In 1991 I was an Atari ST user. I'd learned C, written some software to connect it to Usenet, and spent most of my time in a command line or MicroEMACS rather than in the graphical interface. At that point it was clear that Atari was headed for oblivion, and I jokingly told some of my friends that I was thinking about kicking it aside for something really crazy -- a PC running Minix, or maybe even that new Linux thing people were talking about.
The following year I used the U of M Gopher system to download SLS Linux (the very first distro) to a handful of floppies, and took them to a computer junk store across from the Minnesota Supercomputer Center. I told the proprietor that if he could bolt something together that would boot SLS, I'd buy it. I went home with a '386 with a 10MB hard drive, a keyboard, and a cheap monochrome monitor, and never looked back.
The big breakthrough was switching from Miniterm to a TCP/IP dialup connection made available by a friend at the university. I downloaded alpha kernel patches from ftp.funet.fi and recompiled about once a week. I hovered over sunsite.unc.edu and wuarchive.wustl.edu. Swapped in a '486 motherboard and I was on a roll. I wound up putting Linux on a spare Pentium at work for the mission-critical functions of file sharing between PCs and Macs and Friday afternoon Quake.
Now I run Linux on my wristwatch.