I got into Linux back in the ’90s with a boxed copy of Mandrake Linux purchased from the Walmart in Pocomoke City, Maryland.
Yes, they used to sell boxed Linux at Walmart. It was a weird time of big dreams and basically unusable Linux distributions.
I loved working with Linux, but for a long time getting work done on Linux was tricky. I used to drive Dear old dad insane with my room full of funky old desktop towers scavenged from dumpsters rattling various flavors of open-source computing and stacks of books filled with weird commands. After a couple of disasters, he talked me into giving Linux a rest for a while and relying instead on the bland, flavorless, and stable pablum offered by Microsoft and Apple. I stayed a good consumer for a long while. It was boring.
During this Covid-19 shutdown, I realized that I missed interacting with my computer. I want to bang on my tower and swear like the dad from A Christmas Story! This time everything is working so that you don’t notice and uninstall the spyware stuff is for the birds.
I wrote The How and the Tao of Old Time Banjo on a Linux box. I wrote The How and the Tao of Folk Guitar and A Book of Five Strings on a PowerBook with a barely functional installation of Yellow Dog Linux.
The truth is, open-source computing can be flaky with an atheistic from a rejected Olympic Village design – but it exists because people love it. Just like Plan 9 From Outer Space or Equinox.
So, I headed over to distrowatch and tried a few of the distributions I used to use back in the day. I was torn between Mx Linux and Solus, but in the end, I had to go with Linux Mint simply because I don’t have time to deal with flaky sound card drivers and fighting to install Zoom in time for tonight.
In a few weeks, I will drag two more computers out of storage and get them running. Then I can work on Solus to get it where I need for writing, audio, and video work.