[UFO Chicago] what draws you here?

John Kilbourne jkilbour@pol.net
Sun, 27 Jan 2002 23:08:07 -0500 (EST)

I'm curious why people are drawn to go through the trouble of 
learning and using linux. (assuming that others share some sense that 
it is challenging.) 

I remember two things I read between August and October. The first 
was a snippet of In the Beginning Was the Command Line by Neil 
Stephenson, where he described linux as a free all-terrrain vehicle 
that gets 100 miles to the gallon and doesn't break down, and windows 
as a kind of plain station wagon that is expensive but has 
dealerships on every corner for people who believe in ABC news. It 
wasn't till I read The Cathedral and the Bazaar that I decided, "I 
want to learn this". Eric Raymond said that learning unix/linux is 
one step to gaining some sort of mastery with the computer (along 
with learning a few programming languages and some other advice that 
I've forgotten now).

I figure that just getting linux to run means I must have learned 
some general, useful things about computers. This is self-verifying; 
nobody has to tell me that I do or don't know something. When my 
email goes primarily to my linux box, that will be one additional, 
objective indicator that I've learned something. It was only last 
week that I finally got my RH 7.2 configured to access the web 
through my DSL (thank you roaring penguin and linuxquestions.org. 

So why do you do this at all?