Helping a member, just a few minutes go gave me pause to think about my computer operating system more than I normally would. It's been about five
months since I posted this
thread, announcing that I had downloaded, and was
connected to ATS via a Live session, on Ubuntu 12.04. This was a moment of both pride and trepidation for me. You see my first run-in with Linux
happened in the mid nineties and did not go very well.
Actually it did not go at all. I had purchased a fairly expensive book that came with an install disk for, I believe, Red Hat Linux. For the sake of
honesty, I'll admit that, though the book was expensive, it was not so for me. At that time I was managing a Best Buy and got it wholesale - which as
far as books go - is usually dirt cheap. At any rate, just trying to install it, I hit a snag that I could never get past. Linux, at that time, did
like the model of CD player my computer had. I spent weeks surfing message boards and asking my friends for advice - to no avail. It just
so happened that there were one or two models of CD players, at the time, that no Linux kernel would recognize. Mine was one of them.
This event put me OFF of Linux for a very long time. Well from about '95 until late in '12. So it certainly left an open wound - one that I was not
eager to pick the scabs off of.
Thus posting from a Linux live session, for me, made me feel about like Captain Hook wearing an alligator jacket - or maybe Ahab enjoying some rather
pale whale meat.
A lot has happened since then.
Not long after I posted from that live session, I became really bored ( and honestly pretty lost in ) plain old Ubuntu Unity. On the surface it was
prettier than Windows, in ways... but it seemed to be years behind to me, at that time, also - in other ways. I couldn't find the bells and whistles
I suppose. It did not take long for me to discover a site called distrowatch
- where I began fervently trying to
find a version of Linux that would give me some "oomph" in the visual department.
In hindsight I think much of my obsession over oomph was really my pride refusing to admit that, after years of pointing, clicking, and mastering
MIcrosoft products... I really was sort of lost in the woods where Linux was concerned. Now I understand that Linux is much, much more intuitive than
Windows will ever be. At the time, however, I was thoroughly indoctrinated by Microsoft.
That first install of Ubuntu lasted about a week. Then I decided to give Mint a try. Then Mint felt even more boring to me, so back to Ubuntu... and
back to Mint.., Then onto Bodhi, Mandira, Zorin, Puppylinux, Crunchbang, back to Mint, and eventually back to Ubuntu. Only this time I got really
My computer is a Dell and getting old. One of its personality quirks is that it has an onboard graphics processor. An Intel 82865G to be specific.
Before Linux I would have never had cause to find out about these things, much less have it memorized... but it was the darned CD drive situation all
over again. My graphics processor, which isn't all that bad, just happens to be one of the two that gives modern Debian builds issues. My two
favorite Linux builds, Ubuntu and Mint both happen to be children of Debian. Sadly, neither of their newest versions will install properly on my
machine ( though I am now smart enough to understand that there might be a way to trick it into working - one that I have yet to discover. )
Upon this discovery, my rebellious streak kicked in. I downloaded Ubuntu 12.04, which will
install on my machine, without any hiccups, got my
dander up, and swore that, come Hell or high water, I was going to make things work. I would NOT surrender this time around!
Best damn computer based decision I ever made! Even if it was made in anger.
Fueled by spite I began really researching and studying things. I'm not too proud to admit that on four separate occasions I typed commands into my
terminal that left me with no choice but to format the partition and start from scratch. On two of those occasions I also had to pop in my Windows
rescue disc to salvage my boot sector. ( Yes, I still have a dual boot - actually a tri-boot currently. When Wine will finally let me play my Sims 2
game in Linux... I'll get rid of Bill Gates ugly child. Until then, it stays.
) The point is that each time I killed my kernel and found myself
scrambling to save my machine - and get back to ATS... I learned. I kept getting back on that horse and I kept learning!
That led me to Gnome... FTR I am now unsure of what I love most... my most recent ex - who was the love of my life - or Gnome. Good GOD Gnome is
The plain bar menu in Unity and Mint were the things that always left me wanting "oomph"... well thanks to Gnome - I've got more OOMPH!!! than I
How freaking sexy is that?!?! Ubuntu, Gnome shell, Conky Lua, Cairo dock, and a few personal modifications - an ongoing process that might well lead
to yet more reinstalls and starting from scratch events.
~$ sudo killall doubts-about-Linux
~$ sudo apt-get happiness