I was inspired by @cotton to write a post asking for my badge as well. Like him, I also lurk. However, I can’t say that it’s started my career like it has for him, as my career is still technically beginning (I’m an extremely underpaid IT intern at a small school district effectively doing Level 2 support and out-of-warranty repairs on Chromebooks).
So I got my start in 2008, nearing the end of second grade for me (yes, I’m young). My father installed Fedora on a desktop for my brother and I to play with, mostly flash games on the internet, and MAME ROMs. I didn’t really dive into it much being a kid, though my interest started to peak more when I was given a snap circuits set for my birthday years later. It came with a wire that you plugged into your computer’s line in jack and you could use it as an oscilloscope. My father had me learn to use WINE for that. Around this time, I was playing with DOSbox on an android tablet and Limbo PC Emulator, I eventually dug into playing with VMware Workstation, trying to make VMs that’ll run on my crappy Polaroid PTAB7200 tablet in 2011. The computer around this point in time is running Fedora 15 Lovelock, later Spherical Cow.
From that point, I briefly played with distros such as Mageia, openSUSE, and fostered my hatred of Zorin OS (I still haven’t been able to kill a fresh install of linux like that, by installing chrome, VLC, openJDK, and installing updates; killed it three times in a row like this). Fast-forward a few years, I’ve got a nicer android tablet (Acer A200, rooted and runs 4.4.4), and I keep seeing Limbo PC Emulator go off and on the Play Store, and with the Google Code collapse, archived it to SourceForge (while I haven’t ever developed it, I think archiving it was an excellent idea in hindsight). The following year, I get a Dell D600 to play with. That poor laptop has seen at least 20-30 installs of Linux Mint, several installs of Fedora, multiple installs of Windows 7, and a few attempts to try Windows 8 (which didn’t work, due to lack of PAE support).
Eventually, when I turned 15, I received an Asus X550ZA laptop. That got Fedora 21 on it nearly immediately, and I used it like that until 2018. I quickly learned that the wireless card in it (a Broadcom), wasn’t great, and I quickly learned about DKMS, kmods, and akmods. I never was able to get DKMS working properly, so I had a text file on my desktop with instructions for re-compiling the kmods so I can have working WiFi connectivity whenever the kernel updated. I also was given an old ThinkPad T60 around this time, and used it a lot in school, it seen many homework assignments and constant months of web-browsing. I discovered BASH scripting and I programmatically made the keyboard light flash on and off to amuse myself using sysfs.
I was also given a Surface Pro 2, after some time of using it dual-booting Fedora and Windows 10, I made a post here. Near the end of when I still used that regularly, my type-cover was shorting out, causing spontaneous reboots, which wasn’t fun. This also brings back more WiFi woes, as the Marvell AVASTAR card in that isn’t very good, and required proprietary firmware to work.
In 2018, I was given a Dell G3 3779 for christmas, I partially paid for it. As I was enrolled in the early college program offered through my high school, it went with me to the community college every day for programming, networking, and some other classes. I impressed classmates with a shell script that would mount the college’s fileshare over sshfs so I could submit web development assignments, even went as far to mess with KDialog to make a wrapper for g810-led that would allow me to “graphically” customize my Logitech gaming keyboard and not deal with remembering the commands to change the colors, also did some digging and found streaming URLs for local FM stations to open in VLC using KDialog as well. I’ve also switched from Fedora, to Ubuntu, to Pop!_OS due to how fun Nvidia Optimus can be on 10-series MaxQ hardware. I also had to replace the battery on this laptop under warranty, as 64% of it’s original capacity was lost, special thanks to the people who develop the “Battery and Brightness” plasmoid, as I wouldn’t have known otherwise.
More recently, I just decommissioned a computer running OpenMediaVault, which I used for network file storage and Docker servers (Plex, Pydio Cells, Nextcloud, Watchtower, MQTT, Home Asisstant, and others). I’ve also wrote a systemd script for Tech Tangent’s RGB-daylight project on GitHub.
I’ve had a few other devices as well since, but I figured I’d share the more interesting parts of my experiences over the years. Should anyone want proof, I still have those scripts, blurry pictures of the Asus, pictures of the Dell, the Fedora install on the T60, and more lol.
May I have my challenge badge too please?
edit: I’ve tried Arch and Manjaro in 2016. Decided they weren’t for me.