Kingsly John - Everything You Didn't Need To Know!
Kingsly John - Everything You Didn't Need To Know!

Linux & Me ...

I was always interested in UNIX and learning more about it ever since I worked my first PC back in 1988 .. but had to be content with just hearing about it from other people and reading books and magazines until 1996.

I first logged on a Linux machine in July 1996 when I got online for the first time and Nitesh gave me a login on a Linux machine so that we could "talk"... I didn't do much more than "talk"

Around the same time, I fell for all the hype surrounding ORACLE(someone apparently told my folks that it was *the* most employable skill around!) and decided to join a course(the only course I've taken for a computer related subject(other than college)) and hardly 2 hours into the course I realised that I had made a BIG mistake and that wasn't what I wanted to be doing anytime in the future... the only positive fallout of that was that they had a UNIX machine complete with dumb terminals... and I could use it for 1 hour a day during the week and all day long during the weekends.(though I was supposed to be working on SQL Queries... ) I spent almost all my time finding my way around the UNIX environment.(Didn't have much competition as almost everyone else was fighting to book a slot on the Windows 95 machines which were new back then!)

When the course was over ... I had picked up more UNIX skills than Oracle! :-)

Over the next 2 years I unsuccessfully tried/lobbied to get the staff at college to fix the UNIX machine they had ... but they weren't too keen on fixing it

Early 1998 I started working part-time at Netpeople, and I got to work remotely on their co-located FreeBSD machine...

Summer of 98 ... I was just out of college and in Hyderabad on vacation before I returned to join work full-time at Netpeople ... I noticed PC Quest wss shipping a RH5.0 CD with their issue.. so I picked it up.

And after getting permission to setup a dual-boot on the only NT box in the office... I made 3-4 unsucessful attempts at doing a dual-boot install.. and it didn't work... luckily I got permission to wipe out the existing NT install and try out Linux on the machine for a week to ten days.

Everything installed fine... and I got most of the stuff running without any problem... except the NE2000 network card... it took me almost 2 weeks to get the network card going.. and during that period I had read through tons of manuals, mailed various newsgroups/ chatted with people on IRC... and even recompiled the kernel!

But once that started working .. we had a full fledged intranet server going ... everyone could pop their mails off the net directly... use ICQ/other IMs etc... and there was no looking back. the machine that was supposed to have lasted for a week or so ... was functional even after I quit the company in 1999! (with a major hardware+memory upgrade)

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