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View Full Version : Lest we forget how far we have come...


k4dgw
26th November 2004, 09:26 AM
Some where in my boxes I still have a copy of O'Reillys, Running Linux with Red Hat 2.1 CDROMs. This all dates from the 1996 time frame. I had played with Linux some before that, but I never really used it fully till about 2 or 3 years ago. After all these YEARS of experience, I still am not a guru. Heck, I never have had a successful kernal compile. Back in the early days, that was a requirement to get to additional features. Before that I had tried Slackware, it came with many of the books about Linux. I remember the first computer I bought, I specifically upgraded to the ATI Mach 64 video card, because it was supported by XFree86 and it was the next big thing.

Many of the discussions in the news groups surrounded getting your directory listings to come back in color or the concept of mounting and umounting. How to get the new Windows 95 to live a play well with Windows 3.1 and Linux. It seemed to me that it was the gurus who were running the XFree and gui's. Everyone else was on the command line. Once I got the gui working (window managers like fvwm or fvwm-95) then I dealt with PPP, printing (a real nightmare if you did not have a very expensive laser printer, I had a cheap, windows inkjet printer), and sound. I never did really get sound to work at that time, as I had an Ensoniq sound card. My first big install where a lot of things worked out-of-the-box was Caldera (can't remember the release, 2.2 maybe). It was amazing for me to be able to click a button and then connect with Linux. I still couldn't print though.

What I wanted to pass on, is how much Linux has grown. All as the result of a lot of people's hard work. CUPS had a huge impact on the ability to print, as arts has had a big impact on sound issues. While folks are sitting around talking about what is wrong, and what doesn't work, I think it is worth while to take a moment and talk about what all has been accomplished. Do you have any favorite stories you would like to share?

imdeemvp
26th November 2004, 11:36 AM
Thanks for your reflections. I just hope linux will be a major player in future for new home pc's. At the moment we have one big guy making all the money and linux is cathing on step by step.

When I go to any computer store I always check if they have any systems displaying linux and to my surprise I will see one or two. PC club displays red hat 9 on a laptop and Fry's has low cost desktop. I am not a guru but I love the stability linux offers me.

So far all my hardware works great with linux and that includes a canon bjc 3000 and my laptop is fairly new and all peripheral work except for wirless which I dont use at all.

crackers
26th November 2004, 06:31 PM
The only "favorite" story would be the days spent figuring out how to get an enchanced Thomas Conrad ARCnet card to work with the 1.2 kernel. Each kernel compilation took about 16 hours (I did three of those) and, in the end, all I needed to do was move a jumper on the NIC - which I promptly documented and sent to the ARCnet driver maintainer for inclusion in the documentation.

sideways
27th November 2004, 01:47 AM
Yeah k4dgw. I remember those days. Went through many an installation (text only in those days) of slackware early cd sets. Although I remember Xwindows working on PCs since the early 90s. I was just amazed to get an environment that looked like my college's Sparc workstations. Even experimented with X11 programming (aarrrgghhh!).

The gnu compiler was one of the main attractions. But I'm ashamed to admit, that one of the first things I'd do upon getting Xwindows up and running was to install xsnow and xeyes, and get everyone nearby to watch a demo. (How sad!!)

PRESENT DAY
Fedora's disto of linux end of 2004 is AWESOME, if it wasn't for gaming requirements (directx) I'd have little reason to boot up windowsXP now. (Well, maybe also for that odd Visual.Net project I'm forced to work on)

Dog-One
27th November 2004, 04:08 AM
I remember browsing at my University Bookstore and seeing a CD of Red Hat Linux 3.something. I grabbed the last copy for $9.95, took it home and promptly installed it on my Compaq Presario 75MHz Pentium machine. After a week or so trying to get everything to work and get familar with the differences between Linux, Solaris and BSD 4.3, I was able to connect over my 14.4 modem into the University and run via X11, a heavyweight CAD/CAM package remotely. It was a little slow, but it worked and it saved me serveral days of driving 140 miles to get some work done. I can still remember how in shock I was by that experience. And once I realized that I could freely download the software that I had paid a mere ten dollars for, it hit me--this stuff is going to be big someday.

Seven years has past since that time; M$, Linux and the hardware has matured considerably since then. My only regret is that some of the big projects I built along the way didn't get the Linux touch that I would have liked.

crackers
27th November 2004, 07:39 AM
Went through many an installation (text only in those days) of slackware early cd sets.
CD? Dude, I'm talking 3-1/2" floppies! DOZENS of them!

