When did you come to Linux?

Chat about Linux in general
strohi
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Re: When did you come to Linux?

Post by strohi » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:50 pm

The first time I heard about Linux was around 2009 when I read about it in a magazine (I was 14 at that time). There was a DVD with Kubuntu included so that I could install in on my Laptop. I hated it. KDE4 looked ugly and nothing I was used to from windows worked. It was also pretty laggy and I was very unhappy with the whole OS. I've never bought a magazine of CHIP since then.
I also had problems removing it and getting the used space back to Vista. Only a few months later my first contact with Linux was finished.

Around 2011 I was on a internship in a bank which was at that time replacing its computers. They gave me an old one on which they had Ubuntu installed. But I didn't like the idea of having a task bar at the top and another one at the bottom. I soon replaced Ubuntu with Vista and sweared to god I'd never install (k/x/l)ubuntu again.

Around 2013 or 2014 I read about Linux Mint and decided to try its cinnamon version. It somehow felt much more beginner friendly than Ubuntu which I absolutely disliked thanks to Unity. I really liked its application menu since it was compact and tidy. But I did go back to Windows againg because it was really unstable at that time.

Around 2016 I put a new PC together for my parents. Since they did not want to pay for Windows I decided to use Linux Mint 17 with Cinnamon. It's enough for them to deal with and they like that it's pretty easy to use.
Around February 2017 I finally decided to use LM 18 KDE as main system and I'm really happy with it. LM improved a lot since 2014 and I really love its KDE version.

What's next (2019)?
I'll switch to another KDE based Linux as soon as Kubuntu will stop support for their version which is the base of KDE. It's not finally decided but it looks like openSUSE Tumbleweed will be my next OS. I'm pretty hyped! :)
Hi I'm from Germany and don't speak English very well. If you spot a mistake or cannot understand one of my posts feel free to send me a message. I want to learn English and every hint will help me. :)

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sammiev
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Re: When did you come to Linux?

Post by sammiev » Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:57 pm

Between 2005 and 2006 with Ubuntu. Used some sort of Linux since.

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Re: When did you come to Linux?

Post by russellz » Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:45 am

First had a play with Red Hat in, I think, 1999. I borrowed an installation disk from the guy running our office server and did a dual boot install. Learned a bit but couldn't get used to the StarOffice suite so gave up. Then in 2009 I was introduced to PCLinuxOS. That was a revelation - easy to use and no Windows blue screen of death! Stuck with that for a few years until in 2009 I built a new PC and had insoluble problems with the NVIDIA card. I found that Ubuntu supported it better but didn't like the Unity GUI it was shipped with so changed to Linux Mint Mate.

Haven't looked back since!

Russell
Laptop: HP17bs086nf, Intel Core i5-7200U, Intel HD Graphics 620 . Mint Cinnamon 18.3
Desktop: Gigabyte GA-MA770T-UD3 motherboard, NVIDIA GeForce 210, AMD Phenom II Quad Core Processor 3GHz, 4GB ram, 120GB SSD, 500GB HDD. Mint Cinnamon 18.2

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Re: When did you come to Linux?

Post by felemur » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:54 am

2001 with Mandrake - I was totally lost and kept using Windows for real work on my main computer.

2008 with Kubuntu - worked, sort of. Then an update caused the Blue Screen of Death. Went back to Windows.

2015 Happily using Windows 7, updated to Windows 10. I was horrified with Windows 10. Switched to Linux. Tried many, many distro's & DE's. Settled on Mint Cinnamon. NEVER looked back. Other than in VB just to keep up, I don't use Windows at all for anything.

3rd time the charm, each try 7 years apart.

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austin.texas
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Re: When did you come to Linux?

Post by austin.texas » Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:12 am

I started out with Mandrake in 1998 - which I purchased in a big package with a printed book and a stack of 5 1/4 discs.
I progressed to PCLinuxOS and Mandriva, then Ubuntu, and finally Mint in 2008.
There are certainly some other distros that I like - Peppermint, Korora, Netrunner... but nothing that could get me to switch from Mint :mrgreen:
Mint 18.2 Cinnamon, Quad core AMD A8-3870 with Radeon HD Graphics 6550D, 8GB DDR3, Ralink RT2561/RT61 802.11g PCI
Linux Linx 2018

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felemur
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Re: When did you come to Linux?

Post by felemur » Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:57 am

austin.texas wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:12 am
.......
There are certainly some other distros that I like - Peppermint, Korora, Netrunner... but nothing that could get me to switch from Mint :mrgreen:
I use Peppermint on my older laptop. Of all the Linus Distro's, it is a very close second to Mint Cinnamon IMO. It is lighter and faster on older/weaker machines.

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Re: When did you come to Linux?

