To start the ball rolling, I would be interested to know whether we have had similar experiences. For example, how old were people when they first discovered Linux? Were you experienced with Windows or DOS before then? How many of you came over from the "mainframe world" as I did? I have a theory that having used command-based office systems in the 70s and 80s predisposes one to find Linux intuitive rather than baffling, because concepts like home directories, file ownership, permissions, logging in and so forth are already familiar.
I was forced to use Linux because I came to the realization that I could spend the rest of my life purchasing software but I would still not be able to use windows safely on the Internet.
When I purchased a new computer ( the old one got fried by cookie overload because I did not know about them I did not remove them. ) It came equiped with a windows os but I did not know I was supposed to pay Microsoft for it and I never did!
Eventually, after many a hard drive reformat, I gave up and went to a book store a purchased a Linux book with a suse disc inside the back cover. I had problems with it and was advised by phone from a suse operator to go to Best buy and get a set of suse 10 discs.
I still am a computer illiterate but I am on the Internet every day getting Input from humanity from all over the Earth and I just love doing that!!!
Did you find Linux difficult after Windows? A lot of Windows refugees find it hard to get their heads around things like users and being (or not being) root. Then they get frustrated and start whining that Windows is more user-friendly.
Hazel, when I installed suse 10 my windows xp was still on my computer. I used suse 10 for the Internet. When I put in Ubuntu I got completely rid of windows but kept the suse 10 on my computer.
I used to subscribe to Mr. Modem's newsletter and he helped me with a lot of things including how to delete my corrupted registry files in windows. I think I introduced him to seven things he had never heard of before!!
Although there are a lot of applications in computers I do not use them. Someday i hope to have a digital camera that I can use for pictures on my website and when that happens i will have to get into that.
I guess I am way beyond being simple!!
By the way I love the Avatar you chose for this group!!
I started out doing serious computing in the early 80's when the IBM PC first came out. My first one was an IBM PC and then a Compaq Plus (10MB hard drive) "transportable". The Compaq was basically the size of a sewing machine with a handle. I used DOS, but my main OS was QNX (Qunix in those days) - a real-time Unix look-alike. Later, I worked a lot with small Unix systems as well as DOS and QNX (mid-80's). In the 90's I worked mostly with big-iron Unix systems (HP, DEC, IBM, SUN, NCR) and started with Linux at the end of the 90's.
I've suffered with MS systems (DOS 1.0 thru 3.1.1 and then Windows 3.x thru Win7) but I have NEVER liked them. I have used the following Linux distributions, both personally and professionally: Gentoo, Mepis, Fedora, Suse, Freespire, Ubuntu (7.04 thru 9.04), and CentOS. My current systems run CentOS (main workstation) and Ubuntu 9.04 (laptop). I only run Windows, Unix, and QNX systems now in virtual machines (VirtualBox) on my CentOS 5.5 workstation.
The funny thing is that when I worked on "big iron", I never came across a UNIX system. I had heard of UNIX of course but I knew nothing about it except that it was used a lot in universities.
The first computer system I ever used was Maximop on an ICL mainframe, then George III/Mop on the same, and then a system called Primos on a Prime computer (Prime Computers was created by a bunch of disaffected Honeywell engineers). That was when I learned to program. Finally I moved on to VMS on a microVAX.
I came to DOS very late and didn't like it at all. I liked Windows (that was Windows 3) even less because I couldn't control the mouse; it turned out that my boss (who played squash and had a squash-player's reflexes) had set it to maximum sensitivity. I certainly didn't find point and click intuitive. And I still can't double-click properly!
Since I had a lot of involvement with relational databases, I did get involved with Prime systems, but the OS was Pick. That was just for a short while until Pick Systems ported their database to Unix operating systems. I did some consulting on that until the late 80's when I got more involved with real-time systems running on QNX.
Well, I feel at home with you life-traversing 'old timers'.
I spend 20 years at a university, doing electrical / electronic / computer science / IT support in a research department, supporting 956 medically disabled clients and projects thereto. I did analog IC design / computer interacing applications from 1979 and gradually transitioned into IT with relational DB, all on micros at that time. My first cx was a Rockwell Aim-65, 4Kilobytes RAM, 6502 assembler in ROM, built an out-board 28 Kilobyte LM-6116 based ram board for development, used dual cassette mass storage. Wrote a Word Star like word processor for school, then the third time around I linked my Aim and my Apple II for a final project, with an auto-detecting baud-rate routine, with a variable- software-clocked phase-lock-looping routine. Then on to 6803, ditched the Altair 8000 (S-50 buss and 8" floppies), into Z80 assembler, switched to dBASE and did IT development until I retired.
Well, I feel at home with you life-traversing 'old timers'. And the Word Counter cut me off !
Humbly, all I can say is that I've forgotten more than I'll ever learn again.
It has been an adventure, and I'm showing signs of not keeping up with it anymore.
Glad to meet up with Linux, so when my now faltering "mucking" kills the system
I have a great chance to re-install !!!