Then, after downloading X1-X10 disk images over the 2400 baud modem, I find out that my graphics card wasn't supported under X (thank you, Diamond) - my first run-in with the "no users/no vendor support" chicken-and-egg problem. That didn't actually bother me too much, since I was a CLI kinda guy back then anyway. :D

Shadow Skill
27th November 2004, 10:09 AM
Hmm the old timer's stories sure are frightening. D Gives me a whole new perspective on the progress of Linux as it is though.

ghaefb
27th November 2004, 01:33 PM
I remember installing RedHat 5.1 on my machine for the first time.
It was like I was on another planet :)
I had no idea what was I doing, so I explored the OS (as root of course) and I must say I learned alot... after reinstalling it for the 10th time :p

I know some day I will install that RH 5.1 again, just for fun.

Myra
27th November 2004, 07:19 PM
I remember instaling Red Hat 3 (I think it was) from the "InfoMagic Linux Developers Resource" kit... anyone remember those? It had several distro's in 1 big CD pack: slackware, SUSE and Red Hat. Red Hat was the easiest and most purty, so I choose to install that.

Whoa, the sheer power and amazement of owning your own Unix system! The ability to compile your own MUD (those are text-only MMORPG's which were big back in the days when the internet was text only) an running it, while multitasking without sweating, was astonishing.

Linux kept amazing me... For example, when Red Hat 8.0 was released with Bluecurve... :o Wow, I thought, this looks better than anything, except maybe MacOS X.

crackers
27th November 2004, 08:50 PM
Anyone remember gopher, archie, and veronica? Talk about the "wild west" days... ;)

sailor
27th November 2004, 09:00 PM
I have a copy of Mandrake 6 that I bought many years ago, that totally broke my computer (and turned me off to linux for many years).
I remember using gopher, telnet back in the days before the Internet. A friend down the street used to run a BBS on his Amiga puter, but the Internet pretty much killed that.
Ah..the good old days...:p

sideways
27th November 2004, 09:53 PM
Anyone remember gopher, archie, and veronica? Talk about the "wild west" days... ;)


hahah, yeah, gopher, I'll never forget that demo that showed you how to find a restaurant based on your preferences (press 1. etc), does anyone still use gopher?

Varkk
28th November 2004, 03:42 AM
I remember spending many hours getting my machine to run RH6.0 ah the fun time of compiling and recompiling X11 libraries to get my video card to work.

crackers
28th November 2004, 04:44 AM
And people wonder why I don't compile kernels any more... It's because I don't have to!

/me does happy dance...

Uhlix
28th November 2004, 05:22 AM
I remember installing RedHat 5.1 on my machine for the first time.
It was like I was on another planet :)
I had no idea what was I doing, so I explored the OS (as root of course) and I must say I learned alot... after reinstalling it for the 10th time :p

I know some day I will install that RH 5.1 again, just for fun.

that was about the time i first checked out linux.

You guys are going to get a big kick out of this story.

Ok, so i wanted to be some kind of l33t h4k0r, did alot of reading and studying diffrent things. Most of everything said, you gotta have linux.

So what do i do? yup you guessed it went to the library and rented a linux book that came with a full install CD (have no clue on what disto).

I was staying at my uncles house at the time, he owns a pretty successful electronics/appliance store chain.

I asked if i could use his computer to install this new program i got.

anyone guess what happened next?

<>are you absolutly SURE you want to do this?><

well...i think so...

yep...everything was lost =p

He keeps all his finacal info on paper to this day after that.

I did however learn my lesson.

-Uh
ps. i eventually grew out of the whole h4k tha w0rld thing =)

chiku31
28th November 2004, 11:18 AM
Yeap! I agree that linux had come a long way since my first experience with redhat linux 7.0 which I had bought form OfiiceDepot back like around 3-4 years ago. For the past few years I had switch back and fort between linux and windows and Windows is had always been my primary workstation due to the fact that each time I switch to linux and there is always something that I wasn't able to get linux work with some of the hardware or there is just not enough features in linux to fullfill my need such as multimedia support . However, this is not true anymore; recently I had just installed FC3 in my new AMD XP 2600 desktop and everything is working flawlessly. After a little tweaking, I had a wonderful linux box that does almost everything I basically want. I think Windows will pretty soon leave my house within the two or three release of FC. Finally I must say thank you to all these people who take their time(mostly their spare time) to build a wonderful OS like Linux so everyboday can enjoy the beauty of open source. Of course also thank you to all these people who willing to give support and help other linux newbies to get their linux machine running (thank you to all people who sign up this forum, I was able to troubleshoot a lot of my FC problem by seraching through this forum).

