Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 8th Feb 2009 14:50 UTC, submitted by QPounder
Linux What did the Linux world look like back in 2000? TuxRadar has republished a distribution round-up from Linux Format issue 1, May 2000. Many distributions such as SUSE, Mandrake and Red Hat are still around in various incarnations, but a few such as Corel and Definite have fallen by the wayside. Still, it does bring back some memories.
Order by: Score:
Slackware 3.6
by darknexus on Sun 8th Feb 2009 15:09 UTC
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

Yep, that's what I started with. Zipslack, to be exact, on my 2.1 GB MS-DOS formatted drive. No GUI at the time, as X did not like my video card and X wasn't useable for me yet anyway even if it had. Remember what it was like getting a simple sb16 card working back then? This was before ALSA was useable and you had to do manual isapnp configuration using OSS/Free. Struggled with that for a while, moved it to its own partition in the meantime as umsdos was horribly slow.
Gave Debian a try, I think the distro at the time was woody. I didn't stay with it for long, dselect really annoyed me and woody was out of date and the unstable branch was totally in flux.
Moved to Red Hat 5.2, and boy wasn't I amazed at sndconfig? ;) That made my sb16's configuration very easy, and I even got X to work on my video card with that one. Still, it's custom kernel patches sometimes caused unforseen problems, so tried Mandrake. Anyone remember Mandrake 6.0? It was compiled with pgcc 1.1.3. On my machine (Pentium 166 at the time),, crash city. You would not believe the number of segfaults it gave me.
Eventually I moved back to Slackware and stuck with it for several years. Then I discovered Gentoo, which I stayed with until I took a break from the Linux world entirely and got seriously acquainted with Mac OS X, which I still believe to be a nice blend of GUI functionality and geeky CLI heaven. got back in the Linux world a couple years ago, and I use Arch, Gentoo, and Ubuntu for different purposes now, as well as various flavors of *BSD as well as Solaris, which I've been acquainted with for many years. Aint the world of UNIX wonderful? ;)

Reply Score: 3

First experences
by Gone fishing on Sun 8th Feb 2009 15:11 UTC
Gone fishing
Member since:
2006-02-22

My first experience was Coral Linux I installed nothing much worked I gave up.

Next was the school I work at (in Lesotho) needed a server file sharing, proxy, web mail (I had read that Linux could do everything an NT server could do and was cheap/free), I bought Suse From a shop (downloading on our lines was a non starter) and with the help of Webmin, Yast and Google had everything working in a week or so.

On the desktop I tried Xandros, Opensuse and Mandrake but it’s been Ubuntu that has stuck (although I may try Mandrake or Opensuse again with KDE 4.2). The free Ubuntu disks were a big deal as we’ve only had broadband 256-512K for about a year.

Edited 2009-02-08 15:14 UTC

Reply Score: 3

nine years
by jack_perry on Sun 8th Feb 2009 16:27 UTC
jack_perry
Member since:
2005-07-06

I've been using Linux regularly for nine years now. I was part of a group of teaching & research assistants, and our professors had recently bought us some desktop computers. My adviser wanted me to use the same setup the other students had, so we ordered a Linux computer. (I had wanted a Mac.)

When the computer came, we set about installing Linux to it. Everything seemed to go fine except one thing: the video card. It was a Matrox G4, too new and cutting edge for the Red Hat desktop that we had installed. It took one of the Linux experts in our group an entire day to figure out how to make Linux talk to the video card properly.

That left me with a sour taste of Linux in my mouth, but just yesterday I was fiddling with HorizSync and VertRefresh in xorg.conf on a computer connected to the department's projector, so as to get the maximum resolution possible. My home computer runs Fedora 11 and my office desktop runs Ubuntu.

It's gotten to where I find Linux more usable than Mac or Windows. So much for that sour taste!

Reply Score: 3

Old fashioned even then
by cyclops on Sun 8th Feb 2009 16:28 UTC
cyclops
Member since:
2006-03-12

Ignoring anything else these screen shots are from 2000, and are just plain horrible, and this is not ancient history. Many user here still live in this time when making comments about Linux. In my opinion Gnome still looks a little old fashioned. 9.04 is allegedly going to correct that but we will see. Those who have suffered some of its limitations, and benefited from relatively modern bonuses like Firefox and OpenOffice. Users of Linux Desktop have a better experience now than any other platform, and the speed of change is astonishing.

