View Full Version : What got you hooked onto Linux and open source?

May 20th, 2012, 11:07 AM
Have any of you spend time with Emacs psychiatrist? I remember the first time many, many years ago (around 1994) when I first discovered Linux this freaked me out beyond believe :D

It made me download the source code to Emacs (this is where I realised that lisp was not from earth) and look at how this program did what it did. It left a very powerful impression on a young impressionable mind and converted me to the open source way of thinking. Having access to the SOURCE meant I could learn and discover how all these very cool programs did what they did!

So have any of you had similar experiences with other open source apps or even with Emacs itself?


May 20th, 2012, 12:32 PM
I did so with the kernel once to see why a livecd wouldn't boot (turned out as bad ram).

May 20th, 2012, 12:34 PM

Duncan J Murray
May 20th, 2012, 02:48 PM
Windows Genuine Advantage

Frogs Hair
May 20th, 2012, 03:26 PM
I had Celestia , Open Office, and 7zip on Windows , so that was my first exposure to open source. Though Celestia I discovered Sourceforge, but it was Wubi that got me to install Ubuntu 9.10 . I think I would have tried Ubuntu without Wubi but it may have taken longer. Ubuntu had more face time on the web than other distros at that time, so it was my first choice.

May 20th, 2012, 03:58 PM
I started with Linux mainly for the security, but if it wasn't free i would not buy it (not now)

But above all i just like the philosophy. After watching the "Revolution OS" docu on youtube i was hooked. A week later ( after much research ) i installed Ubuntu 12.04. I love it, it gives me satisfaction (at the end) when i configure something on my system, like making rules for my firewall.

If you haven't watched the docu and you have some time i would really recommend it.

Great quote from Richard Stallman in the docu:

When I was a kid and I went to school, the teachers were trying to teach us to share. They said if you bring some candy, you can't eat it all yourself, you gotta share with other kids.
But now the administration says teachers should be teaching kids to say yes to licensing. If you bring some software to school,
"Oh! No, don't share it...sharing means you're pirate,
sharing means you'll be put in jail."
That's not the way society should work.
We need the good will, the willingness to help other people
at least when it's not too hard, because that's the basis of society, that's the fundamental resource, That gives us a society instead of a dog-eat-dog jungle.

May 20th, 2012, 04:33 PM
Great quote. Thanks for sharing, Lynceus

May 20th, 2012, 06:24 PM
The idea that people were making products because of passion, not profit, convinced me that even if things weren't perfect now, they would get better and more amazing quicker than people only coding to pay the bills.

And then I, little old me, could someday contribute too!

I'm probably crazy...

May 20th, 2012, 06:53 PM
Returned to college never having used a computer, I was given a reference to a organization that had used computers. I went there and picked one up, turned out to be that ubuntu dapper was the installed OS, they only released with ubuntu, never looked back, seemed like a functional OS.

Here is the organization.

black veils
May 20th, 2012, 08:54 PM
the choices! and new software to play with. as time passed i really liked all the software i discovered.

i have been reading various Linux things, every day, for over a year!

May 20th, 2012, 08:57 PM
A teacher suggesting Open Office for writing an assignment. I liked their motto "the legal alternative" (or something like that) and it immediately appealed to me. Prior to that I was always used to 'free' Microsoft products and this got me thinking. Later I learned about Unix, what Linux was and later that a nice OS existed that was called Ubuntu (or something like that ;) ) that was also open source just like my office suite :P

May 20th, 2012, 09:10 PM
I was an Amiga format suscriber, then it stopped and instead i got Linux Format so I had to buy a PC to try out the free CD. Eventually I was buying Mandrake Powerpack boxes with SuSe proffessional in between. These offered a load of games at install time, the later Opensuse did`nt and the RPM`s would`nt work properly. Enter Ubuntu with Synaptic I even put up with Gnome then came Unity....I`m Kubuntu now with tradional menu launcher. I use it 99% of the time because its quicker/safer.

May 20th, 2012, 09:26 PM
I was raised on hand-me-down computers and since I live in a country that more than half the world don't know (No, not in Africa ), I had to download a lot of ... 'free' stuff. At the age of 15, latest hand-me-down system was getting really slow and I was tired of having to reinstall Windows and make it work, so I asked my cousin if he knew something other than Windows and Mac, jokingly he said Linux, so I went online, found Ubuntu, downloaded Kubuntu, installed and never thought of going back to Windows again. Way faster, way stabler, easier to fix, low maintenance.

