Anybody remember "boot" magazine? They were kind of a computer power user magazine in the late 90's. One month they ran a feature on alternative operating systems, and included Debian 2.0 on their demo disc.
I managed to get it installed and dual-booting with Win 95, although I never got X working. Played a little Nethack and some light programming but didn't really touch Linux for a couple more years. Later I dual booted Red Hat 7.0 and SuSE 8.0, finally went Windows-free with Mandrake 9.1.
After that it was Fedora, then Gentoo, then Ubuntu - which I'm currently running on my desktop and netbook.
My heartfelt thanks to Linus, Stallman, and all the people who make open source possible and successful.