Hi, I'm new here. My girlfriend and I have several computers: 1. A Dell Inspiron 1200 laptop running XP Home 2. A Dell Latitude D505 laptop running XP Pro 3. Two ancient Dell Dimension T500 desktops, one running Windows 98SE and another dual-booting Windows ME and Ubuntu 4. An IBM T40 laptop running Ubuntu We use these various machines to write, surf, record and edit music, sort and edit photos, make art, and edit video. We like Linux! Although Windows is still useful for many of the things we do, the time will come when open-source software will be the best way for everyone to go. Favorite programs: Gimp image editor, Audacity audio editor, OpenOffice suite, Windows Movie Maker, Nero video editor, Pro Tools Free (Windows 98) (!) My first computer: I didn't even get interested in computers until around age 40 (2001) when, knowing almost nothing, I bought a new, old-stock Umax laptop that (sometimes) ran Windows 98. It was a lousy, nearly useless machine, but it was a great machine to learn on because it hung up and broke down all the time! I guess my lifelong experience doing antique electronic equipment repair makes me prone to tinker, and rather than souring me on computers forever, the Umax helped spark an interest which has only grown. Fortunately, it was eventually stolen, and my insurance replaced it with a new Dell laptop in 2005. Over the years I've learned a lot, had (and solved) many problems, and found many new uses for computers. Boards like this one have been a great resource to me for problem solving; community cooperation and feedback are the primary forces driving developments in the open-source software movement, as well. Favorite computer: IBM laptop. Built like military equipment. Lovely to look at, and a joy to use. Appeals to my personal aesthetic, which tends toward simplicity and functionality, as in mid-century modernism. The Volvo 240 of the computer world. Favorite car: The Volvo 240 (we have two!!!) Pet peeves: 1. Macs. Pretty, but flimsy. NOT intuitive, at all! 2. Widescreen notebooks. I like 1:33 [4:3] aspect ratio for writing and movies. 3. Bloated, resource-hogging programs and operating systems.