I am a long-time Linux advocate and user, and a happy Ubuntu user.
= Linux Background =
I've used computers since the early 1980's, when as a junior high school student I was exposed to TRS-80 Mod III's in the classroom. Shortly thereafter, my parents purchased a computer for me (a TRS-80 Color Computer), and I have owned and used computers constantly since that time. I've used Intel-based PCs, Macs, SPARC, and now work primarily on IBM Mainframe. My first exposure to Linux was in 1999, when a friend brought over an ancient Packard-Bell desktop machine that he had converted to a web server using Redhat Linux. I still remember logging into that machine for that first time, and thinking "Now What?" when I was presented with the command prompt (the machine didn't have enough memory to handle X). I've come a little way since that day. :)
For the next few years,I primarily stuck with Redhat, using every release through 9.0. Along the way (primarily when Redhat released versions 7 and 8, respectively) I used Mandrake (now Mandriva), Caldera Linux (now SCO), SuSE, and Slackware. In 2000 - 2001, I achieved SAIR Linux & GNU Administrator certification (in preparation for a short-lived stint with a Linux consulting start-up that promptly went belly-up).
In 2001, after gaining employment with a technology firm that used Solaris heavily, I got the opportunity to use Linux at work -- Redhat 7.3 at first, and later, Mandrake and SuSE. I learned first-hand both the advantages and pitfalls of using Free Software in the enterprise. At the same time, I worked with my brother to start a computer sales and repair business in rural north Missouri, where Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) played a key role in our business strategy.
I quickly discovered that while Linux had few peers on the server, it was a long way from being ready for the desktop. Until Ubuntu came along, that is. I have been happily using Ubuntu as my Linux desktop since Dapper.
= What I Do With Linux Today =
Although my full-time job as a software developer requires me to use a proprietary operating system from Redmond, Washington, I use Maverick at home. I enjoy helping new users discover the joy of Linux, work with the Ubuntu bugsquad, and enjoy debugging software at home. Most of all, I strongly support the Free Software Movement and I am an active advocate of FOSS solutions.
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