Since then I got hooked on OSS and regret ever thinking of using proprietary stuff. Even got myself an Android, _just because_ it is based on Linux.

May 20th, 2012, 09:31 PM
Windows Genuine Advantage

Made me LOL..

What got me hooked on Linux. My superiority complex.

Its my pc. My money. I want it to look, sound and act the way I want it to as well as completely belong to me when I get done.

May 20th, 2012, 09:38 PM
What got me started with Linux?

At the time I owned my own business and was working for X also at the time. I needed an alternative to offer my customers and Linux was an obvious choice.

Skara Brae
May 20th, 2012, 10:12 PM
Windows Genuine Advantage
That made me laugh.

Long ago, so long that I can't remember when, I was curious about this "SuSE Linux" box that I saw in a bookstore. I knew it was a computer operating system, but I had no idea what exactly it was. So I purchased it; it was SuSE Linux (a version 6, I believe). I never got it to work properly :) It is so long ago that I didn't even have internet, back then. Linux was my first step in the world of OSS.

I was curious.

What is special about opensource is the "community feeling" that I get, even though 99.9% of other Linux/Ubuntu users are only a name on a messageboard(s) and even though I don't/can't contribute. With opensource I don't feel like a customer who's only good because of his money, but I feel like a fellow Linux user. I feel like being part of something.

What is special is the fact that hundreds, thousands of people create real, functioning software... and then they just give it away. I find that amazing. No wonder Steve Bullmer called Linux communism :-)

May 20th, 2012, 10:32 PM
My best friend actually got me hooked on Linux.

After seeing a demo of Ultimate Edition on youtube I was totally blown away!

Life w/o Linux would be catastrophic and depressing.:P

May 21st, 2012, 12:10 AM
FOSS reminded me of the days when home computers began. Microsoft and Apple didn't exist.

You had to build your computer yourself. The programs were written in Assembly language. If you had an 8080 8-bit processor and wanted to run a program on a 6800 processor, you had to convert the assembly language.

We didn't copyright or patent software. We freely shared what we had. At my job, we had a file cabinet were we shared software. Eventually, we were able to use dial-up bulletin boards.

FOSS reminded me of those days.

May 21st, 2012, 12:35 AM
many years ago when i got my first laptop,after a while the windows xp cd got scratched and unusable...
so i called support but they refused to give me another one due to some kind of policy change..
so i tried my luck with ubuntu.

May 21st, 2012, 02:29 AM
That made me laugh.

Same here..Actually,what got me curious was Lindows and Microsoft decking it out in court over the name "Lindows"...From there...I installed my first open source software,Fire fox and next thing I knew, I tried Linspire and there was not turning back.

Dr. C
May 21st, 2012, 05:20 AM
For the very same reason I was a loyal customer of Microsoft in the 1990's, my absolute hatred of DRM.

I developed my hatred of DRM (It was called copy protection back then) in the early 1990's in particular when Windows NT 3.5 came out. In those days DRM consisted among other things of deliberately creating bad sectors on 5.25in floppy disks. Another option was dongles. The result was that Windows 3.1 / DOS software that was infected with DRM did not work at all on Windows NT 3.5 / 3.51. On the other hand regular Windows 3.1 / DOS software worked better and without the regular BSOD in Windows NT. This is because Windows NT was fully preemptive multitasking including 16 bit Windows applications back in 1994. This by the way was not the case for Windows 3.xx, 95, 98, 98SE or ME. Windows NT 3.51 by the way was a very stable versions of Windows. I don't recall ever getting a BSOD on Windows NT 3.51. In those days one could avoid software that was infected with DRM by purchasing Microsoft products.

After the passage of the DMCA in the United States, Microsoft literally turned to the dark side. One of the first DRM infections was Windows ME with its support for music infected with DRM. It was soon followed by DRM infections is some academic versions of Office 2000 and of course by Windows activation in Windows XP and Office XP. At the same time more and more resources were being dedicated at Microsoft to DRM. Remember Palladium?. This of course resulted in Microsoft spending over 5 years and billions of dollars in resources rewriting Windows in order to accommodate DRM. The result of course was Windows Vista.

