"I programmed my home computer
To beam myself into the future..."
- Kraftwerk: 'Home Computer' (1981)
My first introduction to computing was learning BASIC on a Sinclair ZX81, aged ten. But it wasn't until two years later when I got an Acorn BBC Microcomputer Model B that my fascination really developed. I subsequently owned a Yamaha CX5M (MSX music computer) and an Atari 520ST, but for me they didn't have the power of the Beeb. Later at college I used the Acorn Archimedes, Apple Macintosh and IBM PC's and mainframes, discovering the Internet and learning PASCAL, Modula_2, C, C++ and Java. Yet I still harked back to the old days of colourful text on black screens and non-bloated software, before Microsoft took over the world with Windows and all its grey GUI squareness.
As the PC and Microsoft began to dominate, I lost all interest in this toy computing, until reading in 2000 about a new operating system called GNU/Linux which had been developed by enthusiasts since the 1980's as a free version of UNIX. At last, after a decade of MIST OR WIND OF COWS banality, I found that Real Computing still exists and is thriving. Soon I was running tomsrtbt Linux-on-a-floppy on the Windoze machines at college. Then I borrowed an old 486 computer and set about learning the skills and knowledge needed to build a machine to produce music with. Hence this website was born. Embarrassingly my first 'real' Linux distro was Caldera (by none other than SCO!) but after a few days I abandoned that icky monstrosity and found Debian. I later acquired some Pentium IIIs, and an Acorn Archimedes from a friend, which is a classic; what fun to be able to run BBC Basic again! Inspired by this, I rescued my old BBC Micro from Mama's loft, but that's a different story...
Fast forward to the present... Since then, the Linux love affair has blossomed, adding Custom Debian Distributions AGNULA DeMuDi and 64Studio for my music computer. When they changed into an Ubuntu variant, I happily discovered sidux and then aptosid, the most "stable" OS I've used since BBC Basic :-)
© copyleft Malcolm Smith 2003-06-22 - last updated 2011-12-29 - links verified 2006-06-24