Yeah, the subject line is kinda a joke...
I came up through DOS, then DESQview, then DESQview/X. In the early '90's, I was big into the local BBS scene, and as the Internet exploded into public consciousness a few years later, I got a dial-up ISP account so my BBS could download network packets from my e-mail inbox at night (It was much cheaper than long-distance charges and most of the big networks were switching to it). A friend of mine who was dating a SysOp at my ISP hooked me up with a
One the largest local BBS, there was a message board talking about UNIX and some people started talking about this UNIX that you could install on your own hardware, called Linux. I was intrigued, since my time on the shell machine at my ISP felt a lot like the DOS environments that I was very familiar with, but with moar power !
So I went to a local bookstore (I can't even remember what one anymore) and bought a huge tome on Linux that came with a Slackware CD mounted to the inside back cover. I used existing software to shrink my DOS partitions, and installed my first Linux. I don't remember the version of Slackware, but it was kernel 1.2.13. A few months after that, on the same local BBS, people were talking about another Linux variant that came with "a package manager". After I began to understand the benefits of packages, I sent Red Hat money and they sent me a 4-CD set of Red Hat (Not Enterprise) Linux 3.0.3. I saved my custom rc files, steamrolled the system and installed Red Hat.
I kept running my BBS until the end of that era. I switched from DOS/DESQview to Linux/DosEMU so I didn't have to keep booting into an OS that felt increasingly archaic. I even helped with a porting project for the BBS software that I ran until interest in that dried up too. I still occasionally get hits on my web server looking for it. I think they're mostly bots now though.