Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end; then stop.Since so much of what I am going to cover is related to Linux. I thought I would start with why I started using Linux in the first place. Sherman, fire up the wayback machine and set it for 1999.
In 1999 Microsoft had announced there .NET initiative. No, that is not .NET the programming environment of C#. Back then Microsoft did not have a well defined image of what .NET was. It was a cool name. It was also an agenda that they really wanted to keep below the radar...Software as a Service.
Part of the .NET dream back then was a steady monthly revenue stream coming into Microsoft. Instead of someone buying Microsoft Office for $250.00, and then running it for 5 years because they feel no need to upgrade. The idea of $10 a month as a rental sounds better. 10 x 12 = 120 per year. 120 x 5 = 600.
So Microsoft had decided that it wanted to shift from OS and Office software sales. To software rentals. So part of .NET was the idea of Microsoft shifting to all of your software being downloaded from the server to your computer to run. With all of your data stored on their servers. You pay a monthly fee.
This would also mean if you did not pay, you had no data or software. If they made a billing mistake, they had your data and software. In a world where Microsoft software for rent is the only thing going. There is no choice in what programs you run. No chance of getting missing features. No competition. Plus they can look at your data and decide what you can do with it.
Yes, that may be the vision of what .NET/Palladium could look like if Microsoft got everything they wanted. If they got fat and lazy and just expected to take in money, exploit end users and provide as little in return as possible. It would be more likely that things would not go to such extremes.
Where we are in 2008 is Microsoft sucking at renting out software. They have just pulled their paid for anti-virus product. They had a rental version of Office that came out in July and that has already been discontinued. The last 9 years have not been kind to Microsoft. They are not trusted by the average user like they were then. Maybe to many security exploits and lots of spyware.
Now it looks like they will never perfect renting out software. Back in 1999, if you were in the know you knew Microsoft often got their way. You could see the possibility of it being their computer and their data. Instead of your computer and your data.
So I was looking for a way of escape......
Macintosh's were to much money. My way to computer freedom had to be at a more affordable price. I knew what an OS was. With being on the Internet. I kept hearing about this "Linux" OS that ran lots of things on the Internet. So it looked like it would be worth checking out.
Then when I found out the price on Linux was free. You could download it and run it at no charge. Well, lets just say it kept getting better and better looking. I had gotten a book on Linux at a used store. It was centered around Slackware linux and what it was like in 1996 or 1997. Somehow I ordered 4 or 5 different Linux's from Wallnut Creek at $2.00 a CD. I was going to take the plunge and install Linux.
What happend next was not something I expected. But that is another blog entry....