My First Linux Encounter or How to Switch to Linux

I was a Windows user for several years when I decided to switch to Linux, late 2005 or early 2006, I can't recall exactly. I remember that on Windows I was always looking for freeware alternatives to all the paid applications. At the time, I was not aware of the terms 'open-source' or 'free software', and I definitely had no idea about the concepts behind them. On Windows I considered myself a 'power user', I knew my way around and could complete almost any task in Windows XP easily. I kept searching until I bumped into Linux and decided to give it a try.