With over 100,000 members - share how you were initially introduced to open source technology! We have varying stories, backgrounds, industries and skill levels that make up the fabric of this community, we would love to hear how your story began.
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Many moons ago when I was studying at university, I needed to buy my first laptop in order to do courseworks. The laptop came pre-installed with DOS. A mate of mine who was "really good with computers" at that time installed Arch Linux for me. That's how it all started, and I've been using Linux since.
Somewhere in the 91-92 range. A friend of mine managed the internet backbone for Rice University when it still ran through Houston. He had gotten a 56k dedicated line installed at his house to the university and I sold him the computer that they used to offer shell accounts to other like minded individuals at the time. Since I sold him the computer I was given a free shell account and so, having grown up with DOS, found this new Unix thing to be very interesting. Not sure which distro I downloaded but it was very interesting having to compile everything from scratch. Amazing that ./configure; make; make install is still a valid way to install software these days.
I started when Patrick Volkerding sent me 12 1.44Mb floppy drive disk images to install Slackware .99 beta in college. From then on I was hooked. It's been over 25 years since then and I'm still working with open source.
On a lighter note, the first time I encountered the concept of free software was when I bought a set of 5,25" disks. I was so excited I already had software on it that my computer science teacher joked that he will throw them out of the window and make them truly "public domain" if I don't stop bragging (and interfering with his lesson).
More seriously, those were pre-compiled programs, my first real open source software were the Red Hat Linux 4 (not yet enterprise!) distro CD-ROMs that were attached to a computer magazine. It was a popular practice in the second half of the 90s, where internet links were available mostly at universities or through slooow modems.
In the early 2000. I was working for Telecommuncations company.
They made me system owner of RHL 7.2 based machines used to run SMS based applications powered by PHP and PostgreSQL.
From there on, I made sure to never stop.
And since, I avail time and money to keep learning more Linux.
Getting Red Hat certified come naturaly as next steps.w
I had had to renew my RHCSA and RHCE from time to time, but I made sure to keep my Linux knowledge up to date.
In 1996, the international organization I was working for decided that it was time to build internal and public web, ftp and mail servers in the branches around the globe. Our Regional Programme Office hosted a workshop for sysadmins to learn SuSE Linux (Red Hat was just 1 year old, while SuSE was 2). By that time, our office desktops were running Windows 3.1, and our network operating system was Novell Netware 3.12! I still keep the course completion certificate.