17 April, 2009

Oh man, I can REALLY relate XD

I have numerous stories similar to the following article by Carla Schroder @ linuxplanet.com.

My monitor gave up the ghost in the middle of the workday, naturally when I had deadlines and a half-dozens things to do right now. It turned out to be a fried video card, and I took the long way to figure it out, but I was able to keep working until I had time to troubleshoot and fix it, thanks to Linux's easy remote networking.

I came back from a break to find it in a hard lockup. Well OK, this is inconvenient, but at least with Linux a hard crash usually doesn't have bad side effects like mangled system files, unlike a certain other inexplicably popular but frail operating system.

I remember a totally useless IBM ThinkPad laptop I had lying around, which did NOT accept any of the M$ products I tried to force into it. It had a smashed LCD display, so it really didn't serve any purpose as a personal computer.

Then I tried installing Slackware Linux (this was in the v7-8 days of Slackware), and figured I could use it as a headless webserver/fileserver or something in that manner. And, to my own surprise, it was really effective. I had network connectivity (allthough without a GUI, the command-line more than sufficed for my needs. web-surfing included, even if it was text-based ['lynx']), remote network access, local network access, and it ran fine for like 3-400 days non-stop.., right up to the day it kicked the bucket of fatigue.

This remarkable stability and security was unknown to me up to this point. Since I've been fiddling with computers since the mid-80's, I've been around a few operating systems over the years. But none could ever aspire to be what Linux is for me today.

After seeing how Linux performed as a server, I was keen to see it's performance as a desktop. So, I decided I was running ONLY open-source software on every technical doo-dad I owned. But as Linux has one of the steepest learning-curves out there, this did not happen overnight.

Actual time spent learning the building-blocks of Linux came to a total of at least 10-11 years!

My ambition was not realized until very recently actually. My whole home-setup runs Slackware Linux, derivatives, or some kind of embedded Linux. And it's all grand! ;-P

Here is another similar, what I'd like to call: "wish-I-did-not-push-Enter"-story:

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