A Journey to Ubuntu

My first Linux installation took place circa 1992, I pulled my hair out for a month or so while I was trying to figure out how to install this very interesting and FREE operating system.

I considered myself an intermediate level user who at this point was trying to learn how to program using the C programming language. Why not C++? At the time all the "beginners" books assumed that you knew the C programming language.

I was reading an article somewhere, probably in the now "merged" C/C++ user's Journal, that introduced an operating system that was "built for programmers by programmers". Needless to say, the best place to learn how to solve coding problems or learn about coding was to look at working code.

A whole operating system with the code! Perfect.

During the line by line "command prompt" installation process you got one chance and one chance only to answer questions, like Domain: or Your IP Address: or Do you wish to use email (y/n).

Well, I guess I wasn't an intermediate level user, because I didn't have a clue what "Domain" or "IP Address" meant or how I should setup my routes.

OK, where do I look for information on how to install this operating system? I guess I should hit Usenet. I was still lost even in beginner news groups. Now it's time to hit the book stores.

After many hours of reading books and Usenet posts, I finally got past the installation process. Then later the X-Window system. Every application that you wanted to try, you compiled the source code. I gained more experience compiling than I did coding.

Soon all the cool apps, with the source code, started emerging. I began using my new operating system religiously. It made me think, it made me study and it made me more appreciative of what it took to make an operating system work.

After a few life changes occurred (off topic), I started diving deeper into Win95 then Win98. I coded a couple of Windows applications and only occasionally "played" with my Linux system. Then a couple of years ago I read about Knoppix and Ubuntu. Live CD's? What the heck is that and how do you pronounce this Knoppix or Ubuntu?

Wow, Linux has gone a long way since my first install. I have an old IBM laptop and the plan was to install Linux. Maybe I should try one of these Live CD things and see what happens. After all when I finally acquired a copy of Red Hat from the book store it sure was easy.

I chose Ubuntu and it was a success! I can't believe how easy installation has become since my first effort. About the time I installed Ubuntu on that old laptop I was trying to get one of the Debian distributions to work on my desktop which already had WinXP and Red Hat. It was nothing but a fight with the nVidia graphics card. A year or so later brought the Hardy release of Ubuntu. Bye bye Debian. I wanted to get started with some coding.

Now, it's time to get back into the programming aspect that really drove me to Linux in the first place. This of course was met with more study and much more time on forums and internet articles.

There are numerous applications that have been either ported to Linux or are Linux natives that have appeared since my break from full-time use that it's like a whole new world. Although the price of my break was almost like starting over, I very much enjoy and welcome the challenge.

Have I settled on a distribution? I'm not sure but I do know one thing for sure; for now it's just another opportunity to make myself think, study an appreciate Linux.