[TUHS] What was your "Aha, Unix!" moment?

Michael Kjörling michael at kjorling.se
Sun Oct 13 05:33:53 AEST 2019

On 11 Oct 2019 06:55 +1000, from wkt at tuhs.org (Warren Toomey):
> What was your "ahah" moment when you
> first saw that Unix was special, especially compared to the systems you'd
> previously used?

My Unix moment wasn't anywhere near as distinct as some other
peoples'. It was rather very much a gradual process.

I got Internet access of my own as I recall some time in 1996. (I'd
got a modem only a year or so earlier.) I definitely had Internet
access and my own e-mail address in mid-1996.

At that time, having had problems installing Windows 95 on top of
3.1x, I believe I was still running Windows for Workgroups 3.11 on

Before I figured out how to get Trumpet Winsock to talk to my ISP (it
probably would have gone more easily if not for the fact that due to
still young age at the time and English not being my native language I
was rather Englishtically challenged), that meant dial-up and log in
to my ISP's Unix systems, which I mainly used to send and receive
e-mail using Pine (which I _was_ able to figure out how to use).

Looking back today at some of the e-mails from around that time, I'm
guessing that system ran Solaris; the message-IDs from the oldest
e-mails I still have clearly indicate "Pine.SOL.3.92" but a quick web
search for what SOL meant to Pine turned out to be rather unhelpful.

Also somewhere around that same time, someone first introduced me to
Linux, but the two of us just weren't ready for each other at the
time. I dipped my toes twice before taking the plunge to using Linux
(then Red Hat 6.2) as my main desktop OS some time in mid-2000. Even
then it took a while to get used to, but on the whole, here I am
almost two decades later, not looking back... (though I do have to use
Windows at work.)

Michael Kjörling • https://michael.kjorling.semichael at kjorling.se
  “The most dangerous thought that you can have as a creative person
              is to think you know what you’re doing.” (Bret Victor)

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