RedHat just posted a wonderful article to LinkedIn, that filled me with nostalgia: Test-drive Linux from 1993-2001.
My first experience with Linux was at the Hogeschool Utrecht, in Jaap's class on modern-day operating systems and networks. I've long forgotten his surname, but Jaap was always very enthusiastic about Linux and about what open source might mean for our future. In the labs, we set up Linux boxen and hooked up modems so we could make our own dial-in lines to school. None of us really knew what we were doing, just dicking around and learning as we went. It was a great experience! :)
I wanted to keep on working with Linux outside of our labs, so I hopped down to *) in Utrecht. I've forgotten what they were called at the time... Was it Donner? I dunno, we always called them "sterretje-hekje" (star-brace) for their logo. They were the largest bookstore in the center of Utrecht, and their basement was dedicated to academics. Among their endless stacks of IT books I found my treasured New Hackers Dictionary (the Jargon file) and the famed InfoMagic Linux Developer's Resource CD-ROM boxset (pictured left).
Trying the various CDs, I settled on RedHat 5.0 which ran pretty nicely on my Compaq Pressario AIO. Mmmm, 450MB hard drive, 4x CD-ROM and 16MB of RAM! ;)
Right before graduating from HU, one of the lab technicians gifted me a Televideo 950 dumb terminal. We'd used those in the OS-9 labs, while we learned assembly on the MC68000. I don't recall what hardware we used there... It was two students to a nondescript aluminum box, wired through token ring to a bright orange OS-9 server. I still wonder what server was!
Wow... Hard to believe it's already been eighteen years!
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