I’ve been in the IT industry since 1983 and a Linux user since the mid ’90s. What started out as a fascination with a new ‘toy’ has grown into a profession and an interest that has been with me for more than 20 years. I was working at a local Pager Company, Metrocall when I first heard about Linux. It was a time when Bulletin Board Systems (BBS’s) were the mainstream and my OS for work was DEC VMS on a VAX Cluster. I had access to a Motorola VME system for a Unix terminal session and I was using windows on the desktop (as was everybody). I wanted to learn more about Unix. Slackware was my first Linux distribution and I spent many hours downloading it with a 2400 baud modem,writing it to floppies for my first install. It was on an IBM PC/386 and I bought a new hard drive to do the install because there was no concept of dual boot at the time. Back then you swapped cables, adjusted the BIOS and rebooted. Many nights after work was spent trying to “figure it out” and as I learned, failed, reconfigured, and re-installed I began to see the potential of Linux. It was a ‘toy’ back then but now I use Linux every day to solve problems and learn.