 years ago. Slackware would have already been 5 years old at the time? .. so he must be early 40s?
Patrick is in his early 50s, as far as I know. If you started using Slackware in the late '90s you would have been running version 3.9 or 4.0 and it would have been nearly six years old then. Could you say something about how you came by it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lockywolf View Post
So far the poll indicates the need to attract more younger people.

Maybe extend Slackware's presence in the media more favoured by students.
That is a question. As I said, most younger people [on e.g. 4chan's /g/ board] favour Arch or Gentoo. I think Slackware is considered by many of the younger generation to be antiquarian in its approach which is, indeed, part of its raison d'être, but I think they feel it's irrelevant to them.

EDIT: there was actually a thread a few days ago about "why don't you use Slackware?". Lack of dependency management was one of the answers [so, as above]. I won't search the net to link it at work, but I can later. Additionally, the lack of systemd is part of the reason. A lot of younger people don't understand why they should dislike systemd, or care.

*"se fróda fæder Óhtheres eald ond egesfull"
"the wise, old father of Ohthere, ancient and awe-inspiring" [Beowulf 2929].

Last edited by Lysander666; 05-02-2019 at 06:11 AM.
 
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Old 05-02-2019, 05:52 AM   #6
cynwulf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lockywolf View Post
So far the poll indicates the need to attract more younger people.

Maybe extend Slackware's presence in the media more favoured by students.
Over 60's also clearly under represented...
 
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Old 05-02-2019, 05:56 AM   #7
Gerard Lally
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Nearly 52. Around the same age as Pat, I think.

First box I ran a Linux/BSD on was a Dell Optiplex, I think. One of those white desktop boxes. Can't remember whether it ran Debian or OpenBSD. Regardless, it was exciting for me. Windows Millennium had just been released, and I resolved to explore the alternatives. It wasn't until 2009 I migrated fully to Linux - Slackware, of course. I've also kept one eye on BSD over the past 19 years and continue to have a soft spot for NetBSD, which is a dark horse in the field. Understated and elegant, an operating system obviously designed by engineers. Unlike Linux and its associated projects, where enthusiasts seem to have more input than engineers.
 
Old 05-02-2019, 05:57 AM   #8
karlmag
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About me: Mid 40s. First computer was an Amstrad CPC6128 (around mid 80s) Z80@4MHz. First PC; Generic 486DX33 w/4MB RAM, 210MB disk. This was in 1991 I believe. (Technically it was the "family PC", but it mostly ended up being mine - I believe I still have it, or at least most parts, tucked away somewhere.) I did upgrade it with a scsi controller + an 800MB disk - quite huge at the time. At a later point I also added 16MB for a whopping total of 20MB.

I remember for certain that I was exposed to and used SunOS in 1994 (computer lab at University).
I *may*, however, have tested Slackware even before that, but the memory is a bit fuzzy about that.
Probably I tested it, didn't "get" it or understand it, and then put it aside.
Though, I do remember installing and using Slackware in 95/96. At first on the above mentioned PC, later on every computer I have owned and used to any extent.
 
Old 05-02-2019, 08:31 AM   #9
upnort
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I'm officially a Grumpy Old Man but not retired from wage slavedom.

I typed my first computer program in 1977 on a teletype. Kerchunka! My first exposure to personal computers was in 1981 on a work mate's Trash 80.

My first professional computer usage was in 1982 on an Apple IIe writing job aids and lesson plans. Two floppy disk drives and a green screen!

My first personal computer was a Commodore 64 in 1982. Then in 1985 an Amiga 1000 with the original paw print inside. I bought an external 10 MB SCSI hard drive. The case was about the size of a shoe box. Who could ever fill that much storage space?

In the late 1980s I was using IBM PCs at work. 640K of RAM (enough for anybody). Lotus 123, WordPerfect, DBase.... We also used dumb terminals at work -- my first exposure to crude email. At that time I was taking night classes to finish my degree. We used something called vi.

In 1990 there was an Amiga 3000. I generated revenues with that system writing and with some desktop publishing (Gold Disk Professional Page). I added an AT bridge card and a Mac emulator card. At that time I remember something called emacs being released for the Amiga.

