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Linux Journal: Getting the Desktop Ready for Linux: A Historical Analysis

Jun 26, 2003, 11:00 (13 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Glenn Stone)

"One of my non-Linux-savvy friends asked me the question, what's significant about Linux for her? The fact that she would ask this question, combined with a note from Phil Hughes, got me to thinking--is Linux finally ready for the desktop?

"In 1998, I bought my wife a computer. It was a surplus Dell 486/66, into which I stuffed 32MB of RAM and an ET4000 video card (the VGA module had fried, but otherwise the computer was good). Add an NE-2000-clone NIC, and it was ready for the home LAN.

"She insisted on Windows, because she was a secretary at the time and wanted to keep up her chops at home. I grudgingly dropped Windows 95 on the box. This lasted about three months, until the registry ate itself twice in as many weeks. At this point my wife exhibited her penchant for resembling a Sea-Bee in the audio spectrum and told me to install Linux. Grinning to myself, I grabbed a Red Hat 5 CD and set to work. Netscape and Solitaire were installed, and the audio feed from her end of the table quickly subsided from NC-17 to PG. She's never looked back, and I thought to myself, surely Linux is ready for the desktop..."

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