Whats really interesting is these screenshots any others at the time pretty much all contain Gimp and you can see where its bad reputation has come from, but it was a very attractive looking application relatively. Its a different program now.

Its interesting to note that GCC; Gnome; Deb all second place are now the more popular choices.

I think the worst thing is the autoconfiguration tools for X being a main feature, one that only has a real solution this year...and is still a work in progress hopefully the 9.04 Distributions will put this to bed.

Linux is constantly fighting its own legacy, as what was true 6 months ago. Is almost certainly not the case now.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Old fashioned even then
by sakeniwefu on Sun 8th Feb 2009 17:02 UTC in reply to "Old fashioned even then"
sakeniwefu Member since:
2008-02-26


Its interesting to note that GCC; Gnome; Deb all second place are now the more popular choices.


The GCC line listed in conservative distros died off, EGCS is GCC now.

I tried a RPM(probably Red Hat) distro from a magazine around that era, I remember that the GUI was horrible and that downloading a Linux program from the Internets broke it. No idea how I even got it to display a GUI but when I did I wished I hadn't.

Then it was Debian shortly after, installation wasn't very difficult, but pre-aptitude Debian wasn't for the faint of heart, I remember dselect with horror, and most programs were in RPM anyways so you would alienate your poor system, eventually I gave up and went back to Windows.

Reply Score: 2

redhat mandrake dual boot
by broken_symlink on Sun 8th Feb 2009 16:30 UTC
broken_symlink
Member since:
2005-07-06

Started with redhat 9 shrike and mandrake 9.1 bamboo. At least i think so. Still have the cds at home somewhere, maybe I should find them and install them again.

Reply Score: 2

slackware 3.6
by r0b0 on Sun 8th Feb 2009 16:31 UTC
r0b0
Member since:
2006-09-21

I remember my first distribution exactly. It was slackware 3.6. I've just googled a mirror that still has it and try to install on a virtual machine. Just for the sake of it.

Reply Score: 2

Yggdrasil
by AbuHassan on Sun 8th Feb 2009 16:33 UTC
AbuHassan
Member since:
2008-08-26

I fiddled around with Yggdrasil and Slackware on and off for a few years circa 94/96-ish, then Caldera for a while, then moved onto SuSE 5.2 in early 98.

Stuck with SuSE up 2005-ish, during that time had Redhat 8 and 9 on a couple of machines and the odd Mandrake install too.

Used Debian and then Ubuntu on a few machines over the years too.

Have swapped between FVWM/ KDE / WindowMaker / GNOME multiple times over the years too.

Use Fedora 10 with KDE 4.2 currently.

Reply Score: 1

Ah, Caldera
by twm_bucket on Sun 8th Feb 2009 16:53 UTC
twm_bucket
Member since:
2008-10-09

My first distro was Caldera. Dead easy to install: you could even play tetris while it did it's thing. KDE 1.1. Sndcfg rocked. It had Linus pronouncing "Linux" as a test sound.

I stuck with Caldera until then decided to become SCO. Since then, it's been Debian with either Gnome or MWM, depending on fast the computer was.

I used KDE until the Klutter got too much. I mean all the installed apps! No way to select the ones you want.

Now with KDE 4.2, I may go back. It's pretty nice. I can't wait for Debian to get it.

Reply Score: 2

What was that distro called...
by boudewijn on Sun 8th Feb 2009 16:55 UTC
boudewijn
Member since:
2006-03-05

I tried to start around 1993 -- I think. It was before my first daughter was born, january 1994, but not much earlier. Mostly an attempt to take my mind of the impending happy event, I guess. SLS rings a bell. But my first attempt failed because the floppy images I had downloaded were corrupted. Then I tried something that was, I think, called Lasermoon. Worked very nicely, but at the same time, I got one of those InfoMagic cd boxes with lots of distributions on it.

Slackware for years -- with a lovely, hand-crafted fvwm desktop. On a 486 with 8mb of memory, and text mode on my laptop with 2mb of memory. Zipslack, that was.

I bought a new computer just to use KDE. KDE was, and is, so great -- I never looked back. After years of Slackware, I started using Suse with version 4 or 5. A brief fling with Kubuntu, and now I'm back with OpenSUSE and really, really happy.

That makes about a decade and a half of using Linux: but we (because my wife started using Linux at the same time, she was, after all, trained as a Unix systems programmer while I was a lowly Oracle forms fiddler), we took it slowly. For a time we dual booted Windows 3.1 and Linux, then for some time Windows 95 and Linux. But before Windows ME was released, we were full-time Linux users. The only thing we missed from Windows was my email/usenet client I had written in Visual Basic.

