Blast from the Past...

august 21, 2006

Red Hat Linux 4.0 from 1996
I was cleaning out the office closet this weekend in order to make room for my wife's stuff -- because we are clearing out the guest room and turning it into a nursery. Anyways, while going through a box in the closet I found my "Red Hat Linux Archives" (four CDs of goodness) from October 1996 and my "Red Hat Linux PowerTools" (six CDs of goodness) from February 1997! Yea baby! We're talking Red Hat Linux 4.0 (not to be confused with the modern Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4) in the October 1996 collection and Red Hat Linux 4.1 in the February 1997 collection! I tried to install Red Hat Linux 4.0 in a virtual machine, but it didn't quite work. The bootloader would not get written to the drive for some reason and it resulted in an endless reboot cycle. But, I was able to capture a nice screenshot from the install. Quite amazing: A C/C++ development "networked" workstation with multimedia was only a measly 102MB! Wow! Compare that with my CentOS4 install of 3.0GB! The Red Hat Linux 4.0 installer recommended that I have "at least 50MB of space" for the install! Whoa! Both collections have Intel, Alpha and Sparc installs! How cool is that? Oh, those were the days. The first question asked by the installer was "Do you have a color monitor?" Heh. There was no USB support. No plug and play action for the X-server or NIC. This was a truly do-it-yourself-I-hope-you-know-what-you're-doing type of Linux! The other day, I spotted my Red Hat Linux 5.0 and 6.2E boxes in the garage at my parent's place. It's pretty cool that I have all this old historic software. I still have my Windows 3.1, Windows 95, Office 95 and Windows ME disks somewhere around the house. And I have my Macintosh System 7.5 disk somewhere in the garage. My wife calls me a pack rat, but I truly think it's cool to have this old stuff around.