I’m a Computer Science guy, so I played around with Linux years ago. It was fun, but definitely a hobbyist’s OS. Other interests took over, mostly computer gaming and HT, and I stopped keeping up. Well, this week my daughter's laptop got a malware infestation that was trying to blackmail her into purchasing their “virus protection” software – until you pay them, they keep popping up warnings every 5 seconds. Basically it prevents you from using your computer. Really, really, ticked me off. I had more problems than usual trying to get rid of it, so I finally gave up and decided to reinstall the operating system. Of course MS, in its #^&*! infinite wisdom, wouldn’t let me re-install, because “Your current OS is newer than the one you are attempting to install.” So I downloaded an ISO of Ubuntu (free), burnt a disk and popped it in. Twenty minutes later the OS was up and running, including all the usual applications (word processing, mail, web browser, DVD player, image editors, and more). Everything worked perfectly right out of the box. Okay, I did have to enter the wireless key; but wired worked fine. Oh, and I had to install a flash add-in. (“But dad, without Flash I can’t do *anything*!” Sigh.) I really just wanted to use Linux to reformat the disk. But the desktop layout is very windows-like. Everything works and is very intuitive. And it seems faster to me. All free. And everything works, did I mention that? So I think I’m going to let my daughter play with it for a few weeks before I go back to Windows. That’s it, the gushing is over and the post didn’t really go anywhere, but I’m so damn pleased I had to post my experience somewhere. Any others with newbie experience with Linux, and advice on what to look for or do next?