In serious Vista doubt? Try Ubuntu instead!
What about those of us who've had it up to here with Windows XP but also aren't ready to spend tons of cash on a Vista capable PC, what are we to do? Here's a thought; take a second look at Linux and, specifically, Ubuntu.
Once just the stable and solid workhorse of quietly humming server rooms, Linux has made some incredible strides in recent years as a desktop operating system for the masses. Ubuntu, the pet project and entrepreneurial venture of tech millionaire Mark Shuttleworth is constantly pushing the envelope, making Linux an easier choice for end users the world over.
I've put together a short list of tips and resources for the non-conformists out there who'd rather swim upstream than be carried down-river by the latest from Redmond. What's the point? If you're ready for Linux, Linux is ready for you.
Ubuntu.com - The official source of Ubuntu Linux. Chock full of documentation, resources and a popular help forum, Ubuntu.com is the first stop on your new desktop computing adventure. If you're a little trepidatious about dropping Windows for Ubuntu and you're comfortable burning a CD, check out the Ubuntu Live CD, which lets you boot Ubuntu up, play around and even get some work done, all without changing a thing about your existing Windows install.
Automatix - The very first thing you'll install after Ubuntu is up and running, Automatix is a useful downloader/package installer for just about everything you could ever need in Ubuntu that isn't included in the install CD. Automatix makes it easy to install things like video codecs, Google Earth, Open Office, and much more. Really, it's far too much to list. As the Automatix team motto says, "Download, Install, Enjoy."
Crossover Linux - Many people find that they'd love to switch to Linux full time but, due to a piece of software they need for school or work that requires Windows, they just can't. Crossover Office is a well supported commercial application which allows you to run most Windows software under Linux. Crossover has just recently added support for several Windows games (including Halflife 2 and and World of Warcraft), making it that much more of a hot ticket for those who are looking to make the switch and leave Windows behind altogether. Crossover will set you back $39.95 for the Standard Version and $69.95 for the Pro version with extended features and upgraded support. It's well worth the few dollars if a Windows application or two are keeping you from waving goodbye in earnest to those guys in Redmond.