I've been browsing the General forum, trying to help and learn a thing or two.
I decided to take a moment and write out my success story.
I have not overcome insurmountable odds, gotten strange or rare HW to run with Linux, anything like that.
The success in my story is that I completely enjoy using linux, I am _constantly_ learning and in turn helping others.
I installed my first Linux on an old IBM 66Mhz (the old, huge IBM PCs that had the handle on the top, you know the one). I installed Redhat 6.0 on it with like a 2gig hard drive. I was not very good at it, but received help through IRC channels, browsing and posting on forums like this, and a friend.
I had HW issues with that pc and it broke, so my only linux pc went out the window (not literally). I was using Windows 98 on a 366 Celeron at the time, I believe I was playing everquest.
I continued to use Windows and enjoyed it, it did what I needed, I also enjoyed using DOS and utilized the fact that Windows sat on DOS (see my signature).
I don't remember when, but a few years later I found myself in a networking class at a technical collece (18 years old, or so) learning linux as well as other IT related skills. The network was mainly windows, I had a redhat box and one other person had Mandrake. I learned a little here, but overall I was a true noob, not knowing how to do a lot of tasks. (Example, grep was intimidating)
I usually kept an old computer setup with Linux (I've used Open and FreeBSD in the past too) but never really made the dive.
Well, three windows computers later, I found myself playing another MMO and hooked on gaming. I made the plunge and quit the MMO and moved from being just a "gamer" to start on my path of knowing linux.
I took so much of a plung, I took my old PC and reinstalled WinXP and gave it to my father. He has an extensive VHS collection and could make use of the ViVO capability of my system.
I am currently running Slackware 10.1 on a 800Mhz C3 PC, with 512mb of Ram, a GF FX5200 128mb PCI (low profile), and a 8gig HD.
I have since learned how to use wine (I no longer use it, because I only play a rare session of quake2). How to install games nativly, how to setup and secure a SSH server. I've setup tripwire, secured the OS using tcpwrappers and IPTables. I'm running Tripwire and I run weekly chkrootkits. I use Firefox, Thunderbird, XChat and Aterm. I keep those windows open in Fluxbox (http://www.username17.com/images/screenshot.png
I've recently started teaching myself C with the C Programming Language book (authored by the creators of C).
I am a linux enthusiast, I use windows at work only because I have to, but I SSH in from work and code C for hours at a time.
This is not a "look at me, I'm uber" article, but an article to tell all those newbies that it can be done.
I say all those newbies, but I still consider myself one as well, we all learn and constantly, that's the key to linux.
Always learning, always adapting, to get stuff done.
Slackware seems hard at first, but the community is just awesome and as you learn, you will love Linux too!
I can be found on irc.freenode.net in ##slackware, #fluxbox, and maybe a few other channels. Send me a PM, ask a question, there are plenty of people in that channel that are smarter than me.
I've been on my 800mhz pc with Slack for a month now and I don't miss my old system, or Windows at all!
Hope you enjoyed reading this,