Post by Portreve » Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:38 pm

MurphCID wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:54 am
I got interested in Linux back in 2000 with Mandrake Linux.
Moem wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:01 pm
Around two years ago. Yes, I'm a n00b. :lol:
Shut up you baby n00bs! :twisted: Quit whining and RTFM!!!!!!!!!!! :roll:

(There... feel better now? lolz!) :lol:

Yeah, "back in the day" was pretty rough in the GNU+Linux community. There were most probably several simultaneous factors in play. First off, it tends to be the case that true tech enthusiasts who are that much into technology and are definitely the analytical type (you'll find this to often be the case with people who write code) have little in the way of social skills. Many are plain anti-social, and some may actually have certain kinds of credible mental disorders which means they're suited for certain kinds of activities, and really not suited for a lot of others. Another factor was then (and sort of is now) that because the installed base of "people using computers" had grown far beyond mere tech enthusiasts because of computers becoming commoditized and certain kinds of computer activity became more socially embedded (chatting online, sending and receiving email, surfing the web, etc.) there were a LOT of people who suddenly would show up in a community and expect everything to be handed to them on a silver platter. A computer having problems became someone else's responsibility to fix. People using AOL and paying their monthly fee did not understand that some community somewhere on the Internet wasn't responsible for compatibility, had no connection to America Online, etc.

I can remember there being some message boards and actually quite a few web sites which would look at connection data to determine if someone was an AOL-connected user, and block access on that basis because they'd become tired of dealing with that particular crowd's frequent BS.

All of that said...

So, ya really wanna know about my GNU+Linux history? :o

------

The Early Days:
A friend of mine who I've known since high school, and someone to whom I look up and for whom I have tons and tons of well-earned respect, was talking to me about this thing called "Linux". At the time, he was living in Orlando, and so I happened to go up there to visit and hang out for a couple days. While there, he duped a stack of installation disks for RedHat 4.2. Around that time, I had built one of my first (dunno... second or third iterations?) PCs. I was then and for many years remained a Mac user, but I'm first and foremost a tech enthusiast (but with actual social skills, same as my friend Chris) so I wanted to play around with other things.

RedHat (and, arguably, other distros of that era) were a PAIN IN THE ASS. Period. They all were, no matter what little nice things they had going for them. There was no package manager/installation system out there. You had to find the packages for the software you wanted, download them, attempt to install them, go back and grab their dependencies, attempt to install them, in some cases find that the dependencies had dependencies, then attempt to install them, and maybe an hour or so later you finally had a program installed and up and running. Hopefully. Obviously this was easier for people who were really hard-core and full time into GNU+Linux, but nevertheless it was a PAIN.

This, for what it's worth, is what was known as "dependency hell". :o

However, RedHat was pretty cool to play around with. It wasn't very useful to me, but it was cool. Mandrake was also cool, and so eventually was SuSE. In fact, at the time, SuSE had the single best guide and manual that I have ever — and I mean EVER — seen, before or after. It was not only incredibly full of useful and helpful information, but the grammar used was as delightful as any well-written novel. I wish I still had the manual, regardless of how out of date it would now be, simply because the language in it was just par excellance.


A Mac User's Detour:
A few years later, I owned a PowerMac G3, and I was working for a local Mac repair shop and authorized reseller. They had an honest-to-goodness ISDN connection (I forget now exactly what it was rated at) and with special permission of the owner, I used their Internet connection to download a copy of YellowDog Linux. It literally took from that afternoon around the time they were closing up shop to the next morning when I came in for it to complete the process. Then, I burned it to CD and a few days later got a chance to try it out on my Mac. It was definitely better than RedHat had been, but it was still a very difficult beast. This, of course, was exacerbated by the fact that at the time, Macs could not natively boot any non-Apple-produced OS. Even though Apple had previously released their own version of UNIX called A/UX, you could not boot Yellow Dog (or any other GNU+Linux distro).

The way it worked was you had to boot up a copy of Mac OS, and then there was an extension and control panel combination called BootX which you set up. Basically, you nuke-n-paved your HDD, set up a token partition of maybe a couple hundred MB, installed Mac OS on it, put in the YellowDog CD and copied over the kernel and RAM disk image files into the appropriate spot of your Mac OS System Folder, then set up BootX to run at startup and told it where these files were located, along with boot parameters for the kernel. THEN you booted, and BootX interrupted the boot process once the initial POST- and other boot steps were completed using Mac OS, and it loaded in the kernel and RAM disk, flushed the rest of memory and began that boot process. Then, you would go through the process of partitioning the remaining unpartitioned (i.e. majority) space on the disk, set up GNU+Linux, then copy off the installed (as opposed to the installer) versions of the kernel and RAM disk back over to the Mac OS partition, then boot back into Mac OS, swap out the installer for the installed versions of these two files and update BootX to use them instead, then reboot again, and from then on, unless you wanted to boot into Mac OS, your Mac would boot into Mac OS, get to the point of loading the BootX extension, then automatically load the kernel and RAM disk, plus parameters, flush RAM, and boot with those files. :shock:

This was most definitely not a clean way of doing things, but was necessary as a work-around to deal with Apple's stupidity of that era.

