Linux in 2001

Recently I reminisced what the Linux world was like when I first started dabbling seriously in 2001.

  • GRUB 2 did not exist. GRUB 1 used menu.lst rather than grub.cfg.
  • Xorg did not exist. XFree86 was the common standard.
  • Most people used CRT monitors.
  • Adding higher screen resolutions required editing /etc/X11/XF86Config.
  • Users were warned that improper /etc/X11/XF86Config configurations could fry a CRT monitor.
  • The nouveau driver did not exist. The predecessor driver was called nv.
  • PATA/IDE was dominant.
  • Hard drive capacities were less than 40 GB.
  • Hard drives were noisy.
  • Single floppy disk Linux systems existed. For example, Tom’s Root Boot and firewall distros.
  • Many computer device cards were ISA.
  • Configuring ISA plug-and-play was challenging..
  • Wireless was frustrating. Most users were forced to use ndiswrapper.
  • The Linux kernel 2.4 was released.
  • The udev device manager did not exist.
  • NTFS-3G did not exist.
  • To support dual booting with Windows, users created a FAT 32 partition to share files.
  • Firefox did not exist.
  • LibreOffice, nee OpenOffice, did not exist.
  • OpenOffice brought great promise but was horribly slow and sluggish.

Some additional reflections:

  • Most people were using dial up and ppp.
  • Most ISPs had connection time limits that abruptly disconnected users.
  • Because of slow connections, content blocking was already popular.
  • Newbie Slackware users relied on to install packages.
  • Most of the web sites were static with few commercial sites.
  • Nobody worried about data mining and tracking

Posted: Category: Commentary Tagged: General

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