I joined Linux club in 1999. It was not the most easiest thing in the world. My computer was very slow, and my dailup modem was so weak that if try downloading 10mb of dos patches it would takes hours, if not days.
After researching I decided to buy Corel Linux. My good old P4 with 1gig hard drive, and 200mb of ram was good enough for this power hungry operating system. Unlike modern Linux Distro in 90s we had to install modules for CD-Rom, Modem (preference was external), video card itself was not good either. Also old linux distros fonts were terrible. Sadly it did not work as well as I had wished. I uninstalled the o/s and went back to using Windows 98SE.
By 2000 I was ready to upgrade to a new computers. I can’t remember what computer I went with but it was fast, and I also switched to DSL so downloading were amazing by this time. Every single part I bought I made sure that it compatible with Linux. New creative sound card, LG burner, ATI video card, even Linux recommended hard drive. Once everything was good. I was ready to install linux distro on my computer.
My First Distro: Conectiva
I tried multiple distros, and I wasn’t happy with any of them. Finally, I came across Brazilian distro Connectiva. It was an amazing operating system. They invented modern day apt-get install, and simplify lots things for newbie like me. Their instruction for compiling modules for CDRW was as simple as it gets. KDE3 burner worked on the fly. I used the distro for five years until it merged with Mandrake, and the revolting product was called “Mandriva Linux“. Like most things we parted and never looked back. What was amazing about this distro was my all in one ATI media card (built in TV tuner) worked perfectly, it was amazing.
2nd Distro: Knoppix
Knoppix was made to be run as “Live CD” meaning the entire distro can run from CD Rom, and it worked perfectly. I used this when I added additional computer, and for brief moment I was using it as full on operating system.
3rd Distro: Kubuntu
I downloaded kubuntu, and start using it around 2005, and it became my main O/S. This distro wasn’t all that different from Connectiva. Expect for the fact — they expected “user” to know what they were doing. By 2008 distro included free gui tools for shrinking hard drive, and KDE 3 had fonts export feature — fonts in native Linux distro were horrendous. By 2008 I had switch from desktop to laptop fully, and here I had to dual booth with Window XP & Linux due to college courses.
3rd Distro: Ubuntu
I dunno when but at one point I switch to Ubuntu. It is a love hate relationship. Unlike older distro, Ubuntu has habit of change thing on the back-end. Instead of using /mnt to mount drive, /media is used. Amazon app is installed, and few other weird stuff that make you wonder if this distro heading where Microsoft is now totally spyware O/S.
There you have it my journey to Linux. Unlike Linux guru I am not an expert, just an average user with family and kids. I love free software, and willing to learn to preserve my freedom rather then handed over to evil Microsoft.