One last thing I would like to say to some linux newbies. Please don't give up so soon if linux doesn't work at the first shoot for you. Try search the internet a little bit and you solve a lot of encountered problems. Besides after fixing a problem makes one feel good and confident, you actually can learn a lot about the way that a computer work and you will soon become a advance computer user.

crackers
28th November 2004, 06:56 PM
One last thing I would like to say to some linux newbies. Please don't give up so soon if linux doesn't work at the first shoot for you. Try search the internet a little bit and you solve a lot of encountered problems. Besides after fixing a problem makes one feel good and confident, you actually can learn a lot about the way that a computer work and you will soon become a advance computer user.
I just wanted to repeat this and add a little bit - FC is a hobbyist release, which means there are problems and you have to "fix" them yourself. This is true of other non-commercial distributions, like Slack, Debian, Gentoo, etc. If you want the total "out-of-the-box" experience like Windows, you go buy a supported distribution like RH, Novell/Suse, Linspire (ugh), or Lycoris.

k4dgw
29th November 2004, 04:32 AM
On that note, I tried Xandros, and it was impressive out-of-the-box experience. They are the folks that bought Corel Linux. Corel was impressive, that after first boot, you had working internet access and SAMBA already setup. Impressive begining. My problem with Xandros was that you could not stray to far from the path. I tried editing the menus and it just borked. But for an enterprise system, it would be nice.

Back to the topic, I usually installed a second hard drive, and used it for the linux installation. After trying a couple of distributions, slackware (which was WAY out of my skill set at the time) and Red Hat, I ended up staying with Red Hat. I never did get printing to work, and PPP was real hit or miss for me at the time. Then I installed Caldera, and everything just worked. I was very impressed. I stayed with Caldera (all this time had been dual booting, and I still had things I couldn't do in Linux) for quite some time, until their releases really slowed down. This was right before the SCO merger. So after that I ended up trying some Mandrake. Their downloads were kinda hit or miss, but when I bought a copy of it (don't recall the release, something prior to 9 though) at Best Buy, it worked a lot better than the download versions. It implied to me they fixed things in it, that they did not fix in the download. Hmmmmm.....

Anyway, I stayed with that until they really started pushing the Mandrake Club stuff, and then I started trying different distros. I kept coming back to Red Hat, but everytime I did, stuff was SO broke. I re-call installing a new release of Red Hat, 7 something I think, and it could not even sort out the ethernet internet connection, that the other two distributions did just fine. This had happened to me a lot with Red Hat, I just consistently had a bad out of the box experience. This happened once, after I left Caldera, and then again after I was fed up with Mandrake and try Red Hat again. So I ended up picking up a copy of Xandros, and I liked it, but it had growing pains. If you wanted to stick with their setup, it worked GREAT. Everything worked, media, sound, CD player, but you would often end up using their programs. They eventually had more selections (you could pick up some extra sources from Debian repositories) but I wandered back from that to Fedora 2, and now to 3.

I have this on several machines now, and I will probably stay with this for a while. If I wander anywhere else, it will probably be to check out Debian. Looks like an interesting distribution, and as the bases for Xandros, it was quite impressive. Take care and have a good one, I have really enjoyed the stoies in the thread.

yr2alex
29th November 2004, 06:30 PM
Hmm the old timer's stories sure are frightening. D Gives me a whole new perspective on the progress of Linux as it is though.

My sentiments exactly only the word appreciation comes to mind instead of perspective. Nevertheless, as far as perspective goes Linux has and will have a great future full of advancement and technological innovation. This can be attributed to the basic principles/ philosophies that it embodies, fun and stable computing. The only investment is time... The time that I've spent with Linux is worth is weight in gold.

sailor
29th November 2004, 06:43 PM
Xandros is pretty impressive, but it is limiting on what you can use/install etc...it was the first distro that I had no problems out of the box, Suse 8.2 was the next ( I still like suse 9.1)
but FC 3 is my main system, but I wish it had something like Yast....no flaming please :p

Shadow Skill
29th November 2004, 07:10 PM
What exactly is so good about YaST anyway and don't worry I will give them something more worth flaming me over..I believe fedora should have a way of registering all installed components so that you can install a program any way you see fit. Just because the windows registry is craptapular doesn't mean the idea itself is bad.. Prepares to be flamed and have people tell him "But rpm works fine!!"

digitalchaos
29th November 2004, 08:55 PM
Well, if you insist, But rpm works fine!!.

