My First Time With Linux – Day 2

Day 2 of the #100DaysToOffload series:

I’ve told this story before, and odds are I’ll tell it again. I just haven’t told it here.

Back in the mid 90s, I was in college studying Computer Science. I was living in this double wide trailer house some high school friends owned. The three of us were cramming into this small space. They were both studying Electrical Engineering. When we weren’t studying for school, we were trying to pay our way through by working at a local company that supported the computer systems of the campus. I specialized in desktop Windows repair, and they were the only two Macintosh technicians on campus for Apple systems support.

I don’t remember the exact day, or what I was doing, but I was on my computer in my room when I was invited to see “Windows” running on one of their Macintosh computers. This was before emulation was a big thing, so having Windows on a Mac was a pretty novel idea. When I looked though, things weren’t quite right. It looked really close to Windows, but it wasn’t. I finally got them to cave on the details, and it turns out they were running something called MkLinux on the Mac.

I was absolutely fascinated by this thing they had found. When I found out that they downloaded it free of charge, I wanted to find out right away if there was a “PC version” available for me to use.

At the time, all the development work for the Computer Science department was being done on some Digital Unix systems. Our primary system was called Esus and the secondary system was called Fubar. This was long before people had high speed Internet in their homes, so it was a challenge to use our one phone line to dial up the campus modem bank so I could do my homework. Linux solved my problem of having to dial up to the campus modem bank because everything seemed compatible for me. At least the things I needed. It didn’t take me long to find the “PC version” called Red Hat, and I’ve been using Linux one way or another ever since.