Saturday, July 28, 2007

First Post

Well, this is my first blog post. As the title of this blog suggests, I use Linux as my primary desktop (laptop) operating system, and largely depend on "free" software ( such as, LyX, and GNU Octave to complete my daily work. Why do I use Linux? Mostly because I find other operating systems too boring. I like to tinker, and Linux makes it easy for me to do just that. In addition, Linux tends to support a wider variety of useful desktop hardware than, say, FreeBSD, if only because more people use Linux and it has a higher coolness quotient today.

My first encounter with Linux was when I purchased a Linux book from the local Tower bookstore and tried installing the included Red Hat Linux 5.0 on an eMachines eTower 266 (which came with 32 MB of memory and a 2.1 GB hard drive - stone age technology!) The installation didn't go so well, and not having any other computers to play with, I gave up on Linux for a while.

A couple years later, I purchased a cheap used desktop (in the $50 range, IIRC) and used Debian Linux 3.1. That was fun for a while, but (perhaps due to constantly swapping the 7 Debian CDs over and over) the CD-ROM drive gave out. That computer was generally losing it anyway so I moved on to a low-end Fry's "Great Quality"-brand desktop PC (either 128 or 256 MB ram, 1.1 GHz). The computer came with "ThizLinux" pre-installed and the supplied manual (surprise, surprise) was mostly instructions on how to remove Linux and install Windows. Instead, I purchased a copy of Slackware Linux 9 and got an nVidia video card to use instead of the onboard SiS graphics (which were only partially compatible with Linux). That computer lasted me through high school, and a month or two ago I moved on to a Dell D400 notebook (which I purchased used) running Windows XP, then Ubuntu 7.04, and now Slackware 12. Getting Slack 12 up and running was a small challenge in and of itself, so I intend to write a short piece about that.

Well, that's it for now.

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