I still feel that in those early days, everyone was way more cheerful. It didn't matter much which technological tribe you belonged to, cool stuff was applauded.

Reply Score: 5

PowerUp Linux
by kloty on Sun 8th Feb 2009 17:16 UTC
kloty
Member since:
2005-07-07

First time I had to install Linux was 1998. I started computer science studies and needed JAVA. My Amiga had no JAVA at this time, but it had a PowerPC-card in it and for this card Linux was available. I'll never forget the splash screen with a Tux holding a beer glas. So my first JAVA programs I wrote on this computer.

Reply Score: 1

Slackware 2 and RedHat 4.1...
by gilboa on Sun 8th Feb 2009 17:39 UTC
gilboa
Member since:
2005-07-06

I was first started playing with Linux in ~1995 (Slackware 2?).
I'm using the term playing, because back then, I spent most of my time getting Linux to recognize my PAS16 sound/CDROM combo and my floppy controller.

I kept playing with Linux (as opposed to really using it) till 1998 (RedHat 5.2) which was the first time I actually used Linux for something productive both at home and at work. (Reused old 486s for a couple of projects)

Fast forward to ~2001, RedHat 7.1, first time I used Linux as my main OS. While I still had Windows 2K partition on my workstation, I found that I'm using it less and less. As a result, in 2002, I switched from being a Windows (pure Win32) developer to Linux developer.

By the time RedHat 8 was released, I've found that I no longer use my Windows partition, and removed it. (Installing Windows 2K on an old unused PC)

Currently I'm using F10 with KDE 4.2 with a number of VMs (CentOS5, Slackware 12, BSD, WinXP and Win2K3) on KVM. (In order to test my code on different platforms).

People usually make fun of Linux by rehashing the old "200x will be the year of the Linux desktop" joke.
But looking back at the last 10 years, one cannot even begin to compare the difference between Windows 98 and Vista compared to the difference between RedHat 5.2 and Fedora 10 - especially given MS seemingly infinite resources.

- Gilboa

Reply Score: 4

RE: Slackware 2 and RedHat 4.1...
by renox on Sun 8th Feb 2009 18:26 UTC in reply to "Slackware 2 and RedHat 4.1..."
renox Member since:
2005-07-06

I disagree.
IMHO Windows98 was still a very fragile OS, Windows2000/XP/Vista/7 are based on a totally different kernel, and Vista/7 tries to fix the unsafe security defaults of the previous version: these are big change!

Linux has far less evolved than this for the desktop usage, the major difference is that there are more drivers more software and better polished (if still lacking on many accounts) but the base was already solid so there were less change.
The biggest change is still not done yet: good handling of 3D videocards.

Reply Score: 2

gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06

P.S. I just rechecked. The first RedHat that I bought was RedHat 3.0.3. (~1996?)

I disagree.
IMHO Windows98 was still a very fragile OS, Windows2000/XP/Vista/7 are based on a totally different kernel, and Vista/7 tries to fix the unsafe security defaults of the previous version: these are big change!


I was actually being nice to Microsoft.
At the time (1998) I was actually writing code under Windows NT4, that in many ways (along with Windows 2K) was the best OS' to ever leave the doors at Redmond. (In NT4's case, post SP3)

Linux has far less evolved than this for the desktop usage, the major difference is that there are more drivers more software and better polished (if still lacking on many accounts) but the base was already solid so there were less change.
The biggest change is still not done yet: good handling of 3D videocards.


Huh?
I can you compare the setup requirement of RedHat 4.x to Fedora? The hardware support? The configuration tools?
How can you compare GNOME 1 and KDE 1 to GNOME 2.24 and KDE 4.2?
Heck, how can you possible compare having to compiling more-or-less everything to having 1,000's of software packages with automatic version and dependency resolve?

- Gilboa

Reply Score: 2

renox Member since:
2005-07-06

I can you compare the setup requirement of RedHat 4.x to Fedora?

Why are you using RedHat4.x as a basis whereas the article use Red Hat 6.1?

The hardware support?

I said more drivers so I agree with you.

The configuration tools?

Configuration tools are more polished true but they're still opaque (don't tell you what they do), and have still some limitations in the 'lacking' parts of Linux (for examples when you want to reconfigure keyboard, it's still quite weird sometimes).

