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[ale] non-technical Linux question

On 02/11/2014 05:08 PM, Boris Borisov wrote:
> I've read the JD bio from the announcement for the Thursday meeting 
> and He says that got introduced to world of Linux in 1993 ...
> What is your first encounter with Linux/Unix world?
> Mine as far as I remember is maybe 1994-1995 year I found a little 
> distribution called Monkey Linux 
> http://projectdevolve.tripod.com/text/descript.htm. I installed it on 
> the company computer running WIN95 needing no repartition. So I've 
> learned few things back there :)
> Around the same time I've tried Minix on old 286 Pc at home.
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I got started rather late in life.  I was moving furniture for a living, 
decided Computers were a good idea.  Started learning in 2000 at the age 
of 37.  The .com boom busted and I decided I would not be behind any 
wave in the future.  Did some research, found Linux.  Installed Debian 
and in only a month had X running!  Woot! Then I figured out there was 
RH, but they pissed me off when the stopped desktop support and moved 
only to servers.  Tried Suse, but every time I opened Yast, it would 
break.  Back to Debian.  As a foot note, that does not piss me off any 
more, it made perfect sense.  Fedora since (IMHO) 14 has been very 
good.  I keep testing it, and liking it, but I stick to Debian or Ubuntu 
for personal use, Fedora for work use (as a desktop, I use it to 
intetract with RHEV), RHEL for work, CentOS for a proof of concept.  
Debian Potato for the Win!

It is kinda of nostalgic to remember how hard it was to "download an 
ISO" (what ever that was) and "Burn" a CD.  Geeze, this Linux is HARD 
(hey, no collaged education or smart Prof to point me in the right 
directions or even tell me what a "disk image" was)!  Then 30 days of 
tinkering, and re-installing to get X running.  man!  I must have had 
desire.  My motivator was three fold:  1.  My wife was a programmer, so 
I could not download windows to learn (illegal copy), or get copies of 
copy righted code with out paying for it, 2. I had no money, so I could 
not pay for it.  3. I had no money so I could not get formal education, 
I HAD to learn it on my own for free.

Sure beats working for a living :)

Now days, you get a CD/DVD of ANYTHING and it just works out of the 
box.  Even the "expert only" distros.  Now you can concentrate on making 
it do what you want more than making it work.  No pity for newbs how 
need help with entering "how to $FOO" in Google.  When I was young (in 
computers) you did not even Google, you yahooed! (I can still hear that 
yodel form the commercial).   Most of your help was from users groups or 
user lists or IRC rife with RTFM (which I hate).  I hate it so much I 
opened up an IRC channel to help newbs (and I was one myself).  Best 
thing I ever did.  Forced me to RTFM for the other newbs to get them 
help.  Over IRC, I raised up two high schoolers to become sys admins, 
one for a major PC MFG, one for a financial firm.

School of hard knocks, not as rounded as an education, but you remember 
what you learn.

Damon L. Chesser
damon at damtek.com