an linux users story from back in the day

Submitted by stellablue on Thu, 12/16/2021 - 17:25

Found this today. It's circa 2014. Kinda a look back in time for me.

You could say I was a Windows power user. Friends considered me one because I could bail them out when their Windows computer went haywire. My reasoning, I had my own OEM Windows disk so I could do a bland, clean re-install of Windows every year, had a separate partition for my data and did regular backups. No one else I knew did these things. I had heard about this "Linux" thing, but really hadn't perused it.

In late 2006 Colorado was hit with a bit of snow that left little we could do outside. After the first few weeks of January, cabin fever started setting in and I began playing around of the idea of putting Linux on my computer. I can't remember exactly how or why, but I ended up downloading Ubuntu 6.10 and tried the LiveCD on my laptop. It worked wonderfully and I decided to do a dual boot with XP so I could see how it actually functioned day to day. Well, I done fucked up the dual boot and ended with a PC that wouldn't boot to anything. Can you say nOOb!

I have been a practitioner of the backup for years, so after a few minutes of utter panic, I calmed down and remembered everything was backed up on an external drive. (OK, I did inevitably loose a weeks worth of emails, no great loss.)

As luck would have it, having been an experimenter and no great fan of MS, I had moved onto programs that where all cross-platform including Firefox, JAlbum, Thunderbird, Open Office (now LibreOffice), Thingamablog and Filezilla. Thus, I thought, what the hell, maybe I should just install Ubuntu by itself. So I did.

It was shocking once Ubuntu was installed. I have media buttons on the front of my laptop, they worked. All my data for Thunderbird, Firefox and Thingamablog was easily loaded. All the function (Fn key) keys on keyboard worked. It was amazing to me, I never expected this all to work so well. I was sold.

I did have some problems, suspend had issues and there was the problem with no wireless. I spent some time on the Ubuntu forum and after some time of trial and error the wireless kicked in. Honestly, I still have no idea how I was able to get the wireless working, all I know is, boom, it worked one day and has ever since. Suspend came around after a month or so.

I spent the next few months perusing everything Linux. I learned cool commands to run from the Terminal. I played with installing and removing programs from the Add/Remove manager and the Synaptic Package Manager. I screwed things up and re-installed 6.10 a few times. The first time I did this, I was amazed by the fact that quite a few of the settings in my /home folder (set on a different partition, something I started doing way back when from my 1-2 re-installs per year of Windows to keep it clean) kicked right in. Things like Tomboy notes where all there, KeyPass knew where to look for its database, JAlbum and Thingamablog where able to start without having to re-install them. These kind of things where unheard of from my Windows days, it was re-install everything and update all settings to my liking.

Then, along came 7.04. I promptly upgraded to it. Oops. Then I downloaded and did a fresh install. Much better. The first few weeks it acted a little funny, issues mainly with suspend. Once a month went by it was smooth sailing. I spent more time on anything Linux or Ubuntu. I downloaded and tried other distros LiveCDs, spend more time exploring the Linux OS and even tried to help out on the forums (I never really did learn enough to be much help, but I tried). I spent some time on Gnome-look and figured out how to change my splash screen, login in screen and themes. In all I was settling in quite nicely with my new OS and how it worked.

As October was coming closer I was getting excited with the prospects of 7.10. Once it was released I promptly upgraded. Oops. Then I downloaded and did a fresh install. Much better. The first few weeks it acted a little funny, issues mainly with suspend. Once a month went by it was smooth sailing (hmm, sounds familiar?) I played around with the new graphics for a while, installing software for widgets and desktop toolbars. In the end, I removed Compiz as I am happy a simple UI and don't need the fancy graphics. The Panel with shortcuts on it works just fine for me and I never really did like things all over my desktop. Liking the simplicity may explain why I never switched to a KDE distribution.

Over next few years I stayed with Ubuntu, upgrading with each new release. I followed this up through March 2010 and Ubuntu 9.10. As I've said, I had toyed with a few other distros, but always came back to Ubuntu. I have been thinking of trying out plain Debian for a while and to go to a rolling distribution but kept putting it off.

Actually, I had been thinking, and researching, about taking on Arch Linux, but just didn't have the wherewithall to follow up. I liked the idea of a rolling release and the advantage of not having to do a fresh install every 6 or 12 months to get updated kernal and software. It made sense to me.

When Linux Mint had a Debian distribution -- LMDE -- that was rolling, I jumped.

This last paragraph from a LMDE review in DistroWatch pretty much summed up the Linux user I was at the time.

My conclusion thus far is LMDE is for people who specifically want to run Debian Testing, but want to have everything pre-installed and configured for them. And if that is the case then Mint now appears to have the best solution available for those users.

I liked it and I used the Gnome version of LMDE through August of 2011. That month I changed over to the Xfce version of LMDE -- a few times over the past couple years I had installed Xfce to play with but had gone back to Gnome. I stayed with that till April of 2012 when update 4 came out for LMDE and I started playing around with Cinnamon -- and MATE 2012. That lasted a few weeks but eventually I decided just to go back to Xfce.

Then in April of 2012, my work place changed out their wireless router. For some reason, LMDE Xfce no longer connected there, while connecting everywhere else with no problem. Linux Mint 13 Xfce had just been released, and I found the wireless worked fine with this edition. Thus I switched.

On top of that since, it is base on Ubuntu, I can use Ubuntu One. I was already using Dropbox, but of the 4 GB of space I had, I was using over 3 GB. Ubuntu One gave me another 5 GB of cloud storage. Synching cloud storage become important to me when I purchased the Acer Aspire One. I was using my Dell Inspiron 6000 only at home and the Acer was my travel computer.