I have a very short time experience with Ubuntu, started with 12.10. I thought the live CD, pendrive approach was exactly what I needed to try out Linux on a laptop and then a desktop.
Since the laptop was ANCIENT it really didn't have the necessary horsepower to handle Unity ... so the nice thing was there were CHOICES! Seems to me that Debian, Ubuntu, and Mint have promoted Linux somewhat into the mainstream (or at least positioned it to get there).
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