First of all, a great thankyou to the whole community. I remember turning up here in 2011 utterly lost and only really staying with my Buntu through curiosity and because I didn't want to go to the hassle of retrieving a wiped Windows...
But today my computer has turned from a cheap and terrible Win laptop into a (admittedly, slightly upgraded on the hardware side) much faster, more beautiful and useful machine, all because discovering ubuntu pushed me into delving into all kinds of concepts associated with linux, open source, and (basic) computer hardware. I'm no longer (if i ever was) jealous of Windows users, for i've got Win7 back and don't use it, preferring the security and customizability aas I use the same FOSS software anyway. No longer jealous in any way of Mac users, as Ubuntu can be made just as good-looking if not more, and a is lot more colourful and amusing (ever heard of Wanda the fish on a mac?). It's just great.
My using linux is pretty visible as Unity stands out visually, and outside computing courses few actually use it. Lately a friend came and asked me if I could help him install Ubuntu on his netbook... It felt like completing a cycle that saw me start in April 2011 as a pure noob and ended now that I can give decent advice to other newcomers. Just like when I got my first "thank you" messages from helping new people on this forum. I decided on using Ubuntu 12.04 LTS as a hopefully failsafe option (my install runs gRRRReat )
Nevertheless it still showed a few shortcomings: he was disappointed when I explained that Adobe Software didn't run, the Additional Drivers utility crashed repeatedly and the software centre was hellishly slow on his (by now overheating) latest-generation EEEpc. It was so bad installing a .deb of Chrome that I apologetically fired up the command line and used sudo dpkg -i *.deb which worked in a flash, but it looked a bit like Ubuntu was a cheap outside shiny package on something that didn't work. And Google Drive -the shame of it- can only be used with a third-party hacked client (Insync). it'll be a bit of a hassle installing, I'll have to be careful and do a lot of explaining. Still, I believe I am bringing in a new dual boot recruit, his enthusiasm isn't dampened, I hope excessive Ubuntu-ing doesn't interfere with his studies like it did mine.
My battery monitor has just abruptly claimed I have 9 hours of battery left over. On a cheap laptop with a 2 year old 6 cell battery, it seems a bit tongue-in-cheek. But that's the spirit