I am a Windows guy, no experience on Linux at all. Some time ago I decided to start playing with Linux. I had Vista installed on my laptop (from factory), and I hated it, very slow, lots of problems, mainly when I had to access our office’s VPN. So, since I had 2 hard-drives in the laptop, I decided to install OpenSuse 11 on the second one. With the help of a friend developer, we installed it successfully, but I lost the Vista boot from the first-drive, it seems that the OpenSuse installation messed up with the boot record on the first drive.
I immediately restored my laptop, with the factory disk, to Vista again. I had to install CF, SQL, Eclipse and all the development stuff again under VIsta. Lots of work.That lasted only few months when I started having problems again with Vista.
This time though, I decided to play with Ubuntu. I burned a CD with Ubunto 8.10 deleted all partitions of all my drives in the laptop and began a clean installation of Ubunto on the first drive. Success ! Everything ran smoothly. Then I downloaded and installed VirtualBox from Sun, installed Windowx XP and updated it to SP3. Now I have the perfect environment to start working and playing. Under Windows XP I installed Eclipse, CFEclipse plugin, Subversion (SVN), Cisco VPN Client, MS SQL2005 client tools, and checked out some projects from our SVN repository. I then installed Apache Web Server and ColdFusion Developer Edition.
My concerns were that my laptop drivers would not be compatible with Windows XP, but so far so good, everything is working fine, even the webcam. So no Vista anymore, got my old buddy Windows XP plus a chance to play with Linux and learn more.