(Linux and) The Enduring Magic of Unix

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In the summer of my 14th year, I needed a new computer.

Kids today need things all the time, but I really needed a new computer. Why? Because the PC clone I shared with my dad had a 286 processor and Linux® required at least a 386. I tried the Slackware boot disk one of my dad’s colleagues gave me anyway, but the screen would display “LI” and then freeze, two letters shy of the “LILO” it would print when the bootloader was successful.

The kernel just didn’t know what to do with my antiquated processor. I spent a lot of time looking at a frozen screen with nothing but “LI_” on it.

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