Great article Jack!
I am a Linux newbie and installed Ubuntu 11.04 (64-bit) on my dual boot (Vista 32-bit and Win 7 64-bit on separate drives) system. It didn't take me long to tinker with the compiz settings and break the OS so bad that I had to reinstall it. This happened serveral times until I finally stopped myself from trying to customize the desktop and just use the generic settings that were initially installed. I was incredulous that the OS could be broken so easily, and I didn't find an easy way to fix/restore it. Thus, the reinstallations.
I LOVED having an OS that booted up almost instantly, and used it often to just get a quick connection to the web via a browser. But ultimately, I decided to get it off my system. That decision cost me much aggravation as I played the devil trying to get the master boot record back. Most of the directions I found, via Internet searches, to reinstall the MBR, didn't work. So I would NOT recommend trying Ubuntu to anyone who wouldn't know how to use DOS in a command-line terminal, which is a majority of users.
In my (lowly) opinion, Ubuntu has a lot of potential. BUT, it has a long way to go to get where Windows stability, customization, and ease of use is-Unfortunately!
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