Eventually, once the so-called "blue-and-white" G3 Mac towers, and the original iMacs, came out, they were all NewWorldROM Macs, and they could boot using the Yaboot tool, which is not the same thing as GRUB, but an equivalent and effectively a replacement. You could boot with any Yaboot-equipped GNU+Linux distro's CD, and set up directly the same sort of way we all do now. So, yeah, a MASSIVE improvement.

Sojurn in the Proprietary Wilderness:
Because one of my (several) professions has been desktop publishing and graphic design (as opposed to being a graphic artist — I cannot draw to save my life) there was at that time no alternative, nor honestly had I been looking for one, to using PageMaker, QuarkXPress, or (eventually) InDesign, and it would also be ages before GIMP would get even remotely close to being useful as a Photoshop replacement (even now it's not really a full replacement, and in my view it's anybody's guess if it will ever be) and there was no such thing yet as Inkscape. I have professionally done a number of things, including doing tech support, system building, system and (very, very old-school) network administration, and I even did a five-year stint working for Sony in their Fort Myers Florida call center supporting various desktop and laptop systems and assorted peripherals.

Return of the (Open-Source) King:
Steve Jobs did a great many things for Apple since his return in 1995. Frankly, Apple was on life support and dying, and he made it into a global empire and toast of Wall Street. His influence has in a great many ways, not all of which were bad, reshaped the entire tech landscape, most particularly on two fronts: getting people to genuinely think about how to present technology, whether hardware or software, and also getting people in and out of the tech industry (i.e. Silicon Valley and elsewhere) to realize it was possible for there to be credible alternatives to Microsoft and their range of OS and other software products. However, Steve Jobs had a far darker side (as I think anyone who's read the biography on him must by now know and acknowledge) and so eventually when Apple had true power and influence as Microsoft has had, they started doing things with that power which were not ethical, and certainly not for the benefit of their users or the broader community. It was around this time that I started looking for an exit strategy. Also proximate to this time, we started getting inundated almost daily (certainly weekly or monthly) with scandals about government overreach and abuse, about inherent exploitability of various systems and the like, and so I decided that, whatever it was that I was going to do, it needed to be the right thing, it needed to be very well thought-through, and frankly I didn't want to have to do this more than once.

Separately, I also decided I no longer wanted in any way whatsoever to be beholden to anyone. I did not want to be beholden to an OS maker, a software vendor, a cell phone maker, a cell phone carrier, etc. Basically, I was keen to throw off every last possible shackle of any sort of description that I could.

I basically spent about two years slowly extricating all of my data from any sort of proprietary format to exclusively libre-licensed ones. Given that one of my professions was a desktop publisher, I had an enormous accumulated font collection, with the majority of it in Mac OS PostScript Type 1 formats. I also had some Mac OS TrueType fonts. I also, as one can appreciate, had a pile of Windows PostScript Type 1 and Windows TrueType fonts. The problem here is not just that these are proprietary file formats; they are also obsolete file formats. So, I got a program called FontLab, and used it to hand-convert every single face to OpenType. Doing just this alone was the work of perhaps a year and a half, with several false starts. But now, I have a unified and very clean and organized collection of nothing but OpenType fonts. I never, ever want to have to go through something like that again. And to be fair, I doubt I ever will because even if OTF gets supplanted (not likely because of the basis behind its design) it will be a trivial matter to get a libre utility program to open them up and bulk-convert to that new replacement format.

I also had lots and lots and lots of images and artwork which I again converted, much of it by hand, to either PNG or SVG. The only remaining non-libre images I have are animated GIFs.

All of my other "normal" data I converted from whatever they were to either plain ASCII text files, or LibreOffice word processor or spreadsheet files.

I basically threw out my entire music collection and re-ripped all of my CDs, again manually and by hand, transcoded them to FLAC and manually reconstructed and otherwise acquired all the metadata for them. Where possible, I use OGG lossy-compresssed versions on smaller capacity devices like my phone, etc., but some things like the head unit in my car can't handle FLAC or OGG, so I have a flash drive with MP3s on it. At some point if I can replace that head unit (or, equally possibly, I get a new car and therefore a new head unit which supports FLAC and/or OGG) I will no longer need to use MP3 at all.

