Apparently, Linux is the anti-wrinkle cream of the IT world.
“Mind you, I can’t abandon Windows altogether. Not only do I write about it for a living, I also rely heavily on certain features and programs not currently available in Linux.”
Sure, if by breathing “new life into an old and/or slow PC” you mean you can make it all of the sudden run faster or rise all those busted electro-caps from the ashes.
“[O]r you’re just tired of paying for operating systems[...]”
So you have got compulsive OS upgrading behaviors. Understood.
“My Linux 'distro’ of choice is Ubuntu, which is quick and easy to install and about as user-friendly as they come. Right out of the “box,” it has everything you need to do, well, just about everything. There’s Firefox for Web browsing, LibreOffice (an OpenOffice variant) for word processing and spreadsheets, Banshee Media Player for music, and even Ubuntu One for online backups (you get 2GB free!).”
Notice all those bottles of O’Realy Whachamacallit Oxygen-Breathing Magic on your missus’ vanity stand? Yep, just keep rubbing them in and all your inevitable problems of aging will totally vanish in thin air.
“The OS is admirably fast, too. I’m running it on a 3-year-old Acer laptop that came with Vista. It took forever to boot and was just maddeningly sluggish overall.”
Well, as someone who has been using Vista for some years, all I can say is, “If your install happens to get slower and slower over time, then you are most certainly the one to blame.”