Story: Why People Like LinuxTotal Replies: 3
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Mar 14, 2006
10:01 PM EDT
Someone I met online summed it up nicely for me:

"Thing is, with Windows, when you first get it, everything is bright and shiny and WOW! - but then you discover the warts and the experience goes downhill from there. With Linux, when you get it, you see the warts, but then you start realizing the good stuff, and the experience just gets better and better." -- Les Bell http://www.lesbell.com.au/Home.nsf/Linux?OpenView

But then, he's one of those folks who lives down under. You can't really take someone seriously when they have to wear a velcro suit to stay on the planet.


Mar 15, 2006
12:19 AM EDT
That is brilliant. I've stayed up WAY too late figuring that out myself...'97-'98. And I was a late bloomer.

It is getting so "Better & Better" that I am literally feeling left behind, even though I stay on top of the latest developments on at least a weekly basis.

This thing is bigger than any one of us can acknowledge it to be, at least individually. Though some of us are more adept than others. (Thanks Tom, you are a fantastic editor!)

Personally, I suffer from a lack of self-esteem, not a lack of attitude or even technical ability. Wrong forum for my personal psychoanalysis.

Check this out, it is certainly worthy of its own thread: http://ianmurdock.com/?p=47

Mar 15, 2006
5:30 AM EDT
Thanks for that link; I had never read that from Murdock before.

"97-'98"? Is that about when you were beginning to use GNU/Linux? If so, it's about the same time frame I started. That may have been one of the many growth spurts in Linux use. Maybe someday, someone will be able to plot such things and what influenced them. Take a look at http://edge-op.org/images/timeline.png (The name is misleading, it looks more like an onion slice. Try not to laugh, I'm not an artist. That was done a few years ago in answer to a barrage of questions by a guy who was nervously considering a dual-boot).

That 3rd ring out is when GNU/Linux became easy enough for a great many people to use without having to already be coders and admins. It also has to do with availability, but the process Murdock talks about in that article you linked yields a geometric progression in ease of use and therefore the potential audience likewise grows.

(Yeah, I know, obvious stuff. But there be newbies about! http://www.wired.com/wired/5.08/linux.html )

Mar 15, 2006
10:14 AM EDT
Yeah, I was introduced in early '97. It took a while before I actually got it installed...I think it was after I took an intermediate Unix (AIX/Korn shell) course and understood the power of the *nix shells. Prior to that, I had been a DOS guy, followed by Windows, naturally. But, Windows started deprecating the shell...

My internet experience began way earlier...around '90...with a shell account at the university I went to, where we had to use Pine on a DEC VAX system to get read our assignments from our professor. That led me to dialing BBS's from home and telneting to different servers (I used to surf porn on the command line...not kidding). This was pre-web. Then came Mosaic...then AOL (don't laugh, it was novel at the time, and one of the only ways to really take advantage of WWW). I didn't learn to program until '97, and it was that that really got me interested in Linux. Perl, in particular, has been the most influential technology in my life (Thanks Larry!!!). Learning Perl was really a huge factor in my adopting Linux. From then on I was sold 100%, and have been a staunch advocate ever since. I would stay up getting AfterStep or Enlightenment tweaked at home, and when the company I was at needed Bind and SMTP services, guess who became the sysadmin? When the non-technical staff needed to administer those services (and others), guess who wrote Perl interfaces to automate things for them? I can go on and on and on...

For some reason, your post brought back a flood of memories for me. I had forgotten how much I have already forgotten about Linux. Being part of the PROCESS that Ian talks about has been an extremely important part of my life. I have not contributed to the kernel, or any real linux development for that matter. What I have been doing is using GNU/Linux and its related software packages to solve real-world business problems in production environments, and I have been the first to do so in many of those environments.

I'm proud to be part of the process.

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