"After skimming the documents, I left the page and went
back to my work, unimpressed. In fact, I was puzzling over why
anyone would use a distribution that requires the user to start the
installation by compiling new compilers. But over the next few days
I couldn't help but question myself: Was I, a competent Linux user
and software developer, afraid of trying my hand at building a
desktop system from scratch? Within a week, my rationality caved to
my pride, and I found myself downloading the 16-meg ISO image and
burning it onto a CD.
I popped it into my Athlon and hit the power switch. The machine
booted, and I found myself staring blankly at the ISOLINUX banner
and a boot prompt. Afraid to start off on the wrong foot, I just
stared at it, thinking that perhaps it was loading something or
probing my hardware. But nothing happened. The cursor just blinked.
At that moment, it occurred to me that Gentoo Linux should come
with a bright red sticker that says in large letters "WARNING:
Installing Gentoo Linux is not for the faint of heart!"
Remembering that the Web site had an online installation manual,
I brought out the laptop and punched in the URL. Once I had the
manual in front of me, my anxieties eased. Following the
instructions, I hit enter at the boot prompt, and things continued
on. I set about modprobe'ing drivers and configuring the network,
as the manual indicated. Once I had the network enabled, I ran
rsync and updated the packages on the system, giving me the most
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