This seems like a good place to solicit an opinion:
Crossing my fingers (LOL) I would like to say that I'm done with windows. At the same time, I need to say that my family is not. I say that, because I consider myself moderately computer-literate, and know enough about the guts of an operating system to have patience with configuration and setup hassles. I find the hassles are frequent, but the solutions are almost always there, maybe hours or days away, but there, just the same. My thought is to maintain a windows box for my family, and an ubuntu box for myself.
I have been experimenting with ubuntu on an old Dell P4, to which I've increased the memory to 762 meg, and added a HDD to make the total 26 GB. The only thing I really want, that I don't have, is a processor speedy enough to do streaming video well. I'm finding recently, that I have turned into less of a 'geek' than perhaps I was a few years ago. I am becoming more interested in the utility and toy value of a computer, as opposed to an interest in the computer and information sciences (I still have a little interest in the inner workings, but as much as I was before I got married over 20 years ago).
I'm ready to consider my experiment successfully over, and I'm ready for a contemporary machine. What I'm considering is a laptop with a docking station. That way, I can have the best of both worlds: A desktop machine most of the time, and a laptop for the once-in-awhile excursions.
I will have ubuntu installed in it. Can I have opinions as to single or dual boot?
Ubuntu has done everything I need it to do.
One thing that I've noticed: New devices without windows are not very common. If I buy one with windows, I'll likely go dual-boot, just because I bought and paid for the O/S (with the Dell, I figured that it already lived its full life, and formatted its HDD clean). Other than knowing it will be on the inexpensive side of what laptops cost, I haven't decided on new, refurbished, or whatever.
Check on your search engine for computers preinstalled with Ubuntu. They do exist.
Dell sells them.
Dell 480 XPS 3G ram Quad Core 2.40GHz, Radeon HD 2400 PRO, Audigy1, 3x320G HDD, 320G External, Debian Testing for use, Debian Squeeze for secure use, Debian Sid for FUN
I switched over to Ubuntu after a brief stint with Linux Mint in January 2008... and have NEVER looked back since! I still rely on some closed-source apps like Skype, but I still stick to it even though only one speaker seems to work with it
I've also been dishing out copies of Ubuntu to family and friends, and a couple of them have managed to make the switch.
I played around with Ubuntu for a while in mid-2008 (Hardy) and could not get it to work for me, so I went back to XP for a while. Once it was clear that Windows 7 would not solve some of the fundamental problems I had with Vista, I tried again in early 2009 (Intrepid) - and my system worked 99% out of the box. With Jaunty, things got even better - and XP started to look really dated.
I have since moved my complete productive environment to Ubuntu. For the few applications that I cannot seem to replace by Linux-compatible alternatives, I use a virtual XP machine with Virtual Box.
These applications are at this time: Serif Page Plus X3 for DTP, Nero 6 for DVD mastering, a language course and sometimes, Adobe Acrobat for documents that are to messed up to work in anything else. Also, I use Canon Easy Photo Print - because I am lazy.
I feel much better running the few remaining Windows applications in Virtual Box, since Windows does not get network access - and hence no malware. Funny enough, my virtual XP boots faster than the real XP machine
While my computer (notebook with docking station) still is dual boot, Windows is strictly a game launcher now (no personal documents or data under Windows, no access to Ubuntu partitions).
I've only just got into computing.
I',ve never had a chance to become 'computer literate' until 12 mths ago had never wanted to work with MS.
I decided, when I read about Linus Thorvold about 10 yrs ago, that I was now ready to 'compute'.
Took a while, both PCs that I now own were bought as bare boxes & this PC has never had an MS OS installed, sadly the poor ol' Celeron has.
Linux has always been my OS of choice.
Now if I could stop making all of the mistakes that I do,......
After Wine gained compatibility for one of my 3d modelling suites, and it had ended up running much faster than in native Windows, I was able to stop using VirtualBox altogether and now I have a completely Microsoft-free system in all respects.
I mean, if Wine improves at the rate it's going, very few people will have good reasons to stay with Windows, anyway.
I have just finally taken the plunge after going back to windows 7 and bang... the damn thing froze again and had to be rebooted. Something that never happened in 4 days use of ubuntu under wubi.
So I have now installed ubuntu afresh.... no windows partition and I am happy. Now comes the long task of learning linux as well as I new windows.
One thing I cocked up... I partitioned the whole drive.... having forgotten I had a separate partition on there for some data (nothing important)... oh well "***** appens"
Looking forward to chatting to you all over the coming years...
Not me... I've tried 8 () times and failed. I'm too addicted to games for that. And dual boot is too much of a hassle.
Ive stated before im running a dualboot with of jaunty with win7, obviously win7 for the majority of my top games, though I do run most games from PlayonLinux (lack of a few graphical features like shadows etc dont bother me, its all about gameplay)...
Anyhow, ive been having some issues with my jaunty, not jaunty in particular, but ive noticed since i make great use of the internet that ive been having problems with my firefox browser, following 3 or 4 links my browser would fail to load pages, and id end up having to close the browser and restart it, and it would get worse... so, i went about to find another source of firefox maintained by someone else other than canonical (also with other apps), which made alittle improvement, however im now stuck to only comfortably browsing certain pages, and others would just kinda fail to load again...
so i switched to chromium which works brilliantly, except for the fact that i dont have a proper interface to make settings, and other than that, chromium doesnt have proper flash support which causes it to crash when you enable it....
meh, then, as a last resort to popular browsers that i know of, im now using Opera, which works excelently...
okay abit off topic, but getting to my point, realising the majority of open source applications I use on Linux are also available for wingdoze (pidgin, firefox and opera, open office, frostwire, filezilla, XBMC etc), ive pretty much installed them on my win7, and ofcourse it supports my gaming... so ive now come to this point of realising i would be better of using wingdoze which i then wouldnt have to dualboot, coz dualbooting realy is a hassle i will admit, to restart your pc just to play a game, and then restart again to do whatever else...
but im not going to ditch ubuntu just yet, Wine realy is improving dramaticly, and support for playonLinux is there, although very vaguely... In my opinion the future of gaming for linux is coming, with OpenGL3.1, and it should make gaming support from developers aswell as wine alot more easier =] methinks