Now, all of what I just said is a prelude to the point of this section, and that is I couldn't really switch full-time to GNU+Linux until I had extricated my data from formats for which there aren't necessarily available libre utilities. I was considering different distros, but because of LinuxMint's history in the continued support of Gnome 2.x, and then GTK3 in a Gnome 2.x-like desktop environment (MATE, and then Cinnamon) I was very impressed by what Clem and Company had done, and I've continued to be very impressed and quite satisfied, because they are doing what they are doing while doing it with a Debian-originating distro which leverages the advantages that Canonical's Ubuntu brings to the world.

I switched in about 2014 full time to LM, and I've never looked back. I'm to a point where if I can't do it with libre software, it's not worth my time to do. I've washed my hands of anything proprietary (yes, I know, I have an Android-based phone) and so that's my story, both historically as well as philosophically, which I think often is lost in discussions like this one.
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Re: When did you come to Linux?

Post by MurphCID » Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:57 am

Portreve wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:38 pm
[long quote trimmed]...
I switched in about 2014 full time to LM, and I've never looked back. I'm to a point where if I can't do it with libre software, it's not worth my time to do. I've washed my hands of anything proprietary (yes, I know, I have an Android-based phone) and so that's my story, both historically as well as philosophically, which I think often is lost in discussions like this one.
You are my hero! And yes, while not an AOL drone, I used AT&T Worldnet after I graduated from XModem, YModem, and Kermit. I remember getting the first phone bill after the hour long convesation, file sharing with a buddy on my 1200 baud modem. My wife freaked out (and not in a nice way). I got into tech, and then had kids.... So I got out of tech tinkering, and needed something that just worked (sort of, does Windows 3.11, 95, 98, etc really just work?). That Mandrake box I bought was just amazing, and so well produced. I never got into SuSE, but I have heard the manual was a work of art. Dependency h*ll was what ran me off. I understand about fonts, for I, too, am a Font-aholic, and love nice looking fonts. Linux fonts are pretty bad for the most part compared to Microsoft and Apple fonts.
Last edited by Moem on Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Please be selective when quoting. There is no need to quote so much of a text that is right here for all to see.

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Re: When did you come to Linux?

Post by Seano2 » Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:59 am

MurphCID wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:54 am
I got interested in Linux back in 2000 with Mandrake Linux.
I bought a boxed copy from a computer store,
Then in 2012 or so, I found this thing called Ubuntu, and it was decent, I think it was version 11.04.
Then I installed Mint around 2014 and it was version 17.1.
I used an old Compaq.
Oh the memories are all coming back to me now! We have travelled the same road less travelled indeed!

Redhat 6.1 from a CD in a magazine *May 18,1998 was my first CLI based introduction to this revolutionary new concept they called Open Source Software. Linus was like some kind of messiah in my young head then, (and still is technically).

I then found another magazine at the newsagent which came with Mandrake, although I forget the version now. Mandrake in 1999 was like a another milestone on the road to Ubuntu IMHO, but I was poor and couldn't get the GUI to work on my second-hand EGA (Enhanced Graphics Adaptor) monitor without lots of snow and speckles on the useless desktop, so I reverted to my known Win95 for my client OS and used Linux purely for web servers with CLI interfaces only.

I also tried a boxed set of Redhat 6.0 which I paid $50 AUD for in 1999 and it had books with it, but again, no worthwhile GUI for the poor boy with EGA disorder.

When I first found out about Ubuntu 9.10 Jaunty Jackalope on April 5th, 2009, I was running a Compaq Deskpro PII tower and after the 8hr download on the trusty 56k modem, it installed faultlessly first time, and like you, I felt like I did when my mother bought me the Commodore Vic-20 in 1981. It was like coming home again. Microsoft went straight into the bin on that day.

Then when Ubuntu changed from Gnome Desktop to another GUI whose name I forget, I went through Ubuntu Gnome and tried a hundred other distros before finding Mint in around 2011. I've used Mint since then right up until the start of this year, (including last week until yesterday afternoon for system maintenance as I trust Mint 18.1 Serena 100%),

Because I have realised now that there are a lot of bad people out on the Internet doing dastardly, sneaky things to random strangers with their malware, there is now a nice fresh installation of Mint 18.1 on my laptop's HDD, which I trust to use for file copying and Gparted work OFFLINE , but I am testing what is known as 'a reasonably secure OS' now by the name of Qubes. I can run Debian 8 in virtual machines within a Xen hypervisor and look forward to the day when I get the time to build a Mint-MATE VM so that I can have that same familiar Gnome-like desktop with my usual top and bottom panels and all the widgets I have near perfected on Mint with MATE, that XFCE doesn't seem to have the same arbitrary panel alignment I prefer, (nor the weather report).