As for the GUIs, I'm not especially impressionned with modern GUIs, their best feature is that now the font display is better (even if there are still some ugly fonts from time to time).

Heck, how can you possible compare having to compiling more-or-less everything to having 1,000's of software packages with automatic version and dependency resolve?

Was-it still the case in 2000? My memory is a bit fuzzy but I thought that the packaging system was already working.

Reply Score: 2

gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06

Why are you using RedHat4.x as a basis whereas the article use Red Hat 6.1?


-I- (in my original post) was talking about the last 10 years.
As such, -I- was comparing the difference between RedHat 5.2 and Fedora 10, compared to to the difference between Windows 98 / Windows NT4 and Windows Vista.

The hardware support?

I said more drivers so I agree with you.


Yes, but you're missing the point, having drivers is not enough.
Linux has made huge steps in making hardware work out of the box. (E.g. Network Manager, Xorg-auto-config, udev, etc)

Configuration tools are more polished true but they're still opaque (don't tell you what they do), and have still some limitations in the 'lacking' parts of Linux (for examples when you want to reconfigure keyboard, it's still quite weird sometimes).


One can say the same about Windows.
E.g. Device Manager is nice and dandy, but if one of the devices on your machine is unknown, you're more-or-less screwed. (lcpi, especially once you update its database is far more informative)

As for the keyboard, what exactly doesn't work?

As for the GUIs, I'm not especially impressionned with modern GUIs, their best feature is that now the font display is better (even if there are still some ugly fonts from time to time).


A good example is BIDI support.
Back in older RedHat (<8/9), adding Hebrew support is a major pain in the back side.
Now I just select Hebrew in the language selection and presto - I have Hebrew support (both Fonts and RTL support) across the board - from text consoles to Firefox, KDE and GNOME.

Was-it still the case in 2000? My memory is a bit fuzzy but I thought that the packaging system was already working.


As far as I remember, Debian was the first one to introduce (an experimental) network transparent package manager - don't remember the exact date - but it should be around 2K.
It took RedHat ~3 more years to add yum support. (Fedora Core 1?)

Never the less, just compare the sheer size of the software library of, say, Fedora 10 and RedHat 6.x - let alone the tools that are used to install/remove/etc - again, the difference is nothing short of astonishing. (Again ,considering the difference in size between Fedora/Debian/etc and Microsoft).

- Gilboa

Edited 2009-02-09 15:13 UTC

Reply Score: 2

renox Member since:
2005-07-06

As for the keyboard, what exactly doesn't work?


It's not that it doesn't work, it's that it poorly documented (and only in English) and too complex: I wanted to use the right 'Win' key as a compose key to make accents on a QWERTY keyboard on RHE3 and I wanted to do it only for my account, but I was never been able to build the corresponding Xmodmap, so I gave up (after two *days* of trying) and modified a settings in X conf which is an ugly solution as it's system wide change not user specific.

And then when I upgraded to RHE5 I found that my shortcuts 'leftWin + <another key>' didn't work anymore most certainly because for whatever reason both Win keys were treated as 'compose' key instead of only the right Win key. Defining the Left Win key as a different modifiers than the right Win key made it work again.
Again highly non intuitive and hard to debug (didn't took me so much time to solve though as after wasting so much time for the first issue I'm starting to understand how it works)..

Currently I have a focus issue, when I open kate from konsole and then close kate the konsole window becomes non-responsive until either I iconify it or either I right click in it (left click doesn't work).

No clue why (probably related to SCIM whatever that is) but annoying, currently I'm torn between not using anymore kate (nedit doesn't have this issue) and trying to use my google-fu to find the solution..


A good example is BIDI support.


Good example, that's indeed a big improvement.

Reply Score: 2

gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06

OK. As you are using RHEL5, have you reported this problem to bugzilla.redhat.com? In my experience, RedHat engineers are quick to offers solutions / patches / etc. (Plus having then aware of this issue reduces the chance of you having to solve the same problem again in RHEL6.)

- Gilboa

Reply Score: 2

Wish I'd been there for the early days.
by vitae on Sun 8th Feb 2009 18:46 UTC
vitae
Member since:
2006-02-20

I think I saw an ad for Red Hat on a webpage somewhere around 2002. Something about a free operating system. I'd never heard of open source, and couldn't begin to understand how somebody could just give an operating system away. I mean, didn't that take an awful lot of work to make one? Who would just give one away?

