For me my adventure into Linux started with wanting Unix at home. As a Unix programmer and administrator, I was very comfortable with the power and (dare I even say this) ease of which solutions could be developed in Unix. One day another systems administrator had me log into his machine at his house (via modem back in those days). What I saw was something that was somewhat System V like (unlike all of the BSD variants of the day, which still contained proprietary AT&T System V code and so were somewhat "untouchable").
You see Unix was very expensive. The machinery was expensive and if you tried to put it on a PC, commercial Unix was too far out of reach for most pocketbooks.
Linux provided not just a cheap POSIX Unix clone, but a whole new platform... the opportunity to take the ideas of Unix and take it beyond the limitations of both System V and BSD. Linux gave a kernel to the GNU tools, which really helped launch the success of Linux and made the whole idea of Linux distributions easily achievable.
As a student of microprocessor architectures, I had a natural disdain for Intel 386 architectures especially as implemented by IBM in what we now call the PC. So, making the choice to get a 386 architecture machine was difficult for me, but because of the potential of Linux, I took the plunge. My first PC dual booted Windows 3.1 and Yggdrasil Plug & Play Linux. I had a 14" 1024x768 8bit display (which was pretty high end in those days). The host machine had a huge 8M of main memory (thank you Microsoft Windows 95 for making that affordable!) and ran an early (buggy) Intel Pentium processor.
Thus my first real Internet connected home host was Linux based. I have been a fulltime Linux desktop user ever since.
But look at today... now my switches run Linux, my storage subsystems run on Linux, my phone runs on Linux. Yes, it's not just about a kernel anymore, it's a platform... no... it's a solution provider! Because of Linux, we have solutions. And not just solutions, but lasting solutions because you see, Linux is also about freedom and primarily about the GNU Public License which protects intellectual property and preserves it indefinitely. This is something that proprietary licensed software does not have today. In other words, not only is Linux at the heart of all solutions today, it's also not going to fade away due to corporate impropriety, mistakes or acquisition.
Linux is here. It's here to stay. And it just keeps getting better and better everyday. I am proud to be a contributor of software and solutions built on top of Linux.
And the story goes on and on... (must be because of Linux uptime)...
This is a guest post by Christopher Cox, which won a prize in the joint contest of Linux notes from DarkDuck and Zinio.