I remember the first time I tried out linux,
-little flashback cut scene-
A long time ago, on a computer way too slow.
It was redhat 6, my first experience with linux and man did I love it. The problem was that it was a family computer and noone else in the house could use it, and I did not know how to use it very well to make it appropriate for everyone. Not a very good story but whatever.

-D

ps: I was scrounging threw some boxes and I found all three Redhat 7.1 books I printed off, spiral bound and all.

sailor
2nd December 2004, 09:40 PM
what is wrong with yast?
the fact that you think it "not that great" makes me think you haven't worked with it that much...
*yast handles dependancies much better than any other package manager that i have used.
*it also incorporates YOU (yast online update) which was a snap to install nvidia drivers, and nvidia performs better on the suse system than FC.
*i was able to point YAST at kde repo to update to kde 3.3 in minutes.
*you can adjust the bootloader from within yast
* in fact all admin functions are handle from within yast
I am sure there are more things I could mention, but those are only the ones I recently used.
Synaptic is headed in that direction as is Yum...so whats your beef..:p
The only problem I can see is that it costs $ and doesn't provide much more than FC provides except that it is easier to setup/config.

dickinsd
2nd December 2004, 10:17 PM
My first install was Caldera Linux, I forget the kernel version.

I installed Linux for the first time back in 99 I think.

I remember going through the install, and when I got to the end there was a game of Tetris to play whilst the files where been installed to the HDD, I couldn't believe it.
I thought it was great! When I booted into the GUI for the first time I remember thinking WOW.
The display was nice, it wasn't as crisp as my Windows install but it was pretty nice.
I spent about 6 hours going through all the themes and windows styles it had, and trying all the games.
Then it came to connecting to my Uni network - NO

I could not get the damn network card to work to save my life.

I couldn't get it to work back then and when I tried to install it about 3 weeks ago just for the sake, I couldn't get it to work with nearly everything in my new laptop. (and it cocked up somewhere and wiped out my windows partition :(

I have used a few different Linux distributions over the years since and I have never really got very far. Linux has never been installed very long on my machines as I can never get it to do what I want, if I did not need it for some programming work I was doing at Uni, it would not have been installed as many times as it has been.

Then about 3 weeks ago (pretty much the day after Caldera destroyed my Windows partition) I tried some new Linux distro's (about 5/6 over the course of 3/4 days)

I was amazed at how far it had all come - in the sense that nearly all my hardware worked. I settled for FC2, I got that doing what I wanted it to do pretty quick. I was happy.
But I fell out with it, deleted its partition and installed FC3 in its place.

I've had a few problems along the way (as most of you probably know :o ) but I am very happy with it. If it wasn't for my ties to Windows (Games and some work I do) I think FC3 might be on my desktop as well by now!

Dave

mikelbeck
13th December 2004, 05:29 PM
Pffht. Newbies! :rolleyes:

The first Linux kernel I installed (sometime in 1993, I think) was downloaded from ftp.helsinki.fi (Linus's ftp server). I ran that for a while, with daily patches from Linus. I'm pretty sure I had to get those with ftpmail, as I don't think I had a direct internet connection back then.

Then I moved on to the Slackware 1.0 kernel release in early 1994. 50 or so floppies, if I remember correctly!

I'm working on getting Aurora/Fedora running on one of my Sparc boxes right now. It's come a long way since 1993!

crackers
14th December 2004, 05:54 AM
Pffht. Newbies! :rolleyes:
Watch it, bub. There's at least one other one that's there with you... ;)

Kernel 0.99 or something like that. And I got it through gopher.

crossfire
3rd January 2005, 11:40 PM
I remember instaling Red Hat 3 (I think it was) from the "InfoMagic Linux Developers Resource" kit... anyone remember those? It had several distro's in 1 big CD pack: slackware, SUSE and Red Hat. Red Hat was the easiest and most purty, so I choose to install that.

Whoa, the sheer power and amazement of owning your own Unix system! The ability to compile your own MUD (those are text-only MMORPG's which were big back in the days when the internet was text only) an running it, while multitasking without sweating, was astonishing.

Linux kept amazing me... For example, when Red Hat 8.0 was released with Bluecurve... :o Wow, I thought, this looks better than anything, except maybe MacOS X.

Wow, I remember that I have installled RH 4.1 and Slackware 3.2 from Infomagic pack (6 CDs set). Remember that I installed RH for 1st time and notest what are this dirs /usr /var /lost+found ? ? lol