I'm on the UserLinux discussion list mostly because it's really interesting to watch a distribution get going and also because I'm hankering for a user-oriented distribution that I don't have to fiddle with that I can do regular non-fiddling things with.
Anyhow, caught this email, which is fascinating--I had no idea (apologies to Mr. Perens for quoting without permission and out of context but I figure it's in the public archives anyhow):
Date: Thu, 25 Mar 2004 13:41:44 -0800 From: Bruce Perens Reply-To: --------------------------- To: --------------------------- Subject: [Discuss] Meaning of the Debian Swirl Fabio asked what the Debian Swirl means. It's "magic smoke". Electrical engineer lore is that when you burn out an electronic component, you cause the "magic smoke" that makes it work to be released. Once the magic smoke is gone, the component doesn't work any longer. Debian is supposed to be the magic smoke that makes your computer work. Thanks Bruce
That's cool--I had no idea.
Also, I burned a Knoppix cd, brought my old Dell Inspiron 7000 laptop with a DLink wireless card right up, and installed Debian by typing:
(or something very very similar) at the prompt and selecting debian-installation. It worked, it was trivial, and it was fantastic. My laptop was up and running in 30 minutes (from when I burned the cd to when the laptop had booted into Debian). Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. Now I can _use_ it.