Welcome to xfree
I got my first computer in September 1995. Brand new 486 DX4 100 with 8 MB of RAM, 850 MB Hard Drive and windows 3.11, DOS 6.22 combination.I was great for the next couple years, learned how to play with it and how to make it work well for me. Not even one year later and I had 8 MB of RAM installed, however, after 2 years I couldn't even try out the latest applications since most were only available for windows 95.
At the begining of of 1998, fresh out of training, about to start providing technical support for one of the leading US ISPs, I decided to take the plunge and install windows 95. I had learned about the better memory management, the multitasting, 32 bit OS, and other such things as compared to windows 3.11. After all most of the customers I would be supporting were running windows 95.
Well, since I am an organized kind of guy, specially when relating to computers, windows 95 was running quite well for me. But horror stories from customers were non-stoping. Oh well ...
Then I learned about this OS that is free, stable, reliable and it came with the source code. I heard about it before, but this time I was really interested. Then I bought a dummies book. Well, a book for $20 which comes with a free OS in a CD can't be all that bad. The book was bad. The CD was bad as well. I just couldn't get Red Hat 5.0 to install on my system. The CD seemed to be damaged ... I really didn't care because soon after, I got my hands on a copy of Slackware 3.4
I found it amazing how the booklet which came with Slackware 3.4 was so much more usefull then the Linux for Dummies book. The difference was that the later was really written for dummies, while the booklet was simple and concise: pure tech.
Getting the internet connection to work under Slack was a whole different story. I don't know how many times I had to re-boot between windows 95 and Linux. I had a working connection to the internet under windows, and thanks to that I was able to read all the FAQs and HOWTOs i needed to get connected under Linux. The outcome? it was fun, I got connected. The most important of all was that I had learned a whole bunch of other stuff on how Linux works, and how to do things and get around in linux. Furthermore, it all made sense, it was all logical, and once things were set up, they worked. Period.
I still use windows though, I guess because I am used to it. Like I mentioned before, I know quite a bit about my system and how to maintain it, therefore crashes are minimal. I used Red Hat 5.2, and that wasn't bad either. I also tried Red Hat 6.0, and right now I am running Mandrake 6.0 on a Pentium 200 MMX machine with 48 MB of RAM and 10.2 Gig Hard Drive.
During the last year and half I have learned quite a bit about Linux. I am in no way an expert user, maybe not even an advanced user. So if you are a Linux pro, well, I hope the story above was entertaining. Flames to /dev/null. I have also got some of my friends into Linux. In various occasions these friends have come up to me asking for advice or information. I used to write down a list of URLs to the linux sites I liked and though were good. Then I came to the conclusion that if I had only one URL with all the links, I didn't have to write the big list all the time. "xfree - linux links" was created. Then I decided to put some screenshots. And now I will put up some frequently asked procedures. The list will grow with time.
There are also other pages in this site, which don't really relate to Linux, but that will be of great value to other tech support people (ISP primarily).