OK, downvote me, but I have a subscription to Linux Magazine (which incidentally does not mean I am lame, I like to keep up on the Linux news while I sit on my throne.) Upon opening this month's issue, I quickly saw a full 2-page ad from some Linux gaming computer company featuring Tux with a quake-like helmet on, holding a quake rocket launcher. First, I thought it was a cool picture. But upon further inspection, I noticed several signs drawn on the Tux image that said "Linux Rocks". All over him. It just seemed like some sort of glam-ad aimed at Linux Posers and it really made me question why I get this magazine. I mean, there are some good articles in this magazine (like the monthly "Gearheads Only", often written by Alan Cox himself on things lamers like me aren't good at, like writing drivers and the like) but this really made me wonder. What is Linux coming to? I've been using it since the early version 1 kernels, and I've always used it because of what it offers me as a geek. But now that it's becoming the cool thing to do, it kind of saddens me. Almost makes me want to move to OpenBSD or similar OS.

My question is this: What do fellow Everythingians think about this? Is using Linux the 'in' thing to do, or am I just letting a bunch of Linux Posers get to me? I am no *nix bigot, but that picture of Tux just disturbed me. Oh well, life goes on.

Sadly, I agree with you. Even better, remember the days even before Lycos and AltaVista, back when you accessed the internet with your terminal program dialing into your shell account? Everyone you interacted with was using the internet for the same reason. Then came the web and pop, and my mother too has an e-mail address but has been known to call me when she gets the nefarious Please insert bootable media in the appropriate drive when she turns her computer on with a floppy disk in the drive.

Some of us feel the same way about the Internet. It used to be a really cool place to hang out. It was full of good information, software and, well, porn. Most importantly though, it was almost exclusively the domicile of geeks. It was a more or less friendly and nurturing environment. Very few people had access that didn't need it for something, or use it frequently. Most of these users had skill and were tech people.

Well, that all changed when Rush Limbaugh married his CompuServe wife. These days you can't throw a rock without hitting a POP. Even my mother has e-mail, and constantly refers to herself as the digital mummy. That's aggravating. She still can't program a VCR and gets confused by the POS ATM machines at Wal-Mart.

Now before everyone gets all pissed and misunderstands me, please read this clarification ;

I believe that the Internet is a fantastic way to communicate. I don't think that it belongs only to the gearheads. I don't hate newbies. I'm not advocating revocation of web access for those people who don't understand it.

I just miss the days that I could place a simple search string in Lycos or AltaVista and have it return meaningful information. I miss the old days. I long for the way it used to be. I think I always shall.

ScottMan: Ahh yes, shell accounts. How could I forget the heady pleasure of Mail, Gopher, Tin and Lynx. So fast, so efficient. I recall when Pine mail was introduced at UNLV, I was nearly hyperventilating with excitement. Just imagine, mail and news, together! It was truly an exciting time.
Ah, but what of the old old days? Commodore 64's, cassette tape storage and BBSs. Oh, the trouble some of us would endure to avoid long distance charges so that we could afford to spend thirty minutes downloading a 12k demo.

As an aside, I know there are some of you out there reading this who may not remember these times. For you I have a story:
Once upon a time the web had no pictures, at least none that you could see. It was all text format. If you wanted to view a image file and you were using Lynx to browse (and who wasn't), you had to download the image to your shell account, then FTP it from your shell account to the workstation you were on, then you had to UUE decode it, then you could view it, but first you had to load a viewer because this was all back in the DOS days. If you count your modem dialer that's 5 programs just to view one file, and we liked it just fine!

Of course, if you ask my father he'll gleefully tell you about the day he wrote his first program, on cards, alot of cards.

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