My History With Linux

The first Linux piece I did was still under the old site layout. A review of SUSE 10.0 OSS that was in the media category for want of a better place. Although I did give me something to write about having it sitting there in the Media category never really felt right to me. What's more I realised that given the number of ideas I had Linux would probably end up drowning out everything else in Media. So I decided to redo the site layout, which I wasn't happy any more overall, and give Linux its own category.

I finally started using Linux (nearly) full time in August of 2004. It was my third attempt at switching and the first time it stuck. My first attempt was in 2000, using RedHat 6.0 and it didn't last very long. There were a few small driver difficulties with my then present hardware and more to the point I didn't really have enough hard-disk space to succesfully dualboot. It was easier to just get rid of Linux and use all my limited space for Windows.

Fastforward to 2002. I decided to try again and bought a RedHat 7.3 boxed set. I remember it was raining the day that I bought it, typical Dutch september weather. I can trace back a post, by me, on that shows I was working with it in the first half of that month. By Sept 14 I had, with three days of working on it, gotten my Alcatel Speedtouch USB modem to work. I was dual booting Windows and Redhat, but probably mostly Windows, with all my familiar software.I do know I found amsn as an alternative to normal msn at that point. At least I'm pretty sure I did, and I could do quite a bit with Linux. But again all my software and files were present under Windows more easliy than under Linux.

In November I ended up using Linux only for a shortwhile after a hard-disk crash. The new HD had Windows installed after I bought it and I no longer had grub on bootup, my only way into RedHat was a bootfloppy, which fell into disuse pretty soon after. I discovered some things, like preferring KDE to Gnome at this point, and learned quite a few Linux basics, but not enough to keep me on Linux.

I decided to give it another try in July of 2004 and bought a book about Linux. I started by trying out my old RedHat 7.3 again, but quickly found it was out of date. RedHat had by then split into RedHat Enterprise Linux and Fedora Core, and after trying several other distro's as well I settled on Fedora as my first really used distro.

Starting with August of 2004 I'm pretty sure I spent more time on Linux than I did on Windows, and as time past after that booting into Windows became a less and less frequent occurence. These days I often don't see Windows for weeks on end, sometimes a month or more.

So what changed between 2002 and 2004? I'm not sure. One of the big facilitators for the switch to Linux was probably my switch to Firefox and Thunderbird on Windows. I could now literally use the same software I already had been using for Webbrowsing and E-mail. I even managed to import my bookmarks and get all my saved mail from Windows. The book I bought, Teach Yourself Linux by Robert Billing, also helped a lot. And finally I had my experience from the previous tries to fall back on.

About this site
Contact me