Friday, September 30, 2005

Transitions - part 1

My experience with Linux began with Red Hat 5.x and Mandrake 6. In the early days I dual-booted win9x (hell at one point I triple booted win9x, NT4 and Linux on a pair of 2GB drives) Now it is win2k.

From day one I thought Linux was really cool, derived considerable pleasure from fiddling with it, and thought this whole multi-user operating system idea just might take off someday. Multiple desktops, multiple window managers. Choices choices choices. All good.

However in the end I would reboot to Windows, and there, for the most part, remained. There were some valid reasons for this. As a Delphi developer it was hard to avoid Windows during business hours, at that point Linux lacked a mail client that didn't suck, and Panzer General was only available on dos/Win. Stuff like that.

I read about the Free Software movement, agreed with its principles, and really did want to use GNU/Linux and other Free software wherever possible - at least on an intellectual level. However on booting Windows I could feel my shoulders relaxing, and tension draining away. Windows felt comfortable. Linux did not, despite its power and all the cool features. And that's the real reason I ended up in Windows most of the time.

Over the years since then I have always had a dual-boot system (usually Mandrake), and experimented in VMware with many different distributions. I used Freesco on an old 486 as a firewall/gateway for my local network. And yet until very recently my primary desktop was still Windows.

When did I migrate my primary desktop to Linux? Why did it not happen sooner?
And why not Windows XP?

Maybe later.

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