Slackware … a blast from the past …

I was probably one of the original Linux adopters. I came across my first flavour of Linux in 1995, while working in Lagos, Nigeria. I was working as a UNIX system administrator for large-scale SGI and IBM servers in the oil and gas industry, and at the time, the only UNIX-like systems that were available for PC's were BSD-style UNIX's. While these provided a good UNIX system for a PC, there were significant ease of use issues, coupled with problems of incompatible hardware and limited functionality for the sorts of work that PC might have done before (like normal office stuff).

Linux was a huge step in this market, probably moreso than modern folks realize. It provided a fairly stable installation process that worked most of the time, and it included support for a lot of existing hardware. It was still a hugely primitive system that required a lot of configuration to get any use from it … but it was stable UNIX that installed relatively easily.

Slackware was what I chose at the time, because they had a convenient floppy disk distribution system, useful for someone with no CD player or burner (yes, it was THAT primitive, LOL). Although my first install of Slackware was on less then 30 floppies, with drivers for new hardware, and additional programs, install sets soon swelled to 60 or more disks, LOL.

I'm happy to say today's process is a bit more streamlined, LOL. Everything fits onto 2 CD's now (which, for the record, using 1.44mb floppies is … about 903 disks, LOL) and the process was reduced from 4 hours to about 45 minutes, LOL. Its happily up and running on my laptop now, and I'll probably change my desktop from Redhat Fedora to Slackware sometime this week.

This is completely a geek post … most readers won't have a clue what I am talking about in most cases here, LOL. But its kinda kool to go back to my roots … but I must say that Slackware 2006 is a damn sight easier to work with than Slackware 1995, LOL.

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