Make your own free website on

Our Journey Into the Linux Operating System

We purchased our first copy of Red Hat 5.2 in the middle of April, 1999. We wanted to try something different than the current Windows that we thought we were locked into.

We decided that our journey into Linux would be an experimental hobby for us. We purchased a refurbished Pentium 100 computer, upgraded it to  32MB of RAM, and installed a brand new 4.3 gig hard drive. The system was then totally clean, it didn't even have DOS on it.

We installed Linux with the boot disk, followed by the CD-ROM when prompted. The installation went very well and the Red Hat install program was easy to follow and recognized all of our hardware. The only trouble we had was we found out, (after many hours of tinkering and reading), that you can't run X11 without a video card. No problem! We went down to our friendly neighborhood computer store, Computer Renaissance, and bought the needed video card. It installed fine and we were up and running.....almost.

We got X11 up and running with the FVRM windows manager and we felt all proud of ourselves. The only problem was we couldn't figure out what to do next. So we began to read...and read...and read...and read.  We learned to add and delete users, move files around, read directories, we also managed to pull up the Glint package manager program, although we couldn't figure out how to execute any programs.  We did manage to get Gimp up and running and we played with that for awhile.  Despite our reading and web research efforts, that's about as far as we got for about two weeks.  We were yearning to do something productive, something fun....well something...anything!

One of the books that we bought had a copy of Caldera OpenLinux 1.3 on it, along with tons of applications, and also KDE.  Out of desparation to do something we installed it in place of the Red Hat 5.2 system that we bought.  The installation program was a bit harder than Red Hat 5.2 and took a lot longer.  The other thing is it does not automatically configure X-Windows for you so you have to know all of your monitor and video information. After logging in the first time into KDE our hearts melted with excitement! WOW! Something we could do with Linux.  The first thing we did was play a few rounds of xtetris and xasteroids. NEAT! Then we went to work on setting our wallpaper and screen saver, then positioning the icons and bars the way we wanted them. Next we installed Star Office 4.0. We like Star Office 4.0 pretty well, but it does run a tad bit slow on our Pentium 100.

So this is as far as we've gotten as of 5-7-99.  The biggest reason we created this page is because I know there are many others who are learning to use Linux and may have similar or other problems getting started. Although we don't know much ourselves, we are learning new things everyday. We want to go back and learn some more useful things with the command terminal, but as we learn them we still have a few neat things we can do when we become frustrated.  So bear with us and learn with us. Feel free to post any questions in our forum, we will try to help with what we know and hopefully we can entice more experienced users to help us out along the way.