Me and Linux

My first linux CD-ROM

My first Linux CD-ROM: SLS 1.02
This was my first Linux CD-ROM. At the time, it was May, 1993, I had a partial and slow access to the Internet at work (only e-mail, telnet and ftp, but no newsgroups); at home i was an active member of the bbs fidonet network community. A day, in the Fidonet UNIX.ITA area (a fidonet area is like an internet newsgroup) i read a posting about the aviability of Linux on CD-ROM from a company, based in Canada, and called SLS (Softlanding Linux System).
I immediately bought it, repartitoned my 486DX33 with 250Mb of Hard Disk and 4Mb of RAM, created a 100Mb partition for Linux (plus a 16Mb partition for swap) and installed the SLS distribution of Linux.
At the time the Linux Documentation Project wasn't started yet, the kernel was at version 0.99p9 (0.99 patch level 9), and the only help was the really big Linux FAQ by Marc-Michel Corsini.

In that FAQ there were really interesting things like:

  • LINUX runs only on 386/486 AT-bus machines; porting to non-Intel architectures is likely to be difficult, as the kernel makes extensive use of 386 memory management and task primitives.
  • How much space will Linux take up on my hard drive? Usually it's somewhere between 10 megs (for a nominal system+swap space) and 30-40 megs (for everything plus space for user directories, etc.). BTW the full SLS needs around 60 MB (including TeX and other goodies).
  • Why can't we split comp.os.linux?

One year later, in 1994, I started a BBS running on my Linux box and part of the Fidonet network, it was called "niXnet" and his motto was "Linux based, Unix oriented". Here you can find an old Fidonet Nodelist for Friday, October 28, 1994 -- Day number 301 where my BBS was listed.


My first Netscape

My first Netscape
At the time it wasn't possible (at least in Italy) to legitimely have an internet connection from home. At the end of 1993 i signed my first subscription to Galactica, it was a BBS with telnet, ftp access and usenet newsgroups imported as Fidonet Areas. It was funny to have internet access from home, but wasn't possible to use Mosaic. To navigate on the web i waited until the first months of 1994 when a provider with full SLIP internet access was born here in Italy; it was Inrete in Turin. The first programs I used to navigate were lynx and Mosaic; I really impressed my friends with my linux system and Mosaic. In the Fall of 1994 I discovered Netscape and its ability to display a page before it was fully loaded; immediately the perceived speed increased dramatically.
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