Posted by: Richard Chennault | June 6, 2006

I'm no Microsoft Shill

One thing that bugs me is my incessant need to continue to work with operating systems (OS). I’ve an itch around testing, configuring and installing OS’s that I can’t seem to shake. Last year my favourite OS was Linux of the Gentoo kind (read about it here). I’ve been a fan boy of Linux way before the hype wave around Linux took off in the late 90’s.

My first installation of Linux was in 1994. I installed it on my ageing 80486 DX2 66 MHZ PC. Yeah that long ago. The distribution (heck the only distribution I guess) was Slackware. It came on several floppy disk but I believe I was fortune it enough to get it on CD. My first experiences with a non-Microsoft OS was both exhilarating and time consuming. I felt as if I was part of some kind of digerati underground. I became proficient at recompiling the Linux kernel and then compiling more applications from the CD. Eventually however my passion for the out the main stream wore off as my gaming addiction needed its fix. I said goodbye to Linux for a few years until 1997 when I re-entered the work force.

My second flirtation with Linux was actually in the form of Unix. I know Unix ain’t Linux but then again neither in my opinion is AIX (god I hate AIX). My new job at Netscape (1998) introduced me to Solaris as my main working environment. Hell I spent more time bash(ing) away at Solaris than I did with Microsoft. In fact I really can’t remember using the dread Micro$oft OS during my entire stay at Netscape. Sure there were other dalliances with HP-UX (pronounced H-pux), AIX (Ain’t it Unix?), IRIX (SGI’s failed attempt) and DEC (Dead Electronic Computers). But Solaris was my main stay. While I never was a big shell scripter I fancied myself as a competent Solaris administrator. You had to be because there was no IT support at Netscape. At least I never knew of them. But alas all things must come to an end and I left the hallowed and hollow halls of Netscape (AOL bastards!) and went to work somewhere else.

However my infatuation never died. I returned to Linux once I left Netscape as I no longer had a free hosting service for my website. A colleague of mine from  (Adrian Blakey) gave me one of his old computers and I got on the RedHat bandwagon (circa 2001). Up went my website. I had LAMP running before people had the catchy acronym. Linux, Apache, MySQL (installed but not used) and Perl (PHP wasn’t around).

But like most infatuations my Linux box died. Bad hard drive. Pissed me off so much that I abandon Linux for Microsoft. I had gotten fed up with all the administration time I was putting into the box. Sure I was learning a lot and becoming quite adepts at being a general purpose linux administrator. But my career and interest were taking me in another direction ala Microsoft.

I installed Microsoft Server 2003 with Windows SharePoint Services v2 and left my site alone for nearly three years.

Now I’m thinking it is time to go back to my roots. Someone stop me before I get hurt.

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