That makes it twenty years ago this coming May. Our paths have been very similar over those past two decades, and that is what has spurred me to reply to such a nostalgic thread that I would not otherwise have bothered to reply to.

Such a coincidence. Thank you for the memories.

* Correction. You know, it WAS the same road we travelled, chronologically. I mixed up the date in my memory of the date I first conected to the Internet, (18-05-1998) with Opera (using Win 3.1 if I recall), because I was reminiscing over the newsagency where I bought that first small-sized magazine which had the Redhat 6.1 CD, and remembering the layout of the shelving in the shop, and which rack and which end of that rack I chanced upon the new journal among the usual PC-World magazines, and I realised that it must have been the newsagent's in East Fremantle, where I did not move to until 1999, and could not have possibly bought that first magazine until January 2000 at the earliest, so our Geneses coincide in both space AND time. Mandrake version was around 3 or 4 and the Sunday I first booted Ubuntu (05-04-2009) is correct, although I think I remember starting the download on a Friday night and waking up to my very first .ISO on the Saturday morning, which Xen tells me was only the 4th, and I have always remembered my first Ubuntu as a Saturday, even though it is not 2038 yet ???

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Re: When did you come to Linux?

Post by MurphCID » Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:17 am

Seano2 wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:59 am
Oh the memories are all coming back to me now! We have travelled the same road less travelled indeed!
(...)
Memories ") I remember the pain of downloading on modems and having the phone line tied up. I think that when I first got Mandrake, I had a 33.6k modem. I later upgraded to a 56K modem which seemed to be blazing fast on AT&T Worldnet. I recall I really liked the Mandrake Linux, and wish it was still extant. But Apt-get on Mint has proven to me what those old time Debian users bragged about. Mint Linux just feels good, like my favorite fountain pen, it just works.
Last edited by Moem on Tue Feb 27, 2018 4:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Trimmed another two full pages of quote. Please be more selective when quoting. And please type below the quote, as most people read top-to-bottom.

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Re: When did you come to Linux?

Post by Seano2 » Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:16 pm

MurphCID wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:17 am
Memories ") I remember the pain of downloading on modems and having the phone line tied up. I think that when I first got Mandrake, I had a 33.6k modem. I later upgraded to a 56K modem which seemed to be blazing fast on AT&T Worldnet.
Yes, downloading a 700MiB .ISO file (if you can find one thesedays) is a lot faster with the fibre-optic broadband than it was with 56k, and I remember I had a 33.6k modem when I first went online in 1998. The first .ISO download for me was 2009 with 56k.

What never ceases to amaze me is that when I think back to the download rates in 1998 - 3-5kB/s using 33.6 k, and the Yahoo! search engine used to take around 3 seconds to reload in June 1998. Now in February 2018, the Yahoo! search engine takes around 10 seconds to reload at 1MB/s if you'll excuse my mixed units. I hope to indicate bytes per second in the former and megabits per second in the latter, but I only just learned yesterday that MiB stands for Mebibyte, not Megabyte. (I have always assumed the binary result of 1024^3 for MB or MiB which is probably why I can't beat the competition now).

Thank you for a timely reply to my post and I wish i had more Linux problems so that I could justify more time on such a helpful forum with mature and intelligent peers, but this is not meant to be social media here, so Good Luck MurphCID and I look forward to meeting again next time I have some trouble I can't fathom on my ownsome.

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Re: When did you come to Linux?

Post by Amii_Leigh » Tue Feb 27, 2018 3:26 am

For me, computers and the internet started existing in 1998.

That was my therapy for getting out of the doldrums I was in after my divorce, my roomie offered his computer to me, just so I wouldn't stare at a wall all day, which worried him some.
I played around with win95, then win98, (playing around with pIRCh in Chat City) then got my own computer, installed winMe, which got me used to searching the internet for it's fixes, until the next blue screen of death. I seriously adored how I could customise win2k, and wished I could have kept using it, but the game I was playing at the time (Dungeons & Dragons Online) wouldn't support it any more. So I 'had' to install windoze eXtra Pretty on my computer. I give a few things pet names, so shoot me.
It was during this stage that I was experimenting with different web-browsers and I discovered a few shortcomings of the ones I liked using. Like how the Lexx Browser was nothing more than a front end for infernal extorter, among other horrible things. After I discovered this, I went to using Opera (even bought a copy) and Firefox when it finally came to be downloaded.
It did bother me that I was still using windoze, but up until 2008, I didn't find anything that had a prayer of running any of the games I liked to play. According to my research, Mandriva Linux could possibly run something called wine, and 'maybe' a few windoze games. I did download and install Mandriva, and the desktop looked great, I just loved that spinning cube that bounced around, but I couldn't really get it to do anything else. :(
I also downloaded and installed Ubuntu Linux 12.04 LTS on dual boot with winxp and I got wine to run Diablo 2, which I miss playing some, since I can't manage to get it to run on my current wine version. Anyway, I borked the Ubuntu installation by not keeping up with the updates and choosing the wrong ones to install. :( I still have my same forum account on LinuxQuestions.org, which is nice that I could remember the username and password after all these years. Ubuntu Linux was back in 2014, which brings me to March of 2016 when my winxp installation was on it's last legs due to it's no longer being supported.
A very good friend that I used to play Dungeons & Dragons Online with offered me a free computer and I took it, and mostly still have it, at least in spirit. This friend also recommended Linux Mint Cinnamon to me for it's ease of use and possibility of running windoze games.
So far, I'm loving Linux Mint, but I'm not entirely sure that I couldn't be bribed away to using a stripped down version of win2k (joking!)
I think I've done pretty well as far as technology goes, I'm very thankful for Linux, Linux Mint, and especially all of you that support doffuses like me when we bollux up the works of our machines.

