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A Personal History

Linux Counter #10540

I started using Linux in 1994.  I wanted Unix (or UNIX(TM), as we were supposed to say, "back in the day"); but I got Linux.  Well, I chose Linux.  Why? If I had to pick one reason, it would be: because of the great documentation for newbies.  That is, there didn't seem be any of that for BSD; and there was for Linux.  Even in the simple matter of preparing the hard disk: I knew from my MS-DOS days what partitions were; but what on earth were these "slices" that the BSD docs talked about?

I tried out MCC Interim Linux, but the first distribution I installed was SLS, way back in June 1994.  I then moved on to Slackware (logical, but also there was not a whole lot of choice in those days), and there I stayed.  I stayed with Slackware 11.0 for many years — it was the last version where sound worked the way I wanted.  Well, where sounds worked "out of the box", period, on my hardware (various old IBM Thinkpads) at any rate.

In late 2014, I moved to OpenBSD. The reason I started using Linux in the first place was, as I said above, that I wanted an inexpensive (well, let's be honest: free; the cheapest Unix-like those days was Coherent, for £99 + VAT), open Unix, and Linux seemed (and indeed was) far more accessible than BSD.  But times change, and as Linux moved farther away from its Unix heritage, so it became less suitable for me. Eventually, I took the plunge.  Adios Linux.  It was a good twenty years!


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