Why did I become a FOSS developer?

In 1998 I was running Windows 95 on my brand new computer (Pentium 1, 166Mhz) and it randomly crashed. This was very frustrating. So I asked my father, whether there is something else available. And his father gave me a set of SCO Unixware floppys and cds and a packet labeled "Suse Linux 11/94". The SCO package had a blue/white cd box and looked nicer, so I began to install Unixware my computer. But it did not work, because SCO did not support IDE disks and the computer had only an IDE disk builtin.

After about two weeks trying around with SCO, I gave up. Frustrated I continued to use the old operating system.

About one week later he was again extremly frustrated, that this operating system was crashing so often and he remembered, that there was another cd set (one source code, one install cd) to try out. After about 4 hours I had Linux running. That was really really easy compared to SCO. It felt strange, so new, so fast. And it contains only text. Strange, like DOS before Windos, I thought.

On the next day I read in the book that there is something called "X11" available, which can destroy the display, when wrongly configured. I were shocked, but still tried to do it the correct. I searched for vertical and horizontal refresh rates and found them after some hours searching in the handbook (they were labeled differently compared to the SuSE Linux handbook). Created the configuration and typed in "X<enter>". Wow, it works. But why is it grey and black? Really gross. But after typing 'startx' it looked much better.

The next confusing thing was that there were no drivers for the cdrom. Nothing to load. After about two weeks I found out that they are already integrated into the kernel and that one simply needs to "mount" them. And after that experience, I was totally convinced by FOSS, because the FOSS people solved the driver issue much cleaner than the cdrom vendor or Windos itself. The whole system has been running very stable and it has been really easy to change things (like /etc/issues), it has been open.