Feb 192012

This is the inside story on a Linux distribution known as SimplyMEPIS.

Like a lot of stories, there is more to it than meets the eye. And while on the surface, this is a story about a Linux distribution, there are some life lessons that can be found in it.

As with many other people, my life saw a lot of dramatic changes in the year 2001. For me, it started in January 2001. I should have been keeping in mind the words of wisdom from the world champion athlete Dan Millman. He wrote The Way of the Peaceful Warrior, and other books. One of his statements is all accidents can be attributed to one of three reasons:

  1. Someone is upset
  2. Someone is not paying attention.
  3. Someone is not physically ready.

On the evening of January 27, 2001, I was seriously holding on to positions number one and two. That led to option number three, in the dark and snow both me and my mountain bike became seriously FUBARED. The mountain bike did not live, and certainly I should not have.

On January 31, a 7.0 earthquake destroyed a good hunk of Puget Sound, including the TcatU campus. Then 9/11 happened. It was like some greater power was saying: “you are not getting the clue”, whatever it was. (I’m still not sure). I do know physically and mentally, I was done. I packed a few things, including my IBM 325 server and headed south towards Mexico.

While I was a Microsoft guru since before there was a DOS and I did not like were Microsoft was headed since the late 90s, it seemed like a good time to get really serious about this Linux stuff. I placed an order with a CD distribution company run by Warren Woodford. I chose him because he offered 30 days of support, and frankly I was still a Linux guppy.

My shipment came promptly and I eagerly dropped in my Red Hat Linux CD. Everything seemed fine, and it wasn’t. After several permutations. I sent an e-mail to Warren. He thought it was strange, and e-mailed me a different SCSI driver. It did not work.

Is there a statute of limitations for being stupid? Here I am, a world class A+ instructor , and I neglected to receipt the SCSI card after a long ride down Interstate 5. When Warren’s second SCSI driver did not work, I did what I should have done in the first place. Re-seat the expansion cards (duh). POP. The 1st SCSI driver worked.

Just so I could live with myself, I sent him a mega culpa e-mail. My newfound friend took that as a learning opportunity in the limitations of Linux and what he might do about it. Someday.

Big Mistake of a statement to an Old Fart that has had more lives than a cat (in part why my real name is Tcat). I sent Warren, an e-mail that would make a military drill Sgt. blush. The short story was: I never spoke to a person who was dying while they told me about the regrets of what they did do. Only what they did not do.

Just over a year later, May 10, 2003 the first official release of MEPIS occurred.

Released to the public for the first time, and this is the private story of how it was conceived.

I am comfortable with the fact that Warren (nor, I) ever made any money for all the efforts. Sometimes you just cannot measure payouts, directly.

The payouts are not always direct, and not always in money. I am comfortable with the fact that payments to the National Bank of Karma, find their own way of settling debts.

Of all the Linux distributions I have ever touched, Simply, it will always be MEPIS to me

Article by Tcat Houser editor-in-chief of TRCBNews.com

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  One Response to “Happy Birthday, SimplyMEPIS”

  1. “This is the inside story on a Linux distribution known as SimplyMEPIS.”

    Honestly, I was looking for more substance … And proofreading.

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