A while ago there was a post at Blendernation on a 15 years old demo video for Blender created by Ton and crew. That made me think of my first steps with Blender, so I dug through my old files. Here's what I discovered.
There are a few things notable about it. 1st that I was interested in the smoke simulation from the very beginning. Actually I was looking for a good simulation tool at that time and found the new version of Blender to be both usable and having a nice smoke sim. 2nd it's an animation, not a still. That's because I came from an AE background and always had my focus on motion pictures.
Something else that stunned me was the date the file was saved: December 24th in 2009! I can remember that I had some free time before christmas and used that to evaluate the smoke sim in Blender. Just before christmas eve I was satisfied with my results. Blender 2.5 was somewhat my personal christmas present!
Judging from the other files, I started doing tutorials throughout the holidays. On Dec 26th I did the A Pawn in a Hurry from Blendernation which was for 2.4x. On January 1st 2010 I did my first tutorial that was for 2.5 - a Flubber-like "Metaman" with armature. Unfortunately that tutorial seems to have vanished off the web. Januar 2nd was the time for my first bouncing ball, the rest is history...