Saturday, June 16, 2007

The new blog, same as the old blog, only not

If you have ever read "Adventures in Linux", over at, then you already know what this blog is going to be about more or less. Where this one will be different is that this one is going to be more about everyday, personal Linux. The BMC blog is focused on data center and corporate desktop usage of Linux.
I will admit that I have strayed from those parameters at BMC many times. I will almost certainly stray farther afield here. For one thing, Open Source is a really big place to wonder around in. Wander around in too. And for another, I am also a big Apple OS.X user, so I am sure to get into that from time to time. Putting yet another thing in the blogs title though... well. It is generally considered bad form to have the title of the blog be longer than the posts therein. There-below. Something.
I will cross link posts from here to my corporate blog so that the content in each can reinforce each other, whenever they do. I have been posting at my corporate weblog for about two years, and there are about 130 or so posts, with over 300,000 words between them.
Backing up for a moment though, if you have not read any of that, and are wondering why I might have anything relevant to say about any of this... well, fairly asked.

On being old
I am really old. Older than dirt. The first computer I played with was a Radio Shack TRS-80 model 1 (with the 16k expansion) that a friend of mines dad bought. My first experience programming was sitting up one xmas eve with another friend who knew Basic, and writing a program in ASCII special characters that displayed a tree, presents under the tree, snow falling past an outside window, and a dog randomly barking at the tree. Took all night. My friend did all the work, but I walked away from that having a pretty good idea how to program in Basic.
That long night led to a TRS80 model 4, a TI 99 4/A, Windows, OS/2, Working on the mainframe OS VM, and in the early 1990's to Linux. My first distro I bought over at Microcenter for something like 10 USD. It was a huge set of CD disks that included Slackware, and a late 1.x Linux kernel.
One thing led to another, and eventually Linux became my primary OS at the office, and I have a number of laptops around the house where I keep various versions of Linux, depending on the experiment de jour. My current main personal Linux system is an Acer 5610 laptop, w/ 2GB of RAM, running Mint 3.0.

Open Source
Even when I am not using Linux itself, I use a great deal of, and support, Open Source. This is why this blog title is longer than the one at BMC; When I started blogging about Linux at BMC, while we used open source, and we had open sourced a number of things, we had not really announced an Open Source strategy. That will be changing. Stay tuned.
In the meantime, I use OpenOffice across all computer platforms (NeoOffice on the Apple, for now, although OpenOffice 2.3 Aqua is also loaded for testing). I use Parallels on the Mac (me and a zillion others, I know...) to run yet *more* versions of Linux. Many other Open Source tools as well (yes: I know Parallels is not Open Source: it just enables me to test Open Source on the Apple). I'll get more into this here over time.
That is probably enough for the first post. I'll try and get something up every week here, and another over at talk.bmc.
Stay Tuned...


Akshun J said...

You're not that old. I remember the TRS-80. I was seven, but I remember it. My first rig was a Compaq portable (about 28 lbs) with a retractable keyboard, 9" screen, a B/W CGA video card, two 5 1/4 floppy drives, 8088 processor running at 4.77Mhz, and 256KB of RAM. I added the internal 1200 baud modem at the age of 11. I believe it ran DOS 3.0. I just found a pic of it. You've REALLY got to see it to believe it.

Retail price in 1983? $3590. Good thing it was a gift! Man, that article brings back memories...

Steve Carl said...

We had one of those Compaq's when I was at NASA. We called it a "transportable" or "luggable" computer. It was that computer that made me decide to get the TRS-80 Model 4P... well, that one plus one I used at school, an Osborne.
The 4p ran both TRS-80 and CP/M. It was also a bit more luggable than the Compaq. I didn't really think about it, but CP/M was an OS that in some ways made me really comfortable with Linux when it arrived. I could not find the 4p where you found the Compaq, but did find it on this oddly similar site:

At $1700, I put it on layaway, and paid monthly for *months* till it was paid for. Makes this Acer 5610 seem dirt cheap...