Waaaay back, I used to run Win98SE on this thing. Then I switched to Win2k and used that for a couple years. It actually ran really well, but after my friend installed Gentoo on his iBook clamshell, I couldn't resist to install good ol linux on my own laptop. So I backed up my 2k partition onto 5 CDs, and took a few wild stabs at it.
After going through a couple distros, I finally ended up with Debian Sarge, and it works perfect! There were two things in mind that were nagging to me about why linux would be a bad idea: performance and usability.
Although windows is really buggy and pretty retarted, it ran well. Ah man, it's so crappy though! Like, it treats you like you don't know anything about computers and tries to do nearly everything on its own, which of couse usually fails. Very crumby. But it was fast, especially on low performance machines like mine. I'm talking 233 Mhz PII here.
After installing linux, it ran really well, and after a couple hours of configuration, it ended up being crazy responsive! I'm running XFCE and am experimenting with ROX ... man, I've never had a better linux experience - really. Everything is running very quickly and reliably. Faster than 2k even, to my surprise!
The usability part was really on my end. I am still learning linux, so I didn't want to be restricted in an unfamiliar OS. Buuuut, then again, with the debian package manager, life has been easy! Honestly, installing something with apt-get is like 10x easier than going to a website and stumbling through wizards, and it almost always works (and if it doesn't, you can get it to work). I've been doing so much stuff with the help of apt-get. 70% of all the software I am currently using wasn't initally installed, not even X
And I apologize for comparing windows to linux as they truly are apples and oranges, but since I have the option of either windows or linux, I think it's almost appropriate. And hey, I got a better-tasting orange out of it
Ah yeah, this is exactly what I have wanted since many years ago. Seriously! Linux that I can really use. I suppose it could be my learning curve hitting a peak too, but eh, whatev ... Much respect to the linux programmers and the entire linux community for creating such effective software!