Rabu, 17 Desember 2003 M
22 Syawwal 1424H
Interview with Gael Duval — founder Mandrake, at Linux Questions
Actually I firstly discovered UNIX at University where I learned computer sciences. It was mostly on Sun with Solaris or SunOS, and I really was impressed by UNIX. In 1995 I had a 386-based PC at home with MS-DOS/Windows 3.1 runnning on it and of course it was… extremely frustrating. In particular when you are a student with absolutely no money, it was impossible to purchase all the development software for programming in C/C++/Common Lisp and others, or you had to copy it illegally. And of course it was without the documentation. So I spent more and more time at Uni working with UNIX. It was the early WWW times, and I remember I searched for “free Unix” on the Net. If I remember well, I used Yahoo! which started less than one year before, and the browser was… Mosaic:-)
The search results showed several Linux pages. That is how I discovered Linux. A few days later, I was at home with my Slackware on 50-diskettes, still not believing that I could run a Unix-like with X11, Emacs, GCC, Lex, Yacc, Clisp and… all the documentation on my 386. A few hours later, the miracle was here: Linux was running on the PC, with OpenLook on the screen. The next great experience was when I performed the first Internet connexion by modem, through a University access.
Two years later, it was clear for me that Linux had the potential to be an excellent alternative to Windows, or maybe even a full replacement, and at the time I thought that it would be good to provide a Linux distribution that would be as easy to use as Windows. So I started to “play” with Slackware, and later with a Red Hat. It was also the time of the first versions of KDE. After a few months of work, I released the first Mandrake, in July ’98, and was the first distro to ship with KDE 1.0 as default graphical environment.