like many others that i've read here, my virgin experience with linux came in the form of many sleep deprived nights of reading and recompiling the kernel of a Slackware 8.1(9?) install. i did this at the recommendation of my peers as i was green to *NIX and the only experience i had with anything other than windows systems at the time was hacking my class projects on Solaris dummy terminals.
i joined the RUSLUG(http://ruslug.rutgers.edu/w/) and the great majority of them suggested this route. now i realize that this was a nerd hazing....however, the knowledge and familiarity with the inner workings of linux that i gained from those first couple of weeks is now priceless. not to mention that, once i perfected the process of configuring that machine, my sh!tty compaq presario laptop ran better than the day i brought it home...another added plus, my non-techy friends in the dorm were so thrown off by fluxbox, none of those virus magnets ever even tried to hop on my box anymore.
anyway, what first became of that introduction is something that still makes me proud to this day: the Prism driver. thats right, i as involved with the project that brought many of you wireless g in linux for the first time. i was responsible for the config/admin tools and the sh!tty documentation to help you script your settings.
no one who is familiar with it believes me when i tell them...until i make them bet on it and dig up notes and archived irc discussions...that got me many a free lunch over the years!
while that was a great learning experience...it is not something i want to ever go through again. which is why i must say this: what i first do with linux now is discouraging considering how long it's been since i worked on the prism project, how successful it was, and how far linux has come since then.....most of the time the first thing i do after installing linux on a system is hop on my VISTA box and scour the internet trying to figure out how to get my god damned wireless working!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?