Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (4633 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] Re: Goodbye to suse and why not stay, The Linux Wall
  • From: Michael Nelson <michaelnel@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 26 Dec 2006 09:14:43 -0800
  • Message-id: <20061226171443.GA25380@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On Tue, Dec 26, 2006 at 10:38:10AM -0600, John Pierce wrote:
> Back about 1998 I was a newbie, I remember my first install and the
> fun I had. I installed Redhat downloaded and did the rpm install. I
> got the the log in prompt and logged in as root. I had no clue how to
> do even a simple directory listing. I went back to windows and surfed
> the web, i found some documentation about the man command and one
> suggested to type man ls. Imagine what I learned.

Heh... memories.

Before the www and Linux was around, I had been running FidoNet BBS systems
on DOS and OS/2. I got laid off from my job and decided I wanted to learn
something completely new (to me), so I decided to install Unix. A friend
had a set of Esix floppies... 54 1.44MB floppies that made up a basic
install of Everex's brand of AT&T SystemVR4 Unix.

I installed it. Aside from the fact that it took 18 hours to do from
floppies (and I had to do it three times because of random floppy read
errors), when it was finished and I logged in, all I saw was "$". X?
GUI? You've gotta be kidding, this was a text mode only install.

Not encouraging.

I had read somewhere that the "ls" command worked like DOS's "dir", and I
had also learned about the "man" command. But for a while, all I could do
was log in and type "ls", and "man man", "man ls"...

Eventually I learned how to set up uucp networking, downloaded X, compiled it
(what a nightmare!) and got twm running.

My roommate and I set up a lan. We heard rumors about this thing called
Linux, it would actually boot and run off a single floppy. I didn't believe
it, so I downloaded it. It was version 0.98something, IIRC. It worked!

Along came a distribution... Slackware. From there things started
progressing nicely, through RedHat, and Mandrake, and a short detour into

I am amazed these days when I do something like a SUSE 10.2 install, and
pretty much everything comes up configured and working.

We've come a long way.

If a kid asks where rain comes from, I think a cute thing to tell him is
"God is crying." And if he asks why God is crying, another cute thing to
tell him is "Probably because of something you did."

San Francisco, CA
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