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Comment: How did you get here? (Score 5, Interesting) 203

by cyberbill79 (#38111806) Attached to: 2-Year Study Shows Mac Users Downloading More Open Source Software
I find many of these posts very interesting... especially the number of developers getting Macs. I was one of them myself at one point. But I find what intrigues me most is wondering about their histories and past experiences with the os's.

I am currently 99.999% linux, only using Windows or Mac when testing sites or software. But that's not how things began...

I am currently 32. I like many my age, but not all, had grown up with the Apple II's in my elementary school. My earliest memory of such events was being the 'printer expert' in 2nd grade. When anything went wrong with it, I was asked to fix it. I was an Apple fan, amazed at what I could do with this yellowing grey box on the desk. At one point my father came home with an Apple IIgs which just expanded on my experiences, buying my first modem and connecting to the world via the BBS's around at the time. My first email address was through one of these boards. We later got a Macintosh, I forget the model, but it had all sorts of multimedia capabilities. In high school, I bought my first PC from a friend. He gave me MS DOS 6.22 to use, and later Windows 3.11. I found it all very interesting, and learned quite a bit about the OS after formatting and reinstalling it so many times. Maybe a year later, I found out about Linux from another friend at school. He was very passionate about it which made me so curious about this relatively unknown OS. My first time installing Linux was very painful, but I was determined. Through Windows, downloading a handful of disk images, and then rebooting and loading what I downloaded onto a second partition. After a few times going back and forth, I had enough of the system installed, that I could get myself online through Linux and continue installing the packages there. Compiling the kernel I don't know how many times to get this or that working. Finally the full installation setup with X a week after I had began. From that point on, I had strived to use Linux as my main system. Only problem was I liked using laptops. It took a very long time for Linux to become viable in this arena. I switched from various versions of windows to linux and back again for many, many years. I could never switch fully over for one reason or another. Quite often it was due to lack of software for some task. I keep trying, though I often had a second system setup as a Linux server for various network related tasks. Fast forward to about 4 years ago, I got my first Macintosh since way back. A Macbook Pro with the intel processor. I got Parallels and was able to still do my Windows stuff and play with Linux when I wanted to. 2 years later, I had my motherboard replaced because of the NVIDIA issue. It was at that point that I felt incredibly vulnerable if my system had actually gone down. Was I going to drop another $2,000 on a new Mac replacement if something went wrong? All my software was Mac-only! I had backed myself up against a wall. I began looking for multi-platform open-source free software to replace all of the OSX-only programs I was using. 6 months later I did a full backup of my system in-case anything went wrong during the transition, and leapt back into the Linux community wiping my Mac and installing a recent edition of a Linux distribution. Only a few stumbling blocks since the Macs were just starting to get support, but I had made the switch. One year later, the screen on my MacBook went bad, an internal crack that would cost about $300 for me to replace it myself, more if I had someone else do it. Typing blind, since the screen was completely unreadable, I got myself to another tty console and installed ssh using apt-get. I can't believe it wasn't on there, but now it's one of the first things I do. I was able to access everything on my computer now from my fiancée's laptop, which I had recently switched to Linux (she loves it! :) ), while I contemplated my situation. Replace the $300 screen on this 'aging' laptop (wow technology moves fast), replace it with a new one (I find just about every laptop I upgrade to costs around $2000), or buy a refurbished PC laptop with very similar specs, but double the RAM capacity for about $300... I bought the refurbished one. Installed the latest version of my favourite distribution, using a backup program I backed up my files from the macbook and restored them to my PC laptop. Other than the week when my screen died, it was like nothing had happened. I had moved myself on to a very open, pliable, and well supported distribution, that worked on both this laptop and the last, with a minimum of hassle. Remembering back to all the 'Linux Year of the Desktop' articles and comments, I say it already happened. Just not everyone was watching. Linux is very viable as a desktop OS and still amazes me when I do something that would be very hard or at least 'kludgy' on a Windows or Mac OS. I still have that Macbook, but now it resides plugged into my tv as a media center still running Linux. When it comes down to it, it all depends on how passionate you are about something. It took me 15 years to switch to Linux full-time, but I never doubted it would happen.

