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Nostalgia moment: how I started using about 11 years ago

tilde.town/~kzimmermann/articl

And to think that, though a user of it for so many years, my very first distro was actually not Ubuntu...

This is post 13 on my Project

@kzimmermann Thanks for the interesting read! The only thing I do not agree with is "Will I really have to resort to going to the library to do my assignments like a loser?"
That is actually how some of us got in touch with Linux 😉

@totoroot oops, sorry, didn't mean no offense to folks that can only access a computer through the library!

Though when all your friends are chilling and doing their assignments from their rooms with their laptops, you sort of feel bad as the only one empty-handed who has to camel across campus.

Though I can imagine how it must've been back when these were not so accessible... didn't get my own machine until much later in life.

@kzimmermann The first distro I ever tried was Mandrake. It had a install-inside-windows like feature (linux4win or something) which my brother and I used to install. It had a lot of apps and DEs which at the time was somehow fit inside a single CD! But it was notoriously hard to install back then.

Some years after my friend gave me a Ubuntu 9.04 CD and it was a game changer for me. It had a install inside windows feature too (wubi) which let you un/install Ubuntu like a windows program!

@adnan360 aaaah yes, the wubi thing! Curiously, I never got to try it: too much pressure to either dual boot it, or have the thing run directly.

I never tried Mandrake or its derivative Mandriva, though I understand they used to be quite popular, eh?

@kzimmermann Yeah. It was probably around 2003-05. According to an article on a computer magazine on my country, Mandrake was the easiest one to setup back then. And even that we tried 3 times to install and succeeded only once. UX wasn't great back then. You had to manually input monitor model+Hz by hand, it was that bad!

The one time it installed, I honestly didn't know what to do with it, other than play with it. Didn't know scripting, programming or package management to really use it.

@wzqtparor @kzimmermann Hmm, interesting. This would've come in handy. But internet was very slow and unpopular in my country back then. I don't know if I could access it even if I had this around. :)

The article had a way to calculate all the needed parameters, so we used it. Although we used the same params to install again with a larger partition, we couldn't set it up again. The error messages it gave was not helpful either. Just wasn't a great experience installing it.

@kzimmermann @adnan360 yeah, _real_ dual boot felt kinda scary at first. Anyone remember loadlin though? you could launch a linux kernel from DOS with it. so you could have an actual win95 boot menu with linux on it!

(it might even have been the default at some point)

@ssafar @kzimmermann Seems interesting. Would it boot to a Linux desktop afterwards?

@adnan360 @kzimmermann yep! once the linux kernel was running, it'd clean up DOS entirely, so the result was indistinguishable from that of the actual "MBR to LILO to the kernel" process (... if grub even existed at that time, it wasn't really popular yet :))

@kzimmermann loved the article! My first distro was SuSE 10.0, which I got from this magazine cover CD. I was about to finish high school at the time and was fed up with how unstable Windows XP sp2 was and the older sister of a friend, who worked at the geometry department in college suggested I give Linux a try. So I started buying Linux magazines to find out more (I adore old-timey computer magazines even today) and as they say, the rest is history. I switched to ubuntu after a while, though.

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