But it wasn't until 2 years later that I decided to dive right in with Mandrake 9.1, and installed it over Windows instead of dual-booting like everybody was saying a noob should do. It looked great, and it was a a lot of fun trying Linux for the first time. A truly unique experience. But I soon discovered no hardware support for my winmodem, and then the panic set in. Going too long without access to the internet almost gives me panic attacks, like Linus without his blanket. And so eventually I had to put Windows back on because at that time I had no idea what to do about it. Didn't stop me from trying other Linux distros, installing FreeBSD, and even Syllable at one point. Hell, I even tried out Plan 9 on one occasion. Also worked my way through the different "flavors" of BeOS.

So here I am now, on Vista ATM because it came with the pc, but for me it's not a question of when these alternate operating systems will be ready for the desktop, it's when will I be ready for them. I have learned A LOT about computers (much of it from this site, in fact), coming from no real computer background. I mean, I took Intro to Computers as a freshman in high school in 1983, and aside from learning some very basic programs on an Apple IIe (and discovering Zork), there wasn't enough there to keep me interested.

But there definitely is now.

Reply Score: 3

Damn Small made me a Linux fan
by ShineOn on Sun 8th Feb 2009 19:14 UTC
ShineOn
Member since:
2009-02-08

My first distro was Corel linux back in 1999, which didnt work at all. About four years later, I tried SuSE in college which worked a little better but yast had a constant tendency to bluescreen my system (well the linux-equivalent which only lets you ssh your machine remotly).

My first really positive experience with Linux was Damn Small Linux. I had a second hand Notebook that was just too slow for Windows XP. So I was really amazed how well DSL worked. I had every application I needed for every day work in a 50 MByte Distro. It also performed very well.

What really blew my mind back then was the Debian-Packaging System. Before that I only knew tarballs and the (imho) broken SuSE-RPM-System. deb was a true breeze. Just print apt-get and the system installs your desired program along with all its dependencies - easy as that.

From there it was a short way to Ubuntu which quickly became my favorite distro.

Reply Score: 2

Redhat 5.0
by Jonix on Sun 8th Feb 2009 20:24 UTC
Jonix
Member since:
2007-02-14

I've started with Redhat 5.0. I remember that for some unrelated reason I needed to switch my PS/2 mouse a few times (barrowed, not working, etc) and every time I got a new mouse I needed to reinstall my Redhat system because it could not find the new mouse, and I did not know how to reconfigure it.

I remember that I downloaded KDE pre 1.0 at my work place, and I carried it home in one 1.44 MB floppy per day.

Those were the days :-)

Because of the mouse issue I quickly switched to SuSE and stuck with it for several years, and now the circle is complete for me, in the last few weeks I am happily back in Fedora 10. With a long detours in Ubuntu and Gentoo, etc.

Linux has come a long way, and the fun and excitement is still there.

Reply Score: 2

My First time (blush)
by raver31 on Sun 8th Feb 2009 20:44 UTC
raver31
Member since:
2005-07-06

The first distro I tried was SLS (softlanding or something), back in 1992.
It came on floppy, one set for base, X, apps etc. X was crap, it had FVWM and Openlook WM, it looked ugly and it sucked balls. Xeyes was good, and xscreensaver was more impressive than anything I seen on Windows at that time.

At the time, I was curious about Linux, as I wanted some sort of UNIX system, (capitals in them days ).... but SLS was just my initiation, I didn't like it, and were it not for Slackware coming out, then RedHat, (capital H), I would have given up and went to Solaris.


Things get better with time, all the difficulties at the start, manually configuring X, sound card, mouse, printers through config files are long gone. Replaced years ago with point and click setup configs.... However, Windows shills still post the same old shit that people still need to do this to get a running system !

