Now, before I regale you with my latest tale, I should point out that I have been using Linux since the early 1990s when you did have to be a rocket scientist to install it. In fact many of the early network drivers for the 3Com boards came out of NASA and their use of Linux. Compiling applications was routine and debugging the compile errors usually took longer than the actual process of compiling. If you were going to use Linux with more than what the distribution installed for you (which was sometimes barely more than the kernel, a shell and vi or emacs), you had to be smart. I installed a number of Slackware and Red Hat systems during the early days, mainly for fun, eventually settling on the Red Hat model for my preferred distribution.