I was trained as a Sun Solaris administrator a long time ago. The Sun network is long gone, but I still like UNIX a lot. I have installed GNU/Linux on all my home computers.

Almost all my software at home is free. Most of my personal files are stored in non-proprietary formats. My software is all legal. Software piracy is illegal, bad and unnecessary.

The only problem I have is that GNU/Linux has very little support for mechanical CAD. There was a version of Pro/Engineer available for GNU/Linux. Unfortunately, Pro/E encrypts its files, making it difficult to port to other 3D CAD packages. This sort of thing is the very antithesis of Free Software. In any case, it is no longer available.


I hope the following articles will help people who are interested in GNU/Linux. I document my installs so that I can do it again if I have to.

[Get Adobe Acrobat here!] I have switched most of the primary links below over to Adobe Acrobat format. I have HTML versions of the articles, but latex2html is having problems with some of the graphics. I am getting a good PDF output from LaTeX.

Unix Command Line HOWTO
This article should be helpful for users GNU/Linux, and for users of other UNIXes (unices?). I also get thank-you emails from Mac users.
Installing Rev Linux
Don't ask me why my computer is named Rev :). I installed Fedora GNU/Linux on it. [PDF] [HTML]
Installing Lenovi Linux
This is my new laptop upon which I have installed Fedora GNU/Linux. This the machine I take to bars, coffee shops, ski club, and professional events. [PDF] [HTML]
Installing Lenovo Linux
This is my old, portable Fedora GNU/Linux machine. This install is interesting because I did a Net Install on it. [PDF] [HTML]
Aspire Fedora
This is my old laptop. Now, it is a hack machine I try stuff out on. I retired this machine because the keyboard was too wonky for me to reliably type in the encryption key. [PDF] [HTML]
Aspire Ubuntu
I tried Ubuntu on this thing. [PDF] [HTML]
Aspire Slackware
Slackware is the very first GNU/Linux distribution I ever installed, way back in 1995. I had fun installing it, but I strongly recommend just about anything else. [PDF] [HTML]

Three Hour Rule

Three hours MAX! I refuse to spend three hours trying to fix a computer operating system. If things look difficult, I reformat the operating system partition, and I re-install. My three hour rule is feasible because...

...I have the install media.
If you do not have the install CDs or DVDs, you cannot carry out the ultimate rescue procedure.
...working directories are backed up...
...and/or are on a separate partition, preferably, both. What is your backup plan? Does it work? Test it now.
...I know how to do the re-install.
I know this because I have done it at least once, and I kept the notes, above.

I have never installed Microsoft Windows. I have the Windows 95 *.cab files for my Toshiba Satellite. I have no idea of how legitimate they are, and I do not care. My Windows 95 did not survive Y2K.

I never get a new operating system right on the first try. I am pretty good now with the various flavours of Red Hat Linux. I have installed Ubuntu. My first Linux install was Slackware 3.0. I have tried Slackware since, but it is not as convenient as Fedora or Ubuntu.


GNU Foundation
Linux is Free Software. "Free" is as in "freedom of speech" as opposed to "free beer".
Linux Online
This is a central website for all things Linux.
Toronto Linux Users Group
The Toronto Linux Users Group is interested in all things Linux. They meet once a month. They have a group for new users, and they have a mailing list that provides help and discussion.
The Linux HOWTO Index
There is a substantial library of document telling you how to do stuff with Linux, such as setting up serial ports, connecting to the internet, etc. If you are trying to figure out Linux, it is worth a look.
VI is the text editor of choice for UNIX system administrators. It is about as unintuitive as a text editor can get, but it is powerful once you learn it, especially if you touch type. There is no need to remove your fingers from the home row of the QWERTY keyboard. I don't know about the Dvorak keyboards.
Linux Games
If your primary computer use is video games, Linux is probably not for you. There are games out there.

Last modified: 2018/02/14 by Howard Gibson. Valid W3C XHTML 1