"I have been using open source software since the beginning of
1995. It was about Linux (starting with Slackware, after an initial
apprenticeship with SLS), then some FreeBSD and NetBSD, to continue
with several Linux distributions. What a choice! The future was
bright, as the Linux kernel experienced a lot of improvements, the
number of the distributions climbed up to the sky, advanced desktop
environments appeared, and the StarOffice suite metamorphosed into
OpenOffice.org, a very decent alternative to Microsoft Office.
"In those times, the possible adoption of Linux or of FreeBSD
wasn't hindered by any patent issues: the SCO Group was still
living from software, not from lawsuits, nobody was questioning the
possible inclusion of Microsoft software patents into the Linux
kernel, the restricted multimedia codecs weren't an issue either
(what codecs?!), as the desktop was not that multimedia, after all.
And Linus Torvalds was living in Helsinki..."