Namaste
Last edited by Amii_Leigh on Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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I honor the place in you in which is of love, of truth, of light, and of peace.
When you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, we are one.

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Re: When did you come to Linux?

Post by idle » Wed Feb 28, 2018 5:50 am

I came to Linux, Linux Mint specifically in 2015 when Windows 10 was released. I'd heard of Linux as a friend had it installed on a small 7" inch screen in a PC mod back in the day. A small 7" inch screen built into the drive bays running Linux, I thought it was the most amazing thing I'd seen. Problem was when I asked how he did it, he's explanation was way too complicated and I almost regretted asking :lol: I guess that scared me from even considering Linux after that.
Then Windows 10 was released and I got myself a copy. Hit the net and started reading as much as I could about this new operating system. But that soon changed when I started reading about how much information it was gathering on its users. I got into disabling telemetry and all the tricks and hacks to make Windows 10 more "user friendly" but then I came across an article http://www.zdnet.com/article/sick-of-wi ... -go-linux/ and that article changed everything for me.
I installed Linux Mint on a spare laptop and joined these forums immediately. After a few months of trying Linux Mint whilst still using Windows 10 on my main laptop I made a dual-boot Win10 / Mint on my main laptop. After a few months I realized I didn't need Win10 anymore and nuked the partition and installed Mint. The only thing I miss are some games. Mostly TrackMania² Stadium. But besides that, I think Linux is fantastic and use it full time. Even if I am a noob :mrgreen:

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Re: When did you come to Linux?

Post by Lysander666 » Wed Feb 28, 2018 10:34 am

MurphCID wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:54 am
I am curious, as to when people came to Linux. I got interested in Linux back in 2000 with Mandrake Linux. I bought a boxed copy from a computer store, and took it home, and installed it on one of my desktop computers. I was lost. I mean lost. It was so different from Windows 98, and the Linux community back then was very elitist and there was too much RTFM'ing, too much "you are just a (l)user because you cannot hack scripts, write code, cannot use the command line and install on bare metal. I was turned off. I was derided for using a "baby" distro like Mandrake, instead of Slackware, Debian, Red Hat or building from scratch.

I was actually banned from a linux board for asking questions, and pointing out how they were turning off people like me who wanted to use Linux, but needed help. I remember I had a second hand 33.6K modem in my computer that a buddy had given me when he had upgraded to a bleeding edge 56k V.90 modem. I was using a Cyrix 6x86 chip a 166 mhz. After I had such a bad experience, I left linux for almost a decade with the attitude of "F" those elitist bastiges.

I was utter revolted by the super elite attitudes I encountered. Then I tried SuSE linux around 2009-2010 and was under impressed, so I left Linux again, but I had noticed that the communities were no longer so "LEET", and much more willing to help newbies. So I had a better opinion of Linux. Then in 2012 or so, I found this thing called Ubuntu, and it was decent, I think it was version 11.04. Then I started seeing this thing called "Mint Linux. In the meantime I had updated to winders 7, and loved it. But there was a void, I needed to have filled. I played with installing some of the BSDs, no love there. Then I installed Mint around 2014 and it was version 17.1. I used an old Compaq laptop, and it worked. It just worked! I felt like I was accomplished, I felt some of the thrill from booting up my very first computer using DOS 1.1.

Then I found this board, and to my utter amazement, not only were the people nice, helpful, and patient with me, there was no elitist stink, no RTFM, no "how dare you not use command line, how dare you not be able to write scripts to make things work!". I felt like I was home. Thanks Mint.
I find this post very interesting. You are not addressing distributions as such but community support. In the first paragraph you say you wanted to get Mandrake to work but you were derided for using it - on which forum was this? Did Mandrake not have it own forum back then? There is some important information missing for context.

