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On my way

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This is my page about Linux.

I started using Linux in 2002 and find that it is much more versatile than MicroSoft Windows™. I started out with Mandrake Linux 8.0 which went the way of the dodo when MadrakeSoft merged with Connectiva to form Mandriva Linux. In turn, Mandriva has recently (2011) been forked into Open Mandriva and Mageia. I have used many distros including Slackware, Mandrake/Mandriva, Red Hat, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Xubuntu, Debian, Damn Small Linux, Puppy Linux and some micro distros, Blueflops and Basic-Linux. To be honest I liked most of them! But, some more than others.

Slackware Linux, the oldest surviving Linux distribution is my distro of choice for heavy lifting and stability. That said, it is not for everyone, though with a bit of reading anyone could use it and get on comfortably with the support of the excellent and educated community at Linux Questions.

In 2010, I started using a system developed by Barry Kauler called "woof", which is designed to build a Puppy Linux distro from other Linux distros packages. Naturally, I chose to build with Slackware packages, due to Slackware's excellent stability. I named this project "Slacko" and you can read more about it on my blog.

I prefer to use free and open source software whenever possible, even when I am forced to use Windows. The are Linux distributions available that are 100% free/libre that contain absolutely no proprietary software. Unfortunately, many hardware manufactureres do not release source code for their drivers but firmware "blobs", that contain closed source software to allow the hardware to run under the operating system. This can be changed by people doing a little research when they purchase hardware, we all know the almighty dollar is king!

There are literally thousands of FLOSS projects around, matching up with many proprietary programs. LibreOffice is a great example. Not only is free software open source but free as in free beer too, that is, you don't pay! Other great examples are Apache Web server (powering most of the web servers on the net) and the Android operating system, powering many of the world's smart phones.

I started coding with Linux distros in 2007, at first just editing shell scripts to suit my needs. (Shell scripting is a simple yet powerful way of calling different programs to automate certain tasks, similar to batch programs in Windows). Now I've written many scripts, with the help of the community, and even written a couple of programs in the C language, nothing fancy as I am not really a programmer, just a hobbyist.

Anyhow, I will add to this site from time to time, I hope you enjoy.