Some guy in Finland posted a message to usenet about a project he was working on. The world has never been the same since.
It was just over a year later, around November 1992 or so, when one of my classmates at Tulane, Larry Butler, told me of some unix variant that you could run on your pc. I was certainly intrigued.
At that time, I still had the 386sx/20 that I had bought just before starting college a year and a half before, it was getting rather old at this point, though I did upgrade it to a whopping 4 megabytes ram earlier in the year. I really only ever used it to call BBS’s, since I worked in the computer lab I could just use those computers for my schoolwork… they were newer, had all had the latest software, and were hooked up to laser printers which I got to use for free since I worked there.
So anyway, I decided to load this thing onto my computer. The only thing close to a pre-packaged distribution was something called SLS, which eventually grew into what Linux folks know as Slackware. You downloaded disk sets and loaded them onto 1.44MB floppy disks. The only pieces I had at first were the two main disks.. the boot disk and the root disk. I loaded it up and was just blown away by the fact that I had a unix login prompt showing on my computer.
The next thing I did was get some more of the disksets and find some terminal software so I could call BBSs. Minicom proved to be a easy substitute to the Telix that I had been using in DOS. Yep, all text mode for me.
It was from then that I decided to ditch DOS and run this Linux full-time as my computer OS. My requirements were minimal, so this did the job, and hey it was unix, how cool was that.
For the rest of my sophomore year and through junior year I got a reputation on campus among my fellow computer geeks for being the Linux Guy(tm) which helped me get a job during senior year as the system administrator for the biomedical engineering department, where I managed servers running several different flavors of unix, including OSF/1 running on a DEC Alpha and UNICOS on a smallish Cray machine (by small, I mean it was about half the size of a refrigerator)
That on-campus experience was sufficent to get me a real system administrator job up in the Chicago area after graduation.
13 years and 5 companies later, I don’t know what else I’d want to do.