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You have to burn the image as an image. Not as a data CD or an Audio CD. If done correctly, Windows should recognize your CD. A good standard write speed is 4x. A CD should work with Ubuntu, though I've always used DVDs.
I recommend IMGBURN for Windows because it's awesome.
Addressing the coolness factor of Linux, it is cool. Now I don't think you could have the computer 'freak out' on your friend, but there is Compiz-Fusion which is a 3D desktop with awesome effects, Beryl can make your window borders look transparent and pretty, cairo-dock with all it's fancy effects, a live movie as your desktop with a command line embedded... Linux is really freaking cool, and thats not even 1/1090374896349837440 reason why to go with it, those are just pretty visual effects.
Okay I used Roxio on a new CD and I didn't know how to change the write speed and it was writing between 10-13x. It kept changing. But it said it was successful. So what do I do now? Just restart my comp with the CD inside?
okay so should I start over with a new CD and just trash the old one?
Also, Roxio or Infra-Recorder?
If you use windows to burn an ISO You might want to try Ashampoo Burning Studio 10 (Free for at least 30 days)By then you will be in love with Mint--Ubuntu Well Linux. Infra-Recorder if you like I always burn ISO's at4X speed Slow but Work
fresh CDs if you want to play it safe. Depends on the brand too. I burned an audio CD the other day and when I put it in my car Error 7. When I looked at the disc, it had such little aluminum or whatever they put on them to be burned, that it ALMOST looked transparent. It had all of the basic reverse labeling for that brand, but basically nothing on the underside to burn. Not a brand that I'm particularly fond of, so not really unexpected. But cdrecord / wodim / growisofs / whatever I used that time could have at least told me that it failed. I love TDK brand, can get by with Verbatim, most others memorex, sony, ... junk for the most part. Unless you just like having statistics on par with most baseball cards.
distrowatch.com has a popularity list and some technical details on various distros. I've been more of a knoppix, debian, gentoo type, but as previously said, each has their weaknesses. But between those three I can generally get something that boots and/or installs on pretty much ANY laptop. Not to imply easy or fully functional or other suitable for a purpose traits. I started on SuSE, but when I purchased a copy (best buy) that DIDN'T install on my laptop at the time, I had to find other routes. Mandrake (mandriva) also DIDN'T install BITD. I did manage to get SuSE install via very old school methods to be fair. But certainly not intuitive for anyone not familiar with the brand.
LiveCD is a good recommendation. Gives a taste, gives a rescue medium, and other perks. Not for all as CDs croak, either the media or the reader/player. USB variants for those with modern gear. Also with it's drawbacks. Many means to an end. I just downloaded ubuntu myself. Previously tried it and didn't really like the default selection of apps / tools. Heard of mint, never really tried it though. Fedora if you want that RedHat thing or CentOS. If you're working towards a job or other means to an end, perhaps a choice for you. Lots of options. BITD it was RedHat, SuSE or Mandrake. Or Debian if you were one of those. If I were to stereotype, RedHat would be the college CS department, Mandrake would be the college Music / media arts departments, and SuSE would be what everyone else used. And Debian for whomever just wanted a car that ran and didn't much care how it looked or what they had to do to keep it performing well. It's a slightly different landscape these days, and the differences between choices really isn't that great anymore.
Ubuntu is very user friendly, but I use Fedora and love it. It gives you the flexibility to work desktop magic and is a good ground to view the future of enterprise Linux as well. That being said, in regards to burning the CD:
1. You can use any CD burning program, the key is to make sure you burn it as an .iso image, not data. When you open the disk it should have multiple folders in it. If there is one file, then it is not burnt correctly.
2. If you burn the live CD and you like it, you can install to hard drive right from the desktop (at least in Fedora).
3. Make sure that your system is set to boot from the CD-ROM.
Something that a 15 year old would think is cool with awesome features and stuff...
I would suggest that you have a look at KDE4 (not a Linux distro, but a user interface). You will forgive me if, as a fully qualified tired and world-weary old git, I suggest that one of the things that is wrong with KDE 4 is that the design prioritised stuff that a 15 year old would think is cool, over stability and usability, but I suspect that you'll like it more than Gnome, in spite of KDE4's defects. (Or, maybe you'll like Enlightenment. That might happen.)
Of course, you can run several user interfaces under one distro.
Ubuntu is pissing me off because it won't recognize my router!! So I can't access the internet.
How did you deduce it won't recognize your router?
Are you using a wired or wireless connection between the PC and the router?
Linux is not great at understanding wireless internet connections. That may require some adjustment of drivers or settings to get right.
If you can make a temporary wired connection to your LAN, that may simplify the task of diagnosing and correcting a wireless problem.
I have no specific knowledge about diagnosing and correcting Linux wireless connection problems. So if that is the issue and you ask a followup question, other experts should not assume I'm taking any lead in helping you with this topic.
And the CDs I was using weren't rewritable.
Hopefully the blanks were inexpensive.
make sure your BIOS is set to boot from your optical drive.
how do I do that?
If you even think you're at the point where Ubuntu is trying/failing to access the router, you're well past the step of booting from the optical drive.