Anyway, in the spirit of this thread - and this forum - I will answer the OP's main point briefly. I first started experimenting with Linux [Ubuntu] in 2004 but didn't get round to using it as my main OS till 2017. I went from Ubuntu to Debian and stuck with Debian. I also run Slackware on my second computer, which I've been learning on and off since last summer.

I can offer some contemporary community comparisons, if it's of any interest at all. The Mint forums are very helpful to people, and it's great that Linux has a distro like Mint to make it accessible. Community is a big part of distro use and distro enjoyment. I don't use Mint anymore - I played with it briefly - but I come here to help out or comment every so often. I think it's a nice relaxed place for people, though there is a lot of fluff [i.e. useless posts].

The Debian community is an interesting place. When I joined I was pretty much hit head on with RTFM. This was an asset. There are some people who would be deterred by this, but it taught me to read around and have confidence to do things for myself. As a result, I can now sort of most of my own problems in Debian and help other users. The Debian community is rather critical though, posters do get torn apart sometimes on the forums, they have little patience. It's not really a place one goes to 'shoot the breeze' like here. Having said that, I have noticed the quality of help deteriorating there. There are still some very knowledgeable posters, but the overall standard has dropped.

The Slackware community is smaller still but very knowledgeable and supportive, there are some very high quality posters there. But since Slack only has one official board [i.e. no subforums] there is pretty much no chat at all.

One final thing - I don't know if I agree with this idea of 'elitism'. If a poster is being derided for using a 'baby distro', that just says they're on the wrong forum. That's the kind of comment one would expect at 4chan, not any serious Linux board. Some people criticise Debian for having too many elitist posters in its forums, though it's more to do with the fact that people come to Debian with unrealistic expectations when it's just not suitable for their level of knowledge or the amount of work they're willing to put in.

The criticism of elitism hasn't been levelled against Slack as far as I can see, probably because it attracts a different demographic.
Debian 9.4 / Slackware 14.2

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Re: When did you come to Linux?

Post by Derek_S » Wed Feb 28, 2018 6:54 pm

Back in the spring of 2013, I bought an HP Envy laptop that had Windows 8 pre-installed, and I hated Windows 8 right from the start. So I began to look for an alternative OS. For about 6 months I used openSUSE, and although I found it to be a stable and reliable OS, I never really warmed up to the KDE desktop. Then I discovered Linux Mint with the Cinnamon desktop, and I've been using it ever since.
"When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself." - Tecumseh

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Re: When did you come to Linux?

Post by MurphCID » Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:17 am

Lysander666 wrote:
Wed Feb 28, 2018 10:34 am
I find this post very interesting. You are not addressing distributions as such but community support. In the first paragraph you say you wanted to get Mandrake to work but you were derided for using it - on which forum was this? Did Mandrake not have it own forum back then? There is some important information missing for context.
I can't recall what forum it was anymore. I tried to find it, and it no longer exists AFAIK. If there was community support, I did not know how to find it back then, since it was new both to the internet and Linux. As for elitism, it was back in the day where I got snubbed. However, as I said the Slackware users really were a different group, and it was the Debian users who rubbed everyone's nose in the obvious superiority of "apt-get" over any other system. With wife and new kids, I did not have the time to RTFM at the time, so I left. I think that the problem for me anyway, was that Linux was just too different from DOS for me to make the switch easily back then. I tried FreeBSD, and PCBSD, and they were just not what I could handle, or needed.
Last edited by Moem on Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Trimming a quote

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Re: When did you come to Linux?

Post by CaptainKirksChair » Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:45 pm

I have a Dell Latitude E6400 laptop I *ahem!* "acquired" from a previous employer. (They let me go and when I tried to return the hardware (4 times!) no one would take it.) My other computers were all Windows and I kept hearing about Linux, though not necessarily Mint. I'd known about RedHat and SuSe but never bothered. I was unemployed at the time (2011-2012, bad times) and I was looking at finding more tech-oriented things to enhance my resume'. Someone suggested Linux and I ended up at the Ubuntu website. I downloaded and created a LiveUSB of Ubuntu 12.04. I thought, "This is WAY easier than Windows!" So I just wiped out the HD on the laptop and installed it. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. But being a techno-dweeb from way back I know that I can learn any system if I really want to. The problem was I was Windows-jaded. I didn't want the window control buttons on the left, I wanted them on the right. I didn't want the task bar on the left, I wanted it on the bottom. And so on.

