My first Linux install was Caldera. I made a mistake trying to configure the X server and blew out my monitor. I think this was in 1999. I tried Mandrake next. It had an install option that put everything in one file at one end of the hard drive. It worked but I had to boot from a floppy and Norton speed disk had fits trying to find a place for that file. I ended up erasing the file and giving up for a year or two. The real start came when I bought a hard drive tray and an extra drive. I could install an OS and not have to sweat partitioning. Red hat 8 was the first distro I used with any consistency and was the tool I used to get a handle on Linux. The thing that really set me into the Linux camp wasn't a distro but broadband. I can download the next greatest thing in a reasonable amount of time. I still have an install of windows but it is last item in menu.lst.