Recently my laptop hard disk has been clicking so I got a new one. Of course this means I am going to have to reinstall everything and puts settings for stuff again. Even if I could just save these settings and carry them over, I think I want to do it again so that I can do it better and learn from it. As such I think this is a great time to learn more about using my computer. However, I have a few questions.
1) OS: At the moment I have a dual boot ubuntu/XP installation on my laptop. Been as I can't get Vista or 7 I was thinking about continuing with this. However, are there any other recommendations you can think of. I use windows for playing games and skype (both rare now because I am too impatient to reboot ) and for printing because I have far more control over my printer using the windows only software than I do with the rather poor linux drivers. I have to skype on windows because linux can't detect a mike. So, any suggestions? Stick with what I have? Try virtual machines? Run only one OS? (if you say just run XP I shall find where you live, abduct you, and cause your death by rabid penguin).
2) Linux: I like what I have seen of Ubuntu. It's a lot quicker than windows and it doesn't have the major problems I find with Windows. But at the moment I am using it as a cheap Windows like thing - not a linux distro. My ability to use the shell is abysmal. If I need to I can't compile something to use it. I basically don't know that well how to work it. Are there any good resources you people out there know of to learn this stuff? Any tips you can give?
3) Software: Most important - what's a good free virus checker/spyware protection/whatever that I can install on XP. I'll get a free disk with some stuff on it when I go to Uni, but that is still 27 days away and to be honest there's probably better stuff out there anyway. Also, any other software you would recommend to make windows more bearable and linux more fun. Or good sites with collections of different programs.
4) Anything Else: Any other resources you think might be useful - either to help me learn more about computers or improve the way my computer runs. Just basically any advice you think I should have based on what I have said I want to do.
5) Name: Finally, any ideas for a name better than 'Andrew-Laptop'? This is, of course, the most important question.
Just so you know I'm computer literate but in terms of geekdom I am no more than a wannabe. I am willing to learn and spend time on it though. Basically I am open to all kinds of suggestions but don't make it too complex. Or if you go complex explain how to get their from simpler stages first.