Reply Score: 2

RE: My First time (blush)
by darknexus on Sun 8th Feb 2009 23:54 UTC in reply to "My First time (blush)"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Well, to be fair those configurations are still sometimes necessary. It's just much less likely that you will need to do them now than it used to be, but there is the occasional odd hardware setup that requires the manual boost. Now, if only audio would improve... that's one situation that, at the core, hasn't changed much--there's still ALSA and OSS APIs, and various audio libraries that interface to one or both of them, and now we've got Pulseaudio complicating the mix--though to be fair, I think Pulseaudio will eventually improve the situation. For now though, it can sometimes be a royal pain--not all the time, as sometimes it works very well. The major problem is that these various APIs and sound servers don't always cooperate if more than one has to be used at a time, as is often the case especially if using commercial software such as VMware.
But anyway... sorry, got a bit off topic. There's no doubt Linux has come a long long way since those days for desktop use. I wouldn't say it's for everyone, but what is?
Oh, and don't discount anyone who points out issues with Linux as a "Microsoft shill." A lot of their complaints are legitimate, though there are the usual trolls in the mix. Bottom line, just because you haven't had a certain issue doesn't mean that issue doesn't exist. Just because you didn't have to customize your xorg.conf, for example, doesn't mean they didn't have to. It's not all black and white, just try and keep that in mind before dismissing those who don't agree with you as shills.

Reply Score: 2

Gentoo
by FishB8 on Sun 8th Feb 2009 21:25 UTC
FishB8
Member since:
2006-01-16

Started playing around with Red Hat 6 and 7. Didn't really like it.

I installed Gentoo sometime around 02 or 03. Still running from the original install I did. I've come to really appreciate the concept of a "rolling" distro.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Gentoo
by nbensa on Sun 8th Feb 2009 23:37 UTC in reply to "Gentoo"
nbensa Member since:
2005-08-29

Me too. Gentoo 1.2, june 2002 IIRC.

Recently I got really tired of its developers and I moved to Ubuntu. I just don't want to waste my time anymore.

I will miss Gentoo, but I need a computer where everything works.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by error32
by error32 on Sun 8th Feb 2009 21:48 UTC
error32
Member since:
2008-12-10

I first used Linux at the beginning of 2001 (I was 14 at the time), my older geek friend told me he would reinstall my computer with something amazing(some old suse release). Since then I've been a big Linux fan, and after trying out a dozen distros I ended up with Gentoo 2 years later which I've been using ever since. In 2004 I finally switched to Linux exclusively.

It feels good to be free ;)

Reply Score: 1

Memory, All Alone in the Moonlight
by segedunum on Sun 8th Feb 2009 22:06 UTC
segedunum
Member since:
2005-07-06

I started on Mandrake and Slackware I think, but then settled on Suse certainly when it came to desktop usage. I then graduated to Gentoo for running a few servers a few years later when I realised that updating software on virtually all distributions sucked unless you could find a nice repository somewhere, you compiled yourself or you reformatted and installed a new version.

Nothing has changed.

Reply Score: 2

gentoo is rice ;)
by zeos386sx on Sun 8th Feb 2009 22:31 UTC
zeos386sx
Member since:
2005-07-18

this article reminded me of two things. first, trying to get x to play nice with my laptop, and second, this website i found when i was using gentoo.

http://funroll-loops.info/

Reply Score: 2

*shudder*
by steampoweredlawn on Sun 8th Feb 2009 23:24 UTC
steampoweredlawn
Member since:
2006-09-27

I remember trying RedHat 6.1 back in 1999 or 2000 or so, looking for an alternative to my beloved but dying OS/2. I bought a shrinkwrapped package along with a copy of Corel's WordPerfect suite for Linux (v.8 IIRC). Got it installed, in VESA mode with no sound, and could not for the life of me figure out how to install WordPerfect. The 300+ page manual had no installation section, and my inquiries on forums and IRC were met with "RTFM n00b!". After numerous attempts at getting the sound working, I finally somehow succeeded, but then lost X. I gave Linux the middle finger, went back to OS/2 and didn't try again until the beta of PCLinuxOS 2007 came out, which worked amazingly well. The online community has become MUCH more helpful since then as well. Since then I've tried all the major distros and finally settled on Debian Lenny + KDE, which I wouldn't trade for anything except maybe FreeBSD, if/when Adobe ever releases a modern native Flash for it.

EDIT: typo

Edited 2009-02-08 23:25 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: *shudder*
by Vanders on Tue 10th Feb 2009 12:13 UTC in reply to "*shudder*"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

I also started with Redhat 6.1. Seeing that screenshot of LinuxConf with FVWM brought some memories. All of them bad, but memories none the less.

If you need me I'll be under my desk, sobbing.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by stabbyjones
by stabbyjones on Mon 9th Feb 2009 01:11 UTC
stabbyjones
Member since:
2008-04-15

My dad was trying to espouse the virtues of redhat back in 2000 and I laughed at him saying; "why would you want to play around with linux when you can just use windows?" (16yr olds are idiots btw.)

