Last night I was playing around a little - and checked out the CD I had burned a couple of days back, with an ISO-image of Xubuntu.
Xubuntu is one version of the rather known Ubuntu, a nicely set up Linux distribution based on Debian - and as the tradition wants it - all for free. They have various flavours of it now, which are Kubuntu (for the kde desktop) and Xubuntu which usese the XFCE4 desktop (Ubuntu itsself comes with Gnome).
Using Linux for quite a few years by now, I started using the xfce4 desktop years ago, for many years running slackware, these days running both slack and debian. XFCE4 is a rather slim desktop client, faster than the 2 wellknown ones (gnome and kde), and once used to it, one can't imagine switching back to one of those heavy-loads - at least that's for me.
The decision to download the 700mb xubuntu was a) triggered by the fact that they have now an edition with xfce4, but b) also resulted in various installations of slack and debian on a toshiba notebook, where I experienced problems with the onboard sound chip, or the network card or whatever else.
One needs to know, that the neat part on all these Ubuntu setups is, that you can run it from the CD. You don't have to install it to see how it feels like running linux. It runs on a windows box and -as to my knowledge (never tried)- on a Mac. This way you can have a look at it, see whether you like it, find out whether it can handle your hardware (dmesg) and so on...
So I put in the CD and boot.
Loading fast, getting all the hardware, doing everything you expect from an OS - like playing movies, music, accessing the internet, mail client, etc.etc.
It didn't take me more than 1/2 an hour to decide that I want to install it. I had one version of Debian installed a couple of wekks back and decided to install it instead of the Debian sarge (After all it's all Debian).
The installation takes about 15 minutes. It's the easiest and fastest installation I ever experienced - and believe me... I did a lot of installs over the years :) Rebooted and here we go, smooth as silk, very neat, great!
So, folks, if you ever, ever were interested at all in Linux, go for it. Have a look at first. Run it as long as you like from the CD. Once you feel confident about it, install it. You won't regret!