It's been about 3 years since I left Windows XP and became a full-time Linux user.
In this time, I can proudly say that I've learned more than during my 15+ years of using Windows...all the way from 3.11 to XP.
What has GNU/Linux given me concretely?
1. A rock-solid, dependable system.
Before, I had to pray to the Megabyte gods whenever I had to use a
projector, for example. I still see some people being embarrassed by computers Windows systems refusing to work with those devices.
2. Peace of mind.
I had to think twice before inserting my usb stick on public systems or
when someone needed to plug one of such devices to my computer.
3. A great community to help me whenever I need help.
Before, whenever I had problems, I had to pay go get my computer fixed
hard drive formatted and my OS reinstalled. Then, I learned to do that
myself. Now, I can count on a community of very nice fellows who are
willing to help me for a word of thanks as their pay.
4. Tons of fun.
While for some people "fun" is just "games," I learned that taking a
system and making it look and behave the way I want is fun, too. Of
course, I'm far from being an expert, but even when I switched to Linux 3
years ago, I started doing things like that.
What have I given back to Linux?
1. I have helped others with the little knowledge I've gathered.
2. I have introduced others to Linux.
3. I have helped translating a distro into my language.
4. I have helped checking the manual of my favorite distro.
Today, my distro's community started collecting funds for development. I decided to put aside the issues I have with the online paying method and contributed anyway. That's because Linux has given me a lot and I feel I haven't given back enough.
Some people may claim that Linux has given them nothing but headaches. That has not been my case. I am grateful I migrated, actually!
What about my fellow Linux users? Has GNU/Linux given anything to you? And what have you given back?