After my recent adventures with Vista, I decided to try a new direction. I've been considering trying Ubuntu on my "test" laptop, the Fujitsu-Siemens S2110 (AMD Turion 64). The recent release of 8.04 seemed a good opportunity to take the plunge. Since I always do this sort of thing by swapping disks, and I have a disk for that laptop which I had previously loaded with Vista Home Premium (and given up on, even before I got the S6510), I could reclaim that disk for Ubuntu and my XP Pro disk would remain intact.
I downloaded the Ubuntu CD image, burned it to a disk, swapped the hard drives and booted the CD. Less than an hour later the installation was finished, and it was up and running. I have tried this several times before, most recently with SuSE Linux, and this one the first time that it seemed to have gotten all of the major laptop devices and configurations figured out properly. I'm impressed.
I have been working with Unix systems, in considerable depth, since 1982, so I am no rookie. I'm trying this out now, looking into it in more detail, seeing what works and what doesn't, and how useful it really is. I'll post more about the adventures as I go.