When I was introduced to Unix in 1990, it was still the domain of multiuser systems and high-end workstations. Even the i386 system I started with had 12 users logging on concurrently through serial terminals. I had remote access through a blazingly fast 1200 bps modem.

Things were changing by the mid-1990s, when systems using the Linux kernel, integrated with GNU utilities and the X Window System, provided a viable alternative to Microsoft Windows. At the same time, computers with the power, memory, and hard drive space to run it came within reach of an individual's pocketbook. The Internet brought fast and efficient distribution of the new systems and software (and enabled their development in the first place). Unix had arrived on ...

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