In 1991 I bought a 486 with MS-DOS. I still have the system although today a bit cranky, just like me. Provided me sufficient background that I taught basic computer classes at the tech college. I had a tape drive on that system to perform backups. I started partitioning my hard drive with that system -- C: (system) on the first partition, D: (apps) on the 2nd, and E: (data files) on the 3rd. Been partitioning drives since.

My first computer that ran anything with Linux was a Pentium I with a whopping 256 MB of RAM and NT4. I bought the system in 1997-1998 but did not learn about Linux until about 2000.

My first distro was Lycoris. A friend at that time lived in the city and downloaded the image and burned the CD for me.

Around 2001 or 2002 I bought a huge 40 GB Seagate Barracuda -- the original Barracuda that was utterly silent. I moved NT4 to the disk from the original 3.2 GB disk. I installed 4 or 5 distros in a grand multi-boot setup. I used a common FAT32 partition to share files. I created a bunch of common command line aliases in both Windows and Linux systems so I could learn.

Among the distros, I bought a Mandrake 9.0 box set in a store. I give the Mandrake devs a lot of credit, who were way ahead of the times trying to create a friendly distro. I still have the dead tree user manual and CDs, which included full source CDs.

My first Slackware was 10.0. Been using Slackware since. Around 2005 or so Slackware became my preferred distro in the house. I think 12.2 was one of the best releases ever.

Around that same time frame I started using VirtualBox, around version 1.4, back in the original Innotek days.

The Pentium system is still fully functional with 14.1 installed.

I was in love with Linux from the beginning. Matched my personal ideology and work flow.

Last edited by upnort; 05-02-2019 at 08:46 AM.
 
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Old 05-02-2019, 09:58 AM   #10
ehartman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tramtrist View Post
How old is Pat? He must be in the 41-50 category?
He created Slackware in the early 90's, when he was still a student, so he must be born somewhere in the late 60's (according to wikipedia, he was born in 1966):
Quote:
Patrick Volkerding (born October 20, 1966) is the founder and maintainer of the Slackware Linux distribution. Volkerding is Slackware's "Benevolent Dictator for Life" (BDFL), and is also known informally as "The Man".
so he's in the 50 to 60 category.
 
Old 05-02-2019, 10:01 AM   #11
aliasless
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I'm part of the sub-twenty group. I started using Slackware a couple years ago when I was fifteen, and pretty quickly found it was one of the only Linux distributions that doesn't suck. Most of the people I've spoken about Slackware with had said they started with Slackware but later ended up moving to Debian or Arch. I've gone the other way.
 
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Old 05-02-2019, 10:04 AM   #12
tramtrist
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Ah I never read the wiki about him.. interesting
Yeah I started using Slackware after working as an IT admin when I was 16 for a kinda bizarre company at the time (Unisys mainframes + CAD/CAM UNIX systems) and was exposed to Solaris/AIX/IRIX etc at an early age.. eventually I got a 386 for free and loaded one of the only free operating systems around at that time... Slackware. I'm sure I tried redhat and others but slack stuck. I don't remember how I got the binaries or the install honestly... But I remember not having to configure X by hand from scratch which was a big seller.. Maybe I'm misremembering but... That's the story as I know it now.
 
Old 05-02-2019, 10:04 AM   #13
Didier Spaier
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lockywolf View Post
So far the poll indicates the need to attract more younger people.
Most younger people use more smartphone than computers, and many never heard about the command line.

Many older people are accustomed to the command line as when they began using a computer they had to.
 
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Old 05-02-2019, 10:06 AM   #14
Gerard Lally
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Quote:
Originally Posted by upnort View Post
Among the distros, I bought a Mandrake 9.0 box set in a store. I give the Mandrake devs a lot of credit, who were way ahead of the times trying to create a friendly distro. I still have the dead tree user manual and CDs, which included full source CDs.
Yes, I bought Mandrake at some point as well. Workstation? 59 euro, was it? I really liked it.
 
Old 05-02-2019, 10:08 AM   #15
tramtrist
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Also pleasantly surprised to be winning in the age category. 30 somethings as primary users surprises me. I thought for sure 40-50 would be the highest percentage

Last edited by tramtrist; 05-02-2019 at 10:09 AM. Reason: I can Speel
 
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