Hi all. Long time reader, first time poster.
I bought myself a desktop a few months ago and, as it had no OS installed I resigned myself to spending the dough and getting XP or maybe that shiny new Vista. Well, it took three weeks for the computer to arrive and in that time a couple of things happened...
1) One of the directors at work brought in her daughter's laptop so that I could get her MS Office installed. In the land of the blind at work I'm the one-eyed King of computers. Anyways, I boot the thing up and it's got Vista installed. My interest was extremely piqued so I waited for it to load.
Took a while.
Looked super-shiny and sexified but it just wasn't intuitive to me. Now I know I should give an OS some time but the fact that I was going to have to pay for it before giving it a proper run-out meant that I'd be spending rather a lot of cash on an unknown quantity - I could hardly borrow this woman's work laptop for a week to test the program and the fact that it didn't immediately scream "user-friendly" made me very apprehensive. I therefore resigned myself to getting XP.
2) I work for a CD and DVD replication company and I was going through our samples one day (I'm in charge of marketing so I keep an eye on these things) I came across a disc we did for one the Linux magazines. All I knew was that "Linux is Unix - that computer system that professors use" (told you I was the one-eyed King!) but the wrap (the bit of paper that goes with a CD or DVD, the cover if you will) seemed to suggest otherwise. Long story short, I spent days and days wiki'ing Linux, finding out about distributions, comparisons with Windows, user advocacy and blah-de-blah-de-blah.
I DL'd Ubuntu, Mint, PCLinuxOS and another that I forget. Ubuntu was the first one that I ran and I couldn't believe I was networked within a few minutes without even my HDD turning a revolution. Weird times hombre... I dug the interface - it made sense to me! I dug the FREE software - really free, not just P2P free, either. It took me by complete surprise and when I received my new desktop two days later *BOOM* on goes Ubuntu and I've not used Windows since.
It's been a good, what? Three-four months maybe? I've had to reinstall three times in that time. Not due to a fault with the OS but just because I'm a bit of a run-before-you-can-walk guy. Usually this sort of thing would sour me completely but, having read as much as I have on this forum and other places on the net I understand why things go wrong and I'm gradually learning mine and the OS's limits.
There are a couple of issues - MAME runs devestatingly slowly but with Dual 2.6Ghz processors and an integrated generic graphics card I'm going to go out on a limb and guess I screwed up in my choice of gfx and that an Nvidia 8600 would sort that out for me. If anyone has a suggestion then let me know. If I hear nothing for a few days 'll maybe post the question in a more appropriate forum.
In the new year I really must contact Canonical and say "Hi! I love your OS. Can I quote for your LiveCD pressing?" Until then, I'm off to tinker some more.
Thank you for all your help Ubuntuforumers! I've been lurking and learning and the experience is very satisfying.