My Linux Saga…Chapter One

Ok, so I don’t fit in the demographic of Linux desktop users from the survey. They’re in their 20s…but if you want to think of me as in my 20s, you can indeed think of me as that.
I’ve been interested in Linux for some time. Ever since the first commercial version of Linux appeared on the Egghead Software store shelves for a lot under $100 and included everything you needed to set up a web server with a web store, including credit card processing…for under $100.
And there were these rumors that Linux could run on PCs much too old to run the current version of Windows.
So I picked up the box and took the little penguin home with me. And I TRIED…let me say that again…I TRIED to load it on a PC. I got so far, then couldn’t get further.
Turned out that all the instructions were written by pimple-ridden fifteen year olds who constantly reminded you in their instructions to be sure to “read the instructions” before asking questions. The implication was that they would find you and do something monsterous to your computer or email if you dared to ask a newbie (uninitiated user) question.
Well, you can be sure that I wasn’t likely to put my own business on the line for support by fifteen year olds…OK, maybe some of them were in college and maybe they didn’t have pimples…I was just being facetious (don’t send me an email unless you know what this word means without looking it up in a dictionary…and don’t comment on the blog entry for this post if you even THOUGHT about looking it up…OR if you’re under 40…OR if you own an Apple computer…OR if your mother lives in the house with you…OR worse still, if you live in the house with her).
See what I mean? It’s nasty to be reminded that you’re ignorant with the insinutation that you might just be stupid or have sub-human intelligence.
Anyway, that has nothing to do with Linux. Except for the sub-human intelligence part.
Linux was too risky, to put it mildly.
Today, several years…maybe a decade later…I realize something. I don’t know much more about the innards of Windows XP and Windows Vista than I do about Linux. And when I need to know something about the innards of them, I look it up on the Internet.
It takes a different midset and a different set of skills to look up the answer for Linux. But, frankly, I’m not finding it too difficult. And I’m impressed with the ease of use.
So I went out and bought a $400 laptop. I spent three days downloading the DVDs of Debian (only the first of which I have used). I loaded Linux the first time on my PC. I figured out how to review disk partitions and configure things and look at network configurations. I’ve loaded a new browser…FireFox. I’m relearning vi — the text editor — and learning bash as well as Linux command language.
I’m reading Thomas Merton at the same time. And Linux hasn’t yet made me want to become a hermit like Merton. That time may be just around the corner. Who knows.
For now, I think Linux is pretty neat.
I’m not ready to run a business with it or to propose it for any clients. But I’m thinking and learning.
What do you think about Linux?
Who Are the Linux Desktop Users?