The Evolution of a Linux User

It’s been close to 5 years now since I first started experimenting with the Linux operating system. During that time  I’ve learned quite a lot – about Linux itself, and about me as a Linux user. Thought I’d reflect on that a bit today. Some random thoughts:

  • I’ve gone from user to geek and back to user. This transition was necessary at first. When I first began to install Linux, it was on older systems that needed a new O/S. I also wanted to have wireless capability as these older systems were in my basement and I wasn’t anxious to run cables through the floor or the walls. The Linux distros at the time were not particularly wireless savvy, nor were they always friendly to the type of wireless hardware available to me. I had to figure out how to use the command line, make wireless configuration files manually, even build a few modules to get things to work. Then around 2008 everything changed. It would be very rare today to install a Linux distro that didn’t have working wifi. Wireless hardware is also far more compatible than it used to be. So is printing and scanning, especially with HP printers.
  • My choice of Linux distro is far more limited and certainly not particularly geeky. Basically I stick to a mainstream system that just works (Mandriva), one for netbooks (Ubuntu Netbook Edition) and one for older hardware (Vector Linux.) I have not gotten into the real enthusiast’s type of Linux like Slackware, Arch, or (God forbid) Gentoo. I like Gnome or Xfce for a desktop environment.
  • I try to use the Linux O/S in a few different ways depending on the hardware I’m working with. More on that in my next post.

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