sábado, 12 de marzo de 2011

My (first) 10 years of linux usage


Just about these days it's my 10th anniversary as a GNU/Linux user and it all started, irony of ironies, as a consequence of BSA's activities (or so the gossip said at the time). I was doing my internship at a small Java development company in Mérida, Venezuela, a rather small city but with a promising future (at the time) in the technology field. Those days BSA was pretty active arriving at businesses and asking for licenses of which, in what is pretty normal in Latinamerica, businesses didn't have any. Material raided plus fines, etc etc. You know the story.

Given that this small office had licensing problems of their own, it was decided that some of the computers at the office had to be switched to GNU/Linux.... so a few days later I arrived at the office and my computer had been switched to Mandrake. And let me tell you something: it was hard! Fortunately I was working with Francisco Andrades, who we used to call JGuru and not only was he good at java but on GNU/Linux as well. So I bothered him as much as I could to try to learn what I could. A few months went by and I headed back to my beloved Maracaibo to finish my engineering degree stuff.

I didn't install GNU/Linux on my computer for a few months... but I certainly had the will to do it. So when I wasn't doing anything important on my personal computer I installed Mandrake on it (about 6 months later) to try to get used to it. First months I had to force myself into using it... really. When there was something I couldn't do on GNU/Linux, I went to Windows and when I finished it, I headed back to Mandrake. In the beginning, I switched often but as months went by, it was less frequent... eventually I just didn't do it anymore.

From my first experience on GNU/Linux in Mérida, I remember very clearly the sensation of not being under control of the computer (unlike another popular OS for end users were one is at the mercy of it). I felt the power was there, at my fingertips and I just didn't know how to take advantage of it... but exploring the power would take time... and eventually I did learn how to use it.

In these ten years I have learned many many things, hacked a broken RAID to get back from it plus a lot more.

Bottomline: BSA, I want to thank you for putting me on this track... I'm sure that's not the desired outcome you have in mind when you go after license violators everywhere. I just hope more people follow suit.

5 comentarios:

  1. happy birthday =)

    I really wish (since a long time ;) that BSA would seriously do its job all around the world.....

  2. 11 years ago i first time installed Linux at school. It was Red Hat 5.2 with KDE. It was hard and without help from my teacher i could never ever have done it. I stay away from Linux for next 7 years until tried it first time after collapse of my XP-desktop. It was amazing to find how easy it is to install distros like Ubuntu, Mint, SUSE, Mandriva or PCLinux nowadays. I'm a Linux-fan nowadays - no doubt. It just works!

  3. Same story here, the only difference is , I switched because I got tired of searching for cracks, and the limitations of customizations (at that time I was a student). Also the high resource consumption of OS so one of my friend shown me Ubuntu , I got impressed by graphics and then I started trying Linux, it had taken two weeks , 18 crashes, 24 installations, and 5 distros to get familiar with Linux, and now it is just the only one rule on my laptop. And after that I started to inspire people around me for using linux, and the result is almost every one in my friend circle and in my present and old company use linux, including my Wife who is a non- techie person. Life is fun with linux, and for some it is a religion.

  4. I first tried Linux in 20th century. But that was not for long... And then I came back to Linux in October 2010. In love with it... Blog about it... 8-)

  5. Congratulations Edmundo, happy 10th anniversary!
    10 years sounds easy, but it's a great achievement.
    Keep on rockin' the penguin!
    Greetings all the way to Venezuela.

    Hope we all can keep chatting around the joys of being Linux users for many many more years to come.

    Like Gaetano Andrea said... please, please BSA, keep doing your job, do it more diligently, be as aggressive as you can be without been such a groups of bast... well, just keep being yourselves. Don't let anyone get away with stealing those precious bytes. Don't let a single person to have an ilegal installation of an operating system or an application. You're one of the many many doors people need to experience in the flesh to give Linux finally a try.

    Today Linux is so so easy for anyone willing to try.
    I guess everyone of us have our own baggage of great, daunting and also happy stories around Linux, but today is extremely easy to give, say, Linux Mint or PCLinuxOs a spin and it will always be a pleasure to be there for those adverturous and free spirited souls.