A couple of people have suggested that Ubuntu is a better linux for people like me who aren't linux experts. That has the advantage of being free, and I was hoping to learn more about linux, but I'm starting to wonder if maybe I have more immediate priorities than struggling to learn linux since it won'd advance my career or anything.
A more realistic (in terms of my abilities) solution might be to install Windows XP; HP's web site now has the drivers the MiniNote needs. Amongst other pluses, there are a lot of accessories that will only work with Windows, such as dedicated microscope cameras, TV tuner cards, etc. But of course for this I'd need a legit copy of Windows and COA, and that costs money. You can get the OEM version of XP service pack 1 for £20, but I'd really hate to try this with anything less than SP3, and that's more like £60.
So, a little poll...
What operating system should Marcus go for?
Suse Linux - it's already installed after all.
Ubuntu Linux - it's easier to work with.
Some other Linux I will explain in the comments.
Some other operating system altogether (explained in comments)
Does Marcus need to learn Linux
Yes, it's absolutely necessary
Yes, if he feels like it and has the time
Not yet, wait until a new improved version is released (explain)
No - Windows XP is easier, even if it's the expensive option
No - some other OS is better and I know that it will work because...
Later: Having reviewed the comments and had a think about it, it really isn't going to cost me anything except time to try Ubuntu first; I'll still need the external drive (I've already ordered a little kit for that) but the Ubuntu download is free. I might as well give it a try before I commit to Windows.