I’m calling New Year’s Day my first anniversary with Ubuntu — I built my first real dual boot with 5.10 a year ago. I had built a few trial installations and had a few flirtations with the live CD, but on New Year’s Day I had a system I intended to keep.
The original machine was a then-cutting-edge Dell XPS M170 — a 2.26Ghz Centrino system with a Geforce 7800GTX and an Intel PRO BG wireless card. It was a real monster for its time and by summer was gone — a victim of its own resale value, and the fact that if you’re not going to play high-end games, that laptop is exceedingly overkill.
I went Windows-free by February. Since then, I’ve installed Windows a few times (usually to handle BIOS updates), but never with the intention to keep it. Microsoft has no hold over me now.
Since then I’ve put Ubuntu or some variation of Linux on about 20 machines, mostly Dells or HP boxes. (I kept a list of serial numbers, in case you were wondering.) It hasn’t always worked out as well as that M170, but on 98 percent of the stuff I tried, it was a winner.
I think the best experiences were the opposite ends of the spectrum — the 75Mhz Pentium machine that needed every trick I could muster to bring to life … and the original M170 dual boot I made a year ago. Both machines, when they came to life, thrilled me the most.