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Red Hat: My journey from BASIC to Linux

Red Hat: My journey from BASIC to Linux

I think of computing today as being the convergence of at least three major threads that were once largely apart from each other. There were the proprietary hardware and software stacks: mainframes and their minicomputer counterparts. There was the proto-Internet and Unix, proprietary in their own way but leading to Linux and open source. And there was the personal computer.

I first programmed on one of those proprietary systems using BASIC encoded onto paper tape using a teletype connected to an HP system at the local community college. In college, I sent a few emails on the early Internet to a friend at another lab. I consumed the hundreds of pages of rec.arts.sf-lovers debate which someone had printed out in the wake of the big reveal at the end of The Empire Strikes Back. But, really, I got started with computers in earnest when I took an engineering job at an oil drilling company and encountered an Apple II for the first time. I wrote programs to simplify various aspects of my work and soon enough bought my own PC “clone” from a long-gone company called Corona.

A couple of aspects of this DOS era of the PC, both largely forgotten today, particularly influenced me and pretty much led me into tech.

The first was bulletin board services (BBS). While commercial services like Compuserve existed, long before most people had more than an inkling about the Internet, there were also a vast number of mostly small-time operations that ran message boards on PCs. They ranged from a single system in someone’s bedroom to subscription operations with maybe dozens of modems.

Read the entire article here, My journey from BASIC to Linux – Red Hat Enterprise Linux Blog

Via the fine folks at Red Hat.

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