It's hard to not become a computer user

I saw a computer for the first time at school when I was 10 years old (~1995/96). I failed horribly in the first few years to actually get programming. Then i had this teacher with whom i took group classes, who taught me computer programming, properly. GW Basic, then some Java, some C and C++. I picked up Linux, installed Red Hat Linux 6/7 i think on a PC I managed to acquire citing that it will be useful for my father’s shop - yes i knew exactly what I was doing.

That began this wonderful journey into a world that would change the course of my life. I identified myself as a computer engineer, interested in programming it, figuring out how things work, I loved programming in C and Interrupts in DOS, (I loved Writing Tsr’S Through C ). I feel I didn’t do enough of it, however. I used to fiendishly / cult-ishly ask people to use Linux and perhaps consider them lesser mortals if they weren’t using it even factoring that in my close relationships. Yes, not proud of that thinking back. I was young, so I should move on from it.

Many years passed in between, lot of things happened, growing up I suppose. I am more tolerant of people’s choices in every sphere of life now. And of course, I don’t judge you if you are not using Linux. Heck, I don’t use Linux any more on any of my primary laptops at work or outside work, ‘cause I just want to get my work done. In fact, I try not to judge you if you are using Linux for work - How can you afford to battle it when there is “real work” to be done?

Yes, extremes is one of my psychological issues i am working on - that’s a whole other story.

Over the past ~10 years I have been working professionally as a software engineer and I identify myself a computer user at some level. What is the difference between when I am just browsing the Internet on my computer/phone versus writing a program to render a JSON file? Or gluing together stuff and writing tests to make sure the glue won’t fall apart? Not much, for me. I am just getting the computer to do something I want, using tools, already written for the purposes of it. It’s just a giant batteries included full-stack thing - the hardware, the operating system, the programming language, the IDEs, everything is just there, waiting to be consumed and used, taken advantage of.

Am I happy just being a consumer of technology and software? No.

Do I want to fight everyday with my network configuration or something not working out of the blue? No.

Today’s work involves Slack, Zoom, Screen sharing, VPNs, bluetooth headphones. All necessary tools and I want them to just work when I want them to. I don’t want to tell my colleagues or external collaborators, that i can’t do this, or you can’t do that, because I am using Linux. So for example, this morning to get SSH into a virtualbox VM running Linux working, I spent ~ 15 minutes till I found solution online. The end result is knowing a bit more of how things work (i think!), but perhaps it is Mac OS which is at fault, perhaps it is VirtualBox at fault or perhaps it’s just Linux, I don’t know. I know, it’s not that bad as I make it sound, so there you go, there is my problem, perhaps I am just too scarred, perhaps I am just too spoiled now. Perhaps, I am just concerned that going full on Linux will make me take away precious minutes that I would otherwise invest into “real work”. May be I just need to find a sense of “play” in my life or may be I am just afraid of acquiring “stockholm syndrome” cause I know I have been there.

Somewhere there is a middle ground. And hopefully I will find it someday. But for that, i have to first try. And I am not there yet. I am mostly a computer user today.

Who did I write this for? Myself. Perhaps, you feel the same as me too, fellow MacOS and Windows users.