May 13, 2009

The First... Hopefully Not the Last

OK, so here I am. Like I really need a new place to express myself. Well, what the heck... it's not like boards/forums/USENET aren't enough to keep me occupied. I've been a forum junkie since the very first day I joined the cyber community.

This blog, which probably won't get updated regularly, will probably just be my every day, ho-hum prattle about Linux and other things; some related and some not. I'm new to this blogging thing. This is actually my first attempt at one. Bear with me.

My GNU/Linux Story

Back around summer of '06 or so, I was once again screaming and gnashing teeth over the fact that an installation of a Windows update patch had cataclysmically destroyed my system once again. It was the fourth such occurrence in as many years. It wouldn't be stretching it to say that I was a bit peeved.

I had been playing around with the idea of trying out Linux for quite a few years. I even had a Mandrake floppy installation set laying around in one of my desk drawers. It had been there for a few years already. I didn't think I wanted to use something that old.

Instead, at the behest of a couple pals from my board, The Cabin In the Woods (, Urmas and Frank Golden, I tried Ubuntu Dapper Drake (6.06). Another pal from the Avant Browser Support Forum (, Sweet Lou, was trying to get me to try Debian Etch, which was a "Sid" version at that time. It was a bit too complicated for a new Linux Adventurer.

Ubuntu worked out well. After a few jerks and stalls, I got it installed and working. I spent a few days learning Gnome and customizing the set up. I'm big on customization. The more an app allows for customization, the more I'm apt to like it, which is also the reason I love KDE these days.

Once I had Ubuntu up and running the way I wanted it, it was time to explore other possibilities. I spent the next few months downloading and installing numerous distributions. I got pretty proficient at it, actually. Ha! Along the way, I received much assistance from Bruno and the gang at Scot's Newsletter Forums --> All Things Linux ( and from Jeremy and the fine folks at the forums (

The Linux community is awesome! I'll pass along a bit of wisdom to new Linux Adventurers: please don't expect the community to spoon feed you everything you need to know. The more effort you expend to find your own answers, the more you'll benefit yourself and the more others will respect you. After you've searched for your information (Google is your friend!), then come here and post a question. Explain what you've found out on your own. Asking for advice in this way will be much more productive than just saying, Like wow, dude. How do I boot the Live CD?"

Anyway, back to the story... I installed and played around with many, many distributions over those first few months as a new Adventurer. Here's a partial list from memory: Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora Core, OpenSuSE, Slackware, Vector Linux, Zenwalk (the first distro where I compiled my own kernel), Mint Linux, Mepis, Foresight Linux, Centos, Arch, Ark, Slax, Puppy, etc.

I stuck with two: Slackware is my primary operating system. Debian is my back up operating system. I still have MS Windows XP Pro on my system, but it has no network capabilities. It's only for game playing. For all else, Slackware serves me admirably. 

I have five experimental slots (10 partitions) available on one of my drives specifically to play around with other distros. Lately, I've been playing around with Arch, Ark, and Centos. One of these days, I'm going to try Gentoo and LFS. I had a bad experience with Gentoo a few years ago, but that's a whole 'nother story.

Every morning, I boot into Slackware and the world is a wonderful place. I owe a lot to MS for herding me headlong into this situation. Ha! Seriously though, I most definitely owe a debt to my pals who pushed me into it and the folks who've helped me along the way. I'm not at all what you would consider a Linux guru, but I try my best to assist other... to pay back a little of what I've received over the years.

See you next time...

~V. T. Eric Layton

***Tempus Fugits***

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