Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Linux all the way

Right from the start of college,I am hearing this word,Linux.There were different pronunciations provided for it ,according to some of the intellectual giants of the time.It all sounded so alien for a guy who had done some easy VB programming and the only challenging work ever done was using sql and pl/sql.

There was this utterly black screen on every computer used for our labs...with red spirals and the word 'Debian'...another word which I had to gulp.Had some intro from the pulis who had at least heard of these things before,and managed to start moving around directories.But still it was all in the dark.

Then came a chance...a golden one I would say....but for me it was just a chance to hear more about this stuff.I am talking about an install fest of Linux conducted by our seniors,only for us.Due to fear of ragging and other reasons,many people didn't enroll.But I and a few others did enroll for this.Actually my memory is a bit weak,so I don't remember which workshop was conducted first...we had 2 of them...I assume it was this one which was conducted first.

It was actually interesting when we were given the notes containing commands and we tried them.The theory sessions on commands,users,administration..yawn...I remember falling asleep.They even provided snacks ;).After this workshop I was fairly good with commands(duh...the basic ones) and was going around either trying them or demonstrating to the poor souls of my class who missed the chance.

Even after all this,I had never installed a distro myself at home,I was afraid of tinkering with the system(for the fear of losing my games..).I couldn't risk losing anything,so I never looked into any of those things..administration(in windows),hardware most,I installed and uninstalled games with good speed and accuracy :P

Then came this real 'Golden' chance,Mandriva Install Fest.Attractive posters were stuck around the college and limited number of seats were available.Also,at that time,all workshops were paid for...nearly Rs.30/- per workshop,and also admission was on First Come First Serve basis.I got enrolled for this too...this time a very few people enrolled.This is evident from the photos I have put up.

I must say,this was almost a turning point in my life.Mandriva linux...made out of Mandrake and Connectiva(more terms....) was being installed worldwide.We were given in-depth class on installation methods,including the BIOS settings,danger zone of partitioning,configurations and other settings.It was really interesting and superbly conducted by Cherian,our super super senior and his team.We were even allowed to install it on some pcs and were given lots of Mandriva goodies and cds.

And lo...I never had to look back.I started off with Mandriva...tinkered with it...and soon my needs and aspirations took me to the bigger world of Debian,Fedora and what not.Throughout my quest for knowledge,many of my seniors(Sony and Anirudh) and most importantly,my friends played an important role in my achievements.In two years of working(read as tinkering with) on Linux,and conducting classes for juniors and school students,I believe I have matured a lot,compared to the noob in the photo.

I cannot say that I have mastered Linux,but I surely have gained a holistic view of the entire concept of Linux and Free Software.But I surely have a long way to go,and in order to get a further detailed and deep understanding of Unix,I must keep learning and most importantly keep experimenting.My seniors and even juniors are a continuous source of motivation for me.

Today when I saw an old mail from the 2006 batch seniors who conducted the install fest,I really wish to thank them for helping to create such a strong foundation and instilling the passion in me.These are photos were uploaded by them on the Mandriva site.All these photos in good resolution can be found here Click Here!
That is the sole cause for this don't think I am in a senti mood.I am actually looking forward to tear apart those things that I have been told about and try and search for the truth in it.Mr.Jay Jacob of the ILUG-Cochin had a point in saying that we should try and find the truth in everything.
Wonderful,now that is some food for thought....


  1. this is what is called utilizing the opportunities you get and make something out of them... from a person having "almost" 0 knowledge about linux you have escalated to a person who has been taking linux classes( i am referring to the linux week you had last sem)and that too in a matter of 2 and half years. and you still are maxing the max the opportunities you get. cool man ... teach me some linux too :)

  2. any time bro..actually i enjoy spreading knowledge..but u know..tats it..hehe...