Why do you come here?Because the forum is good!
Slackware 3.3 :) on a 486dx2/66 with 4mb ram and a 10/2 coax network between my house and the house nextdoor :) it was a NAT router splitting the first cable internet that was offered here.
First distro I used at home was actually Kubuntu. I didn`t like gnome for some reason. Later realized it actually was quite good. Now I use IceWM though, because it is from a time in computing culture, that appeals to me.
I had used linux elsewhere though, and many other operating systems, and understand general computing concepts, so it wasn`t "new" in anyway. But the opensource, and particular "make menuconfig" made me feel very much at home, thinking I could have done something similar myself. It has that enthusiast/hacker feel over it.
And ultimately use it now, alongside windows and OSX. And find it to perform better for what I like, and generally prefer it, and think open-source is really what enthusiasts like.
Peace Be With You.
Solaris with KDE 2.* in like 2001. Then Mepis in 2004, Mandrake, Fedora 2-4 then Gentoo ever since. I also use Ubuntu or Debian at work or on my laptop when I don't want to spend too much time getting productive. From a DE perspective:
AwesomeWM (2007-* )*
I used most WM/DE too, but after I am done playing, I go back. I am developing both KDE and Awesome, so it kind of fit my needs, if it doesn't, then I fix them.
*With KDE apps
caldera openlinux for "playing" with, then "debian" pre-apt for real use.
i hated how slow and cumbersome debian was, and how everything was really bloated.
now it's like nothing. but when computers generally had <= 32 mb of ram, lots of linux daemons etc were taking 300 to 3000k, and they all add up.
like each getty was using up noticable ram. i found a "solution" cos i wanted more gettys, and that involved some tweaks to mingetty, and compiling statically which reduced per process overhead.
part of the bloat came with glibc though, there was a significant memory increase per process.
also dselect was damn slow and cumbersome. and debian liked to release packages with minor changes while i had dialup internet. very frustrating. so i ended up compiling things frmo source often,
and just downloading patches etc. when you're doing at 5k/sec, with 24mb of ram, and a "486 class" cpu things were pretty cumbersome.
now days i use ubuntu, and my download speed is much higher, and I have 16gb of ram. I can even use X (well, kind of, )
that said, i tried windows 98 back then too, and even with tweaking/tuning it got cumbersome real quick.
1st OS: DOS 4.x
1st Linux: RedHat 5.x
The first open source program I ever tried was the DOS port of Nethack. I downloaded it from a BBS with a 14.4 kbps modem. Only rich people and universities had internet connections at the time.
I was introduced to unix back in the 90:s. Not sure what exact OS it was, there was this computer club that had acquired a server (it was one of these huge refrigerator-sized things) and some VT100 terminals as a donation, and we got to play around with it. There was also one 286, but it was more fun playing around with unix. We ran our own MUD on the server. It was fun, even though there usually was only a couple of guys playing it at a time.
Back on the subject, my first linux was Ubuntu. I'm still using it but I'm increasingly considering switching to Mint because I don't like the direction the distro is going, with all the amazon crap and unity in general. I'm now using Mate but it doesn't work that well because it doesn't like cohabiting with Unity. I could just get rid of Unity but it'd probably just be easier to switch to Mint.
Just wanted to post an addendum - I just migrated to Linux Mint and so far, I'm loving it. Much nicer than Ubuntu. IMO. Faster, too. I've just about almost set up everything the way it should be.
Migration was very painless, I kept my old /home partition and all my preferences were transfered seamlessly - even the same webpages were opened which I left open in ubuntu! Never did I have such an easy transition from one OS to another in the windows world, that's for sure. So far, haven't found any problems or conflicts from keeping the old /home partition.
Sadly, lately it seems ubuntu is looking to become the new apple rather than doing what's right. So now I use Mint, and it rocks. It's like they say - ubuntu done right ;)
One little quibble - mint had gimp 2.6 preinstalled, which I had to remove so I could compile 2.8 myself. Oh well, doesn't matter that much, compiling software is kind of fun anyway. Makes me feel all like an elite computer expert or something.