10 days or so of running Ubuntu Linux on my laptop and I love it. It is so much faster than XP on this older (Sempron 3000+) machine. I have found free programs from the Ubuntu software site for everything I need and they are all downloaded and installed with the minimum of fuss from the Internet. No CDs required at all. Now if Canon would only make their proprietary software Linux friendly, I would be completely satisfied. As it is, I've found alternatives for everything of importance as regards image processing and I really like the Gimp image editing program better than Photoshop.
It's given a whole new lease of life to this old machine, so much so that I feel that I've just bought myself a brand new notebook.