Then a few years later I set up a ubuntu 4.04 server and by the end of the year was running Debian on everything i could install it on.

I still don't admit he was right.

Reply Score: 3

First Experience
by kjamc1982 on Mon 9th Feb 2009 03:17 UTC
kjamc1982
Member since:
2007-05-09

My first experience with Linux was with Red Hat Linux 5.2. I eventually after this experience went on to other Operating Systems. I remember taking two hours just to download BeOS. I eventually fell in love with Slackware. Even though I do not use Linux as much I would love to get a netbook for my next computer.

Reply Score: 1

My Desktop in 2002
by chemical_scum on Mon 9th Feb 2009 03:21 UTC
chemical_scum
Member since:
2005-11-02

Yes I started out with Caldera back in about 2001, I moved on to Red Hat and then Mandrake. You guessed it, I now run Ubuntu. I started with a KDE 1.x desktop then moved to Gnome 1.0 on RH. Then I tried Xfce 3.x as my dektop and stuck with it some time before going back to Gnome. Never liked Xfce 4 as much as 3

Here for historical interest is my desktop in November 2002. Xfce 3.x running on I think RH or maybe Mandrake

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3514/3264743831_269dd85793_o.png

Edited 2009-02-09 03:25 UTC

Reply Score: 2

GNOME 9.04?
by AdamW on Mon 9th Feb 2009 04:48 UTC
AdamW
Member since:
2005-07-06

"In my opinion Gnome still looks a little old fashioned. 9.04 is allegedly going to correct that but we will see."

GNOME 9.04 isn't due out for another decade or so. And Ubuntu doesn't make GNOME.

Reply Score: 5

RE: GNOME 9.04?
by cyclops on Mon 9th Feb 2009 23:34 UTC in reply to "GNOME 9.04?"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

"In my opinion Gnome still looks a little old fashioned. 9.04 is allegedly going to correct that but we will see."

GNOME 9.04 isn't due out for another decade or so. And Ubuntu doesn't make GNOME.


No, but Ubuntu releases to Gnomes schedule, Mark Shuttleworth has made serveral remarks backed up with newly appointed employees simply for "eye candy" in Jaunty Jackalope whats interesting is is coincides with changes made to the Gnome desktop GNOME 2.26 the one that jumps out at me is the "Initial set of 256x256 icons" sorry I thought this was old news, do you want the URL's

Reply Score: 2

This blast from the past is scary!
by sc3252 on Mon 9th Feb 2009 07:45 UTC
sc3252
Member since:
2005-09-06

Wow I have seen the Past and it is ugly. I can see why in 2000 people wouldn't use Linux.

I never used GNU/Linux in 2000 so I didn't have to see those interfaces. I started in 2003 so I got the luxury of using kde 3.1, I think... The only problem with it was I don't think it(Mandrake at the time) recommended kde the first time so I choose randomly and got what was a very basic graphical interface. I only used it for about 2-4 days before wiping it, since it didnt have much use other then to say I installed it. About a year later I tried Debian and would stay with it and its derivatives for 5 years now. Even though its slow at advancing it is still what I would call the most stable distros I have ever used which is much more then I can say for the bleeding(yeah I know its cutting, but I don't see it that way) edge Ubuntu.

Reply Score: 2

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Wow I have seen the Past and it is ugly. I can see why in 2000 people wouldn't use Linux.

The glimpse of KDE 1.x is nice. It was beautiful. Simple. Functional. Pre-kitchen-sink. Seeing it again makes me smile.

Edited 2009-02-09 08:07 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Conectiva
by DeadFishMan on Mon 9th Feb 2009 16:02 UTC
DeadFishMan
Member since:
2006-01-09

My first experience was in February 1998 - Wow, 11 years now - when I first came across to Linux when a magazine that I purchased regularly back then, mainly for the freebies on the companion CD-ROM, was entirely dedicated to Linux and shipped a copy of Conectiva 2.0 codename Marumbi, IIRC.

I remember that a few friends had purchased the boxed set a couple of weeks earlier and tried on their computers during an afternoon and that the experience left a bitter taste in their mouth, so to speak, so I wasn't much interested in it and kept it just out of curiosity. I believe that they were unable to make it recognize some of their hardware and as such they were not pleased.

