My first distribution that I used for my personal desktop was Gentoo. That lasted around a month or two until I went with a Red Hat version that I paid something like $80 bucks for at CompUSA. At the time I thought I would get something out of paid support, but I never once used the support that was included with that purchase. I don't remember which version of Red Hat that was, but it was around 1998-1999 time frame
ROFLMAO! I think I was referring to the relative age of when they got into Linux... You've got me beat a little bit on the being in the industry by a few years- I started my futzing with computers about around 1976 or so and got to professionally doing things on computers about around 1987. An IBM 360/35 under DOS? You know that kind of dates you, don't you? >:-)
I started with suse 7.1 then Fedora 2 and stopped for a long time then I tried Suse 10.2 and decided that was the end for me with rpm crap. My first debian distro was Freespire and at first it was fun till i realized that it was frozen in time and going absolutely nowhere, I moved on trying Ubuntu 6.06, Ubuntu 7.04 fiesty and trying a hd install of Knoppix 5.l.1 and when I had trouble finding the "keys" for a sidux.com I landed there and use it on all my machines, it is defintely hot and spicy, like riding a wild bronco!
I think if someone wanted a easy ride and didn't like to experiement then Ubuntu fiesty is ok but if you want to have fun run Sidux. I might add that none of the distros liked my ati 1300pro card, I plan on replacing it with a Nvidia card but am not in a hurry my on board Nvidia
graphics card works fine even playing doom3
I started off in 2003 on Mandrake 9.1, it was okay but I was disappointed with bugs and such, so then I bumped into Fedora Core 1, it was a improvement but again, bugs and problems. So I used Slackware, this was different, I learned alot more from the command line because it was a do it yourself distro.
I hung with that for a while then I kept hearing about something called Ubuntu, it was in development of its 4.10 warty release, so I grab it, check it out, and it was pretty cool, very stable and worked. The thing that amazed me about that distribution so much, was its community, so I stuck with that for about a year in a half, and by that time I knew that Ubuntu was based off the linux distribution Debian.
So I go and try it, and fell in love with it, it had the perfect balance for me and its been a rock solid distro for me thus far. We all have done the distro hop, trying to find that one that is just for you, its like, a journey haha. Eventually you find the one, we usually don't get it on the first try though, but we eventually find it. Almost sounds like marriage.
My first distro was Redhat 4.x (don't remember the exact version) in mid 97. I helped my friend install this one for his project and was soo drawn by it that I installed it on a partition of my 2gb disk.