I heard on a podcast today that Linux is celebrating 20 years this year. The 0.01 version of the Linux kernel was launched in September of 1991. That makes Linux 20 years old this year.
I first heard about Linux in 1995. I was immediately drawn to it. I think it is something about my personality that wants to do things differently than everyone else. I am usually the first of my friends to try new things. Sometimes those new things become very popular and I have to move away from them to find something different (my recent move from the iPhone to Android). Sometimes that new and different thing never catches on and dies a quick and painless death (Sharp Zaurus which ran Linux).
Linux is one of those things that I have been able to find a group of sympathetic friends who share my passion and frustration. Linux will probably never be mainstream by itself, but there are some pretty neat technologies that are built on top of Linux. While not strictly Linux, the guts of Mac OS X shares the same roots as Linux. Google’s Android platform is built on Linux.
I remember spending hours with the dial-up modem trying to download different distributions of Linux to try out. I would tie up the phone line as soon as I got home from work and leave the connection running all night. If there was ever a need for bittorrent technology it was back in the dial-up days.
From 1997 to 2001 I played with Linux heavily. I was never willing to commit to it as my main OS, but I spent a lot of time with it. I did not trust my work to Linux back in those days, but I probably dedicated more of my computer time to Linux.
In 2001 I took the plunge and loaded Linux as my main OS. Since then I have used it exclusively for work. I continued to dual boot for several years because of having certain games or specific programs that I wanted to use. Until recently I was booting Windows in a virtual machine because there were only one or two programs I wanted to use. Since I loaded on the latest version of Kubuntu Linux (11.04) I didn’t even bother to rebuild my virtual machine.
I am celebrating 10 years of Linux being my main OS and Linux is celebrating 20 years. It has been a fun journey.