But at that time, I was REALLY getting into computers, enrolling into newsgroups and that sort of stuff and all the computer savvy friends were saying that Linux was teh sh1t!, that Windows was for wimps and UNIX was the main subject on most academic discussions. Given that all my previous knowledge about different OSes other than Windows were with some early Mac, MSX - an classic 8-bit computer sold mostly in Brazil, Europe and Japan - and Amiga computers, I decided to give it a shot and find out what the fuzz was all about.

Conectiva, at the time, was little more than a localized version of RedHat 5.2. That's it. The same installer, no specific branding whatsoever, the same configuration tools, etc. I didn't actually care about the language, given that I was fairly proficient in English back at the time - at least enough to use computers - but I didn't knew better so I installed it anyway.

But I did the most stupid error that a newbie can do: I didn't write down the root password and completely forgot it afterwards. Back at the time, those installers did not prompt you into setup at least one user of the machine, so I was locked out! I had to reload the whole thing from scratch so that I could actually get into the system!

Needless to say, I wasn't too impressed with FVWM95 which was setup to resemble Windows 95. But I followed the instructions on the leaflet and setup my soundcard, CD-ROM, etc. I was even lucky to own an US Robotics modem, that almost worked out of the box (given that PPP connections were a nightmare to setup). Tried both KDE and GNOME for a little while, but didn't like neither too much. Played with WindowMaker and E16(?) and loved both. AfterStep looked OK but it was too colorful to my taste and I didn't like it at all, so I kept changing my WM between KDE, FVWM95, WindowMaker and E16 depending on my mood.

Since everything worked to a certain extent, I decided to keep it and didn't think much about it until I bought the Linux Bible (Brazilian portuguese version) and learned the ins and outs of it. Eventually, I fell in love with it and became the go-to guy when people wanted to try Linux out.

I even wrote the desk procedures to setup PPP connections on Linux on the ISP that I worked for back at the time. They put it on their intranet and kept it there even when it wasn't relevant anymore... ^_^

Eventually, I moved on to other jobs where RedHat was heavily used - as a server, mostly - and thus I became really fond of it. I installed it on my desktop, had to beg the Exchange guy to enable IMAP support in my e-mail account and all of a sudden, I inadvertently gave the kick-off to people use Linux desktops over there - mainly the tech heads, of course. Star Office was compatible enough for what I did, so it was OK.

When RedHat decided to stop catering to the hobbyist market with RedHat 9.0, I started looking elsewhere to get my fix. Did the distro jumping like everyone here until I settled for a brief time with Slackware and then finally Debian, which I still use today and love.

Man, I'm so glad that I stayed for the ride. It has been bumpy at times, but today it is a joy to be a Linux user. The desktop environments look great compared to Windows and to some extent, to the Mac. Most apps look and feel more polished and in some cases - Amarok, for instance - blow the competition out of the water. And at the pace that the Linux desktop is evolving, I would not be too surprised if more people start adopting it for their desktops sooner than later.

Well, I think that I got carried away a little bit. Sorry for the huge post, people!

Reply Score: 3

Favorite Linux of old
by protagonist on Tue 10th Feb 2009 19:58 UTC
protagonist
Member since:
2005-07-06

I have to say my favorite Linux a few years back was Libranet. It was a sad day when the person, (Tai Danzig?), who pout it together and maintained it passed away and his son decided not to keep it going.

Reply Score: 2

Wow, that was a long time ago!
by juln on Tue 10th Feb 2009 20:56 UTC
juln
Member since:
2009-02-10

Ha, I remember KDE 1.1.

I started using Linux in late 99.

I experimented with Red Hat, but ended up finding that Mandrake was my favorite of the time. It had the easiest installation and the most polished configuration.

Reply Score: 1

Heh! Wow! I don't even remember...
by cutterjohn on Fri 13th Feb 2009 12:08 UTC
cutterjohn
Member since:
2006-01-28

That the X11 desktop still looked like that in 2000. And it sure brought back memories of egcs all of a sudden, I'd almost forgotten about that forking of gcc when gcc stagnated for almost a decade...

OTOH I can still remember installing linux the first time on a 80386 and having to bootstrap gcc (3 compile cycles) and then build just about everything from source. XF86 took a LONG time to compile...

First distro that I installed was SLS back when I think it was still on the 0.98 or 0.99 series of kernels... and stuff would still run with 4 or 8MB of RAM which is all my machine had at the time IIRC, but was an AMD 486DX40 w/VESA localbus(picked the wrong bus, since PCI came out at about the same time and won) by then IIRC.

Reply Score: 1