As I look back I now know that was completely unfair but understandable. I thought it was more Mac-like and couldn't comprehend why Ubuntu would want to duplicate the look and feel of a Mac. (Which is weird because that is what I have now with Mint and Cairo-Dock.) I remember making a concerted effort to not just learn but to use Ubuntu. I took that laptop everywhere. It worked but it just wasn't right. So I gave up on Ubuntu and tried Zorin. I hadn't learned all that much about installation and configuration of Linux and I really tried to understand HD partitioning in Linux. Zorin was more like Windows so I was more comfortable with it than with Ubuntu. I gave up on Linux about 6 month after I finally got a job (2013).

Around this time I was an active participant in a blog and one of the posters commented about why anyone would be using any Microsoft or Apple software. He'd switched to Linux Mint and was happy he did. I thought, okay, give it a try. I installed 17.1, skipped 17.2, and settled on 17.3 for a while. It was exactly what I wanted. I liked the look of Cinnamon and that has been my choice for a DE since the beginning. I tried the others, mostly Mate, but always came back to Cinnamon. And it was SO configurable! It was a revelation.

I've installed Linux Mint on all of my computers, either stand-alone or dual boot to Windows 10. I am writing this on my iMac 9.1 with Mint 18.2 Cinnamon installed as the only operating system. It's my "daily driver" and I really don't bother with Windows except in extraordinary circumstances.

Thanks, Mint team. You have made computing worthwhile again. (BTW, I take a Mint LiveUSB with me wherever I go. I've actually had opportunities to use it; to fix a system or just show people Mint. Most people can't believe how simple it is compared to Windows.)

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Re: When did you come to Linux?

Post by Arch_Enemy » Thu Mar 01, 2018 9:43 pm

Started in 1998 with Caldera. Installed easily, worked, but...WHY is it doing THAT?!?!?!
Back to NT.
Got a hold of Mandrake. Nice! But....WHY is it doing THAT?!?!?!
Windows 2000
SuSE. Hey! It sees my hardware! It sees my network! (A Samsung 'tethered'). Then it would start with runaway disk access and blowing out Win 2000.
Then we started hopping. I can't remember what the software was now, but it was a Presentation package with a powerful image editor. $199-299 for Windows, free on Linux. Long since gone. Tried every distribution that had it. Sometimes it would work, sometimes it would start and die.
Found Mint in 2006, after Ubuntu. Boring. Then started my long love/hate affair with Arch. That package was still available in AUR, now long gone.
Boss said "Get something that WORKS, or reload Windows" and have been on Mint since (3 years). Still have Arch running every once in a while, but for work Mint is the key.
I have travelled 35629424162.9 miles in my lifetime

One thing I would suggest, create a partition a ~28G partition as /. Partition the rest as /Home.
When the system fails, reinstall and use the exact same username and all your 'stuff' comes back to you.

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Re: When did you come to Linux?

Post by Arch_Enemy » Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:07 pm

MurphCID wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:17 am
Lysander666 wrote:
Wed Feb 28, 2018 10:34 am
I find this post very interesting. You are not addressing distributions as such but community support. In the first paragraph you say you wanted to get Mandrake to work but you were derided for using it - on which forum was this? Did Mandrake not have it own forum back then? There is some important information missing for context.
I can't recall what forum it was anymore. I tried to find it, and it no longer exists AFAIK. If there was community support, I did not know how to find it back then, since it was new both to the internet and Linux. As for elitism, it was back in the day where I got snubbed. However, as I said the Slackware users really were a different group, and it was the Debian users who rubbed everyone's nose in the obvious superiority of "apt-get" over any other system. With wife and new kids, I did not have the time to RTFM at the time, so I left. I think that the problem for me anyway, was that Linux was just too different from DOS for me to make the switch easily back then. I tried FreeBSD, and PCBSD, and they were just not what I could handle, or needed.
I'm wondering if it was in the Newsgroups on Usenet.

I stumbled into a couple Linux groups, and for the most part they were helpful. I got a couple RTFMs, but for the most part they would offer suggestions and tips.

I was running SuSE at the time, and they were almost all completely amazed that a non-programmer/non-system admin was making a serious go of Linux...
I have travelled 35629424162.9 miles in my lifetime

One thing I would suggest, create a partition a ~28G partition as /. Partition the rest as /Home.
When the system fails, reinstall and use the exact same username and all your 'stuff' comes back to you.

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Re: When did you come to Linux?

Post by MurphCID » Fri Mar 02, 2018 4:02 pm

Arch_Enemy wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:07 pm
MurphCID wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:17 am
Lysander666 wrote:
Wed Feb 28, 2018 10:34 am
I'm wondering if it was in the Newsgroups on Usenet.

I stumbled into a couple Linux groups, and for the most part they were helpful. I got a couple RTFMs, but for the most part they would offer suggestions and tips.

I was running SuSE at the time, and they were almost all completely amazed that a non-programmer/non-system admin was making a serious go of Linux...
No, it was an internet forum.

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