The first computer I ever owned had an 8086 processor, a 5 1/2" floppy drive (back when floppy disks were floppy), and a 32 mega-byte hard drive. I think the OS was DOS 6 or 7. I worked for a large church at the time, and when they upgraded, I was the beneficiary of their cast-off. I was delighted... for a while. Someone even gave me a stack of floppy disks that enabled me to upgrade it to Windows 3.0. I think it worked.
In the spring or early summer of 1995 the church planted a computer on my desk at work. This time, the OS was Windows 95! Now we're really cooking! I got a lot of work done with that machine, and subsequent ones... but experienced my share of headaches, too. I learned what the blue screen of death meant. I learned how to reinstall Windows. More than once.
Eventually we "moved up" to Windows 98. That was when I really began to move from satisfaction to annoyance and irritation. Windows 98 seemed like a giant step backwards in stability, without much in the way of forward progress. Perhaps the worst thing about Windows 98 was how llloooooooonnnnnggggggg it hung around!
The infections of frustration and discontent began to fester, especially when the brand new $700 dollar system I purchased for our home came with the same blue screen of death I had grown to love on the hand-me-down boxes I had just gotten rid of.
I don't remember where I first heard of Linux, but my experiences with Windows 98 had created some fertile ground for the seed.
...to be continued...