After several months of reading about linux and various distros, 7.10 "gutsy" was installed Nov. 14 on an Asus Z96J laptop. This has an Intel dual-core 2 GHZ processor, 2 Gigs RAM, ATI Radeon 1600X on motherboard, Intel Ethernet and wireless on Motherboard, sound on motherboard, Sony DVD/CD reader/writer. There is no floppy drive.
The Live CD was used initially to explore the release. Kudos to Ubuntu for explaining the difference between "copying" an ISO file and "burning" one! That is an essential and not-so-obvious distinction for people who have never done it. With the Live CD in hand (in the drawer, actually), "Gutsy" was installed in dual-boot mode with Windows XP Professional.
This took just under two hours, including the time I took to write down exactly what the installer was doing at each point in the process. All in all it went quite smoothly.
During the process I was asked twice (at different points in the process) for a user name and a password. It was not clear why I was asked for two users, but I assumed one might be root and one might be a non-root user. It might be helpful to clarify this.
Pleasant surprises: The migration assistant worked once I realized which of my two users it assumed. The wireless card configured and worked, but I did not immediately realize that it could not find my non-broadcasting network (of course!). Once the SSID was supplied it worked.
The touch pad works as well with Gutsy as it does wth XP. Excellent, because I rely on it exclusively.
After some stumbling about I was able to configure my HP 882C to print wirelessly over the home network, thanks to a post on the forum that alerted me to the "Windows/Samba" choice for printer configuration. Congratulations on a very smooth install routine.
At this point I consider the installation successful and my "linux versus windows" test is underway. I do have some remaining setup issues, however.
Power Management does not work. "Suspend" appeared to work perfectly off the live CD, both by closing the lid and selecting that option on the desktop. Surprisingly neither Suspend nor Hibernation is working properly now. When I suspend the screen goes black, the HD keeps running and the machine will not wake up in response to anything short of a reboot. I have posted an inquiry to see if anyone else has experienced this or knows how to solve it.
The ATI driver has not worked to implement the 3D desktop. I have a suggestion from "Inxsible" on the forum for fixing that. I am learning that ATI drivers are a source of difficulty, apparently.
I have an HP scanner (Scanjet 4070) I have not had time to test. If that works I will be impressed. Scanners are notoriously fussy.
So, I have two "issues," one being power management and the other being the ATI driver situation. The scanner may be an issue, though I am not sure yet.
Having done multiple XP installations and worked with versions of WIndows from 3.11 forward, the Ubuntu 7.10 installation compares quite favorably.
My biggest challenge? There is no C:!!! Hmmmm, where the heck am I?? Much learning to do, obviously, but we are off to a promising start.
My thanks to all the people who make it possible.