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Discussion on: Do you use Linux? Answer for the chance to appear on the DevDiscuss podcast!

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Brian Masinick

I have been a regular Linux user since November 1995. I found a minicomputer running an old version of UNIX while I was an undergraduate student in the late 1970s and a few years later in 1982 I had an opportunity to use UNIX every day instead of either timesharing on a mainframe computer, or even more frustrating, submitting batch jobs and await their completion. Receiving output, whether in printed or visual form was difficult with the mainframe systems, so to use UNIX was a pleasure.
By 1985 I switched jobs, working for a computer manufacturing company. I was fortunate to work in their telecommunications organization, matching my previous job experience, and that put me in immediate contact with UNIX software. Within 7-8 years I was regularly hearing about Linux software, so I followed it until I had an opportunity to get my hands on it.

Personal computers were still fairly expensive in those days, so I had to wait patiently for the right opportunity. In 1995 a friend of mine was passing around CDs containing an early version of Linux. That made me even more interested, so I looked for a good deal and finally found a personal computer. It didn't have Linux pre-installed, but I made sure that it had "compatible" hardware, and then I bought a book that also contained a copy of Slackware Linux and installed it.

Restrictions were still in place because Broadband networks were still a couple of years away. In 1999 I got Broadband available in my home and from then on I was able to download my own systems and I have used predominantly Linux ever since, with an occasional BSD or VxWorks, or whatever other OS I can freely download and try out, but my daily driver, including right now, is a laptop with Linux - today it's a Dell Inspiron 5558 with a dozen or more distributions, some on hard disk, others on removable USB drives and portable sticks.

I only use other systems today when I'm testing them or away from my own system.

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Brian Masinick

I'm also retired, so I only do this as a part time hobby, but it's Linux most every day.