2 min read

This is How it all Began

This is How it all Began

Let me set the stage.  The year was 1989.  At eight years old, my dad had bought a second hand Blue Chip 8088 Personal Computer.  5 1/4 inch floppy disks housed the MSDOS Operating system along with a couple very basic game disks and some other utilities that slip my mind in my growing age.  That moment, I was hooked.  I knew I wanted to learn as much as I could about computers.  Everything from using, programming, designing systems.  This was the start of my journey.  The start of my addiction.  My pleasure that I would seek out above most other things.

I had learned Microsoft products, and become very weary of the limitations.  I had heard of this new concept called free software.  The price was right, and after looking into the social aspects of a openly available without restrictive licensing system, I knew I had to learn more.

Enter 1997.  I was living at my dad's apartment and found a copy of Slackware 3.0 at a local computer store.  I rolled my sleeves up and was determined to install it on my laptop I had just purchased months ago.  The experience was raw.  I failed several times before I had a working installation, but each time I learned something new about the fledgling ecosystem called Linux.  It was cumbersome back then.

You had to be comfortable in the command line, and flexible enough to learn new syntax and commands.  There was no easy option to get a GUI running.  Everything was like the Wild Wind West.  Documentation was sparse and at that time, I had a blazing fast 28.8kbps dialup connection.  Looking it up on the internet was not an easy task, because Google wasn't a verb yet.  The closest thing, googol, meant 10 raised to the power of 100, not to search for information.  That night, I stayed up into the night figuring out how to configure this thing called XFree86. Suffering through chats on IRC getting told,  "RTFM", or "WTF? GTFO newbie!"

Boy am I glad I stuck to it.  By 1am I had a working desktop environment.  I honestly can't remember what it was.  I broke the install the next day playing around and went back to Windows for my day to day activities, but it was my first taste.  Now I do not have a single copy of Windows running in my home.  My 2 servers behind me, the workstation I'm typing from, and my laptop all run either Ubuntu 20.04 Server, ROCKstor (based on openSUSE Leap 15.3), or openSUSE Tumbleweed.  My phone is an android device, which runs Linux.  My daughter's Chromebook is based on Linux.  It's absolutely insane how far it has come in this time.

I never would have thought installing a stable Linux distribution would become this easy, at least not from where I started.  Now single-click deployments on the cloud take literally seconds to spin up, not days.  It's absolutely insane where things have come in 25 years.

From here I will document my exploration of what I am doing and how I'm doing it, whether it be a new recipe for a docker-compose file, a barbecue rub, or adventure with my family here in Alaska. Either way, I'm going to continue chasing new things, learning new ways of accomplishing things, and have fun doing it!  Come join me in this exploration of learning, fun, and life.