Well, it has been a year since I took the plunge and installed Debian on my parents' old desktop, and my what a year it has been! One year ago I was a reference librarian at a busy suburban library who found a book about Linux and decided to try out Knoppix for the first time. I had just been turned down for a job with the state library agency and wanted to bone up on my "technology skills," whatever I meant by that. Since the state library's system runs on Linux, I thought learning that environment would make me more marketable. So for a few weeks there I would drag my parents' desktop out of a closet and hook it up, then when I was finished I'd disassemble everything and put it back in the closet (since it took up too much space in our small apartment). Since the network card never worked, I never really did get a feel of what actually using Linux for my day-to-day computing needs would be like. Then, because of several goings on in my personal and professional life, I put my Linux toys away for a few months (and gave away my parents' comptuer) until I needed to use the Linux-based Cinelerra for a video project and I installed Ubuntu on a second hard drive on my main computer.
Having Ubuntu on my main computer truly changed the way I thought about my computing needs and choices, and I spent weeks just downloading free (and I do mean free) software and trying different things out. I was truly astonished at what tools I now had at my disposal, and when I began researching how this all came about (through books and online videos, mainly) I discovered that this was something I truly wanted to get involved with, both personally and professionally. I've always been "computer savvy," meaning that I know my way around computer hardware and software and learn those concepts fairly easily, but I wanted to develop specific skills that would allow me to get a job in technology-oriented librarianship.
Then another job came open with the state library as system administrator, and I was dissatisfied enough in my reference librarian position to give this a try. I was not exactly qualified for the position, but I hoped my newfound determination to get this sort of job, along with my nascent devotion to free and open source software, would win me some points as a candidate. They were looking for either a techie with library knowledge or a librarian with a technical background or interest (neither combination is all that common), and they chose me, the librarian with tech skills (well, more interest than skills, but I'm working on it). So I'm now the system administrator (in training) for one of the most forward-thinking library agencies in the country, running the open source, GPL-ed Evergreen ILS, for which my predecessor led the development team (now Equinox Software, Inc.).
So now I've gone from being a non-Linux user to a Linux end user/advocate to a professional position where I need to know the inner workings of Linux cold. I'd say it's been a pretty good year, wouldn't you? :-)