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 Post subject: Hello from the Long Way
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 5:29 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2016 5:04 pm
Posts: 4
I'm not familiar with this forum format and I think I posted my introduction in the wrong place: the shoutbox. Please move it. Thanks. :oops:


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 Post subject: Re: Hello from the Long Way
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 6:15 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2007 4:55 pm
Posts: 5784
Location: Greece
richES wrote:
I'm not familiar with this forum format and I think I posted my introduction in the wrong place: the shoutbox. Please move it. Thanks. :oops:


Here it is.


Hello. I got to AntiX the long way. I've always had a fascination for the concept of a computer - even got an old pinball machine to use the relays to build logic circuits in the '50s but never got far with that. My first real experience was programming with punch cards in my first year at college; then at my first job, with time shared Basic. My personal first computer was one I built with a SC/MP chip in '76 using the Jan. '75 article in Popular Electronics as a guide. This flashed a few lights but little that was enduringly useful. Eventually I bought an Ohio Scientific main board (6502 cpu) and, over the '80s, with CP/M and Basic eventually built up a system that still didn't do much.

My first floppies were 8"; my first HD was 5MB; before that was an audio tape recorder. My first printer was an old teletype with a hand-coded driver. Later ('95), I got into the IBM/8080/Z80 track, starting with Win3.x / DOS and got interested in Linux, but never had the time to really get into it, though I've taken short runs at it from time to time starting with Mandrake 8.1 then 9.1 then distracted by something but always interested. My main systems, since, have been Wintel. I retired about 16 years ago and dual booted a laptop with Ubuntu 8.04 and spent some time with that, then took another run at Linux, with an old computer that my son discarded, installed Linux Mate 16.

I found it hard to focus on learning Linux, without a purpose. Lately my wife has been insisting that I owe it to the next generation to clean out the 50-year accumulation of 'stuff' in the basement. So, dutifully, I gathered all of the broken/replaced computer components and assembled an old computer (a '97 vintage Asus SP97-v MB w/233MHz cpu & 256MB RAM) from that residue in order to determine what was still usable and what I should have thrown out years ago. I was only part way through this process when I re-discovered a couple of ISA data acquisition cards from the late '80s and decided that what I really needed to do was build a system to use these for something (electronics testing? environmental controller? something else?).

Shoot, another suspended project wouldn't even be visible in my list of unfinished projects and this gave me the perfect motivation to dig into Linux once more. Well, this required an OS, not merely checking for a light on a dozen or so floppy and CD drives (never found a good one, but haven't finished yet). I've been wanting, for some 23 or 24 years, a reason to learn and use Linux which I've dabbled with over that time but not learned; this was it. I had a number of Linux CDs, collected over that time-frame, and tried them out. Many of the distros needed another op-code or couldn't find a useable display mode for my monitor. Most of them crapped when they saw the date on my BIOS or wanted to install using the whole HD before I could check them out, but part of my testing process was to check HDs for old OSs (and maybe info that should be kept) and the good drive I had (250GB) had about 190GB of something (Win95 I think) that I wanted to see, so a whole-drive install was out. Finally, a couple of successes: Knoppix 3.6 and 5.11 both worked the monitor, but were excruciatingly slow on my platform.

Straight Debian looked like a better bet than the Knoppix and DSL that I'd been trying and, obviously, I needed a faster cpu. I upgraded the computer, trashing the whole purpose of the project (to use the old stuff). On the internet I found an MSI 6167 MB with a couple of ISA slots, which took the AMD Athlon cpu (700MHz), and 768MB RAM and was two years newer than the Asus MB (and should have some needed op-codes: cmov, pae).

I went back to the internet, Googled for old computer OSs, and found several to try. Mepis AntiX M8.2 met my needs exactly, I thought, when running as a live CD. And that is where I am, now, trying to install to the HD. Although I've been involved, peripherally and as a hobby, with computers and programming for many years, I don't consider myself an expert at any of it; too many other interests to focus on this one. I'll post my install/boot problems at the proper place on the forum, when I find it.

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 Post subject: Re: Hello from the Long Way
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 7:24 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 01, 2013 6:43 pm
Posts: 648
Location: Lafayette, LA, USA
Welcome and Howdy from the swamps of Louisiana, where the water gets deeper every time it rains.

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 Post subject: Re: Hello from the Long Way
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 9:15 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2012 9:46 pm
Posts: 717
Location: Surrey/Hants Border UK
Interesting story, but you know, you could just go & buy another cheap 2nd hand/pre used computer & be done with all that old nostalgic junk. :lol:

Welcome aboard. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Hello from the Long Way
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 9:27 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2009 3:44 am
Posts: 3957
Location: Pecos, Texas
Howdy and Welcome. I got into computers later in life. But I am a tinkerer at heart also.

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 Post subject: Re: Hello from the Long Way
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 9:42 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2016 5:04 pm
Posts: 4
Glad to be here. This is the most civil forum I think I've seen on the web. I like it.
fatmac, I can't bear to toss anything till I know it is dead and then I'll probably strip the motors out, along with anything else that looks re-useable, to maybe use with some 'maker' stuff I play with (when not trying to boot antix).


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