It was apparent to me that I could not keep using Windows NT 4.0 and Microsoft Office 97 for ever. I considered Apple however it was also apparent to me that Apple was also turning to the dark side with DRM. I actually got the feeling that moving from Microsoft to Apple to avoid DRM was like jumping out of the frying pan into the fire.

The next option was of course GNU / Linux. I started doing my research and of course came across the writings of Richard Stallman. If there is one thing that really resonated with me was the term “Defective by Design” to describe DRM. Every time I hear the term, I come back to that 5.25in floppy disk with the deliberately created defects (bad sectors). In 1994 and 1995 I researched various GNU / Linux distributions and finally settled on Ubuntu. My goal was to have my Ubuntu desktop working well in advance of the scheduled release of Windows Vista. The rest is history. I have been using Ubuntu for the last six years as my primary OS and absolutely love it. The release of GPL v3 with its strong anti-DRM provisions has really solidified my support for the Free Software movement. It is also very gratifying to seen many Open Source and Free Software projects adopt the GPL v3 and AGPL v3. This will provide a very strong guarantee that GNU / Linux will not locked down with DRM like its competitors, especially in the mobile sector. Furthermore Canonical's strong support for the GPL v3 and AGPL v3 is further strengthening my loyalty to Ubuntu.

As for Microsoft, well there is always the hope that the company can be turned.

May 21st, 2012, 05:27 AM
For me, it was back when I found out about Firefox, not long after it was first released, and Open Office. I was started using those and other free stuff in Windows XP, and it was because of those that I found out about Linux.

May 21st, 2012, 05:59 AM
I remember it like it was yesterday. I read this PC World article:


I was very interested. I knew about Linux since the early 2000s and always had wanted to give it a try, yet too unsure about the skills I would need to do it. This article basically told me how easy it was and I decided that it was time to give Linux a shot. I used Wubi for 8.04 and 8.10. At 9.04 I did a complete wipe of my Windows XP partition and I have never looked back.

May 21st, 2012, 07:37 AM
Being free was the only reason that got me onto GNU/Linux and open source

May 21st, 2012, 08:18 AM
I had a pIII in 2003-2004 running win98ME which became a malware sponge. For the most part I taught myself how to secure it and clean it. Eventually it became more work than it was worth. After a few reinstalls of windows, a friend on irc suggested Ubuntu Warty Warthog and walked me through setting up a dual boot system. Even though my sound card was not supported, I ended up booting into Ubuntu more often than windows.

Through subsequent distrohopping I learned a lot about computers and how to take advantage of the modularity of Linux. Ever since then I have maintained a linux partition on all of my machines--most of them running linux exclusively.

I think windows 7 is a much-improved version of the windows OS but I wouldn't have bothered with it had I not received a student discount ($30) or had it not beeen preinstalled on my thinkpad.

I suspect that when windows 8 hits and steam comes to Linux I will have little or no need for Windows ever again.

May 23rd, 2012, 04:33 PM
Windows Genuine Advantage

+1, though i must admit i owe BSOD some of the credit for it as well

And then someone had once shown me Mandriva, and i heard of Ubuntu. that was 5 years ago.

May 23rd, 2012, 05:01 PM
What got me hooked is Ubuntu, as it's a very good OS (the best I've used), and the other very useful, quality free software that you can get for Linux.

The price of things doesn't ever really concern me, but the value of what I'm paying for does (since Ubuntu is free, I try to pay for Ubuntu One, and some of their services).

Furthermore, philosophically speaking, open-source is much more compatible with true 'laissez-faire' capitalism, than the patent-abusing, protectionist corporations.

Protectionism in general, whether it's tariffs, patents, 'locking in' customers - hurts the economy, slows wealth generation and halts progress - to benefit a small minority.

May 23rd, 2012, 07:39 PM
I think I found a Red Hat 3 book and disk set in a store somewhere back in the day, and bought it and tried it out of curiousity. I was fascinated and hooked, and have been using Linux and open source software since then (although not Red Hat/Fedora).

May 23rd, 2012, 08:45 PM
Mainly a bad update in windows XP and firefox.
Service pack 1 killed my computer no less then three times, I hasd to reinstall windows so many times I almost lost count.

May 24th, 2012, 12:04 AM
Curiosity plus using Gimp and Raw Therapee on Windows XP, so slow, then realised they were available on Ubuntu, run so much better.