I don't know if you'll see this, or even bother reading it, but I am truly curious about other people's past experiences.
Do you have a story? I'd love to hear it.
-Bill

Comment: anger building... fury rising!!! (Score 3, Insightful) 357

by cyberbill79 (#28982261) Attached to: Microsoft Patents XML Word Processing Documents
I am speechless... How much dumber can these Software Patents get?

Software Engineer: "Hey look, I made this window open by using Ctrl-O. Neat huh?"
Manager/Lawyer/CFO/CEO: "Write it up! We'll corner the market on opening any windows! They'll be stuck! HA! Brilliant!"
Software Engineer: "What have I done... Oh well, where's the sysadmins? I must frag."

Software patents do not make sense in our current system. We crave competition, we need it. You build a brilliant program, I'll find someone who will one-up you. Don't worry, you get to fight back. Just make your program better/stronger/faster. That's how it works here.

First rule of 'Software Club': You don't fucking patent 'Software Club'.

[throws mic on floor]

Peace!

Comment: 1 small step 4 OSS kind, 1 giant leap 4 the world. (Score 1) 281

by cyberbill79 (#28190105) Attached to: Firefox 3.5 Beta Boosts Open Video Standard
A long journey starts with one small step. By having a major browser support it and a large site promote it, we are watching the process happen. Yes, it will be slow and take some time to be perfected. But of all the sites, slashdoters should be able to see what is to come. I am very surprised with many of the responses posted, though there are a number of Anonymous trolls out there. Remember how long it took for Mozilla to become Firefox? The time it took for Linus' Linux to become so embedded in today's speech? The speed of the process and the amount of people contributing to today's projects have increased. It's only a matter of time. You are the voice of change. I have migrated large numbers of users from IE to Firefox just with words. Use the technology, send feedback to the developers. Join the project if you feel you have the time. All of you understand how our OSS world operates. We are the community that will move these technologies forward. Let us do what we do best... break it every way we know possible. I'll see you on the other side.

Comment: Cable TV vs Internet (Score 2, Interesting) 334

by cyberbill79 (#27807661) Attached to: The Problem With Cable Is Television
My first issue with the cable company came when they took SpeedTV (before it became a NASCAR station, ugh.) and made it part of a 'sports package' back in 2001. I had no want of the other stations they wished to 'push' to me as a subscriber, so we didn't pay for the new package. Since then, I have stopped using cable, and have been using such services as hulu and others which are perfectly capable of providing adequate entertainment over my 'turtle-slow' DSL line (note not using cable internet). I am not a promoter of nor benefactor of hulu, but wish to say it might be a better business model for the cable industry than what it currently has in place.

To quote: (and you better know by who)
"We make use of a service already existing without paying for what could be dirt-cheap if it wasn't run by profiteering gluttons..."

I am sorry, but why should we pay a premium for what is already publicly available?
-cb

Comment: Slackware circa 1996 (Score 1) 739

by cyberbill79 (#27714143) Attached to: What Did You Do First With Linux?
Slackware circa 1996.

Found it a bit difficult, but decided it was worth it. Had very limited disk space, so downloaded it and installed it in stages. It was going on the same computer it was downloaded on, so setup partitions for dual booting, downloaded very base system on my super fast 14.4k modem, copied it on to 3.5" floppies, installed. Now the base install had no inet support. sooo.... reboot back into windows 3.11, download the next package, copy to floppy, reboot, install, repeat. Eventually had enough of the system installed to do it directly in linux, however had to copy to floppy as I went to keep open disk space. Of course not everything worked right, X11 video card, sound card, etc... so began the kernel recompiling...

MARK! fully installed system working within 2 weeks.

Comment: Re:What the Heck? (Score 1) 126

by cyberbill79 (#23469548) Attached to: RISC Vs. CISC In Mobile Computing
Despite most, I still enjoy this movie. Actually have it running now due to the inspiration this article gave me. Still have my red book somewhere. ;)
It really was 'bleeding edge' tech (in theory) when it came out. We've come so far so quickly. A friend and I still joke about the '28.8bps' modem (which I had the zoom modem featured in the film).
Now on the same note, the virus attack scene at the end was repeated today at my place of work. I haven't seen bugz crawling across the screen literally eating it for so long, I couldn't stop laughing. :)
They don't like to pay me for my tech work, so had them call the local exterminator. Too bad. Last place I ran the show, did too good of a job, didn't have a single virus call. ;)

Always leave room to add an explanation if it doesn't work out.

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