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Unleashing Dr. Frankenstein

Whether you enjoy building your own system

To Build Illustration 1

What kind of person are you?

Do you cook, or do you prefer take-out? Do you change your own motor oil, or do you drop off your car at the shop? If you’re like me, your personality depends entirely on the task at hand. I love to cook, but when it’s time to change the oil, the last place you’ll find me is sweating in grime beneath an automobile.

When I booted my first copy of Linux back in 1995, it was pretty hard to find a pre-built Linux system. In those days most folks had two options: Install Linux on a Windows machine, or build a Linux box from scratch. But today — with everyone and their grandma getting into the Linux business — pre-loaded Linux machines are easier to come by. And with the quantity and quality of Linux applications growing by leaps and bounds, paying Microsoft for an operating system you’ll never use just seems silly. So what do you do? Do you build your Linux system from scratch or do you buy one ready-made? What kind of person are you?

Before I started this story, I thought I knew where I stood on this question. Linux is a do-it-yourself OS, plain and simple, and for people like me, buying it pre-configured ruins the fun. I half-believe that the GNU General Public License should be amended…

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