I have dabbled in Linux for the past 4 or 5 years but was never savvy enough to get it running right on a machine shared by the family. The idea of the Live CD was great. It allowed you to download or purchase, (For around $1) a CD that you could slip into your system and reboot. The Live CD boots up the new Operating System, (OS) without changing your settings or configurations in Windows. The entire process is running off the CD and RAM memory. If it works well with your system and you like it, the Live CD gives you an option to install. In the Modern Linux Distributions, (Distros), the install option will detect Windows and automatically set up a dual boot system. I personally believe that the Dual Boot was created by the Devil himself, but that's just me. The last major Distro I tried was called ubuntu. The live CD was the first version of Linux that actually found the Wireless card on my laptop. It also found my printers, shared folders on the networked systems in my home, and generally ran like a champ with some minor issues here and there. Graphics glitches and dropped wifi. Both of these things seem to be the most heavily asked Linux questions on support forums and the frustration if it doesn't work can be great. Many go running back to Windows. I ran ubuntu with a dual boot for awhile. It can read windows stuff like pictures and music so I could still access my Files from within. I really started to like the feel of ubuntu. I started to think about what i really used my Laptop for and how important it was to keep XP at all. I surf the net, use email, store view and edit Pictures, music and videos. Manage contacts and write text documents. Maybe a little html coding from time to time. ubuntu had all that stuff already pre-loaded. The learning curve is pretty quick. I saved all my 'stuff' on an external drive and put the Ubuntu 7.10 CD back in and hit install. Brought up the partitioning app, (gParted), (In windows you need to purchase Norton Partition Magic for $39) Created my partitions and tossed Windows XP out the door. Happy days. Here is where I started to learn a little bit more about doing things in Linux. There are no .exe files. There are no Ad-ware or virus' that can get into the system. You almost never need to reboot after changing a setting... It just applies automatically. (Many linux systems have been running for years without a re-boot). Most web servers (Like the Monkey) are running on Linux. You do not need a Defrag program because Linux keeps it's disk neat and organized. It's faster. There is no "registry" and the font MS Trebuchet is nowhere to be found. I played around with my system and kept getting the configurations out of whack and not nowing how to get them back, just re-installed. and again. and again. This is why I had problems with the dual boot system. I messed it up on one of my re-installations and had a very tough time getting back into XP. I would reload and add back all my Documents and pictures, reload my Firefox and Thunderbird profiles and mail. (You can port all of your existing FF and TB stuff right over to the Linux version if you know what to save.) Then I'd screw it all up again and start over. You can really learn alot running through these steps 10 times in a week.taser1 ubuntu was running at about 95% until it just dropped my wireless card cold. Couldn't see it. I thought it died and ordered a new one. That didn't work. On one of my searches, I ran across another version that was based on ubuntu but was tweaked a little bit differently. (ubuntu does not have Flash, Mp3, and DVD codes 'Out of the box'). I downloaded the iso and fired up LinuxMint. It boasted all the Codecs, and was tweaked a little bit from ubuntu. It found my wifi card and those little 5% of annoyances went away. Well, I still 'hang' on a power-off every once in awhile and have to hold the button. I have been very happy with Mint. It's all set up exactly how I want it and use it. All my stuff is available and runs faster and better. I'm trying to find away to convert the rest of the house right now. My wife is not very tech savvy but she could easily run this. Firefox is Firefox. Couple of things before we start. If you have an ATI graphics card, cross your fingers. Linux seems to have better support out of the box for nVidia cards. And, Your life may be much easier if you have a wired internet connection, (ethernet) at first in case your wifi doesn't show up. I now have both but my wireless card is the most common and best supported. IntelPro BG 2200. Also. Linux is not windows. I'd like for you all to read this little essay before we go any further.