[TUHS] Why Linux not another PC/UNIX [was Mach for i386 ...]

Clem Cole clemc at ccc.com
Thu Feb 23 09:29:50 AEST 2017

Arno - thanks for more on this, as I think you scratched a difference
between your experience and my own.

​By the time Linux shows up in the early 1990s, people like me had been
developing UNIX for a long time and the novelty of hacking on the system,
making changes, bug fixes was gone.   I just wanted to use it on a PC/386.

BSD for the 386 worked and so Linux was a step backwards and I was only
going there because I felt I needed too.  I remember when I first got
Slackware running, after the trying Linus's 0.9 mumble release.... and it
actually sort of ran ...  saying "maybe this will work"  but then I start
running it issues such as I could not back up it like my other systems,
network hosed up, few scripts "just worked",  etc..

Yet, one of my coworkers who was about 2/3 years out of school at that
point, thought Linux was so cool because of all things Arno suggested.   He
could submit bug reports and he changes go in.  When I was b*tching about
something breaking, he would say - "Clem you know how to fix it   And I
would reply "yup I do.  But I don't want to."  This was a the system I
wanted to use ( at home ).​  I get paid to hack at work.  I wanted a
DOS/Windows alternative for home that I could rely on.  I was not looking
for a yet another system to do development (I had that).

Which shows that difference... I was part of Chet's club, so I was hacking
on UNIX already, and I did not need/want another system at home to hack
just to keep my day to day working at home (or my wife being able to print
things etc).   The point was that I did not mind fixing the occasional
thing I ran into with BSD - but those problem were few and usually had to
do with new device bring up.   But once something was was running, I could
just use it.   But the Linux systems I could not do that - they were very
fragile, so it was not "fun" -- it was work.

That was probably different for many of you.   Linux was fun and cool, just
like UNIX had been for me 10-15 years earlier in the mid 1970s.

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